This woman is helping trans youth feel amazing with inclusive hair salons

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A lesbian woman has launched a new network of trans-friendly hair salons to help young transgender people feel amazing.

Kristin Rankin, owner of inclusive Toronto salon Fuss Hair Studio, has started the Dress Code Project, an initiative offering free styling to trans youth.

Dress Code Salon owner
Fuss Hair Studio’s Kristin Rankin (CBC News)

“I know of a lot of instances where they [transgender young people] don’t even get serviced,” Rankin told CBC News.

“Or if they do get serviced, they feel terrible about the service. We don’t want them to have that experience coming into our salons.”

Rankin created a directory of salons and you can find your nearest by simply inserting your Zip code into its locator tool.

With the help of a former costumer, Rankin has also launched a diversity training programme for Dress Code stylists to help them connect better to their clients.

“For trans youth especially, these things can be life-changing,” said transgender client Wesley Welch.

“For trans masculine youth, long hair can be a reminder of the gender binary that has been forced on them and it can be so freeing to finally get that cut off. I remember it was for me.

“I felt I was expressing myself in an authentic way.

“This kind of veneer was pulled off and I was able to show who I wanted to express.”

The Dress Code Project is planning to expand and open salons in Montreal, Vancouver and North Carolina.

Through styling Rankin hopes to help transgender youth overcome some of the difficulties associated with transitioning, including depression and anxiety.

Adam Ben, the leader of a counselling program at Sher Burn health centre, said the Dress Code Project is a safe space that can help young people accept themselves.

Depression in transgender young people is a common issue, with research finding a shocking 90 per cent of trans youth are depressed.

Scientific research has suggested that mental health issues can be solved if trans people are allowed to be themselves.