BOISE, Idaho — A local hair salon is working to address gender stereotypes one haircut at a time.
Typically when you go to get your hair cut, the styles are divided into "men's" or "women's" but at Mulletproof Hair Co. they do things a little differently. The salon has a mission to create a safe space where clients can feel welcome regardless of gender identity.
"We just wanted a spot everyone felt like they belonged in," explained salon owner, Claire Salisbury. "I think we provide such a unique option for so many people, where they can just exist as who they are rather than what they look like."
Mulletproof is one of the only gender-neutral salons in the Gem State—and started about five years ago in a tiny corner of Garden City with a stylist named Kait.
After a few years, Alyssa Hendest started working there as a stylist.
She says the creative freedom of the job, plus being able to create a safe space for her clients, is what keeps her coming to work every day.
"I could do the hair I wanted to do, be around the people who are like-minded and who are looking for that safe space too," Hendest said. "People have shared some. of their saddest moments and some of their happiest moments--just having someone share that space with you is so lovely."
Then, the salon continued to grow, adding more stylists! About five months ago, Noah Neumeister started.
"I just feel free," Neumeister said. "I feel like I can just be who I want to be, wear what I want to wear and dress crazy without fear of any judgment."
During the pandemic, the salon moved to its new home on Main St. in downtown Boise.
"Which was really scary! To not even have income coming in and taking on a whole new aspect of a job," Hendest remembered. "We had a GoFundMe that actually ended up paying our rent for the two months we were closed. A lot of the community gave to us and that's what got us through."
Mulletproof also shares a space with local artist Ashley Dreyfus.