A hairdresser has developed her own app to encourage inclusivity by offering genderless haircuts on demand.
Clients can arrange a same-day appointment and have a stylist come to them thanks to Jess Palfrey’s app, dooo.
The 27-year-old found that traditional hairdressers and barbershops were not inclusive or affordable enough, so she started her own company in Bristol.
“We should just be cutting hair for hair, not cutting hair because of people’s gender,” she said.
Clients can share any conditions, disabilities, concerns, or specific requirements they have in an optional part of the app, which helps match them to a suitable stylist.
“The reason I created the app was to help people,” she said.
“I’m trying to pull the hair industry into a new generation and make them realise that not all women have long hair and not all men have short hair.”
After a “traumatic experience” at military school, when all of Jess’ hair was shaved off, she decided to pursue a career in the industry.
Despite being set for a career as an engineer in the army, she began hairdressing training alongside her university degree and spent the following four years travelling the world, paid by her trade.
When Jess returned to the UK, she began cutting hair in people’s gardens in between Covid-19 lockdowns and decided to turn it into a company.
She developed her own mobile hairdressing chair to fit on her scooter with the help of family and friends, allowing her to trim hair in care homes, car parks, and construction sites.
She then secured enough funds to construct her app following a successful crowd-funding effort.
Jess now has 16 stylists on board and a boutique in Bedminster, which is run by Kane Sainsbury, who describe themselves as an “inclusive hair cutter.”
After experiencing discrimination, they joined the team to establish a safe space for LGBT, queer, non-binary, and transgender people to get their hair done.
“I’ve had experiences of being turned away from barbershops,” they said.
“As a non-binary person I was told ‘we don’t cut women’s hair’ in barbershops. Well, I’m not a woman.”
Kane was so uncomfortable at salons that they trimmed their own hair for ten years before enrolling in a demanding professional barbering course.
“I was constantly dealing with the perils of it being called gent’s barbering. I was complaining a lot,” they said.
Kane added that they allow their clients to choose their own style, but that they specialise in “mullets, weird haircuts, and shaggy seventies dos.”
According to Jess, there are now plans to launch dooo in five other cities.