I am Keri Blue and my career was born out of sheer frustration. Frustration that I couldn’t get the haircut I wanted because of my gender. 

Years ago, when I lived in Brighton, I wanted to get a short fade, so I went to a local barbershop. I sat waiting for ages only to be refused a haircut simply for being female. They told me “We are not insured to do girl’s hair here” I left embarrassed and really upset. Since then I heard of so many people being refused a haircut because of how they identify.

Within a week I decided to go to London to train as a barber to stop this from ever happening to anyone else. I trained late as a barber but learnt fast. In this time I achieved a lot to better my industry, making barbering more accessible for people of all identities. I trained barbers and hairstylists how to be more confident with their offerings by focussing on the skill base of the cut rather than the gender.

Whilst working full-time, I came out as non-binary. Whilst taking the step to be openly out I asked my team at the time to use my correct pronouns (which are they/them). The team simply laughed at me and said “no way, that doesn’t make sense”. I felt disrespected, hurt and insignificant as a human, and generally that I just didn’t fit in. In the height of lockdown 1.0 I had time to reflect on this. I reached out to people in the industry and clients to ask of their experiences and what they felt about being refused haircuts. After hearing their stories, my mission became clear: to try and take away the stigma of men going to a barbershop and women to the hairdressers. Once that gown is on, what is underneath isn’t important. We are dealing with the hair on the head to empower the client and boost their confidence.

In 2021 I launched HAIR HAS NO GENDER – an educational platform where I could educate hairdressers and barbers to be more inclusive and welcoming to women, girls, non-binary people and the trans community. Hair Has No Gender, set out to teach people, who didn’t even know they were doing anything wrong, how embedding inclusivity in their business, not only shows kindness, compassion and empathy, but can also makes their business more financially profitable. Since starting Hair Has No Gender, I have been on quite a journey training several salons and barbers including; Daniel Rymer in Bristol, CUT Throat Petes in Liverpool, Stag in Edinburgh and Hex Hairdressers in Manchester to name but a few!

However, I soon found that it wasn’t just the beauty industry that could benefit from this training. And so, in 2023 I transformed Hair Has No Gender into Affirmation, a full service business that offers clients gender-affirming haircuts in a safe, inclusive environment, whilst also offering comprehensive training programs that promote the create of safe and inclusive spaces in salons, barbershops and beyond. By creating safe spaces whilst challenging gender bias in the industry - Affirmation’s aim is to completely eradicate gender bias so that one day, any person regardless of gender will be confident they can walk through any door without fear. I have personally experienced a lifetime of discrimination and I’m now on a mission to help companies that are committed to making a more conscious effort to practice gender awareness and inclusivity. 

I draw from my own personal experiences and share my story whilst explaining the importance of pronouns, how to use them correctly and how everyone can be an ally. I also work with businesses to tackle subjects including gender bias in pricing structures.

 Affirmation is now all I live, eat, and breathe and I won’t stop providing fun interactive education until I have educated as many people as I can who want to listen to my cause. One step at a time we can make that much needed change in the industry. It is our job to help people feel better about themselves. We are so much more than just barbers and stylists, we have more of an impact on people’s lives then we know.

Through Hair Has No Gender and Affirmation I have gained over 500 hair clientele, some of which follow me from all over to get a gender affirming haircut experience. I am proud that my clients feel they can come to me to have open honest conversations in an environment where they are safe to be their true selves.

I am now working In Hebden on Wednesdays in the Mill please do use my @keriblubarber Instagram and pop in for a haircut experience where you will be seen for who you are! Happy Pride! 

Use code AFFIRMATION and receive £5 off first booking! I appreciate you!

Hebden studio, Second floor, bridge mill, st.George's square, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8ET