Picking out a new salon can be tedious. Especially if you've had bad experiences in the past. But, finding a place where you'll be accepted as you are? I can only imagine the added anxiety that could cause when trying to find the right place for you.

As a straight, white woman, there is very little I can add to the conversation of not feeling accepted or being discriminated against just for being who you are. In fact, it's something I rarely have to consider in my day-to-day life and yes, I recognize that as a privilege.

That's why this post on Kalamazoo's Reddit caught my attention. The post, which you can see here, reads,

Are there any LGBTQ-friendly salons or spas in Kalamazoo? I have a friend who’s recently come out as trans and we’d like to go get stuff done, but we’re afraid her pronouns won’t be respected or the possibility of the business refusing to provide their services. Are there any here where the employees are generally respectful and trans-friendly?

Wanting to maintain simple dignity by being addressed by the proper pronoun seems like a pretty simple request, right? At least, it should.

Thankfully, Kalamazoo seems to be a pretty LGBTQ-friendly area which is why locals immediately had a few suggestions. Here are at least 4:

1. Drue Salon 

Suggested by multiple commenters, Drue Salon is very clear that they are welcoming to everyone. Their Instagram bio reads, "We believe in fostering a community of kindness,
inclusion and care towards you and your hair." Founded in 2014, Drue Salon also focuses on sustainable beauty offering natural hair care products. Read more on their Facebook page.

2. Alder Hair Studio

One of the newer salons in the Kalamazoo area, Alder Hair Studio has already developed a reputation for being inclusive. While there's nothing specifically indicating that they're LGBTQ+ friendly on their website or social media pages, u/eratoast on Reddit said,

Alder Hair Studio on 12th in Portage is very LGBTQ+ friendly.

A full-service salon, Alder Hair Studio also offers bridal makeup and styling too. See all of their services on their website.

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3. Sway Salon

Also known as Sway on the Vine, this salon is operated entirely by women. Their focus, according to their website, is to, "Provide a place to feel great, look your best, and be yourself." Something to keep in mind, starting February 1st, Sway will become a text/email only salon. Meaning, regardless of if you're a first-time client or a repeating client, you will no longer be able to call the salon directly for appointments. Find more information on their Facebook page.

4. The Urban Collaborative 

The Urban Collaborative's slogan is, "Elevating the salon experience and sharing a culture of compassion and gratitude." With over 40 years of experience between the stylists, services include cuts, corrective color, balayage, and more. The original commenter that suggested The Urban Collaborative suggested that they may not be taking new clients. However, I've found nothing to indicate that on their website or social media pages. You can see all of their services offered, hours, and more here.

While it's not a long list, hopefully, it'll be a good start for you or anyone in your life looking for an LGBTQ+ friendly salon.

Additionally, if you're looking for more programs or services, Outfront Kalamazoo is an incredible, non-profit organization that supports those in the LGBTQ+ community. Read more here.

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