Cardiff's gender-neutral hair salon calls for more gender inclusive spaces in Wales

Video report by ITV Cymru Wales journalist Issa Farfour

The owners of a gender-neutral hair salon in Cardiff have called for more inclusive hairdressing spaces across Wales.

From colours to cuts, Wow Hair and Beauty Bar in Cardiff offers gender-neutral haircare for all, regardless of how they identify.

The salon, which is located on Pen-Y-Lan Road in the Roath area of the city, has proved very popular with Cardiff's LGBTQ+ communities.

Now, Mandie Rees, co-owner of the shop, believes their example can serve as inspiration for other businesses to run similar ventures.

“Everything we do is completely non gender specific,” she told ITV Cymru Wales.

"A huge amount of our clients are from the LGBTQ+ community. A huge amount are trans, so they come to us for gender-affirming styling both with our hair and nails, and our beauty services and aesthetics services as well.

“Not everybody fits into a box. Not everybody identifies as male or female, which you would get from the gender specific salons or even the unisex salons.

"Everybody now has their own identity."

The salon has been a hit with members of Cardiff's LGBTQ+ communities.

Paige Jones, who co-owns the business alongside Mandie, said that Wow differs to other salons by not associating certain hair styles with a gender.

"We charge for the service you have and not your gender," she told ITV Cymru Wales.

"So, if you present female, and you come in with what would be classed as a barber cut, you pay for the same as what somebody who identifies as a male would pay for the same haircut.

"It's the same for people who are male who have long hair, they would pay the same as somebody who identifies as female with long hair."

Jaime Wolfe says the salon is understanding of the non-binary community's needs

As well as having a positive impact on the business side of things, customers have also welcomed the opportunity to visit and and inclusive space.

"The reception has been amazing. We have had a big community of people come in," Paige continued.

"Everybody seems to appreciate they have somewhere they can be themselves and express themselves how they want to and know they are in a safe place."

Jaime Wolfe, who uses the salon, said: "It's really nice to have a place that respects your pronouns and doesn't define cuts by gender.

"They are really respectful of mental health as well, so it is really safe for those reasons and it is a really positive environment to be part of."