Couple in LGBT charity chop at gender-neutral Hackney barbers

PUBLISHED: 08:40 23 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:23 24 February 2016

Vivienne and Mya with Barbarette's Klara Vanova

Vivienne and Mya with Barbarette's Klara Vanova


Love was in the hair at a “gender-neutral” barbershop when a pair of lovebirds had their locks chopped to raise money for an LGBT charity.

Vivienne and Mya before the shaveVivienne and Mya before the shave

Vivienne Watson and Mya Kayala, both 30, went under the razor at Barberette in Downs Road, Hackney Downs, on Valentine’s Day to support Opening Doors London.

The charity supports elderly members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community who have endured decades of discrimination, and works to reduce inequality.

Vivienne, who volunteers as a befriender at the charity, and Mya – her partner of four-and-a-half years – decided to show their support by shaving their heads, and have so far raised a sharp £1,551.

Vivienne, of Westminster, said she was pleasantly surprised by both the amount raised and her new look. “I’ve never done anything like this before,” she said. “I’m actually tempted to keep it like this now. I was worried about the shape of my head and as the clippers ran down I thought, ‘wow, that’s close’, but it was liberating.”

... and after... and after

She was inspired to raise money after hearing tales from her elders who she said were still fighting for equality into their later years.

“It’s a really nice charity,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot speaking to the older members of the LGBT community. Hearing stories from old lesbians who are still really outspoken and in tune is a real eye opener.”

Barberette owner Klara Vanova, who prices all hair cuts based on the work done rather than the gender of the customer, opened her shop in 2012. “I have short hair and felt like I didn’t belong to any standard hairdressers or barbers,” she told the Gazette, “so Barberette is in between. We have clients from all spectrums – men, women, kids, teenagers.

“One of my customers used to work at Opening Doors and we’ve done stuff for the charity before. We do a lot of stuff for the LGBT community because we are part of the community too, so we were happy to do the head shave when they asked.

“Vivienne and Mya brought their friends down. It was so much fun, and they have raised a lot of money.”

Donations can still be made to the duo’s fundraising page.

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