Pride month is here! However, year-round, there are countless ways that creatives in the LGBTQIA+ community celebrate who they are. From fashion, and accessories to colorful makeup looks, there are many ways people celebrate their uniqueness. Even in their hairstyles, these beauties are celebrating their identity and self-expression in fun ways through styling and hair care. All Things Hair is kicking off Pride Month by highlighting how these three outstanding LGBTQ+ creators express themselves through their hair and beyond.
LGBTQ+ Beauty Creators Want the Industry To Be as Inclusive as their Many Hair Colors
Meet these three outstanding LGBTQ+ creatives who are making noise and stirring conversations in the haircare space: Kara Zosha, Dimo Ortiz, and Carlisa McNee.
1. Kara Zosha (They/Them/Theirs) – Non-Binary Multifaceted Creative
Kara Zosha is a multifaceted artist and creative who has always been known for their most colorful hairstyles even as early as 12 years old. Colorful hair is a big part of their identity and is their favorite creative hairstyling outlet. According to Kara, hair is about self-expression “It is about how we choose to dress, the words we speak, and every facet we express ourselves in.”
As a non-binary person, when expressing myself with makeup it often feels like people can put me in a box.
Kara on Navigating the Beauty and Creative Haircare Space as an LGTQ+ Creative
Kara is able to consistently find creativity through hair care and styling by having an open heart to any inspiration that may come their way. However, they often get a lot of inspiration from their hairstylist who works with them on a consistent basis. “Honestly, when I find a style I like, I go for it. I’ve had so many different hair cuts and styles that it feels so natural to always be changing it up,” Kara said when talking about how they are able to consistently find creativity through styling.
When asked about their experience as a non-binary creator in the beauty space, Kara says it’s not easy. “As a non-binary person, when expressing myself with makeup it often feels like people can put me in a box. With that being said, there has been so much progress within the beauty community with all sorts of representation.” Kara Zosha is optimistic that society will begin to expand its viewpoints on how beauty and self-care are perceived. Especially in the sense that at the moment certain beauty routines are boxed and perceived to be for one gender or the other. “I can’t wait to see a day where makeup/hair/nails aren’t just seen as a feminine thing but as a valid art form.”
Kara Zosha’s advice to anyone wanting to become a haircare creative is “to just go for it and have fun.”You have to start somewhere with both your work and your content. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Check out one of Kara’s Favorite Haircare Products:Nexxus Color Assure Long-Lasting Vibrancy Cleansing Conditioner
Support Kara’s work! Find their handles below:
We ran a survey among our readers and asked them if they express their Pride through their hair and the answer didn’t surprise us.
2. Diamante “Dimo” Ortiz (She/They) – Poet, Writer, and Activist.
Meet Diamante “Dimo” Ortiz. Over the course of their childhood, Dimo witnessed how creative energy within Black and Brown spaces creates healing, humanity, and hope. This has inspired them to carry this over into writing poetry and collaborating with other creatives. Dimo participates in organizing work in New York and Philadelphia, uplifting the importance of community narratives that are often underrepresented in mainstream media.
There has been a big push for inclusivity in the industry, but there are definitely more strides to go, especially in paying homage to Black Trans women, femmes, and Trans siblings.
Dimo on Navigating the Beauty and Creative Haircare Space as an LGTQ+ Creative
“Beauty means living as the most unapologetic illuminated version of yourself,” said Ortiz when talking about her perception of beauty. “It means living in the self that has defied so many odds.” When it comes to hair, Ortiz is known for her signature purple hair color that she puts into a variety of hairstyles. “I love how ever-changing hair care can be. I love the power of the transformation it brings.” Dimo says that seeing like-minded creatives around them and on social media inspires their looks.
Ortiz describes navigating the beauty space while being an LGBTQ+ creator as “nothing short” of a beautiful challenge.”I’ve been incredibly grateful to see more expansive conversations that center on the ingredients we deserve to have in our products, brought to us by content creators and influencers that also emphasize accessibility.” Ortiz describes that there has been a big push for inclusivity in the industry, but there are definitely more strides to go, especially in paying homage to Black Trans women, femmes, and Trans siblings alike. Inclusivity is key not just in product ingredients, but in being able to acquire these products as well. “We cannot push out products that cannot be affordable either.”
Dimo’s advice to any creatives who want to take a step towards being more self-expressive through their haircare and art is all about going for it. “Your dreams are on the other side of the fear, that is stopping you from doing them. Take the risk!”
Meet Dimo’s Favorite Haircare Products: Love Beauty and Planet Soothe & Nourish Hemp Seed Oil & Nana Leaf Scalp Serum
Support Dimo’s work! Find their handles below:
3. Carlisa McNee (She/They) – Cosmetics Marketer and Multimedia Creative
Carlisa McNee is a multifaceted creative. She is also a recent graduate of the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing program at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her passion for creating equality and inclusivity in the beauty space drove them to succeed in what is known to be one of the school’s most rigorous programs.
I feel the safest and most welcome when I am able to show up authentically as myself in spaces. It shows me that I am seen for my talents as opposed to my labels.
Beauty is Carlisa’s main form of self-expression. “It is extremely therapeutic and I love the transformational aspect to it, I can present myself to the world however I please through haircare” Carlisa goes on a whim when drawing inspiration for her next and upcoming hairstyles. She often asks herself multiple questions: “What color do I want to be? What’s the occasion? What’s the season? How do I feel, and what’s my energy?.” For example, on Valentine’s Day, they felt the need to tap into colors like hot pinks when dying their hair. For graduation, she did a beautiful periwinkle bow with waves that reflected a retro Hollywood look. She also draws inspiration from people on social media who look like her and whom they can resonate with. From there, she discovers new hairstyles that she feels will also best fit her.
Carlisa on Navigating the Beauty and Creative Haircare Space as an LGTQ+ Creative
“Navigating the space and showing up authentically as I am has often been challenging,” Carlisa said as she spoke about her journey in the beauty industry throughout the years. “I have often felt like I have to make myself ‘small’ or more ‘digestible’ to get through doors in the general market. I feel the safest and most welcome when I am able to show up authentically as myself in spaces. It shows me that I am seen for my talents as opposed to my labels.”
The beauty industry is not the easiest path to navigate. However, Carlisa loves the strides that have been made in diversity and inclusion.“ As time goes on, I hope we become more understanding and overall more emphatic towards one another. I believe we will soon have a more open representation of multicultural consumers. My hope is that with time, there will be less tokenism and gate-keeping within the walls of modern-day diversity and inclusion.”
Beauty is supposed to be a love letter,” she added. “Anyone who chooses to partake should feel seen, heard, and loved within this industry.”
Carlisa’s advice for creatives who are looking to express themselves through hair is to go for it. “Whatever you’re itching to accomplish, do it. Take a leap of faith no matter who tells you you can’t rock the look you’re going for. I have been told all my life I can’t do short hair. Now, I’ve done it and I love it. The time is now.”
This is Carlisa’s Favorite Hair Product: BHS Vibrant Color Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Support Carlisa’s work! Find their handles below:
We also asked our readers if they think that haircuts are becoming more gender-neutral and their answer was an overwhelming yes. We’re heading in the right direction.