One Inclusive Barbershop’s ‘Anti-Lad Culture’ Approach

In 2019, David Garrick made the move into barbering after working in a call centre for nine years had begun to take a toll on his mental health.

Despite working in the industry for a relatively short time, David has already firmly established his business as an inclusive barbershop – so MB decided to find out more…

It was after his first haircut in 15 years that David took an interest in the barbering industry, and since he was looking for a career change he decided to give it a try and quickly fell in love.

David’s barbershop, Community Barbers, is a new endeavour, opening just two months ago on 1 August 2022. After several years working for others, he says that starting his own business was the natural next step. David’s respect and appreciation for barbershops is clear: “A barbershop should be an open, welcoming and friendly place. Barbershops are on the corner of your streets, the heart of your town, and are a place people of all ages can go to, giving them all something in common.”



Expanding on the ethos he wanted to create within the barbershop, David explains: “As someone who has never found lad culture appealing, I wanted my business to be an example of moving away from toxic masculinity. There seems to be a growing boorish attitude and competitive sense of machoism to be a ‘manly man’. There also seems to be an ideal in many workplaces that you need to share the same interests in music and subcultures, or you may face ostracism. The unwanted sexualisation, usually of women, is abhorrent to me and I do not want a part in that. It is not welcome in my shop,” he says.

“Due to the ‘traditional’ barbershop often catering to men, these attitudes can be normalised. Sexism and homophobia are often dismissed as ‘banter’ or ‘just how it is here’. Passing off a customer based on the colour of their skin or a foreign name on the booking schedule is seen to be ok, as no one is going to tell them otherwise,” he explains, adding: “Actively advertising as an inclusive barbershop encourages a sense of community and an environment anyone can feel comfortable being in. It’s somewhere they can leave feeling good about themselves, as well as looking good.”

“Most people need a haircut and everybody should feel comfortable in or working behind the chair,” says David, who’s passion for inclusivity is evident: “A very simple answer to why a barbershop should be inclusive: Why not?” He continues: “If somebody male, female, non-binary or transgender comes in and you can do what is being asked, from a business point of view, it makes no sense to turn custom away. From a moral point of view, you’re holding on to outdated ideals that ‘barbershops do not cut women’s hair’ – giving a bad public image for yourself and our industry.”


inclusive barbershop


The logistics of offering gender neutral services are more straightforward than some might suspect, with David explaining: “Community Barbers caters to anyone requiring cuts which fall within the traditional barbering skillset, short haircuts and styles. I have a simplified gender-neutral pricing structure. Everyone is charged the same for the service they require. Anything I feel that is out of my wheelhouse I will politely decline, truthfully explain that I don’t feel confident in supplying the service they want and offer to help them find another local business in the area that can meet their needs.”

Whilst gender neutral services have been a topic of controversy within the industry recently, David is clear on his stance and believes that inclusivity is something which businesses should celebrate: “If you feel you are already an inclusive barbershop, tell people. Actively promote it and be proud of it. People walking past may not be aware and may have had bad experiences of the barbering industry.”

In addition to his pricing, David shares some of the other ways in which he strives to create an inclusive space: “I try to use gender neutral pronouns around all my customers to avoid misgendering. Additionally, my toilet facilities are gender neutral and available to everyone. All the products in Community Barbers are vegan and cruelty free. I am vegan myself and use products from companies I trust, that are adaptable for customers who are vegan or have religious reasons not to use animal products.”

inclusive barbershop

Read next:

The Barbershop Christmas Gifts You Need To Stock This Season