When Katrina Casino moved to Bed-Stuy from Washington, DC, in January, the 22-year-old had two things on her mind: books and making a buck.
Since enrolling as a sociology and journalism major at Brooklyn College, she was swimming in books.
But bucks, on the other hand, were a different story: She was broke.
“I couldn’t even afford a haircut,” said Casino who wears her hair short. “I just didn’t want to have to go to salon every three weeks. So I decided to try cutting it myself; I was just messing around with a razor and trying to be cool.”
The first, second or third time might not have been a charm. But eventually, she got the hang of it.
“So I decided to start cutting hair for cheap as a way to make money.”
As a gay woman, Casino said she soon found queer-friendly hangouts around the nabe where she quickly formed a tight-knit circle of friends.
“Besides general flyness, we found that something we all had in common was a penchant for cutting queer hair,” said Casino. And so they decided, why not form a pop-up barbershop?
“We wanted to create a safe place and fun place for other queer folks to hang, see what the community is doing and also get a haircut. It just seemed like the next step.”
The name of their pop-up barbershop is called “Phresh Cutz” and the team of five barbers call themselves “Hair Force One.” They are:
Katrina ‘KC Danger’ Casino
Emma 'Tears for Shears' Klein-Stropnicky
Scout 'Dances With Scissors' Riera
Zulai 'Ace of Fades' Romero
Jess ‘Buzz Lightshears' Markowitz
On Sunday, September 2, from 2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., at 221 Quincy Street between Bedford and Nostrand, the Hair Force One team will host the first Phresh Cutz meetup.
Casino describes it as “a spot for queers and friends of all kinds to kick it with like-minded individuals over drinks and beats while also tightening up their look for the coming fall season.”
Admission is $5, if you’re not drinking; $7 if you’re drinking (two beers); and $10 for two drinks and a haircut. Casino said if all goes well, they hope to host the pop-up barbershop monthly.
For more information on Phresh Cutz, visit them on Facebook.
“It’s decidedly a queer space,” Casino emphasized. “We’re obviously open to all genders and sexualities. But it’s gonna be very decidedly queer.”