Want a free haircut? Bona fide hairdressers are ready to snip, shape and style you in exchange for nothing more than your social and political views and ideas. The Haircut Before The Party is a free hairdressing salon in Whitechapel "giving you the cuts you want and talking about the cuts you don’t."
The salon opened in the summer as part of the Arts Admin festival of art, performance and activism, Two Degrees. Over the past 6 months the salon has been collecting images of all the haircuts and quotes from the conversations.
Richard Houguez, part of The Haircut Before The Party collective explains:
The salon is a space where people come because they need a haircut. We offer cuts for free as a gesture of friendship, in a similar way to how people have their hair cut by friends or family at home. On the high street we've tried to create a social space that supports relationships based on commitment and trust. Over the last 6 months we've allowed a space for different communities to overlap and exchange conversations.
Salon regular and Tower Hamlets resident, Saleh says:
I come to the salon to hang out and meet people. It's a place to relax. I make tea, listen to what everybody is saying and find out who lives in my area. You can live here but you don't know anyone. You walk past them in the street but you need a place to meet as well.
Interested? You've just got a couple of weeks to get in there before the salon closes. If you're interested in communism, there's a reading group each Tuesday and on Wednesday 16th November there's a 'Parataxis' event, featuring lecture-like presentations, poetry readings, film screenings, performances, installations and music. On its final day, there will be a big free party - spilling over into Toynbee Street - to celebrate the project. Expect a night of performance, ceremony and really good hairstyles on Saturday 19th November, 6pm till late.
Book your appointment at thehaircutbeforetheparty.net or by calling the salon on 07928 072825 from midday - 6pm until 19th November. The salon is at 26-28 Toynbee Street, E1.