Papi: “My mom prohibited me from cutting my hair. I felt brave that I actually had the courage to cut my hair.” Photo by stylist Anson Veach.

A snip of the locks here and a touch of eyeliner there might go a long way to raise the spirits of vulnerable teenagers. Several LGBTQ youth recently accepted free salon services at Daireds Salon and Spa Pangea in Arlington. The makeovers are intended to make the students look their best at Teen Pride, a teen-focused gay pride event 2-7pm Saturday at Celebration Church (908 Pennsylvania Av, 817-335-3222).

“We are trying to help the kids,” salon owner Daired Ogle said. “I guess in a lot of situations, these kids have self-esteem issues, and they experience bullying, which upsets us all. We’re going to give them a new perspective and let them see their value a little differently and more positively.”

Daireds Salon staffers consulted with the youngsters before their visit. One LGBTQ student who goes by the name Papi said the experience was the change he had waiting for.” 


“My mom prohibited me from cutting my hair,” he said. “I felt brave that I actually had the courage to cut my hair. I finally feel like I can express my true self.”

His long locks of black hair are gone, replaced with a mid-fade cut and topped with a silver-dyed pompadour.

“Everyone loves it,” Papi said. “I think the makeovers encourage kids to be bold and to be themselves.” 

The new look has put a little pep in his step, he added. Papi is excited to show off his new look at Teen Pride. Sharon Herrera, an event organizer and founder of the youth-mentoring nonprofit LGBTQ Saves, said youngsters aged 13 to 18 are welcome to attend. There will be free food, drinks, entertainment, and door prizes. 

Editor’s note: In a previous version of this story, Papi’s gender was misidentified. We regret the error.