Pop-up salon offers a head for politics

POLITICAL CUTS: Barbarian Productions general manager Thomas LaHood, seated, says hairdressers like Jason Muir are usually taught to steer away from talking politics with clients.
POLITICAL CUTS: Barbarian Productions general manager Thomas LaHood, seated, says hairdressers like Jason Muir are usually taught to steer away from talking politics with clients.

People wanting a Peter Dunne-inspired coif or a Pita Sharples mane could finally get their wish, with a salon offering politically inspired hairstyles leading up to the general election.

A pop-up salon will run this week offering free haircuts and cheap coffee in exchange for thought-provoking political commentary.

Political Cuts is the brain-child of hairdresser Jason Muir and Wellington theatre company Barbarian Productions.

Barbarian Productions general manager Thomas LaHood says the non-partisan project aims to provide young people, aged 18-30, with an open forum to discuss politics.

He says he hopes the project will improve voter turnout of the younger demographic, but it is meant to be something fun and not an education.

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Each haircut will be shared on social media, with a summary of thought and photo of the newly coiffed and caffeinated visitor.

The menu has yet to be finalised, but there has been discussion of a Kim Dotcom number four, he says.

"I'm not sure if there is a John Key haircut, he doesn't have a lot of hair, but if you wanted to look like John Key, there is no reason why we couldn't match that look for you."

In the event of high demand, a range of democratic processes may be used to book appointments, he says.

"One might be a first-in, first- served approach, sort of like first-past- the-post," he says.

"Another might be means-testing, where you have to tell us what your income is, and we go for the lowest first, or the highest."

LaHood says hairdressers are normally taught to steer away from talking about politics with clients.

"I guess the kind of urge is there to get away from this notion that politics is a dreadful or taboo subject, and try and take it back to something that people can talk about it an open way."

Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and the passion that comes with those beliefs, he says.

But the project is intended to promote general political discussion rather than personality politics, he says.

 

THE DETAILS

Political Cuts will run from today until Friday at 101 Wakefield St, formerly Nui Cafe, next to the information centre.

The Dominion Post