Hawleywood’s Barbershop is on the shears

CThe ‘old school’ barbershop on Retro Row is being sued by a transgender male for its unlawful policy of refusing service to women.

By: Madison D’Ornellas, Managing Editor

April 20, 2016

It had been three months since I had got my undercut shaved.

When I walked into Hawleywood’s Barber Shop, a self-proclaimed ‘old school’ shop, the barber politely told me that women “weren’t allowed” in the shop. I left, thinking that this was just another marketing ploy to get guys in the door.

But it wasn’t. It was against the law and the business is now being sued.

When Rose Trevis, a transgender male walked into Hawleywood’s expecting to get a haircut on March 4, he was told that they only run by appointment. Trevis then asked if he could schedule an appointment.

A second barber was called over and, according to court documents, looked Trevis up and down and said that they “don’t cut women’s hair” and that the business had the right to refuse service to anyone.

Wrong.

According to the Unruh Civil Rights Act of 1959, a part of the California Civil Code, no matter the sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation of a person, they are “entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.”

This statute applies to all businesses except for private clubs such as gender-specific gyms, which are protected under the First Amendment.

“We all need rights. No one, especially in Long Beach because it’s so diverse, should ever be discriminated against,” Trevis said. “I don’t care what the situation is. I don’t care about if it’s your skin color, your religion, your race, you shouldn’t be treated with that type of behavior.”

Hawleywood’s, established in 1999, runs on the notion that they are a traditional barber shop with Mad Men-era mores. They offer shoe shines, straight-razor shaves and “thorough” haircuts for various men’s hairstyles.

And, according to their website, nothing is more traditional than leaving “yer ol’ lady at home because you might want to talk about her. You all know how distracting a woman can be and who wants a straight razor shave with a buxom blonde in the joint?”

Hawleywood’s was unavailable for comment.

According to Richie Luna, a barber at 1246 Barber Shop and a past apprentice at Hawleywood’s, management and internal problems have been swelling inside Hawleywood’s for years.

Luna and his coworkers at 1246 cite numerous instances of illegal discrimination that have happened within the shop; a woman in a wheelchair with her son, gay community members, a woman going through chemotherapy.

“[A number of] traditional barber shops in Long Beach, that cater towards the traditional way of barbering, have people that used to work [at Hawleywood’s] and just couldn’t take it anymore,” Luna said. “They couldn’t take everything that was going on inside of the shop. They’re so about themselves. Everyone runs away from that establishment.”

Hawleywood’s is located in the center of 4th Street’s Retro Row, across the street from the Art Theatre and a short walk from the LGBT Center.

“It’s something that is just appalling to me. We’re talking about Long Beach. Especially in the location this is situated; they’re surrounded by a diverse community,” Trevis said. “So I think this is kind of going to be like an opener. It’s just not going to be tolerated.”

Photo of Hawleywood's barber shop

Natalie Grant | Daily 49er
Hawleywood’s barber shop on Fourth St. and Junipero Ave. provides hair cuts for the Long Beach community. Hawleywood’s is currently being sued because it does not allow women to enter the shop or have their hair cut there.

Rose Park

First settled in 1905, this neighborhood came into its own after being donated to the city by Alamitos Land Company in 1910. It’s name is a nod to “Rose Circle Park,” the horticultural crest of this hood that was destroyed in the ‘60s and ‘70s due to a proposed cross-town freeway that fell through, vacating the area. Today, climbing roses bloom next to the park’s new gazebo complete with entry trellises as the city’s efforts to rehabilitate its roots.