Go Magazine Interview with Magda!
Magda Ryczko, owner of Hairrari Barber Salon’s, became a barber out of the blue with no concrete plans of where it would take her. Now she owns three thriving barbershops in NYC and Brooklyn with plans to expand nationally in the near future. Hairrari Barber Salon’s aren’t like typical hyper-masculine shops that often have a stiff and inaccessible vibe, especially for queer and trans folx. Ryczko has created a new kind of barber shop that is welcome to everyone who wants an amazing cut. The consistency in amazing talent comes from Ryczko’s passion to train every barber who works for her — she describes her current team as the best she’s had.
I met Ryczko at the Wythe Hotel restaurant in Williamsburg on a chilly January afternoon. Over tomato soup and grilled cheese, we talked about why queer hairstyles are so important, how hair can help represent to the world who you are, and how she deals with the current political climate. Get to know the badass woman behind these effortlessly cool barbershops.
GO Magazine: Can you tell me a little bit about how you got into styling hair? I read that you’re self taught.
Magda Ryczko: 12 years ago, I went to hair school to be a hair dresser but I never thought of barbering. I was assisting at like 12 salons and I wasn’t learning that much– I was just shampooing. Randomly, someone I met at a bagel shop told me I should try to barber.
I went to apply at a barbershop in Williamsburg, but I thought it was weird because I’m a woman. But then I saw the owner inside, who happened to be a woman. She took a chance on me and I started working there.
When I opened my own barbershop, I trained so many women. It kind of paved a way for all these women barbers. Now, I’m thinking of opening new locations nationally.
GO: Yeah, I hear so many stories of queer people going to a barbershop and getting judged or not getting what they’re looking for. Can you speak to queer hairstyles and what it means to queer folx to have someone who understands what they’re looking for cutting their hair?
MR: Well, I think that when I opened the shop — it wasn’t a queer barbershop. But since I’m a lesbian I attracted a lot of different people. All of my clients range from everyone old people, babies, men, women, trans people. Because I’m very diverse in my friends and community — and then when we did attract more LGBTQ people, we created ads around that to spread the word.
Queer haircuts, in my opinion, are not super feminine or not super masculine — it’s something in the middle. It’s important to ask people cause sometimes they might look feminine on the outside, but they might want something masculine to represent how they feel on the inside. Everyone is an individual, everyone is unique. I think those kind of haircuts, something edgy, something versatile.