Gayest & GreatestGayest & Greatest 2023Queer Creatives

Redefining Beauty

Electa Hazenstab’s inspiring journey from the Air Force to barbering.

Electa Hazenstab (Photo by Alex Rosa)


Despite winning the “hair stylist” title, Electa Hazenstab, a 31-year-old queer United States Air Force veteran, prefers to refer to herself as a barber, specializing in shorter haircuts, fades, beards, and hot towel shaves. But her services are for everyone.

“I don’t believe hair has a gender to it, I will do trims on longer hair. No layers past shoulders or color, but I can do shorter scissor cuts,” she says. Men and women alike flock to her for her services.

Hazenstab hails from Louisville, Kentucky, but she didn’t grow up wanting to be a barber—or for that matter any kind of hair or face stylist. After getting a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Sullivan University in Louisville, the young Hazenstab made the decision to join the United States Air Force.

“I joined the Air Force and served for six years, just trying to get away from home and travel the world,” she recalls. “I started in the back of the kitchen and also worked in a mortuary.” She gained a host of other experiences and still today is proud of her time in the service.

When her deployment ended, she made the decision to move to Houston to be with her partner. And that’s when the idea of being a barber slowly came to her.

“I have always been interested in short hair since I donated 12 inches after high school,” she says of a charity donation. “Talking to my regular barber and my best friend, who’s also a barber, I decided to give it a shot after I moved here to Houston. I started barber school in October of 2019 and haven’t stopped since.” Following completion of barber school, Hazenstab took a position in a barbershop, where she worked until recently going solo and setting herself up as a self-employed barber.

You will currently find her in a private suite at Smokin’ Mirrors, a barbershop on Westheimer in Montrose. Her Google reviews are testament that she made the right career choice. Geraldine Valle wrote: “Every barber my husband visited jacked him up. Enter Electa. Literally saved us from divorce. She is hella skilled and all-around good people. Just book your appointment, she will hook you up.” Sounds like a positive review to us. Just be warned: she is very serious about no-shows and late arrivals. She has a very strict policy on late arrivals because, as she says, “I regretfully cannot satisfactorily complete any service if a client arrives more than ten minutes late, and I reserve the right to decline any service to a client who is more than ten minutes late for their scheduled appointment.”

Follow Electa Hazenstab on Instagram @electaaa.


Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and, among others.
Check Also
Back to top button