Scruff’s Barbershop Grows Out Its Roots in New South Austin Digs

The gay-owned barbershop offers inclusive, gender-affirming haircuts

Scruff’s owner Timothy Durant (photo by Jana Birchum)

As its fifth birthday approached on February 27, Austin’s queer-owned Scruff’s Barbershop experienced a growth spurt, aka a second South Austin location. Scruff’s owner Timothy Durant said after five years on the Eastside, he felt ready to expand farther into Austin and create another space that captures the inclusive spirit of the original location. “The biggest thing for me is that it’s a safe space for anyone to get a great haircut and amazing service being completely themselves,” Durant said.

Scruff’s isn’t your typical Texas barbershop: Durant trains all his stylists in both cosmetology and barbering, ensuring clients get a personalized cut with scissors or clippers. “It’s not all about the amount of clients we see,” Durant said. “It’s about developing each particular relationship.” The shop’s success, he said, comes from years of building relationships with clients and tailoring the service to their needs and routines.

Looking forward, Durant plans to develop a line of simple, approachable hair products. Instead of a miracle product that claims to cure all hair-related ills, he hopes to create products that say what they do and do what they say. “There’s a lot of products out there that promise to do A, B, and C, but they’re so close to every other product that they don’t really deliver,” Durant said. “I’m looking for a line that someone could come in and be like, 'I want my hair to be textured like this,’ and it’s one product that does exactly that.”

Eventually, Durant hopes to open a third location, but for now, he’s focused on building relationships with both clientele and the community. Scruff’s is partnering with Out Youth, a local charity supporting LGBTQ+ youth “to further our message as well as to just give back to the community,” Durant said. There are no concrete plans yet, but Durant said he’s excited to help fundraise and increase the reach of the nonprofit.

In a February 2023 profile of Durant and his, at the time, singular shop, Qmmunity Editor James Scott noted Durant “seeks to make the barbershop a community environment that can stand beside gay bars as a space where queer people happily congregate.” Five years into Scruff’s business lifetime, his mission is the same, just a little bigger.

Hair Everywhere (in Austin)

Gender-affirming haircuts can be intimidating to ask for, but queer-owned and -friendly barbershops like Scruff’s and other havens for the hirsute around Austin are changing that. If you’re not near one of Scruff’s two locations, here are options all over town. Whether you need a simple snip or want a more complex coiffure, these are the salons to see: – James Scott

Scissor Sisters | 6535 N. Lamar | See for: color, cuts, styling, and waxing
Fun fact: Scissor Sisters is connected to vibrant vintage shop Side Kitsch Vintage.

Symbolica | 6406 N. I-35 in My Salon Suite | See for: curly cuts, color, styling
Fun fact: Drop $30 and you can also get your tarot spread read post-service.

Proud People Barber | 828 Airport | See for: cuts, fades, shaves, plant-based products
Fun fact: All products used when you sit in this barber’s chair come from owner Lori Lozano’s own haircare brand Lowkey Hi-Q.

Daddy’s Barbershop | 1511 E. Sixth | See for: cuts, fades, beard trims, gray blending, facials
Fun fact: The facade for this second-floor barbershop displays a mural painted by local artist Xavier Schipani.

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