Today we’d like to introduce you to Aloe Xenolith.
Hi aloe, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I grew up in Texas, where I started cutting my own & my friends’ hair in middle school, due to there not being anywhere for us to get the hairstyles we wanted. Coming from working-class immigrant families, our fashion senses always came from a DIY mindset. We also struggled with being able to safely ask for what we wanted – being a group of queer kids with mostly conservative-minded families. I moved to LA when I was 19, where I worked a desk job. I went to hair school, where I faced a lot of challenges, due to racist, non-inclusive and outdated education, and feeling othered a lot.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. I struggled a lot with homelessness, housing insecurity, mental health issues, and substance abuse. All of these things combined greatly affected my livelihood, and career, and my relationships with people around me. I was in school when Covid started, setting me back a ton. Thankfully, my mentor, Lola, offered me an assistant position when salon-bans were first lifted, as they were deemed non-essential businesses. It was then where she quickly saw potential in me and my talents and offered me a chair at her salon to take my own clients. I learned a lot from her, which I am eternally grateful for. In the end, it was all worth it – I’m fortunate enough to be able to meet sick people every day through my work and let them leave feeling more confident and comfortable with themselves.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m a full-time hairstylist, specializing in alt, punk, and queer hair. As a trans person of color, I know the struggle of finding a place to get your hair done that is not only welcoming but understanding. Hair is sacred, and it can be a really intense spiritual practice to cut your hair, which a lot of practitioners aren’t familiar or sensitive to. Its also important to not judge or assume, which I make sure to do with my clients. I’ve spent my whole life having uncomfortable and traumatic times in the chair, due to gendered haircuts, or just plain ol’ judgment.
I’m also a multi-disciplinary artist, currently focusing on garment and accessory creation and altering, which I create under the name Ritual Purity. I spend a lot of time sewing in my studio, where I also cut hair. I also have experience with screenprinting, analog photography, videography, drawing, graphic design, zines, and curating and organizing. I also am a huge advocate for harm reduction.
Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I’m a huge risk-taker, partially due to my chart being mostly Sagittarius. I grew up with a single mother who taught me the importance or risk-taking, as sometimes your life depends on it. I spent my whole life moving cross country, living in hotels, and going to 20+ elementary schools. I never knew what tomorrow would look like, which taught me to not be so scared, in the end the universe will never let you fail. As corny as it may sound, you hella miss 100% of the shots you don’t take! Life got way sicker once I stopped being so shy and started asking for what I wanted.
- New client cuts – $80
- Returning trims – $60
- Bang trims – $20
- Website: styleseat.com/dyebythesword
- Instagram: instagram.com/dye.by.the.sword
- Other: ritualpurity.bigcartel.com
Personal image / Alma Vidiro