Among our gang of Better Sundays traders is one super talented and inclusive barber. Jess Palfrey is The Backpack Barber and owner of mobile haircutting service dooo, on a mission to “bring the hair industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century.”
Jess’s motto is #HairHasNoGender. She creates all-inclusive spaces for haircuts – quite a career change from her time in the army. “I didn't fit in in the military. They were quite homophobic and didn't treat me right,” she told us. “I also grew up to realise I don't believe in war or fighting so it didn't work for me anymore. So I decided to go travelling and met a man who travelled the world cutting hair and I thought that was a great idea!”
That’s how she became The Backpack Barber, cutting and styling hair in a cool collection of faraway places, from the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles to under the Red Sea. Her most memorable haircut location? “On Mount Everest definitely has to trump anywhere else. The hardest haircut to date. There was a 16-day trek and it was freezing cold, but an amazing experience.”
Back here in Bristol after the lockdown, Jess was working as a mobile hairdresser and realised she was helping a lot of people by coming to their homes. It inspired the creation of dooo, her online platform which makes it easy for anyone and everyone to get a haircut when they need it – kind of like Uber for haircuts.
“There are so many people out there who don't go to salons for many reasons, but mostly things like social anxiety or being neurodivergent,” explains Jess. “So I decided to make an app where all people could get a safe haircut at home. Everyone has absolutely loved it and said it has made a real difference to people.”
dooo haircuts are priced based on the style of cut, not gender. And when booking an appointment, you can let the stylist know any special requirements, to make sure it's an experience you’re completely comfortable with.
The app isn’t the only way to get a haircut from Jess, though. Take a seat in her chair at the Better Sundays market! As well as a cracking new do, she promises you’ll have “a wholesome, exciting time hearing my stories and will walk away feeling new and refreshed.”