A Snug Fit

An Emmy-nominated soap star turned her harrowing experience with her hair into a business to help transgender women.

BY Louis Virtel

October 24 2007 12:00 AM ET

The swift new
hairstyles marked a pointed about-face in Alexeief's life,
since her previous wigs had rapidly degenerated into
irreparable frizzing. Sporting Gibson’s
creations, she now receives attention for more
desirable reasons.

“Usually,
I get questions like, ‘Gee, where did you get your
highlighting done?’ or ‘What a great
haircut,’ ” she says.

Alexeief’s
new look grew out of a one-on-one consultation with Gibson
and helped ease her process of transitioning as a
transgender woman. In Crown and Glory’s
intimate setting, Gibson personally evaluates each of her
customer’s needs in light of who they are as
individuals.

“We talk
about who [the customer] wants to be,” Gibson says.
“For instance, ‘Are you going to be
really active? If you’re not, we can look at
different styles.’ I try to get to know who they are,
what they’re doing, what kind of piece I need
to make to answer what they have in mind for
themselves.”

Ultimately,
Gibson’s trans customers search for variations of the
same style -- the last step in feeling complete. She
speaks of such fulfillment with careful articulation,
the stake of which she cannot disconnect from her own
life. “It’s what you’re going to run
your hands through 18 times a day. It’s what
will make you feel like a woman.”

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