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LGBTQ+ Icon Daddy’s Barbershop Sweeps into Austin with Cuts for All

Originally from San Francisco's Catro Ditrict, owner Arien Lasater pay homage to Texas at the salon's new home above Cisco's

Daddy’s, a celebrated gay-owned barbershop originally from the Castro District of San Francisco, has opened its doors in the Lone Star State, and it’s about time. Run by Dallas-born Arlen Lasater, his niece Terri and nephew Tim — both Austinites — the shop serves Texans of all genders, and has been in the making for years.

Lasater always thought about opening a Texas location, and it seemed like the right time when the San Francisco location shuttered due to COVID. “It had been an institution,” says Lasater. “It was off the charts what we became. It was a haven for folks to talk and mingle, like the gay version of ‘Steel Magnolias.’ Most of the time, it felt more like a community hangout than a business.” At one point, there was a three-hour wait for a haircut.

Tim and Terri Lasater

While Lasater is grateful for his success, he never imagined life as a barber. By age 46, he was considering retirement. For years, he worked as a driver for the Consulate of Singapore, but was shocked when he realized retirement benefits weren’t offered to overseas employees. What would he do next?

“I had a friend who was a sex worker and decided to go to barber school. He made good money and I thought I could be really good at it,” he says. So in his mid-40s, Lasater entered beauty school. “A decision that was funny to a lot of people, including my mom,” he recalls. Yet his determination paid off as he built up clientele at a four-chair shop, and then opened Daddy’s in 2007, named as a nod to the city’s leather community and his beauty school nickname.

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For 10 years, Lasater served as head of security for the Folsom Street Fair, an annual BDSM and leather street fair that concludes the city’s Leather Pride Week, while Daddy’s sponsored title holders in the Mr. SF Leather Competition, who spread love for the barbershop worldwide. Giving back is always what’s made the shop a cut above the rest.

“We’ve given more than $250,000 to charity over the last 15 years,” remarks Terri Lasater. For its Austin location on East 6th Street, Arlen believes he’s found another perfect neighborhood, one where business will thrive.

“It has a retro feeling and I love the lively and vibrant setting,” he says. “Plus, I’ve always considered Austin a sister to San Francisco. Both have a prominent LGBTQIA+ presence and a culture of radical acceptance. That’s a culture Daddy’s thrives in.” A recent study shows the Texas capital has the third largest percentage share of the LGBTQIA+ population out of all of the U.S. metropolitan areas.

Daddy’s Austin, located above Cisco’s Restaurant and Bakery, features pieces of the city’s history, using reclaimed wood from the Capitol fire of 1983 and Texas French Bread fire of 2022 in the entryway ceiling. The exterior also has a mural by local artist and trans activist, Xavier Schipani.

“We wanted to pay homage to Texas,” says Tim Lasater. “We are grateful to be able to be in this building and have the support of the community.”

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