For some haircuts, Zaynah Qutubuddin and her stylist squeezed into the salon's break room, beside the trashcan, the microwave, and the bathroom door -- a private, if dim, substitute for the studio with big mirrors.
Sometimes her mother -- a psychiatrist, not a stylist -- trimmed her hair. Once, Qutubuddin tried a salon that agreed to book only other female clients while she was there but neglected to mention their male employee.
Muslim women like Qutubuddin, who wear the headscarf known as a hijab, confront a difficult challenge when it's time for a hair cut. Male stylists are out, since Muslim women remove their hijabs only around women or around men in their immediate families. And even at women-run salons, a male client could pop in at any moment.