Celebrating the beauty of Canada’s diversity is important in all aspects of the beauty industry. Regardless of whether or not your clientele or geographical region is diverse, when it comes to being inclusive in your work, there are no excuses!
We caught up with multi-Contessa award winner, Norm Wright of Taz Hair Co. in Toronto, for his tips on creating a culturally diverse and inclusive collection. [/vc_column_text]
“I’ve always shot multicultural collections,” says Wright. “I think textures are fun to work with; whether that be Afro, Asian or Indian hair, they’re all different and challenging and they should be properly represented by our sector. I decided that I was going to make it my mandate to only shoot that until it’s recognized as normal. In Canada, we probably have the biggest multicultural society in the world and not opening yourself up to textures is limiting you as a hairdresser.”
Q&A with Norm Wright
What is your process in choosing your models? How do you find them?
If I see somebody that’s attractive on the street, I pull up some pictures on my phone and just show them my work. Finding models should be on your radar all the time. And this is not just limited to models. I usually create my collections and then I find the person that’s suitable for it. I think your collection should tell a story and that’s the most important thing when finding models—it’s about the energy a person exudes.
Any tips for stylists who may live in areas of the country that aren’t as diverse?
People can still celebrate textures, even if they’re in a part of the country where they can’t find Black models. Stylists can use wigs or make wigs to resemble the texture. I think understanding the architecture behind some of these shapes allows you to grow as a person and it makes you a more well- rounded hairstylist.
What advice would you give stylists looking to diversify their collections?
Don’t be afraid. If you want to bring the best out of yourself, you shouldn’t be in your comfort zone to begin with. So for stylists that are uncomfortable with Afro or Asian textures, challenge yourself. I always try and bite off more than I can chew to find out what I’m capable of.
I think the most important thing is to just be genuine to yourself and your vision. Don’t overthink your collections and don’t overthink the texture. Don’t think that you have to make a person look Aboriginal or Indian or West Indian. I think just showing these textures the respect they deserve is an important part of moving us all forward.