Ontario’s hairdressing school standards still ignore the fact that brunettes after 4 years of work start to include it


Deanne Simms remembers walking into a salon when she was a teenager and met a woman who ran towards her frantically from the back room, waving her hands in the air and shouting: “No, no, no ; We don’t make your hair here!”

Many years later, after she gave birth to her first child, a stylist at another salon told her that it would take several generations to get rid of the texture of the hair, which was a “big problem to be solved”.

As a mixed race woman, Simms said that her hair is very important to her and is closely related to her identity. Over the years, she has become accustomed to hearing comments about her hair or people touching it without asking.

Sims said of her experience with some stylists: “Communications around this matter seem to imply that there is a problem with my hair, rather than a lack of skills or resources or the ability to take care of my hair properly.”

“This thing, especially when I was young, was really difficult to manage. It made me confused and sometimes even isolated.”

Deanne Simms said that her experience in some salons left her confused and isolated. (Submitted by Deanne Simms)

As a clinical and health psychologist in Toronto, Simms said that she understands the importance of self-care and finds a place where people are welcome, supported and accepted. She said it took her decades to find the right stylist.

Although there is more and more diversity in salons, education has not changed much. Many people in the industry feel that textured black hair has been ignored. Ontario’s program standards include very little training on texture and curls, which leaves clients unable to guarantee that the stylist can handle their hair, and the stylist feels unprepared to work in the field.

Michel Bunnick, the long-term owner of the Toronto Salon and Sims’s stylist, said: “For a part of us, you learned one side in school, but not the other at all.

Fill in the gaps

Bunnick grew up in Toronto, where nearby girls would braid her. She learned to braid her own braids when she was 11 years old. Later, she trained under the guidance of her uncle, who opened the first black hair salon in Toronto.

She has also obtained a license in Toronto, but wants more education on how to deal with black hair, especially how to care for and maintain healthy hair naturally, and how to better trim textured hair. Therefore, before opening Amani Hair Studio in 2000, she often traveled to the United States to attend seminars on textured hair and learn from black stylists.

“I forced myself to leave Toronto because I felt my skills were not good enough,” Bunnick said. “If I can’t do my own hair, I don’t want to do it again.”

After obtaining his license in Toronto, Bonnick traveled to the United States to attend a seminar to learn more about how to style and care for black and textured hair. (Angelina King/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

She found herself doing a lot of corrective work for black clients from other salons. Some people are developing hair loss when the hair falls out in small pieces, or the hairline becomes thinner because the hair is pulled too tightly. Therefore, Bonnick began to provide seminars for stylists across Canada to learn the basics of using black, texture and curls, including weaving, weaving and stretching.

“It’s different-but it’s not very different in a completely unfamiliar place,” she said. “It all depends on the technology, it just takes time.”

She and other hairstylists who specialize in textured hair say that there is a double standard in the province’s educational model: everyone, including those who specialize in black hair, must learn techniques that cater to straight hair types, and the only mandatory technique It’s black hair. Black or textured hair is Europe-centric-learn how to chemically relax the hair to straighten it.

Ontario Trade College says it is working to diversify standards

The Ontario Vocational College (OCOT), which sets education standards for hairstylists in Ontario, said it is aware of concerns related to the lack of diverse training techniques. The curriculum standard is a roadmap for the school to formulate the curriculum.

An OCOT spokesperson said that the work to incorporate black and ethnic hairstyle technology began in 2017, but the standard has never been revised. OCOT blame Winding up of the institution; In 2018, the Ford government passed legislation to transform OCOT into a department-led system.

Although there are different ways to become a hairstylist in Ontario—a college diploma, a private hairdressing school, or through an apprenticeship program—every hairstylist takes the same provincial certification exam to obtain a license.

Watch | The stylist who created the petition talked about the importance of diversity in hair education:

Salon owner Solange Ashoori initiated a petition requesting that black and textured hairstyle techniques be included in Ontario’s planning standards 0:33

Although some people may learn about black or textured hair in their specific courses-for example, Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2018 included more textured hair training, and Bonnick has been hired by a private school in Toronto to educate its teachers -But there is no mandatory training. And the licensing exam rarely involves textured hair.

The program standard mentions chemical relaxation curls, and under the industry terminology of hair types, it lists “straight hair, wavy hair, curly hair, and super curly hair”.

Deanna Douglas, coordinator of the hair styling program at Algonquin College and secretary of the Ontario Association of Professional Hair Stylists, said that the standards are too vague and schools can interpret them differently.

“I think it’s time to make a change,” she said. “Now is the time to update the curriculum and actually layout.”

Cherice Beeso is a stylist at Ziba Style Bar in Toronto. She graduated from a hairdressing school last year and said she lacked education in dealing with textured hair. (Turgut Yate/CBC)

Cherice Beeso, who graduated from Toronto Hairdressing School last year, knows how to deal with curly hair because she and her children have it. But she said her plan barely touched the surface.

“We barely touched [textured hair]If we do this, it’s mainly how straightforward; we don’t even know how to make curls pop and deal with different hair textures. The more important thing is to get rid of this texture,” she said.

OCOT stated that it is studying and reviewing current training standards, including their relationship with black and ethnic hairstyle techniques. It stated that it expects that the formulation of the new standard will be completed by the end of this year.

A spokesperson said: “In the process of project development and update, the college has been and will continue to work to ensure a wide range of cross-participation of different stakeholders from the hair stylist industry, and then a wider disclosure to interested stakeholders. Verification process,” in an email.

The hair part of identity, culture and history

Beeso now works at Ziba Style Bar in Toronto, which prides itself on serving a diverse clientele. Owner Solange Ashoori said that during her recruitment process, she found that many stylists could not handle textured hair.

Last summer, she initiated a petition asking the Ontario government to include a comprehensive training program for black and textured hair. But since then, Ashoori said that she has not received news from OCOT and is frustrated that the plan standards have not changed.

She said: “I think a lot of these things seem to be more difficult than implementing them-to me, it is rooted in systemic oppression and racism.”

Solange Ashoori’s salon Ziba Style Bar caters to a diverse range of customers. Ashoori initiated a petition requesting that specific black and textured hair training techniques be added to Ontario’s hair styling plan standards. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Similar petitions Other provinces have already started. Although each province manages hairstyle education in different ways, many of the project standards and cross-provincial red seal examinations are derived from National Occupational Analysis (NOA). Except for the use of chemical relaxants and hair extensions to cut “different textures”, its exam preparation guide does not include any separate knowledge about processing textured hair.

Ashoori encourages schools to implement their own curriculum, including texture hair education, even if the government does not mandate it.

“I believe everyone who walks into a beauty service agency should be surprised and accepted,” she said.

Both Ashoori and Bonnick have opened their own salons to fill the gaps they have experienced, saying that hair is rooted in culture and identity.

Bunnick often explained to her clients the historical significance behind certain styles, including mentioning slaves weaving maps in their hair to help escape.

“They found a way to freedom, so hair is really closely related to black culture.”



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