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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Hair love for Halifax

Halifax's natural-haircare community sets the records straight on the art, science and history of braiding

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 9:45 AM

Nadine Sparks, owner of Unity Hair & Esthetics, will showcase looks at the event. - SUBMITTED
  • Nadine Sparks, owner of Unity Hair & Esthetics, will showcase looks at the event.
  • Submitted

The Braid Couture Art Show
Feb 15, 8 pm
Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street)

From ombré hair to pastel colours, hair trends come and go. But braids, from cornrows to the French variety, have long been a hairstyle staple across cultures.

Tara Lynn Taylor is organizer of the Braid Couture Art Show, happening this Saturday at the Bus Stop Theatre (2203 Gottingen Street) and she wants to broaden everyone’s understanding of braiding and textured haircare. “It’s for us,” she says of the event, “but it’s also for non-Black people, so they can see we have our own versatility, we don’t need to look like them.” 

She hopes the event will shed light on the intricate details of textured hair, such as the importance of understanding porosity and density. “There’s a science to it,” says Taylor. “My products are designed in a way that takes the guesswork out of it.”

Taylor is also the owner of Carmalina Naturals, a Halifax-based company that sells natural-haircare products. Along with P3 Hair and Beauty Supplies, she’ll be selling natural haircare products in the venue lobby.

Stylist and creator of Braids By Tasha, Natasha Stephenson, will be braiding on Saturday night along with with her 12-year-old daughter, Na’siya. Stephenson believes the event will encourage more people to get educated about different types of hair and hairstyles.

Stephenson says she’d like the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia to place more emphasis on braiding. “It's not only Black folk that can braid,” she says. “There’s white people, there’s Asian people that may want to learn or already know how to do it. Taylor even points out that white parents of bi-racial children may benefit from better understanding how to care for their kids’ hair.

This show will also showcase local fashion designers, such as clothing by Hilary Taylor Sears, Hologram Designs and purses and bags by Jaziel Ugbebor. There will also be theatrical, musical and dance performances.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The skin you're in

Building body positivity through body art

Posted By on Wed, Feb 5, 2020 at 2:33 PM

A few of the designs from Outlaw Country Tattoo's flash-tattoo event in support of Eating Disorders Nova Scotia - EMERSON ROACH
  • A few of the designs from Outlaw Country Tattoo's flash-tattoo event in support of Eating Disorders Nova Scotia
  • Emerson Roach

Outlaw Country Tattoo will join forces with Eating Disorders Nova Scotia (EDNS) to transform Haligonian’s bodies into safe havens during a flash tattoo event this Thursday. From 1pm to 6pm at Outlaw (6103 North Street), artist Emerson Roach will tattoo customers with pre-designed, body-positivity-themed tattoos, ranging from $80-$130. 50 percent of proceeds will go to Eating Disorders Nova Scotia.

The event will be held in support of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDA), with 50 percent of proceeds going to Eating Disorders Nova Scotia. 

“I think especially for queer and trans folks, tattooing can be a way to feel more at home in the skin that you're in,” says Roach. “Every time you get a new tattoo, it's like you're painting the walls of a house that you were given. You don't get to control what the house looks like, and it might not always feel like home, but every time you get a tattoo it's like you're painting those walls into a new one.”

According to EDNS, almost one in 10 people will experience an eating disorder during their lifetime, according to the U.S. National Eating Disorders Association, 42 percent of men with eating disorders identify as gay. But statistics are still limited on eating disorders among trans and non-binary people, and Roach is hoping to help break through stereotypes through this event.

Thursday’s event has already filled up, but there’s still plenty of flash-tattoo fun to be had—Outlaw will be doing a Valentine’s-themed flash event from noon to 6pm on February 14, first-come, first-served. Lineups are expected, so don’t dawdle.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Girl From Away puts down roots

Making pretty things, and a home, in Nova Scotia

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 7:49 PM

Sex, Drugs and Lobster Rolls tee, $28
  • Sex, Drugs and Lobster Rolls tee, $28

Nadyne Kasta refers to her path—to Nova Scotia, and to design—as a “zig-zaggy one.” The Ottawa/Montreal native, and former reporter/hairdresser, landed in PEI after a sudden and unexpected death in her family. Amidst her mourning she fell in love with the east coast.

“When you lose someone suddenly, everything that’s not absolutely essential to your life falls to the wayside,” says Kasta. “It helps you focus on things that are important, and it’s a great reminder that if you want to do something, you should do it.” Her something, it turns out, was The Girl From Away, a line of nostalgic totes, stationery, pencils, prints and clothing she sold from a pop-up store on PEI before heading back to Montreal. But because she knew her Maritime times weren’t over, she’s since moved her operation to Nova Scotia.

“I want to continue to be a shop inspired by where I am,” says Kasta of her business’ growth. Her newest piece—the pictured Sex, Drugs and Lobster Rolls tee ($28)—was born out of a Facebook comment from a friend, hilariously enough: “As soon as I saw it I thought that’d be a great shirt.”

You can find The Girl From Away at shops like Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique and Letterpress Studio (1658 Market Street) and Lunenburg’s Dots and Loops (183 Lincoln Street), as well as online. But this Saturday she’ll be at Etsy: Made in Canada (Garrison Grounds, 5425 Sackville Street, 10am-7pm), a free, outdoor pop-up shop featuring 70-plus crafters, makers and vintage clothing collectors, local food and artsy workshops, bringing the internet marketplace offline.

“A lot of my customers online are people who miss it here,” she says. “I like knowing there are people all over Canada with this place in their hearts.”

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