Solange Ashoori, founder of Ziba Style Bar, is petitioning to mandate Black and textured hair education in Ontario beauty schools. Even before I got into the industry, I had experiences where people weren’t able to service my hair,” says the Toronto-based hairstylist. “I saw women who would walk [into salons] and literally be refused. Or I would see stylists in the back panicking because they don’t know how to do their hair.”

It was this scenario – an experience shared by countless individuals with textured hair patterns – that sparked Ashoori’s desire to start a hair-styling business that would welcome all hair textures. “Opening up an inclusive salon really showed me how big of a problem [lack of education around textured hair] is and that triggered me to really push the narrative further.”


Ashoori’s goal is to mandate that the curriculum set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities include education on all hair textures in their hair-styling programs. Currently, basic education and training on Black and textured hair is severely lacking. Ashoori says that, at most, stylists-in-training are taught to chemically relax hair, never learning to work with natural curls. Professionals skilled in styling textured and Black hair are typically self-taught or have sought out supplemental training outside the Ministry (and out of pocket) in order to educate themselves. 

“It’s ignoring a whole entire demographic of women and acting like they don’t exist,” she says of the current curriculum. “Stylists are contacting us about it [saying], ‘This is really crazy, I want to know how to do Black women’s hair, I want to know how to do curly textures and I should have been able to get taught that.’”

The erasure of Black and textured hair in beauty education is glaring and the demand for major reform can’t be ignored. Ashoori maintains that real change will require a complete overhaul of the hair-styling education system. To bolster her initiative, she is transforming her salon into a space for Black educators to develop classes for styling all hair textures. 

“The goal here is to get the education to a level that fits everybody. I want to build a team of Black hairstylists to contribute to the curriculum, so when the Ministry has obstacles in terms of what the [new] curriculum is going to include, we have something ready for them.” 

Sign the petition here.


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