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The Black Beauty Culture Association



We empower black communities by continuing the legacy of black beauty culture in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.

Showcasing Black Beauty Culture

Black communities have always called out for more inclusivity within the beauty industry. From hair care products to hairstyling techniques, there is very little space to accommodate the diverse population of black women.

The Black Beauty Culture Association seeks to change this by carving out and solidifying a space for black culture within the hair and beauty community, and we do this through training courses and expos that promote awareness and learning with regards to black beauty culture.

Explore our site to learn more about what we do and how it impacts the community. For more information on our hair workshops and upcoming events, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you!

Black Hair-itage in Nova Scotia 

Black hair care in Nova Scotia is something that began in momma’s kitchen, on the living room floor, on the porch, over at Aunt Frannie’s, or at cousin Lynn’s house. For black Nova Scotians, hair care has always been something personal. Even though it could sometimes be painful, it made everyone feel confident and beautiful. The best part? Everyone who did hair would do it!

Before the late 1800s, black hair care was nonexistent. Those in slavery were given little to no means for preparing or preserving their hair. Even though it’s not surprising that the history of Black Canadians draws many parallels to African-Americans, it’s still quite interesting. When studying about our people’s history, there are many of the same successes, struggles, and sacrifices.

An interesting parallel is Mrs. Viola Desmond, one of the most prolific human rights activist, educator, and pioneer of beauty culture in Nova Scotia. Christine Samuelian called her the Nova Scotian counterpart to Rosa Parks. Where Rosa refused to give up her seat on the bus in 1955, Viola refused to give up her seat at the theater in 1940. Both women stood up for what they believed in.

Between the late 1800s to the early 1900s, black beauty culture would boom in the United States. While Nova Scotians would await change, we would welcome visitors and relatives from the US who shared some of the advancements in black hair care among Americans. At the time, much of what went on in the US would go on to revolutionize the industry for the whole continent. Hair straightening went from an iron and ironing board to a hot comb.

The journey down the yellow brick road of beauty was one of caution for most black women. On the other hand, black barbershops were already being established, and as early as the 1940s, black men had already begun to chemically straighten their hair with an unsafe formulation of lye and mashed potatoes.

In the early 1940s, Mrs. Viola Desmond established a hairdressing school, the first of its kind in Nova Scotia. She pioneered a cultural change that allowed black women to train in hairdressing and opened a world of opportunities in hair care and beauty. Black women could now have their hair done professionally and be confident in the results.

Hairstyling has always been one of the biggest expressions of culture, and since its arrival to the continent, black hair has been ignored and abhorred. However, with the opening of Mrs. Desmond’s beauty school, long-awaited changes occurred and black hair could now be fully cared for and adored for its uniqueness.

“Before Mrs. Desmond, black hair care was not recognized. Beauty culture for us as a people was more than a learning process. It was a cultural change,” said Mrs. Verna Skinner, who trained with Mrs. Desmond at her black beauty school.

Black Beauty Culture Association

Isaiah 61:3 “…He will give us beauty for ashes…”


Our goal is to encourage equity and equality in the beauty industry through education, celebration and awareness of Nova Scotia’s dynamic and distinct Black Beauty Heritage.


The Black Beauty Culture Association’s will work to PROMOTE, PRESERVE AND PROTECT all aspects of Black Beauty Culture in Nova Scotia


The first mandate of the Black Beauty Culture Association is to challenge and seek change in legislation related to the beauty industry and the Cosmetology Act of Nova Scotia. It is in the best interest of the public, the Black community and the beauty industry for the government to legitimize the Black Beauty Culture Association in order to encourage the growth of well trained and licensed Black Beauty professionals; to encourage accessibility to professional Beauty services and products, training in the Beauty Field relative to Black Hair and growth of Black Beauty Industry and Black beauty businesses.

The Black Beauty Culture Association seeks to begin a training program that will infuse our culture into the business and economy through the beauty industry. Our aim is to encourage individuals to become professionally trained and entrepreneurial. Beauty Education related to the Black consumer and Black Beauty professional in Nova Scotia is next to nil. The Black Beauty culture Association main focus is to discover what can be done to encourage Black professionalism and entrepreneurship in any industry for our youth. The Beauty Industry touches all aspects of everyday life.

The Black Beauty Culture Association seeks an opportunity to become the CHANGE AGENT of the oppressive, suppressive, repressive and regressive practices of the Cosmetology Act, to encourage inclusivity, equality and equity for all in the beauty industry, especially the Black consumer, Black Business owner and the Black Beauty professional.

The Black Beauty Culture Association recognizes that Beauty and Health are sisters.



Get in Touch

You may contact us 24/7 via email! Any time of the day, any day of the week.

We will get back to you within 24-48 hours. Thank you!

Contact Information

The Black Beauty Culture Association

2430 Highway 7

East Preston, Nova Scotia B2Z 1G6

Phone: 902-441-5785


Serving All of Canada

Inquiry Form

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