Samantha Dixon Slawter is the owner of Styles by SD. With more than 35 years of experience, she has gained the trust of many peers in the industry and she has been continually recognized as a leader and supporter of many businesses in Dartmouth and throughout Nova Scotia.
Samantha is dedicated to training salon owners on how to properly care for black hair. She also educates her community about the cultural significance of black hair and black beauty in Nova Scotia. In business since 1992, Samantha has been serving clients at 162 Portland Street for more than a decade now.
Samantha has a degree in International Development from Dalhousie University. She is also the first African-Nova Scotian to receive a Red Seal Certification as a hairstylist from the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. What's more, she is the winner of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission’s 2020 Gloria Fisher Business Person of the Year Award.
Since day one, Samantha has been using her business as a platform to support and educate people. She has created "Cultural Fusion/Cross-cultural Beauty", a beauty course designed to celebrate and educate people about black hair and black beauty. She also founded the Crown of Beauty Institute, an organization that provides a 3-phase program entitled "Black Beauty Culture Hair Innovator". This program aims to educate people about the history of black hair and beauty, as well as teach them how to properly maintain, treat, and style African-Nova Scotian hair. Due to its growing demand, Samantha has applied to the province to open a private career college with a focus on Black and textured hair.
Community education is important to Samantha. She joined other advocates and founded Black Beauty Culture Association. This year, Samantha conducted free lectures throughout HRM through Halifax Public Libraries: The Hair-Story of Nova Scotia – What’s your hair-story?.
For Samantha, she wants to educate as many people as possible. She said, "Few people understand how deep and rich the story of Black Hair truly is in our province. It includes Viola Desmond but also includes lesser-known names like Lena Blanche Halfkenny Lucas, who is a legend in Amherst, NS and owned a salon around 1905 and made her own wigs.”