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Sanikiluaq youth learn hairdressing skills

Gabriel Zarate
Northern News Services
Published Monday, March 16, 2009

SANIKILUAQ - Three girls at Nuiyak school in Sanikiluaq have been learning some radical hairdressing skills and putting them to use.

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Liza Appaqaq, a hairdressing student in Sanikiluaq, styles on Louisa Sala's hair. - photo courtesy of Nuiyak School

So far they have mostly practised on each other, but the group is happy to have volunteers both male and female to style.

"I would like to start up my own salon in Sanikiluaq," said Liza Appaqaq.

Sanikiluaq doesn't have one and many Sanikiluarmuit have expressed an interest in the young women's work.

Cindy Goodyear teaches the group thanks to a program from Skills Nunavut, which sent hairdressing supplies, tools and a manikin to practise on. The girls are learning to cut, colour, bleach and curl hair for a variety of looks from formal to radical.

The girls have spent hours poring through hairstyling magazines looking for styles they would like to pursue. Goodyear said the students have focused much of their skills on bright hair colours, in contrast to the natural raven-black hair of most Inuit.

"I like where we use more than one colour - pink, blue, purple," said April Kavik.

She practises what she preaches, with a layer of electric-red hair covering blonde underneath.

Appaqaq's favourite aspect of the work is styling for formal occasions, which involves artificial curls and wearing hair up. She looks forward to Nuiyak school's graduation this spring when her group's talents will be in great demand.

When asked if there are any supplies the group is short on Appaqaq replied, "Hair straightener. And more colours!"

Last week Goodyear received word her group has been invited to attend the Community Economic Development forum in Iglulik starting March 26. They'll be in Iqaluit on April 7 for the Territorial Skills Competition as well.