For most Canadians, buying hair supplies is as simple as a trip to the nearest hair salon, or even a grocery store.
That may not be the case if you’re of African descent or some other ethnic heritage that’s endowed you with hair outside the mainstream. Your hair-care needs may not fit within the bottles and packages on the shelves.
That was the situation Patti Gold found herself in when she moved to Calgary from Toronto 26 years ago. The African-Canadian woman had a tough time tending her coarse black hair with the supplies available in her new home.
“It was almost impossible, because back then there was hardly anything that existed.
“Because of how specific our hair is, sometimes you just can’t find those products at Walmart or any of those places.”
Gold’s experience was one of the inspirations behind Afrikana Beauty Supplies & Hair Extension Salon, which she started in Calgary about nine years ago. Now she’s extending her hair care reach to Red Deer — with the opening of Xpose Beauty Supplies this Friday.
Located at 4910 Gaetz Ave., Xpose will carry an array of products to meet the needs of customers from ethnic minorities. These will include rollers, combs, brushes, scissors, straighteners, shampoos, conditioners, creams and other items, said Gold.
“It’s become something that I see a niche for, because as I look at Red Deer and I see how many people are moving here from much bigger cities and have gotten used to having those products there, it’s very important to be able to give them that.”
Gold said she’s been serving Red Deer residents from her Calgary store, and was often asked about expanding here.
In addition to serving people who have non-traditional hair-care needs, Golds’ stores carry a broad range of hair extensions, In fact, she said, that’s their main focus.
Hair extensions are in demand by people with all types and colours of hair. Xpose will cover the spectrum of colours and carry the full range of types: weave-ins, braid-ins, tape-ins, fusions, micro-rings, clip-ins and others.
Customers will be able to get their extensions attached at Xpose, which will have a large inventory to choose from. It will also have quick access to the products at its sister store in Calgary.
Afrikana Beauty Supplies carries more extension colours than any other shop in Calgary that she’s aware of, said Gold, and she’s also well connected to manufacturers and suppliers.
“I go to New York every year to attend a hair extension show.”
Gold will employ three at Xpose Beauty Supplies, and split her own time between it and her Calgary salon. The Red Deer shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, although Gold may extend these hours as she assesses customers’ needs.