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Celebrating International Women’s Day

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In celebration of International Women’s Day we bring you some amazing female stylists and the work they do with hair and within their communities. Meet Huich In, owner of Nuna Hair Studio in Brooklyn, NY and Erum Sheikh, a global freelance stylist in Canada and Spain. These two stylists are shaking up the hair scene and empowering their clients in big ways and small.

Huich In, Owner of Nuna Hair Studio, New York, New York
What is your favorite thing about owning a salon? 

My favorite thing about owning a salon is being able to work exactly how I like, especially being able to control my booking. I also love creating the energy of Nuna; the best compliment I hear from clients and other stylists is that they love the energy of the space. My hope is that it’s comfortable, peaceful, and welcoming.

Who is a woman who helped you get where you are? 

There are so many women who have helped me get to where I am. I’ve had the privilege to know some brilliant female hairdressers who have taught me and encouraged me to find my voice as a stylist. But the one woman who’s helped me the most is my mom. She was the one who helped me open my studio; I wouldn’t have been able to do it in NYC without her, and just enough financial support and a loving push made a dream a reality.

Who is a woman you admire? 

There are so many women I admire. Right now I’m geeking over Jenny Cho and Lacy Redway. I love their work so much; they are artists through and through.

What are some of the challenges that come with owning a salon? 

In my opinion, the most challenging part of owning a salon is navigating everyone’s working styles. We all have different levels of clean and mess, haha. I’m learning so much about communication and patience. 

How do you support and empower other women? 

Sharing is caring! I share knowledge, education, and resources with other women freely when it is solicited. There’s a special type of joy when women support each other and when we succeed. 

Do you have to be a woman to get your haircut at your salon? 

No, ALL genders and non-binary folks are welcome at Nuna’s. 

Can you explain your inclusive and accessible business model? How did you decide to offer a sliding scale for pricing? 

I recently changed my booking options to be more inclusive. I now offer genderless booking, and my haircuts are no longer men’s or women’s. I offer full or barber haircuts. I also have a pronoun box for clients when they fill in their information. 

I decided to offer a sliding scale because I wanted my business to be accessible to all people at all income levels. I trust that people will not take advantage of this offering, and if they do, then that is on them; I always have a choice to not take on a client if I feel that it’s not mutually beneficial.

Erum Sheikh, freelance stylist splitting time between Vancouver, Ontario and Spain.
What is your favorite thing about working as an independent hairdresser? 

The flexibility to create my own path. 

Who is a woman who helped you get where you are? 

This is a hard one to answer because there have been many amazing ones who have supported me along the way. I would say in the last few years Lisa Rothml from Storm Salon located in Vancouver, BC. She is one of the owners and has really supported and encouraged me to go after all my wild directions on this hair journey in the last few years of my career – never holding me back even if it meant I would be at the salon less. 

Who is a woman you admire? 

Dorothy Blackburn. She was my very first mentor at the boutique hair salon Metamorphosis in Ottawa, Canada. She had a profound impact on my career by showing me a side of the industry I never knew about at the age of 17. She inspired me with photo shoots she would create and her dedication to philanthropy. She made me realize how much of a positive impact hairdressers could have on their communities, and I have always aspired to be like her. 

What are some of the challenges that come with working as an independent hairdresser?

Having to manage all your tasks – there never seems to be enough time to get everything done in the day! 

How do you support and empower other women? 

Throughout my time behind the chair I have also helped to bring awareness to programs and organizations that help empower women and children through multi-city, in-salon cutting events. These days I am working to help bring more awareness to a local Vancouver non-profit organization BC Society of Transition Houses. They are a member-based, provincial, umbrella organization that enhances the continuum of services and strategies to respond to, prevent, and end violence against women, children, and youth. Their Bursary Funds program helps women with experiences of violence to access a bursary for education and employment opportunities that enhance their job-related skills and credentials so they can lead safe, meaningful and productive lives. To learn more, visit www.bcsth.ca & https://<wbr/>bit.ly/3rHKdap 

Can you explain the word “womxn” as seen in your IG Bio and what it means to you? 

For me, depending on the context, I prefer to use womxn, I find it empowering to take a word from a masculine dominated language, and make it my own. I am flipping the script and that in itself is empowering to me. At the end of the day it is important for one to know what they prefer, to make their own personal choice, and be open to hearing all voices.