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Think Global, Act Local; An Ancestral Way of Artistic Self-Expression: Hairstyling with Sharon Traylor

Happy Holidays!

During these festive days, when we are getting ready for the beginning of the New Year, I wanted to visit with someone who uses their talent in a myriad of ways but foremost aesthetically because it is paramount to look good during the holidays as we gather with our beloved ones.

I am fortunate to have met when I was getting my own haircut four years ago, Ms. Sharon Traylor. It is always hard to introduce someone else, therefore when I asked to succinctly describe herself, she said:

“I’m a barber, hair braider, loctician barber instructor, mother of four, grandmother, dog trainer and an artist. I’m passionate about self-healing fitness and the health of the mind, body and soul. I love nature and cultivating things—I’m very good at it. I am a straightforward no-nonsense woman.”

Be sure to visit with her next you see her as she is a kind artful soul and the Red River Valley is fortunate to have Ms. Sharon call here her home.

Until next time:

Umwaka Mushya Muhire wa 2023!

– Cyusa

Where do you call home?

The place where I call home has only recently been admitted over the last five years. I’m originally from Chicago and had a strong pull to still belong there in a comforting way. But accomplishing so much here, along with the passing of my grandmother, Chicago began to feel not so much like home. Home is Moorhead and it feels like home.

What is your journey of growth and what lessons did you learn before coming to Fargo?

My journey began when I came into this work, to be honest, and it took almost all my life until now to realize that. As far as the growth and lessons learned, it happened slightly before I came to this region but flourished more and became more apparent while being here. Being removed from one environment to another which is drastically different, showed me those things. Lessons learned back home were needed to make it to where I am now. The lessons learned here in Fargo were needed to maintain who I am today.

What is the story of your passion for this ancestral art of taking care of one’s hair?

The story of my passion to do hair isn’t a passion to do hair—it’s a passion to create and be able to express and be artistic which I have been all my life. So, doing hair is just a limb from the tree of expression and creativity.

How did you convert a passion into a full-time business occupation?

This passion for creativity went from an idea for a hair show, which was a grand success that my business partner Brenna Fisher and I birthed back in 2020. We then decided to climb higher and open a shop.

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Why should and how can people learn about other cultures through hairstyles?

The reason I feel people should learn more about other cultures through hairstyles is because it helps you to understand and it possibly brings people together by sharing and wearing different hairstyles. They could learn by attending classes asking questions and accepting it as an art and a form of expression.

What is one thing this area could benefit from which you liked in other cities you lived in?

When I think about it, the one thing that this area could benefit from that I liked in other cities would be inclusion and diversity, but I see that happening already. So I have hope for the growth of our Fargo-Moorhead community.

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What is your vision for 2030? Where will you be and why?

My vision for 2030 seems so far away but it is not. I would like to see men and women alike doing all kinds of hairstyles with different textures. Having stylists and barbers able to service anyone for any hair care they may need. My goals are to be teaching in the schools and having a few businesses and much more. I like to move quietly—so, to be continued.

Written by Alexandre Cyusa

Alexandre Cyusa came to the FM area in the fall of 2010 to attend Concordia College. Originally from Kigali, Rwanda, Cyusa has lived in Switzerland, Ethiopia, Guinea and France. His traveling experiences have helped him in making this world a smaller and simpler place to live in. He currently works for Folkways and is interested in community development and nurturing global citizenship.

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