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Celebrating Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

Watch Vivek Shraya Talk About The Power Of Hair

The multi-disciplinary artist, and former IN Magazine cover girl talks about the power of hair…

By Christopher Turner

Canadian LGBTQ icon and multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya has partnered with Pantene on the global ‘Hair Has No Gender’ project, which aims to create awareness on behalf of the LGBTQ2S community + and give a voice to trans and non-binary advocates around the world.

Pantene’s Hair Has No Gender project originally launched in Europe last year with a series of short videos showing transgender people sharing a family photo from before they transitioned. In each video, the individual reflected on how the support of their family was important in transitioning, and how their hair was a powerful statement of true self-expression.

As Pantene’s Canadian ambassador, Shraya joins four transgender and non-binary activists including Angela Ponce (the first openly transgender Miss Universe contestant), Lea T (a Brazilian-born, Italian-raised transgender fashion model), Travis Alabanza (a London based performance artist), and Johanna (a Sweedish business woman).

This year, Pantene Canada partnered with Shraya and her father, Mohan Bilgi, to share a unique Canadian perspective about the power of hair to express identity and the importance of support from loved ones. Together, they explore the various forms of acceptance.

“Doing this with my dad feels special because it gives us something documented of our relationship and how it’s changed over the years. We didn’t get to spend much time together when I was growing up because he was working hard to provide for us, so we don’t have many photos together,” says Shraya. “I’m so glad we’re able to connect now, as adults, and be part of this incredible project together.”

In addition to the debut of the #HairHasNoGender films, Pantene will also donate funds to facilitate inclusivity training for hairstylists across the country in partnership with Dresscode Project, which was founded by Toronto hair stylist Kristin Rankin.

You can watch the entire film series on Pantene’s YouTube channel and watch Shraya’s personal story about what her hair and the support from her loved ones means to her below.

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