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Cut & Paste: Kat Reynolds explores the link between black women and beauty products

This photograph by Kat Reynolds is part of the Mane 'n Tail exhibition. Other artists include LaKela Brown, Pamela Council, Baseerah Khan, Abigail Lucien, Narcissister, Yvonne Osei, Shenequa, Diamond Stingily and Rachel Youn.
Provided | Kat Reynolds

Kat Reynolds stops by the beauty products store about as often as some people shop for groceries — about three times a month.

For many women, shampoos, conditioners, extensions and weaves seem to hold the key not only to an improved appearance but also a kind of self-satisfaction, according to Reynolds. With that in mind, the photographer is curating an art exhibition, “Mane ‘n Tail,” named for a popular line of beauty products.

Reynolds said the show, which opens Jan. 19, focuses on female attractiveness and African-American culture, including money and self-determination.

“The whole concept of black women going into the beauty supply and being able to change their appearance so easily is like ultimate freedom,” Reynolds said.

“Mane 'n Tail” mirrors Reynolds’ own journey around beauty, from childhood to adulthood.

“It’s like, ‘Oh, how can I blend in and make friends,’ and then when you get older, you’re like, ‘Oh, how can I not blend in and look unique and still be myself?’” she said.

The exhibition features photography, new media, installation and sculpture, including hair weaves and braids.

“I felt like I couldn’t actually have a beauty supply show without actually having hair,” Reynolds said.

“Mane 'n Tail” is showing at The Luminary, 2701 Cherokee St.

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Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.

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