Can White Stylists Do Black Hair?

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While the beauty industry is committed to inclusivity, stylists are not trained for all hair types, including the textured hair typical of black women. Melissa Taylor, owner of the Beauty Lounge Salon in Minneapolis, a program, called Texture Academy, has launched a course to fill this educational gap by launching a 16-hour hands-on training course for professional stylists and beauty students to learn more about curly hair.    Show Source Texts

Many stylists don't have to be trained in all textures and many salons don't hire those who know how to work with wavy and textured hair. While African-American stylists master and are licensed to care for all hair types, non-black stylists remain clueless about black hair. Some salon owners and stylists say black hair is uncontrollable, while others simply refuse service.    Show Source Texts

Andrea Pezzillo, a celebrity stylist who has nurtured a wide range of clients including Jhene Aiko, Chanel Iman, Jeff Bridges and Omari Hardwick understands why many black actresses distrust white hairstylists. Black stylists feel obliged to learn how to style Type 1 and Type 4 hair and are held to a standard in the industry, but the same expectations do not seem to apply to their white counterparts. Actors say that while white stylists like Pezzillos have mastered many hair textures, few can do everything.    Show Source Texts

Black hair gets a lot of attention, which is different from Asian friends who prefer Asian stylists because they doubt that other people care about their thick, straight manes. Black stylists understand natural hair, but I had trouble finding someone who understands fine-grained curly hair. I've done some footwork on products in different salons, but most of the products are for black women who want to bring their hair back to its natural state and make it longer.    Show Source Texts

His assistant would wash, condition, prepare and perform various processes to work on my hair, but I have also seen black stylists working on Latina hair and Asian stylists tending to white women's hair. In these environments, people of all races can have their hair styled and become hair, not black, white or Asian hair. Why black women's hair loses its secret is because the stylist maintains it regularly.    Show Source Texts

The texture of black hair is a challenge that many white stylists either don't know or don't want to know. Many black actresses have said it's a well-known Hollywood secret that they struggle to find hairdressers who can style their hair on set. There is evidence that more blacks in its natural state wear their hair, and the declining sales of chemical relaxants is an indication that not all stylists, especially black stylists trained to style tight curls, can do so.    Show Source Texts

According to Topher Gross, stylist at Seagull Salon in New York City, it's the result of many beauty schools focusing their training on fine straight hair and exclusively on natural hair with more tangled textures. In May the Oscar, Tony and Emmy winner said she would not work again with stylists who disrespected the craft of styling black hair. While Evan Joseph, the owner of his eponymous salon in Columbus, Ohio, understands the fear of blacks when it comes to competing against white stylists, he has seen many of his practices that are not trained to work with natural hair, as Tiffany Charles has shown.    Show Source Texts

The white curly hair specialists who model my hair say they are horrified to work in mainstream salons where they don't know how to handle curly hair or where afro hair is not required. The news that such salons exist is a shock to my friends, because they live in countries and small towns where blacks and whites don't get their hair done. The author of these stories is not unusual, and we urge you to ask your salon about their policies and demand that they ensure hair equality by hiring those with the knowledge to work with black hair.    Show Source Texts

At the beginning of my employment I was told that I should send black women with naturally textured hair not only to black salons, but also to the streets. In any case, I thought I would be good to go as a black stylist, but I had to start assessing my hair needs realistically. After all, I'm a black woman with naturally curly hair who shares my products with my hairdresser via YouTube videos.    Show Source Texts

I used to go to a black stylist to have my hair cut so I didn't have to worry about washing, drying and ironing. As a white mother working full time in Denver, Colorado, I wanted to have a place where I could experience black hair cutting. Most of our experience visiting black hair salons has been interesting, to say the least.    Show Source Texts

The other thing to bear in mind is that the same refusal often comes from black stylists who, like white stylists, do not have the skills to make natural hair. The way these stories come out is that a white stylist will admit that she doesn't have African-American hair, that she can't exercise the skills, or she will say that she has a black friend who screws it up every time she does her hair. Stylists who are taught to appreciate all hair types and not to underestimate the true roots of black hair will experience positive changes. 

 

Keywords: 

#salon owner    #hair   
"Some SALON OWNERs and stylists assume the stereotype that Black HAIR is unmanageable, while others just blatantly refuse service." 8
"The trend has the potential to counter stereotypes, and allows SALON OWNERs to expand their businesses and mixed-race families to get their HAIR coiffed in the same place." 0
"Last month, activist, speaker, and public academic Rachel Cargle shared the feedback she offered a SALON OWNER after a profoundly horrible--and illuminating--experience she would had at one of their salons." 1
#hair stylists    #products    #black   
"As a BLACK woman with natural and curly hair, I have been through my share of PRODUCTS, HAIR STYLISTS and YouTube videos." 12
"The fact that I found it so hard to find PRODUCTS in mainstream stores and even HAIR STYLISTS in high street salons--it was always an effort when it came to my hair compared to my mothers." 5
"Many BLACK actresses say a widely known Hollywood secret is that they often have difficulty finding HAIR STYLISTS to properly style their hair when on set." 7
#hair salon    #experiences    #service    #visit    #black   
"Most of our EXPERIENCES growing up VISITing BLACK HAIR SALONs were interesting to say the least." 5
"Cargles EXPERIENCE highlights the ways in which systematic racism is a driving force within the hair-salon industry and how it impacts BLACK individuals, whether as employees or paying customers." 1
"As a BLACK woman, I cannot just walk into the closest HAIR SALON, the newest blow dry bar, or the trendiest spa for SERVICE." 9
#beauty school    #salon   
"According to Topher Gross, a stylist at New York Cityas Seagull SALON, it is likely a result of many BEAUTY SCHOOLs centering their training on fine, straight hair, inherently excluding natural hair and kinkier textures." 2
"The disparity begins in BEAUTY SCHOOL and then filters up to SALONS and editorial sets, ultimately presenting at a macro level in ad campaigns and TV shows and on red carpets." 1
"Pezzillo says she began styling women of color after attending BEAUTY SCHOOL and becoming close with an Eritrean classmate." 7
#cosmetology school    #hair    #salon   
"Every business--more specifically, HAIR SALONS and COSMETOLOGY SCHOOLs--should be inclusive of all people." 8
"Gross shares that when he attended COSMETOLOGY SCHOOL to get his training in 2008, he never got to work on a mannequin with textured HAIR." 2
"She told HuffPost that racial bias in the SALON "starts with and ends with the beauty professional," but adds that COSMETOLOGY SCHOOL is complicit in the bias." 10
#red carpet    #women    #black   
"Of course, you are paying prices that are a lot cheaper - you cannot expect a RED CARPET or someone to wipe your shoes - but there is a basic common service that every establishment should provide and if you speak to the vast majority of BLACK WOMEN they do not get that all the time." 11
"Ashunta Sheriff, makeup artist (Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Hudson) Taraji definitely has the RED CARPET rolled out for her now, but she still has to fight for herself and the other BLACK WOMEN she has around her." 3
"The disparity begins in beauty school and then filters up to salons and editorial sets, ultimately presenting at a macro level in ad campaigns and TV shows and on RED CARPETs." 1
#new york city    #one    #hair    #stylist    #salon   
"Dayna Goldstein, a STYLIST at Roman K, a New York City-based SALON with locations in Flatiron and Tribeca, tells Bustle that while she only worked on ONE mannequin with textured HAIR (which had been straightened) during school, she always had a desire to learn how to work with kinky HAIR." 2
"Gross also mentions that working on textured-hair mannequins and models was not required as part of the New York State exam he took in 2008, a state where over 19 million black people reside today, as well as being home to ONE of the most racially diverse cities in the world: New York City." 2
"Janelle was able to find a home at Honey SALON in Harlem in New York City, where the STYLISTS there taught her how to care for her 4C kinks, a texture she has fallen in love with.
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