Growing Percentage of People Embracing their Natural Texture calls for Change in the Beauty Industry
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
By Andrea Mororo
March 8, 2022
A client sits in my chair and we dive into what they wish for their hair. A remark I often get is “I’m not sure how to take care of my hair and I’ve tried everything” follow with an apology in a defeated tone of feeling as they may be a burden just for being who they are.
Over 50% of the world population has coily, curly, or wavy hair, with a growing percentage of textured-hair people with embracing their natural hair. It is no wonder why more people are seeking a new experience in a salon to help them make the most of how they present themselves to the world.
But with these growing numbers, just how many stylist really understand the composition of curls? Traditionally, cosmetology schools only teach students sanitation, hair theory and the beauty basics to pass the state board. When it comes to hands on learning, the texture chapter included chemicals and heat. So how do we build an environment for future hair professionals to open this curiosity to dive into texture?
Insistently, additional education of hair culture and history incorporated into the cosmetology program for students could amount for the change needed in beauty industry to be more inclusive. It goes deeper than working with science and business. It is unavoidable to talk about these without mentioning politics.
For example, the bill SB 188, also called the Crown Act (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) was created in 2019 to ensure protection against hair texture-based discrimination in the workplace and education has only passed in 13 states across the United States. Braids have also been identified amongst cultures and tribal affiliation. I think of stories like when Native American children had to have their braids cut when they were forcible placed in Indian Boarding Schools. My great aunt still recalls that terrible day when they made all the little girls line up and cut their braids in an assembly line. She managed to keep her braids, where they are gently stored in a shadow box as a reminder to the day that marks her Anishinaabe identity would not be accepted into civilized society unless she looked like everyone else.
Textured hair is something that is gifted to us and out of our control, much like the color of our hair, skin and eyes. So with curly hair being declared by Geneticists as a dominant gene in our allele, why does society insist ownership on what is accepted and professional?
The power is returning back to us and we wear our curly hair unapologetically day by day. Let’s keep this energy going. People across all professional fields with natural texture are proving their ability of work has nothing to do with their crown. We are quickly hopping on board unanimously with the notion that the root of this problem is not us but rather how society see us: the politics and the hair education systems need to catch up.
The next time someone wants to reference, “It is just hair”… I would challenge the same ideal for the corporate and social enterprises: Why if its “just hair”, is it a big deal for us to present us as ourselves? We should never hurt ourselves to fit an ideal.
I am rooting for more inclusivity everywhere in the beauty industry to take on the model of servicing every human with every texture. More education and knowledge leave less room for microaggression on textured hair behind the chair.
Every client has the right to preserve their dignity to be what they live by, and treated with respect regardless of their hair. We need more stylist to jump on board in support of the unwavering demand of people embracing who they are proudly.