Black Actresses Are Calling For Skilled HairStylists Who Can Care For Afro Textured Hair In Hollywood

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The lack of black hair stylists in Hollywood and all that surrounds that conversation has been going on for years but recently it was highlighted once again on Instagram and Twitter. On Instagram model Olivia Anakewe vented her frustration when she could not find not one hair stylist skilled enough to add cornrows to her hair while at work.

Olivia wrote:

This message is to spread awareness & hopefully reach anyone in the hair field to expand their range of skills. Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair. I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done. If I am asked to wear my natural hair to a show, the team should prepare the style just as they practice the look and demo for non-afro hair.

I arrived backstage where they planned to do cornrows, but not one person on the team knew how to do them without admitting so. After one lady attempted and pulled my edges relentlessly, I stood up to find a model who could possibly do it. After asking two models and then the lead/only nail stylist, she was then taken away from her job to do my hair. This is not okay. This will never be okay.

This needs to change. No matter how small your team is, make sure you have one person that is competent at doing afro texture hair care OR just hire a black hairstylist! Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others? It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class.

I was ignored, I was forgotten, and I felt that. Unfortunately, I’m not alone, black models with afro texture hair continuously face these similar unfair and disheartening circumstances. It’s 2019, it’s time to do better.

This message is to spread awareness & hopefully reach anyone in the hair field to expand their range of skills. Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair. I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done. If I am asked to wear my natural hair to a show, the team should prepare the style just as they practice the look and demo for non-afro hair. I arrived backstage where they planned to do cornrows, but not one person on the team knew how to do them without admitting so. After one lady attempted and pulled my edges relentlessly, I stood up to find a model who could possibly do it. After asking two models and then the lead/only nail stylist, she was then taken away from her job to do my hair. This is not okay. This will never be okay. This needs to change. No matter how small your team is, make sure you have one person that is competent at doing afro texture hair care OR just hire a black hairstylist! Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others? It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class. I was ignored, I was forgotten, and I felt that. Unfortunately I’m not alone, black models with afro texture hair continuously face these similar unfair and disheartening circumstances. It’s 2019, it’s time to do better. || #NaturalHair #ModelsofColor #BlackHairCare #HairCare #Message #Hair #Hairstyling #Backstage #BTS #AfroTexturedHair #Afro #POC #Braids #Message #Spreadtheword #Speak #Awareness #Growth #WorkingTogether #BlackGirlMagic #Melanin

A post shared by Olivia Anakwe (@olivia_anakwe) on

Then on twitter Actress Yvette Nicole Brown added to the conversation noting that most black actresses come to set with their hair already done.

The issue with this is, black women are paying more for a service that is already budgeted for because we do not have access to the same skillset other women can take full advantage of. On Twitter, the Actors union was brought up as being one of the reasons there seems to be a shortage of stylists. From my perspective there are a ton of stylists out here doing their thing, so why are they not afforded the opportunity to care for the black women on set?

Read below via the BBC:
Gabriel Union urged fellow actors to speak up if they found themselves in this position, tweeting: “If you stay quiet, you will have bald spots, hair damage, look nuts.”

The America’s Got Talent judge explained on Twitter that in order to work on Hollywood productions, hairstylists and make-up artists need to be members of a particular union – which she says is “extremely difficult” and “expensive” to join.

oh and lets never forget that time Viola Davis shared her ‘goo in hair story” about a stylist who clearly did not know what she was doing!

Read below via People:

“Sticky is like, when I was doing a movie and I was doing it with my ‘fro and this Caucasian woman had her fingers in my hair, she said ‘I’m going to make it really pretty’ and so she put some white goo in it,” Davis says, clarifying that she’s referring to “goo only white people would use.” And the actress wasn’t surprised by the unpleasant end result. “She put that and then she took a big spray bottle filled with water and just started spraying my ‘fro with the goo in the hair. And I wanted to say, ‘It’s not going to work,’ but I knew if I said it I would be insulting her. So I went to the set and slowly the sun caught my hair and my whole ‘fro turned white.”

For future stylists set to work with her hair, though, Davis has some pro tips to make sure you come prepared. “By the way, when you put water on a ‘fro, if it’s this big, it will become this big,” she laughs, gesturing with her hands from big to small. “It shrinks. That’s just a little lesson.”

A lesson indeed! I think this issue is still unraveling which is good in a sense and bad because we arent closer to a solution and it is 2019. What do you all think? What should the first steps be to fixing this problem?

10 COMMENTS

  1. Omg this is my dream job!! I am a licensed natural hair care specialist most of my work can be seen on Facebook and IG @newhairlife! If there are any leads to get connected please contact me! [email protected]

  2. Talented licensed cosmetologist here! All of my clients are natural and I work with all textures! Braiding and healthy hair is my specialty! Check out @braidinchick on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

  3. Hello, my name is Tanesha and I’m a licensed cosmetologist that specializes in hair and scalp care for all types and textures of hair. I’d love to help out.

  4. My name is Tasha Golden and I am a licensed cosmetologist from Denver, CO and would love a chance to try my luck in another state/ city. I have experience with all hair types and have been doing hair for 19+years. I can be contacted via email [email protected], I hope this message reaches the right person.

  5. I would love to be a natural stylist for the African American celebrities as I am specializing in natural hair. Email me for inquiries please and thank you.

  6. As a “new stylist” 4 years licensed. I’ve taken so many classes on “how to become a hairstylist for TV/Film”. It is so hard trying to get through. I’ve contacted many agencies and all of them say “currently not hiring new talent”. I watch a lot of movies and I’m always reading the credits trying to figure out whose the hair director. I follow them on social media and go as far as sending an email just to be overlooked.

    … I’m searching and trying to get there

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