Hair isn’t simply hair. From varying levels of curl tightness to different styling and care needs, the professional salon setting is far from a one-size-fits-all solution. And yet, Black consumers are still vastly underserved. According to the TRESemmé Hair Bias Report, 86% of Black women have trouble finding consistent haircare services that address their needs, while 75% of stylists see a lack in training in order to cater to this clientele. US state cosmetology licensing departments don’t require any fundamental training in coily and textured hair types, except for Louisiana, which in June became the first state to require textured hair experience prior to licensing. "The higher-level textures—curls, coils, and Afro coily textures—were simply never addressed in cosmetology schools and textbooks. That is the ultimate barrier for students receiving a full range of textured education," SimpleeBEAUTIFUL’s CEO, Diane Da Costa, proclaims.
TRESemmé recently teamed up with SimpleeBEAUTIFUL’s Curly Textured Academy to launch the TRESemmé x SimpleeBEAUTIFUL Texture Certification Program in a bid to tackle hair discrimination and industry inequality. "I’ve partnered with TRESemmé because the brand understands that texture education should be normalized within the entire beauty community. Developing this Texture Certification Program with the Curly Textured ACADEMY is a great start to providing stylists with the necessary foundation that cosmetology schools failed to provide as an overall inclusive educational program for all hair types and textures," Da Costa comments. For TRESemmé’s leadership team, the decision to partner with SimpleeBEAUTIFUL came as a natural extension of their efforts to effect change in the industry. "Diane is a strong activist for the textured hair community, and we’re glad to be able to shine more light on the work she’s been doing. Her partnership has been instrumental in bringing TRESemmé’s curriculum to life. Her expert eye ensures we’re not missing any detail," Huang states. TRESemmé ambassadors and celebrity stylists Lacy Redway and Nai’vasha also partnered on the program, which is an extension of the TRESemmé Future Stylist Fund, an initiative that launched in 2020 and addresses the aforementioned issues on a wider scale in the fashion, beauty, and media industries.
With the Black hair industry worth an estimated £88 million in the UK alone, it’s definitely a wise business decision to invest more time and resources into this audience, but beyond the cold hard cash, there’s a far greater ethical imperative. The CROWN Act, another landmark initiative on the matter, found that 86% of Black teens experience hair discrimination by the age of 12, and 80% of Black women felt they had to change their hair from its natural state for work. Add to that the higher levels of chemical exposure through relaxing treatments amongst the Black community, and it’s evident that change is imperative on a professional, educational, and societal level. “Black women face discrimination and mistreatment in the salon daily—from being charged extra due to their hair type, sustaining damage to their hair from a stylist not trained in textured hair, or even being turned away due to a lack of stylists with the proper training to style textured hair,” adds TRESemmé Brand Engagement Lead Michelle Huang.
The Texture Certification Program offers three courses (two offered in-person, one online) on textured haircare across the categories of fundamentals, cut, and styling, with the aim to train over 1,000 stylists over the next year. TRESemmé is also requiring all stylists that work with the brand during Fashion Week to complete the program in order to broaden impact to the industry at large. "My vision for the hair industry is to have every graduating stylist receive a full texture curriculum across all subject matters, inclusive of haircare, color, cutting and styling," Da Costa states. "In addition, my hope is that brand product companies include texture education regarding their collections for all hair texture types." For Huang, the Texture Certification Program is another vital step in not just creating product, but pushing for access regardless of ethnicity or income—in essence, using beauty as a means of inclusivity and equal rights. “TRESemmé’s mission from day one has always been to make professional, salon-quality haircare available to all. The Black community can’t be an exception,” she says. “That’s why we will continue to push for better standards of treatment for those with textured hair, using our platform and resources to make beauty more inclusive for all, regardless of hair type.”
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