Modernizing the curly hair experience in and behind the chair with technology, content and data.
In the US, the CROWN Act has been a major development in protecting the rights of people with textured hair and eliminating discrimination in the workplace and schools. This has been a state by state endeavor.
In response, Louisiana became the first state this year to require cosmetology schools to teach textured hair styling. Meanwhile in the UK, sweeping changes have been made nationwide to include styling textured hair as a requirement in cosmetology schools.
“Until now, tens of thousands of hairdressers have no qualifications in cutting and styling afro and textured hair,” says Helena Grzesk, chief operating officer at the British Beauty Council. “Our aim is to amplify and celebrate the voices of all the communities the industry serves to ensure each and every one of us feels seen, heard, valued and excited to engage with the beauty industry”.
One of the main reasons for the push to require hairstylists to learn how to style curls is that people with naturally curly, coily, and kinky hair often struggle to find hairstylists who are properly trained to work with their hair type. In the past, hairstylists were often only trained to work with straight hair, which meant that people with natural hair often had to resort to chemical treatments and heat styling to tame their curls. This not only damaged their hair but also resulted in a lack of options for hairstyles.
Another reason for the push to require hairstylists to learn how to style curls is that people with natural hair often experience issues with hair loss, breakage, and dryness as a result of improper hair care. This is due to the lack of knowledge and understanding among hairstylists about how to properly care for natural hair, which can lead to damage and unhealthy hair. By requiring hairstylists to learn how to style curls, it ensures that they are properly trained to work with all hair types and that they understand how to properly care for natural hair, which will lead to healthier hair and more options for hairstyles.
The push to require hairstylists to learn how to style curls has also been driven by the growing awareness of the importance of representation and inclusivity in the beauty industry. Many people of color in the UK feel underrepresented in the beauty industry and the push to require hairstylists to learn how to style curls is a step towards more inclusivity and representation.
The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of the natural hair movement, with an increasing number of people embracing their natural curls, coils, and kinks. But it’s not just education, the UK is also producing heavy hitters in the beauty start up world with companies like Ruka Hair and Boucléme. Ruka Hair, a Black owned UK based textured hair product company, launched in 2020 and quickly grew in popularity, with a spot in the coveted Selfridges just two years later.
Boucleme is on a self-proclaimed mission to set curls free. Founded by Michele Scott-Lynch, she launched the brand to fill a gap in the market: 'I started Bouclème to create the range I couldn't find: quality products, rooted in nature and serious about curls. I wanted to redefine what it means to be curly and help everyone find the confidence to be who they are.'