The ability to walk into any hair salon and find a trustworthy hairstylist is not a luxury that everyone has. For Black women, it’s common to feel anxious when searching for or entering a new salon because the big deciding question is: Who can actually style my hair well without damaging it?
The sad reality is that many stylists aren’t equipped or trained to deal with textured hair, and there’s a reason why. Unfortunately, it is not federally mandated that cosmetology schools include classes on curls or kinks, so most don’t, which forces stylists who do care to work with those textures to actively seek training outside of the school. But Tresemmé is hoping to help educate stylists on all the intricacies of curly, coily, and kinky hair with its new Texture Certification Program.
The program is a collaboration with SimpleeBeautiful’s Curly Textured Academy, which is a platform created by hairstylist and owner of New York City’s Simplee Beautiful salon, Diane Da Costa, to teach people all they need to know about coily hair. The program will have additional help from Tresemmé ambassadors and hairstylists Lacy Redway and Nai’vasha.
The hope is that upon completion of the program, stylists will be equipped with the skills and confidence needed to care for coils. “Every woman, regardless of hair type, deserves to have access and feel confident that they will receive quality hair care at every appointment so they can express themselves authentically,” Jessica Grigoriou, brand director of Tresemmé, says in a statement from the brand. “And we want to do our part to increase inclusivity in the beauty industry.”
Through two surveys given to 1,000 Black women and 500 hairstylists based in the United States, Tresemmé discovered a few things that emphasized the importance and need of this initiative and created the Hair Bias Report. According to the report, 86 percent of the Black women shared that they have difficulty finding a professional hairstylist. Sixty-five percent of the hairstylists revealed that they wanted more training about textured hair — it was 70 percent for white stylists.
These stats aren’t too shocking when you consider the existence of Black hair deserts, which as the name suggests are areas where there are a few stylists, or unfortunately, none at all, who are trained in caring for textured hair. Executive director of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, Megan Cruz, previously told Allure that two major academic content publishers are working with more textured hair experts to create more content centered on textured hair, which is promising.