TRESemmé opens applications for their second annual Future Stylists Fund.
TRESemmé has always held a special place in my heart; they’re one of my favorite affordable hair-care brands that cater to all hair textures. In 2020, I was overjoyed to learn about the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund, which awarded 10 black female stylists a $10,000 scholarship to cover the cost of their cosmetology school tuition and offer career-advancing opportunities with TRESemmé. This year the Future Stylist Fund committee is comprised of incredible black women who have worked in the entertainment, fashion, and beauty industry and who strive to build up young black women in these careers. EVP and COO of Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever and member of the FSF committee, Esi Eggleston Bracey, shared, “We know that Black women have been underrepresented in the haircare industry due to several systemic barriers and biases, whether they are sitting in the styling chair or standing behind it.” Bracey also shared, “Our long-term goal is to achieve equity for Black women through representation and education so that ultimately every woman regardless of her hair type or hair texture can receive quality haircare.” Also on the 2021 FSF committee is TRESemmé Stylist and entrepreneur, Nai’vasha, who joined me on a zoom call to share her excitement on joining the 2021 FSF committee ” I value education so much, and there are so many young talented black hairstylists that should have the opportunity to get an education, and I’m so grateful to TRESemmé for pouring into our community.” Nai’vasha also shared, “All textures should be inserted into the curriculum in cosmetology schools. There are different techniques for different textures, and adding making sure that’s added into the curriculum will demystify our hair.”
As a black female hairstylist, I expected to walk into a job and know how to manage everyone’s hair texture. I CAN NOT walk into any salon, on set, or any hair-related job and not know how to style straight or wavy textured hair; however, the same is not expected of our white counterparts. Many incredibly black talented stylists who get there start learning how to style hair on themselves or family members with curly and/or kinky hair textures; without a traditional cosmetology education, many doors for opportunity would be closed to them. While it is true that it is required for hairstylists to acquire a license to practice, cosmetology schools teach the science and technical details of styling hair. Speaking from my own experience, most of what hairstylists will learn will be out in the field. Even though cosmetology schools do not offer a curly/kinky textured hair curriculum, white hairstylists seldom miss out on opportunities in the field. Instead, black models, actresses, and women have to manage their own hair-care if a black hairstylist well-versed in textured hair-care is not in reach. “Every Black woman, even a famous actress, has experienced bias in the salon chair, whether that means we’ve been charged extra because of our hair type or received inadequate service by a professional inexperienced with textured hair,” said committee member and actress, Meagan Good. Opportunities like FSF are so important for black women as we collectively stand against western beauty standards being forced onto us to be accepted within society. I know many people may feel as though beauty is not something that should be politicized. Still, when beauty companies do not make products for all textures or do not hire black women who are over-qualified, it is a VERY LOUD political statement that continues to perpetuate western beauty as the standard of beauty.
The TRESemmé Future Stylist Fund will be open to receive applications until October 10th, 2021. Alongside Esi Eggleston Bracey, Nai’vasha, and Meagan Good, Founder of the Black in Fashion Council, Sandrine Charles, and Unilever Global Stylist Lacy Redway will also be a part of the FSF committee. The FSF committee will review all applicants and award 10 recipients with a $10,000 scholarship to any accredited cosmetology school of their choosing.