This year, an important discussion has come up in Hollywood reflecting how black women in the industry need women and men of color to do their hair/makeup. Model Olivia Anakwe sparked this discussion on Instagram about on-set hair styling; venting that hair stylists at shoots, generally, are clueless when it comes to working with Black hair/natural hair. This is why it is important for black actresses to hire men and women of color to do their hair and makeup.
It is an important topic because many women and men of color in the entertainment business do not have the opportunity to have black stylists do their hair or makeup as some do. Black hair has different textures and thus has to be handled carefully or it can be damaged PLUS it is styled differently (in dozens of possible fun hairstyles) and non-people of color may not know how to style certain hair. There are many black actors like David Alan Grier that have brought their own barber to set rather than take a chance on another barber who may not know how to deal with his hair. For some diverse shows like The Flash, many of the hair stylists are not black and may not know how to do black women or men’s hair the way a black stylists does. Recently at the SXSW panel in Austin, Candice Patton, actress from The Flash, discussed feeling less beautiful because the stylist does not know how to style black hair. “I do not want to be labeled a diva for asking for a stylist who knows how to do Black hair, knows how to do Black makeup,” Patton said. “I want to be able to call up my producers and know that they’ll have my back.” An actress or actor should not have to feel less than anything because of how the person styles their hair or makeup. Whenever they come on any set, they should know someone is styling them greatly in order to shine on screen. There are many Black hairstylists and MUAs who are very good at doing their work and can be hired on sets.
Whenever I’m watching shows, I can tell the difference in a black women’s hair and makeup based on her edges or the lighter makeup they used to compel a person skin tone. Men and Women of Color’s skin comes in different hues, and those hues require different foundations and makeup styles that people not used to doing their make-up won’t know. As a Women of Color, I feel it’s truly important to have someone who looks like me have the opportunity to do ethnic hair on black actresses. For those who are not People of Color, it’s important to get the proper training instead of trying to figure out how to style someone hair or makeup when they first get in the chair. Black actors/actresses should not have to bring their own equipment or have their hair done when coming to set because they are not sure who will be styling their hair/makeup. More makeup artists and hairstylists with experience in black hair/skin tones need access to unions in order to open doors. But also, remember there are stylists who know how to style every race hair/makeup and can bring people who can assist with the process.
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Featured Image Credit: Why It’s Important For Black Actresses To Hire Men and Women of Color To Do Their Hair and Makeup? Featured Image Credit: @olivia_anakwe on Instagram