When discussions of inclusion in Hollywood arise, we’re not just talking in front of the camera. We also mean behind the camera, which includes encouraging film and television sets to incorporate a more inclusive set of employees, right down to makeup and hairstylists.
In a Teen Vogue article posted on March 8, model Olivia Anakwe discussed texture discrimination within the entertainment industry and the need for more hairstylists who know how to do natural hair. The article, written by Jessica Andrews, points out the need for more Black stylists who know how to do Black hair. It also exposes how Black stylists come equipped with knowing how to do various types of hair other than their own, while hairstylists of other races aren’t required to do all kinds of hair.
Andrews’ article immediately struck a chord with some of our Hollywood faves, including Aquaman actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Real host Loni Love and actress/comedian Yvette Nicole Brown. Mateen, who was recently cast in the reboot of Candyman, noted that the lack of hairstylists who know how to do natural hair is an issue he’s seen the majority of his Black contemporaries face.
Mateen also pointed out the hairstylists should receive proper training. On the same coin, Brown also mentioned this issue, noting in a tweet that the majority of Black actresses come to a new set with their hair done, as well as bring their makeup and wigs with them.
Check out some of the tweets from our Hollywood faves below highlighting the issue:
PSA: If you cast a POC— And thank you for doing so!—you also have to hire someone who knows how to do ethnic hair. Not someone who’s “comfortable with it” but someone who actually knows how to style ethnic hair types.
Congratulations on advancing to the next level of inclusion! https://t.co/A1Q9ZpvXmH
— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) March 11, 2019
The pressure to “just be happy they picked you & you got a job, don’t ask for the SAME things every other actor/model gets on GP…” Listen, if u stay quiet, u WILL have bald spots, hair damage, look NUTS (tho they will tell u its cuuuuuuuuute ????) https://t.co/vBMFla2cQ2
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) March 11, 2019
100% of Black Actor/Actress I’ve spoken to on this topic face the same thing in film and television. Hair Stylists in our industry should have proper training, AND be able to show proof. Too often they begin to “figure it out” the second we sit in the chair. https://t.co/qf662oqA8d
— Yahya Abdul-Mateen 2 (@yahya) March 9, 2019
Most black actresses come to a new set w/ their hair done (me) or bring their wigs & clip-ins w/them. It’s either that or take a chance that you will look crazy on screen. Many of us also bring our own foundation. One too many times seeing no shade that matches you will learn ya! https://t.co/mGAzpuoKtb
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019
Most Black actors get their hair cut or styled outside of set, often at their own expense because Hollywood hairstylists are one size fit all and that ‘all’ does not include Black hair. This has been my experience for the last 20 years in the business & it hasn’t changed at all. https://t.co/3kniFzAET5
— Verbal The Rapper (@malcolmbarrett) March 10, 2019
Honey I have brought my whole glam kit, flat irons, pink lotion, Shea butter at times during a new set.. I’m tired of looking grey with red lips???????????????? https://t.co/sP8fEmGKcS
— Loni Love (@LoniLove) March 11, 2019
Omigosh! Anytime hair and makeup is provided, I bring my own everything so I’m ready for the inevitable look of panic when I walk in the door.
— Melinda Doolittle (@mdoolittle) March 11, 2019
If they don’t have the budget to hire a black hairstylist for me, or won’t, I just get the director to agree that my character should have box braids or senegalese twist.
— Gabby Sidibe (@GabbySidibe) March 11, 2019
Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic, Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb