Make Textured Hair Competency a requirement for Cosmetology Licensure

Make Textured Hair Competency a requirement for Cosmetology Licensure

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Julius Wilkerson started this petition to STATE OF NEW YORK and

Hair licensing curriculums and evaluations were developed as early as 1929 by The National Council of Boards of Beauty Culture nearly three decades before the desegregation of public school systems (Brown vs. Board of Education, 1954). Public schools, across this nation, had not yet done the work to ensure inclusivity in their curriculums and the same biases remained evident in cosmetology curriculums. Thus, the beauty industry, especially cosmetology, has always been systematically biased against diverse textures of hair.

In 1936, The Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology was established to evaluate standards of beauty culture education, state cosmetology laws, and professional service to the public. The “public” of 1936 excluded consideration for black and non-white hair servicing, due to segregation and Jim Crow laws. Black women and men had to develop homegrown textured hair products and services, as well as their own standards of service that evolved independently of their white counterparts. In 2018, it was estimated by TextureTrends reports, that 65% of the U.S. population has curly, coily or wavy hair. However, the Dept. of Education and National Board of Cosmetology’s curriculum as it stands, does not take into consideration this growing percentage of people. 

In 2020, Textured Hair Competency is still NOT REQUIRED BY ANY U.S. STATE OR TERRITORY for cosmetology licensing. This is due to the beauty education industry deeming textured hair services as “extracurricular”. Textured-hair stylists have long been servicing textured guests with homegrown techniques. It has never been required how to manage textured hair, but it is MANDATORY, for all students to learn how to treat non-textured hair in order to simply qualify for state licensing. The prevalence of systemic bias in cosmetology, stems from the gap in education, which results in “service discrimination” (Click Here For Example). The definition of cosmetology is the study of cosmetic treatments for ALL hair, skin, and nails. Nowhere does it state specifics around textures and race in the profession of cosmetology. Imagine, a healthcare provider refusing to service your bad cough, all because he only learned how to treat sneezes. I believe with proper education, we can begin to create a more inclusive industry that empowers all future cosmetologists the skills needed to service any and all hair types.

With this petition, I am challenging the United States Department of Education, and the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) to declare Textured Hair Competency a requirement for cosmetology licensing. I am demanding the development of a diverse board of textured hair experts to design a curriculum to be taught and evaluated by beauty schools, for all future written and practical state exams. 

Textured Hair Education should be contain the basic understanding and foundation to include: 

  • The History of Textured Hair & Race  
  • Trichology of Textured hair 
  • Texture/Curl Types/Conditioning
  • Identifying Texture shapes
  • Coloring Textured Hair 
  • Cutting Textured Hair 
  • Consultations 
  • Styling/Non-Chemical Manipulation of Curls 

This is only an example of what a new added competency could look like. Sign and share this important petition if you or someone you know has been discriminated against and told by any hair service provider  "I don't do...":

  • Black/African-American People Hair
  • Natural hair
  • Curly hair
  • "That kind of hair"
  • "Your kind of hair"

With your signature, we can rewrite the standard of cosmetology education and empower future cosmetologist with the knowledge and skills to service everyone in the changing world around us. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!