Teach Texture Education in Cosmetology Schools. Update the State Board Exam

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Over the last two to three decades the natural hair movement has evolved into a natural curly and textured revolution. During this time cosmetologists and natural hair stylists have created curly and textured styles for women of color in black own salons, curly styles in curl specific salons, beauty editorial layouts and textbooks.

Today all wavy, curly and coily hairstyles for all women and men of all nationalities are featured in beauty and fashion magazines, New York Fashion Week, all media platforms and hairstyling books that reach the mainstream beauty market and every major haircare beauty brand. What was once thought of as just a trend is now regarded as a true lifestyle.

Now is the time to include natural haircare, curly and textured education; foundational cutting, coloring, styling methods and techniques into beauty school curriculums,l. As well as incorporate questions pertaining to natural haircare, curly, and textured styling into the state board examination.

As a Subject Matter Expert for Cengage, Milady Publishing, education has always been a top priority for me in the beauty industry. I have been working closely with Milady over the past six years to update and include curly and textured history and styling techniques to the Milady Standard Cosmetology Textbooks, and MiladyPro video content. In 2004 I introduced textured styling to the general beauty market with my first book, Textured Tresses, published on Simon & Schuster.

In 1992 NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing passed into law the first Natural Hair Styling License with 900 hours as part of the cosmetology course. The Natural Hair Styling license has since been revised, and includes a separate license obtained with 300 hours of course curriculum pertaining to natural styling, braids, weaves and twisting. However, to date, natural hair styling, curly or textured services is not taught in most beauty school curriculum. To date, The New York State Board of Cosmetology has been slow to update the subject matter for students to receive a general working knowledge of curly and textured education on the theory or practical examinations that reflects today's general beauty market.

FACTS: Several books have been published by veteran cosmetologists and introduced to the general market since the early 1990's. These books specifically address wavy, curly, coily and tightly coiled hair textures; Diane Bailey, Natural Hair Care and Braiding, (1991), Andrea Walker, Andrea Talk's Hair, (1997), Quidad, Curl Talk, (2002), Lorraine Massey, Curly Girl, The HandBook, 2002, Anthony Dickie, Hair Rules, (2003) and Textured Tresses, (2004).

  • Since the early 1990s to 2000s women with waves, curls, and multi-textured hair began wearing their natural ringlet curls without blowouts and/or straighteners and by 2010, Sixty-five percent of women have worn their hair in it's natural curly texture. (Source: naturallycurly.com)
  • By 2018 Fifty-one percent of African American women state that they feel more beautiful when they are wearing a natural hairstyle.
  • African-Americans spend $1.2 trillion each year, and that number is projected to rise to $1.5 trillion by 2021.
  • In 2018 the Black hair care industry raked in an estimated $2.51 billion, as Black consumers have progressively made the switch from general products to those that specifically cater to them. (Source: Mintel).
  • In 2019 The CROWN Act and New York City Human Rights Law were passed into law in California and New York. The law prohibits race-based hair discrimination, which is the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles including braids, locs, twists or bantu knots.
  • In 2019 Models of Color Matter conducted a survey of models of color across all 4 major Fashion Weeks about their experience in the industry. 66% of the models interviewed had experienced poor treatment of their textured hair backstage and on set.

Today more than ever as the industry calls for more diversity and representation by brands we need to not only give textured models a seat at the table, but the tools to succeed and look their best there. It is evident that we need textured hair taught in cosmetology schools to make a change.

WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE:
Curly and textured subject matter has been written into some textbooks, however the next generation of cosmetologists, still today have not been taught or trained in textured education. Why? Because it isn't taught in most classrooms. Additionally, there hasn't been any inclusive updates to the New York State Board of Cosmetology examinations for decades.

There must be change to ensure that new cosmetologists entering the profession receive:

  • A basic standard education of curly and textured haircare.
    Include the foundation of hair history from African origins, and updated African American contributions to the hair and beauty industry.
  • Students should graduate with a standard working knowledge of curly and textured cutting, coloring and styling techniques.
    All new stylist entering the workforce should be prepared to provide general services for all types and textures.
  • We all can make the change! Let's start the texture inclusive programs for all beauty schools here today!


HOW WE CAN IMPLEMENT CHANGE:
Please sign the petition that will be presented to the New York State Board of Cosmetology and New York State Office of the Professions - State Education Department to begin the process for inclusive standard education of curly and textured styling techniques; training taught for beauty school certification and the New York State Cosmetology License.