Black Hair Matters!

In light of the Black Lives Matter campaign, here at Anne Veck Oxford we want to be very clear that we welcome clients with all hair types and that all our stylists are trained to work with textured hair.

It is sadly the case that racism seeps into almost every aspect of our lives and unfortunately the hairdressing sector is not an exception. We want to play a part in putting things to rights. Although we are just one small salon we are a well known voice in the hairdressing industry.

We believe education is the key. Unfortunately, when training to be a hairdresser, students and apprentices can easily opt out of learning how to work with textured hair(called natural African type hair in the qualifications). Even in the Hairdressing Professional Standard, the improved apprenticeship programme introduced in May 2018, apprentices do not have to demonstrate competence on a real model with textured hair at their end point assessment. They merely have to prove their “knowledge”, either by presenting witness statements or by answering questions correctly. This makes it harder for people with textured hair to find a suitable hairdresser. If you are white, imagine what it must be like to call or visit a new salon only to be told “I’m so sorry, we can’t do your hair because we haven’t been trained” or even worse “Sorry we don’t do your type of hair.”

A petition has been started by London hairdresser Jemima Bradley, and supported by hairdressing icon Errol Douglas MBE, calling for the hair industry to better educate new stylists in textured hair. It already has over 17,000 signatures. Douglas told FEMAIL that the lack of training sends the message to young stylists that “we (black people) are not important – that you can’t be bothered with that type of hair.” Here is the link, please sign it.

Both the standard and the qualifications are coming up for review soon and this should be an opportunity to get textured hair included at the same level as the other hair types. Anne Veck Limited Director Keith Mellen is a member of the government’s Hair Professional Steering Group which develops apprenticeships for the hair industry. He is determined to do as much as he can to get the essential changes made in these reviews. Both the hairdressing and qualifications industries have a responsibility to get this right.

Anne has always been a strong advocate that a hairdresser should know how to work with all types of hair. She loves working with textured hair. She makes sure all of her team are confident and competent too in order to make her salon friendly and inclusive for black clients. And, of course, her apprentices have to choose models with textured hair for their end point assessments.

By Dirty French Girl

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