( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) TRESemmé Realizes The Elements of Systemic Racism that Holds Many Black Hairstylist Back
ENSPIRE Contributor: LaShonda Thompson
Just in time for New York Fashion Week, TRESemmé is announcing the return of the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund, an annual $100,000 scholarship program created to advance the careers of Black women aspiring to be professional hairstylists. The program is part of TRESemmé’s three-tier action plan to elevate the Black community in beauty and fashion. As part of the Fund’s second anniversary, TRESemmé is opening applications to the next class of stylists and will invest in continued education to equitable treatment of Black women in and out of the styling chair.
While the first year of the Future Stylists Fund focused on bringing diverse talent into the industry and increasing representation, for its second year, TRESemmé is expanding the program by bringing awareness to the education deficit within the industry.
“We know that Black women have been underrepresented in the haircare industry due to a number of systemic barriers and biases, whether they are sitting in the styling chair or standing behind it,” said Esi Eggleston Bracey, EVP, and COO Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever NA. “Our long-term goal is to achieve equity for Black women through representation and education so that ultimately every woman regardless of her hair type or hair texture can receive quality haircare.”
In 2020, TRESemmé conducted two national studies on textured hair biases, which uncovered that stylists lack education and training for styling and caring for textured, curly, and coily hair types. The studies found that:
- An overwhelming number of Black women (86%) have reported challenges when it comes to consistent, quality haircare at salons, including difficulty finding a stylist who could care for their type/texture of hair and even outright discrimination or bias due to their hair type1.
- Surveyed stylists agree that education is the top growth driver that would help them advance in their career (40%) and three in four stylists (75%) wish they had more training in how to style Black hair2.
TRESemmé’s expanded initiative intends to tackle the training gap by providing access to textured-focused training for hair professionals in the industry. Few cosmetology schools offer training in textured hair, and state licensing authorities rarely require it. That is why TRESemmé will be partnering with a textured hair expert to broaden access to the education needed to properly train both new and tenured stylists on how to style and care for textured, curly, and coily hair types in their professional careers. The training program and educational curriculum will be made available to stylists in early 2022.
Future Stylists Fund Application
Starting today through Oct. 10, 2021, aspiring Black stylists interested in attending an accredited cosmetology school or currently enrolled in an accredited cosmetology school to become hair professionals can apply to the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund at www.tresemmefuturestylistsfund.com.
TRESemmé will review submitted applications and select 10 recipients who will each receive the following benefits:
- Funding: $10,000 toward tuition to an accredited cosmetology school of their choice. Socioeconomic status is one element of systemic racism that holds many Black women back. TRESemmé aims to create opportunities for more aspiring Black stylists to earn their professional hairstylist license by offsetting the cost of formal training.
- Experiences: The brand will offer industry access and career-advancing opportunities to recipients, ranging from paid hairstyling gigs, exposure through TRESemmé brand channels, and coaching from members of the TRESemmé family. Black hairstylists face several challenges in the industry, from education to opportunity, so these experiences are another way to help break down barriers and foster meaningful career growth for the recipients.
- Exposure: Exclusive exposure through the TRESemmé channels and community, in addition to mentorship and development resources from members of the TRESemmé network.
A selection committee will review applications and help choose the 10 recipients. This year’s powerhouse group of women are leaders in beauty, fashion, and entertainment industries, known for their dedication to advancing women and advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion:
- Meagan Good, Actress, Director, Activist
- Lacy Redway, Unilever Global Stylist & Celebrity Hair Artist
- Nai’vasha, TRESemmé Stylist & Entrepreneur
- Sandrine Charles, Founder, Owner of Sandrine Charles Consulting and Co-Founder of the Black in Fashion Council
- Esi Eggleston Bracey, Chief Operating Officer, EVP Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever North America
This year, new to the selection committee are celebrity hairstylists Lacy Redway and Nai’vasha and actress and activist, Meagan Good, to shed light on the real issues. The issues black women face in the styling chair, even those in Hollywood.
“Every Black woman, even a famous actress, has experienced bias in the salon chair, whether that means we’ve been charged extra because of our hair type or received inadequate service by a professional inexperienced with textured hair,” said Meagan Good. “I am so proud to team up with TRESemmé to ensure women – both stylists and those in their chairs – provide and receive superior service no matter their hair type or skin color.”
To learn more about the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund, keep up with applicants, and other TRESemmé news, visit https://www.tresemme.com/us/en/about-us/future-stylists-fund.html or follow @Tresemme #TRESFUTUREFUND on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.