Texas needs to change cosmetology requirements


Ana la Rosa Grilo writes that Texas needs to change its requirements for cosmetology students.

Ana la Rosa Grillo, Staff Writer

For decades there has been a lack of hair stylists that know how to cut, style or dye natural black hair; the reason being, it simply isn’t taught in most cosmetology schools. This is due to deep rooted anti-blackness. Our hair has never been liked or seen as beautiful in America, up until very recently.

According to Glamour, only 19 states require specific training for natural hair, which I find completely ridiculous.

Most of the time the only curly hair service your nearest salon will offer you is a blowout, silk press or perm. All of these either loosen your curl pattern or straighten your hair, since natural hair has been seen as unprofessional or ugly. You also usually get charged an extra fee since the stylist has to detangle your “matted” hair, which in reality isn’t matted at all, just in its tangled natural state. This is incredibly unfair because this only happens when you have curly or coily hair.

Some people may argue that if it’s so difficult to find people to do black hair, why don’t you just perm it. However, I argue that we shouldn’t continue to damage and adapt our hair to fit into the white beauty standard. We should be able to do whatever we want with our hair without getting discriminated against.

We should get the same treatment as people with curly or straight hair. Our hair is not “more difficult” as people like to claim. And even if it is, it is their job as stylists to do hair, all hair. If a stylist claims that someone’s hair is too hard to do then they shouldn’t be a stylist.

The less than subtle discrimination against black people’s hair, and especially black women’s hair, causes them to be more anxious about their hair and what it looks like, according to The Good Hair Study. This isn’t okay.

This is about more than not having hairstylists; this is about the fact that natural black hair is still not fully accepted in society, and it’s apparent by the lack of knowledge on black hair in the hair industry. I propose that Texas makes it mandatory that cosmetology schools teach how to do natural black hair.