What They Didn't Explain
The beauty industry is so diverse. From hair to makeup to skincare, we see all types of skin tones, skin complexions, and hair textures. Before fully entering into the hair, makeup, or beauty industry, we go through training. We are trained to perform specific techniques, practice safety habits, and determine what products or methods work best for different skin complexions and skin types. But, they didn't explain that becoming a diverse artist will be hard and challenging.
One day while I was going through my beginning stages of training at Cosmetology School, a leader came up to me one Saturday and was amazed at my work. She then proceeded to tell me that we as Black or African Americans will have to work extra hard in this industry. It kind of went in one ear and out the other because I was so into the belief that no matter what, I'll be great and I will attract all types of people from different backgrounds.
Boy was I wrong and she was right.
During my last stages of Cosmetology School, we did clients hair and these were the moments in which the words " we have to work harder" pierced through my head and lingered. I was assigned clients from all races and ethnic groups. Those who matched my skin complexion was great and encouraged me to do their hair, while those who where opposite my skin complexion and didn't have the extra curly hair doubted me. The first thing out their mouths wasn't "Hello." The first words were "Do you know how to do my type of hair?". That was the most popular question from almost all clients. They would even ask leaders who have years of experience doing hair and all the leaders would say " hair is hair" and I would think to myself "what makes your hair so special then everyone else or better yet, my hair." Not only was those future professionals with my skin complexion were ask that question, all future professionals from different races and ethnic groups were asked that same exact question, "Do you know how to do my type of hair?" And to be honest, the school didn't make it no better because they were quick to match skin color with skin color, clients to students with the same skin complexion as theirs. I didn't fully notice till one of my colleagues came up to me, with a different skin complexion and ethnic background than mines, and asked me why are they not giving him clients who have a hair texture different from his or who are different from his skin complexion or ethnic group. He wanted to learn how to work with all textures of hair and one day become a diverse hairstylist.
And surely, this same behavior is the same in the real world.
Now, as a Licensed Cosmetologist, it is so hard for me to be diverse. Starting out in one salon as a shampoo tech, I was constantly looked by those who hair texture was different from mines. I was only shampooing their hair and I was questioned with their eyes. Even while watching other experienced hairstylists in the salon, I noticed that most of them, besides three hairstylists, only serviced those with the same hair texture, straight or wavy hair textures. I am not saying it is impossible to be a diverse hairstylist. It is hard to be a diverse hairstylist, you have to prove your diversity over and over again. Working in a diverse salon will make it a lot easier to prove yourself, but being an independent artist will be a lot harder.
I really believed that becoming a Licensed Cosmetologist would have prove to others that I am a diverse hairstylist/ makeup artist.
Boy was I wrong and boy is it hard.
Everyone from different ethnic groups can go through this, it's not one particular. We have to continue to believe in ourselves and prove them wrong. Artist have the toughest skin. We are trained to put our beliefs and confidence first and the rest falls after. We master to listen to our hearts and do what we love to do. Telling us we can't do something pushes us to do it past all expectations.
Hair is Hair
Makeup is Makeup
Skin is Skin
With that being said,