As it currently stands, students in the United Kingdom and hairdressing/barbering apprentices are not require to learn to cut and style textured or afro hair. This has lead a divide, leaves certain minorities with only a few options to seek hair treatments.
Salon owner, Meleika Lawrence, who is based in Manchester where she specialises in textured and afro hair but trains all her staff and juniors to work with all hair types. “We’ve had people come in saying they’ve been turned away from a salon and that stylists were intimidated by their hair texture”, she told Sky News. Her clients travel as far from Wales and Leeds to get their hair done by Ms Lawrence and her team.
She then goes on to say, “Manchester is such a diverse city, as is the UK, so it’s fantastic that people are not going to be segregated or turned away from an establishment simply because of their hair type.”
While her current position in this space means her business is doing well, she is looking forward to more minority groups having more options moving forward.
This new standard will not only be undertaken by the hairdressing industry but also beauty therapy, and holistic therapies. This inclusive new approach will be worked into all relative services so all clients on matters of gender and race, as well as mental and physical health.
The National Occupational Standards (NOS) went on record in June (2021) and stated, “meet the needs of the UK’s diverse community in one standard”.
These new standards will help establish new qualifications principles and assist companies with creating job descriptions.
Part of programme which produces masterclasses to introduce hairdressers to textured hair, Celebrity stylist Dionne Smith told Sky News “We’re targeting people that have never dealt with textured hair, touched it, felt it. People are scared of it”, she continues “So we cover what the best products are for different hair types, and detangling – which is like the Bible for us: we can’t do anything without first detangling it”.
The British Beauty Council and the Hair And Beauty Industry Authority (Habia) set up a taskforce to support a revised NOS in 2019.