Why We Need Texture Experts!

Dec 1, 2016 3:25:22 PM

christo-cuttingI was flipping through Allure magazine's Hair Inspiration story in the September issue, waiting to be inspired. Instead, I was horrified.

On one page, the "Before" photo showed a black woman with crossed arms and an unhappy look on her face. While her hair needed a little style and a trim, it was far preferable to the "After" photo. What was touted as "Big, Healthy Curls" in the "After" was actually a head of hair that had obviously been brushed. We're not talking about a beautiful afro. We're talking about hair brushed straight out of her head in a way that made it clear that the stylist had little to no idea how to work with coily hair. If it wasn't a copyright infringement, I'd share the photo so you could see, but it's a look you're probably familiar with if you have ever brushed your hair dry. "Don't try to tame (curls) - just shape them a little," the stylist says in the article, he "brushed out the model's curls before snipping off the ends in dry, one-inch sections." This probably sounds painfully similar to haircuts we've all had from stylists in the past. "Even a small trim can give natural hair a completely new look." That "new look" is not one likely to make any natural-haired woman happy.

Seeing this brought to mind the much-maligned TODAY show makeover earlier this summer of a black woman's hair by a  beauty expert, Deepica Mutyala (pictured above), who seemed to have little to no experience working with a head of highly textured hair. In an effort to show an easy summer style, the model's head of beautiful curls were destroyed as the expert tried to create a side ponytail, separating her curls to give her a "bang" effect. The final look was laughable - actually it was painful to watch. The makeover - which some bloggers called the worst makeover ever - went viral.

"I've seen beds perform better hairstyles!" said one poster.

"I was laughing all the way through the makeovers. I really thought it was a joke, like 'April Fools Day' in August. But, unfortunately, it was for real. Cringe-worthy segment," said another poster.

In this case Deepica was slammed on social media and fortunately she handled the backlash with humility, an epic apology, and an eagerness to learn. She's not the first and certainly won't be the last to make a mistake styling curls, we can only hope that everyone learns from the experience the way Deepica did.

Anyone who has been around me for any amount of time has heard me talk about this big, glaring issue in our curly community.

Yes, we have plenty of amazing products for curls, coils and waves. Yes, we're seeing celebrities and models wearing gorgeous natural styles. But in 2016, most stylists still don't know how to work with texture. In fact cosmetology schools still don't teach their students about how to work with texture.
You heard me right.
Stylists can leave school without knowing how to work with the hair that more than 60 percent of the population is born with.
That's not to say that there aren't stylists versed in working with curls and coils. In fact, there are a growing number of texture experts. So why not get one of those experts to showcase the amazing techniques that truly do inspire women to embrace their texture?


Michelle Breyer

Written by Michelle Breyer

Michelle Breyer (michelle@texturem­ediainc.com) is the co-founder of content and ecommerce platform Naturall­yCurly.com and TextureMedia. By engaging beauty enthusiasts through original content, branded entertai­nment, social media, product reviews and commerce, TextureMedia influences up to $5 billion in hair care sales each year. Its monthly social, consumer reach is 26 million across a portfolio of digital brands, including its Market Research & Insights division, CurlyNikki and Naturall­yCurly.