The Black Lives Matter movement has spurred conversations about racism and the systematic structures that make life harder for BIPOC. One of these is the accessibility of hairdressers who know how to properly treat and style Afro and curly hair.
Hairstylist Chrissy Zemura is pushing TAFE to include mandatory training about Afro and curly hair in the Certificate III in Hairdressing course.
“As it currently stands, Afro Hair & Curly Hair is not included in the Certificate 3 Hairdressing in Australia,” Zemura wrote on Instagram.”This is something we need to change quickly.
“It is important for us as an industry to be on the right side of history and make the right changes to accommodate our diverse nation.”
According to Fashion Journal, Zemura has been a hairstylist for eight years and works on all different types of hair — not something that all hairdressers can do.
To educate future hairdressers on Afro and curly hair, Zemura has outlined the eight subjects that need to be added to the Cert III Hairdressing curriculum. These subjects span everything from the science of Afro hair, to scalp care, cutting and styling as well as chemically treating Afro hair and product knowledge.
As Zemura points out, the 2017 Australian Census found that the combined population of First Nations People, Torres Strait Island Australians, African Australians and Caribbean Australians stands at 1,178,365 across Australia.
“That is over a million people who do not have easy access to a hairdresser who is well equipped to take care of their hair,” Zemura wrote. “Salons who do not offer afro/curly hair services are missing out on a huge opportunity.”
This call to change the curriculum also highlights how lacking the hair industry in Australia is when it comes to textured hair. Not only is that unacceptable for those with Afro, curly or coily hair who have fewer options when picking a hairstylist, but it’s also letting down our hairdressers, who are lacking an important skillset.
“Australia has a large number of models male and female that have Afro/Curly Hair, local ones as well as international ones,” Zemura said of the fashion industry.
“Models are either left with their hair not really done or they bring their own products to shoots and shows. Every model deserves to be in the hands of a trained hairdresser.”
You can sign the ‘Include Afro Hair Education In Certificate III Hairdressing‘ petition via the change.org website.