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Curly Nikki

Natural Hair Stylists Needed in the Fashion World

By January 27th, 20218 Comments

Natural Hair Stylists Needed in the Fashion World

by Kristian Richards via

Last week, Supermodel Jourdan Dunn unleashed her frustration at yet another fashion industry failure through a tweet that simply read: “I swear some people need to learn how to do black hair/skin.”

She made this comment from Paris, where she was taking part in two high-profile shows for designers Emmanuel Ungaro and Giambattista Valli. Although no details have emerged regarding any incidents that could have potentially taken place, it is likely that there was no dramatic fallout or huge outburst. Chances are that Dunn simply had enough of the lack of concern given to making sure that a woman of her color and with hair that has a dramatically different texture than that of her white counterparts was provided with someone capable of doing it.

Keeping Up With The Times

As more models of color make their way to magazines, billboards and runways, one issue that has not been resolved is how to make sure these women have natural hairstylists and makeup artists that are knowledgeable about textures and tones. It seems that, regardless of how diverse the models become, there is a lack of diversity in the people paid to make the models up.

The fashion industry has received a number of critiques about how it’s run, who it includes, what it represents to our society and how it affects the ways women perceive themselves. Similarly, the world of fashion has responded in kind, taking notes from the concerned mainstream and making tiny changes here and there to reflect the real world. Rail-thin, often-starving models have given way to a few plus-size starlets, and the diversity among models has grown to include women of all colors. Recently, Ford Models even put out a promotional ad that sought to highlight their diversity by featuring only black models, making the days where Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell were the only black models a thing of the past.

The Changing Face of Fashion

A study performed by Loop21 provided data showing that diversity was on the rise in fashion, specifically during fashion week in New York where over 200 runway shows featured models of African descent. There were only a few designers that had shows that were completely devoid of any models of color, or varying ethnic backgrounds, and featured only white models.

Slowly but surely the fashion industry is changing. But the bigger question surrounding this issue of diversity is how to make sure that black women and other women of color are given the same care, attention and precision that white models are given when it comes to perfecting their hair and makeup.

Behind the Stage

In addition to the need for increased diversity among models, another focus should be put on the need for natural hairstylists and make-up artists that are knowledgeable of different hair types and textures, capable of recognizing the subtleties of various skin tones and respectful of the need for the diversity behind the scenes, as well as in the spotlight.

Diversity is not merely a showcasing of different types of people, but the embracing all of cultures and colors. The fashion industry may be hiring more and more diverse models, but until they begin to hire makeup artists and natural stylists who are experts in the fields related to those diverse women, we cannot truly say the playing field is level.

What do you think about Jourdan’s tweet, and how the fashion industry can attract more natural hair stylists?


  • Unknown says:

    This post hit home on so many levels. Often times designers will love my natural curly hair, but want to go in a different direction aesthetic wise. I get it, which is why I either do my own hair backstage or I wear a wig and they can burn, tease and damage that as much as they want to. You should see the looks I get when I walk into the hair and make up rooms with my fro. I've literally had a team of stylists convene and discuss what they could do with my hair, staring at me as if I am scientific anomoly or a Rubik's cube that needs to be solved lol. The positive about it though, is my hair is always a topic of conversation and I usually end up dispensing natural hair tips and techniques to the other models, designers and
    stylists. What can I say, I guess that's the price we pay for standing out and being so fierce!

  • Anonymous says:

    I AGREE!! the fashion world is obviously dismissing the ethnic diversity and REAL BEAUTIES of this world. surprise surprise though, it's not as popular and the need for afro stylists is low. Im always proud of Jourdan, her style, politeness and embodiment of true beauty. Her comment is what ive been thinking all my life, I'm nearly 18 and for heavens sake even being as mixedrace as I am, in this day and age, you would think its common to find a hairdresser who knows whatta do. but no. maybe one day… RANT OVER hahahaha

  • Maria says:

    Jourdan has long healthy relaxed hair and im sure she gets pissed off when stylists mess with it, as we all do. But she is right. Learning to take of black hair should be taught in beauty schools! Just like cutting coloring etc. Its a damn shame that not even Black hairstylists know how to take care of our hair.

  • JauneBanane says:

    I am really shocked by this as i would have thought that it would make sense to hire stylists that can style black hair?! *:O* I mean surely a bit of training can be done the fashion industry makes a LOT of money so why hasn;t somwthing simple like that being thought of? The amounted of talented stylist that can style black hair is enormous they can easily scout for the best stylists and hold trials etc….. i am not just refering to black stylist as they are white stylist that can style black hair well. This is all routed in the sylists training they should read The Science of Black Hair by Audery Sivathothy that way they could deal with all hair types!

  • Linden says:

    Why would they waste money on "natural hair stylist" when most of these "black" models 1. stay in weaves whether working or not. 2. Wear big 'natural' looking weaves for many photoshoots already.

    Plus the majority of top agencies are based in Europe originally, the majority of fashion models are European with mostly similar hair types already. They COULD just not hire Black models at all if it's going to be an issue – but I doubt it will be if they enjoy their job I mean.

  • stephanie says:

    Runway shows like the ones mentioned above are always about the clothes rather than hair and makeup; which is an extention of the looks. I feel like when it comes to fashion, it's more about the designer or photographer's vision about what will look good with the clothes and not about displaying what's realistic or being part of a movement. Having said that, I've seen curly, wavy to teased out big hair on all models of all colors in runway shows from time to time. Everybody is rocking the same look or something similar, but uniform. There is alot of room for inspiration there. As far as makeup, same thing it's the visionary's conception on what will go best with the clothes. Alot of the behind the scene artists are black, latino, etc. (MAC and NARS for example) and they carry out the vision. On another note, I just want to see more models of color period. Hair and makeup are minor to me when discussing faces of color and the fashion world.

  • Bee says:

    I definitely feel Jourdan on her tweet. I used to model, and had both great and terrible experiences with hair and makeup. Especially once I started wearing my hair natural, I would just style it myself unless I truly trusted the stylist. Otherwise, some people would just play around in my head and have me walk out of the trailer looking a hot mess…

    I don't think the fashion world has to try too hard to attract more diverse stylists. They are ALL OUT THERE, and many are trying to make their way into the biz. The fashion world is very clique-ish…but new stylists just need to be embraced, or find a way to create their own lane.

  • hair loss products says:

    I love the hairstyle of that model. What's the name of that hairstyle? It looks normal but something on it that make it wow.

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