It is no secret that the fashion industry has a big issue when it comes to diversity.
Whether that is racial diversity or representation of different body types.
Particularly noticeable is also the lack of diversity behind the scenes when it comes to hair and makeup. A lot of times, (particularly caucasian) hair and makeup artists don’t have the right qualifications and skills to work on all different types of hair and skin tones.
Things have also been unequal for BIPOC stylists for a long time and they’ve been regularly receiving different treatment compared to their white counterparts; showing up unprepared and not being able to work on a range of complexions & hair types would be unacceptable for them, whereas non BIPOC stylists usually get a pass.
We were wondering: How many Hair and Makeup artists are actually qualified to work on different skin and hair types? How much discrimination is there still on fashion sets? Do hair and makeup artists get properly trained before heading out into the industry?
As part of our new podcast episode covering that exact topic, we spoke to some industry professionals who shared their personal experiences with us.
Understanding that there are different types of skin and hair and that there is no way that one approach can fit all, is crucial. Most of the time it is not the knowledge that’s missing but rather the experience. And especially in a time where diversity in fashion is as important as ever and in high demand, it is crucial to get a 360 qualification that allows you to work on everybody.
Luckily, a lot of colleges and hairdressing schools nowadays are teaching the importance of different hair types as part of their curriculum; which is important in order to improve the current status quo. That does not include all of them however.
People who aim to work in the creative field should make it an absolute priority to ensure that their degree and qualification meets the ability to work on all hair types and skin tones.
Unfortunately, fashion sets are still not a safe place for a lot of BIPOC models and stylists. There are instances where models are anxious before heading on set because they are concerned about the stylists not being qualified to work with different skin and hair types.
Overall there have been a few improvements in regards to diversity & inclusion but we are still far away from equal opportunities. Sets are still predominantly white, especially behind the camera.
To find out more about what noticeable changes are taking place in the fashion industry at the moment and what individuals can do to drive change in regards to diversity and representation, make sure you listen to the new episode of our podcast ‘Consciousness Beyond The Product’ featuring Serafina Woodward, Anu Elegbede and Zakiyah Shani.
As well as find out more on our Instagram account @sabinna_com