Gabrielle Union Sheds Light on Lack of Hair Stylists for People of Color in Entertainment Industry

In response to Olivia Anakwe's post about 'texture discrimination', the 'L.A.'s Finest' actress joins a chorus of African-American actors in voicing their frustrations over the matter.

AceShowbiz - Gabrielle Union has called out hairstylists working in Hollywood who have no idea how to style black hair.

Following on from model Olivia Anakwe speaking out against "texture discrimination" in an Instagram post, after a fashion brand failed to hire a backstage hairstylist with knowledge of styling textured hair despite booking her to wear cornrows during a Paris Fashion Week show, a chorus of African-American actors, including Gabrielle, "Insecure" actress and writer Natasha Rothwell and "Community" star Yvette Nicole Brown, also shared their frustrations.

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This message is to spread awareness & hopefully reach anyone in the hair field to expand their range of skills. Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair. I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done. If I am asked to wear my natural hair to a show, the team should prepare the style just as they practice the look and demo for non-afro hair. I arrived backstage where they planned to do cornrows, but not one person on the team knew how to do them without admitting so. After one lady attempted and pulled my edges relentlessly, I stood up to find a model who could possibly do it. After asking two models and then the lead/only nail stylist, she was then taken away from her job to do my hair. This is not okay. This will never be okay. This needs to change. No matter how small your team is, make sure you have one person that is competent at doing afro texture hair care OR just hire a black hairstylist! Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others? It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class. I was ignored, I was forgotten, and I felt that. Unfortunately I’m not alone, black models with afro texture hair continuously face these similar unfair and disheartening circumstances. It’s 2019, it’s time to do better. || #NaturalHair #ModelsofColor #BlackHairCare #HairCare #Message #Hair #Hairstyling #Backstage #BTS #AfroTexturedHair #Afro #POC #Braids #Message #Spreadtheword #Speak #Awareness #Growth #WorkingTogether #BlackGirlMagic #Melanin

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"The pressure to "just be happy they picked you & you got a job, don't ask for the SAME things every other actor/model gets on GP..." Listen, if u stay quiet, u WILL have bald spots, hair damage, look NUTS (tho they will tell u its cuuuuuuuuute)," the "Bring It On" star tweeted.

She also drew attention to the difficulties that black hair stylists face with getting into the industry.

"What alot of non-industry folks don't realize is that u can't just use ur normal hairstylists/barbers/makeup artists on a union job (most jobs are union) Those artists HAVE to be IN THE UNION & getting them in has NEVER been easy or smooth. Ever. Like never," she shared.

"PSA: If you cast a POC (person of colour)— And thank you for doing so!—you also have to hire someone who knows how to do ethnic hair," tweeted "Love, Simon" actress Natasha. "Not someone who's "comfortable with it" but someone who actually knows how to style ethnic hair types. Congratulations on advancing to the next level of inclusion!".

And actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who played Black Manta in "Aquaman", sympathised with Olivia after she shared she was "ignored" and "forgotten" by stylists backstage, explaining the issue affects many black actors in Hollywood as well.

"100% of Black Actor/Actress I've spoken to on this topic face the same thing in film and television," he said. "Hair Stylists in our industry should have proper training, AND be able to show proof. Too often they begin to 'figure it out' the second we sit in the chair."

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