The Australian hairdressing industry has a problem: Afro styling education is not a focus in the Certificate III Hairdressing course (editor’s note: “African hair and coarse textured” hair styling was only introduced into the TAFE NSW syllabus in 2016). The issue has gone viral on social media following racial discussions in relation to the unjust death of George Floyd, whereby Australian stylists and BIPOC members of the beauty community spoke out about their lack of understanding when it comes to textured hair, and their uncomfortable experiences with unskilled stylists respectively.
The following statement was released by TAFE NSW (published by Pedestrian TV) in relation to claims that afro hair styling was left out:
“As a Registered Training Organisation, TAFE NSW delivers the Certificate III in Hairdressing in line with the national training package, which is routinely updated in consultation with industry. The Australian Industry and Skills Committee is responsible for the national training package, and TAFE NSW develops its course materials to meet the national requirements.
The national training package requires training across all natural hair types including European, Asian, Euro-Asian and African, different textures including coarse, medium and fine; and different hair movements including straight, wavy, natural curl and chemical curl. TAFE NSW courses are delivered in line with these requirements.”
Regardless, Australian stylists and hairdressers aren’t confident when it comes to cutting, colouring and styling textured hair – and it’s a problem that needs addressing.
Esteemed Australian salon Edwards and Co noticed the same thing when they did a social call out for hair styling tutorial requests. They decided to channel this into something productive, creating an IGTV episode of The Styling Diaries with one of their afro-haired clients Nina and stylist Natalia.
Edwards and Co stylist Natalia had the following to say about her experience styling afro hair texture:
“I have taught myself how to style afro hair, because I am a hairdresser and it is my responsibility to know how to service all clients. Every hairdresser should be able to look after any hair texture that grows out of anybody’s head. Everyone who walks into one of our salons has the right to our services, and as hairdressers we need to have enough respect to take the time to learn how to service afro hair, until the time comes that it is a mandatory requirement of a hairdressing apprenticeship.” Natalia Humphrey.
See the video below:
In addition to the above, Edwards and Co are also urging their clients and followers to sign a petition on change.org to have afro styling education added to the Certificate III Hairdressing course. We urge you to please consider signing the petition yourself here.