All hair has its own specific density (the number of strands per follicle), porosity, and texture, mostly due to genetics. Hair is a fiber, akin to silk or cotton. Any designer or dressmaker will confirm that the techniques used to manipulate these materials vary greatly. If you try to treat these materials the same way, you’ll most likely damage some of the fabric and get a disastrous outcome. Hairstyling is no different. You must understand the texture to bring out the glory of the fiber itself.
Looking at hair as a fiber with different textures has expanded the world of hairstyling and hair education and led to an increased awareness of the need for more skill development, new protocols, and updated language about hair. It’s not about Black hair and white hair; it’s straight, kinky, and everything in between. The craft of styling hair is not about race; it’s a matter of texture, technique, and experience — all of which start with education.
The Hair Educators
When it comes to a universal approach to hairstyling, many hair educators are taking marked steps to address the needs of the ever-evolving marketplace. Cosmetology programs across the country, whether larger institutions or local beauty schools, have started to address the need for more education with highly textured hair.
A spokesperson for Aveda Institutes says the company always featured texture as part of its curriculum where stylists had some level of experience with multiple types. But in 2012, the company designed a more formal curriculum around textured hair, with a goal to eventually take a more holistic approach to highly textured hair. In 2019, the Aveda Global Artistic Team for Texture, a five-person group comprised of Aveda network stylists, led by Renee Gadar, global artistic director, texture, for Aveda, was created to update the company’s current texture curriculum. In the summer of 2020, Aveda released its expanded, comprehensive texture-education program to Aveda Institutes, partner salons, and Aveda stores. It includes robust training for cut, style, color, care, and, importantly, culture for textured manes and the clients who possess them.