These four Black women have helped make the hair care industry more inclusive – here’s how
Written by Lawrencia Nelson
The Black hair industry has come a long way, and it’s in part down to these four trailblazing women.
It’s officially Black History Month in the UK – a whole four weeks of recognising the achievements and contributions of Black Brits, giving us all a chance to celebrate the lives and stories of individuals who’ve made a significant difference in the Black community.
So, what better time to champion four remarkable women who’ve been making waves in the hair industry? It’s no secret that it’s an industry that’s historically failed to cater to the needs of women of colour, and as a result there was a lot of work to be done to tackle the inherent racism that still exists – despite the fact that a recent report showed that Black women are more likely to spend nine times more than their non-Black counterparts on hair care.
However, there’s been tremendous change in the last ten years: not only have women of colour have gone out of their way to steer for change due to racial profiling and micro-aggressions they’re faced with in stores when purchasing hair care, but there’s progression in terms of the availability Afro-Caribbean products. Instead of being confined to places like PAKS, I can now purchase my favourite hair gel Tesco – something my 16-year-old self would never have believed.
And in a world where racial inequality and injustices still exist, and where a lack of change and racial tension is still prevalent, it’s important to celebrate the pioneers that have opened doors for us. Challenging what was perceived as the norm and breaking cultural barriers, I’m paying homage to these four women in the British hair care industry who’ve made it their mission to fight for inclusivity and build a welcoming space for everybody.
Jamelia Donaldson, founder of Treasure Tress
Tendai Moyo and Ugo Agbai, founders of Ruka Hair
Charlotte Mensah, founder and creative director of Hairlounge
Main image: Jamelia Donaldson, Charlotte Mensah, Tendai Moyo and Ugo Agbai