When actors arrive on a movie or television set, there’s almost always a beauty team ready to do their makeup and style their hair before filming begins.
But for many black actors, the hairstyling process can often be more complicated. The stylists on set aren’t trained to work with natural hair textures, which can mean that actors of color end up styling their own hair.
Actors have been sharing these frustrating experiences on Twitter under the trending hashtag #ActingWhileBlack, and many of them have similar stories.
Yvette Nicole Brown, who starred in NBC’s “Community,” shared on Twitter that many black actresses, including herself, come to set with their hair already done so they can ensure it’s styled properly.
Most black actresses come to a new set w/ their hair done (me) or bring their wigs & clip-ins w/them. It’s either that or take a chance that you will look crazy on screen. Many of us also bring our own foundation. One too many times seeing no shade that matches you will learn ya! https://t.co/mGAzpuoKtb
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019
She added that many black actresses also bring their own makeup to set because there aren’t always foundations available that match their skin tone.
Most Black actors get their hair cut or styled outside of set, often at their own expense because Hollywood hairstylists are one size fit all and that ‘all’ does not include Black hair. This has been my experience for the last 20 years in the business & it hasn’t changed at all. https://t.co/3kniFzAET5
— Verbal The Rapper (@malcolmbarrett) March 10, 2019
“Hollywood hairstylists are one size fit all and that ‘all’ does not include Black hair,” he wrote on Twitter. “This has been my experience for the last 20 years in the business and it hasn’t changed at all.”
This issue extends to the fashion industry as well. Model Olivia Anakwe, who has walked the runway for labels including Oscar de la Renta, Miu Miu and Marc Jacobs, recently wrote a viral Instagram post describing the discrimination she has faced on set because of her hair texture.
She described one incident during Paris Fashion Week when nobody on set knew how to work with her natural hair.