Talking to Metro newspaper, Anne discussed multiple issues effecting the representation of the BAME community, including a lack of training in Afro hair and a need to recruit more diversly across all ethnic groups.
Anne believes passionately that inclusivity is essential for the future of the industry and hopes her peers will support her as she pushes for change. ‘In my view, if you call yourself a professional hairdresser, the onus is on you to be trained in every type of hair’ she said.
‘Afro hair is just another hair texture that I love working with and it just feels wrong to not be equipped with 360 hairdressing skills and be trained, competent and confident to work with all hair types. Hairdressers should take responsibility for their own CPD and learn to work with all hair types so that they are inclusive and multi-skilled to ultimately give all clients the choice of which salon they feel comfortable going to.’
Anne has been working with Afro hair since she opened her first salon over thirty years ago. Determined to welcome all ethnicities and hair types, she trained in afro salons and has since been shortlisted on multiple occasions for Afro Hairdresser of the Year.
‘As a businesswoman, why would I not equip my salon to meet the demands of my client-base? It’s both ethical and just common sense too… Individually, I want to ensure that my team is skilled up to meet demand, but I am certainly not promoting myself as a destination salon for afro hair. We are not trying to compete, but we want play our part in ensuring the services are available and then the choice is there for the client.’
A need to amplify black hairdressers was also raised, with Anne expressing concern over a ‘huge and wrong imbalance. I can name on one hand the high-profile black hairdressers and I do see new names coming in at grass-root level but it is not enough.’ She went on to praise industry organisations such as The Fellowship for British Hairdressing and the British Beauty Council for ‘actively shifting their offering for afro training’ and ‘providing opportunities for black hairdressers to grow their skills and profiles.’
Anne also called on salons to be more inclusive when it comes to employing staff: ‘I consciously recruit from all ethnic groups represented in my city and employ stylists with a diverse range of skills while creating space for equal opportunity and advancement within our team…Representation within my salon is important to me and my clients. I want my clients to feel comfortable in the salon, to be seen and heard and this meets our one goal of all clients leaving having had a great experience and with great looking hair.’