Rep. Velázquez introduces bill to boost textured hair training in cosmetology schools

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez’s Texture Positive Act of 2024 would incentivize cosmetology schools to teach courses about textured hair.
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Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-7), who represents Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods, including Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Woodhaven, introduced a new bill on Friday, June 28, that would promote textured hair education and training in cosmetology schools nationwide.

The bill, dubbed the Texture Positive Act of 2024, would aim to increase the number of professionals with knowledge of working with textured hair, which refers to hair that is coiled, curly or wavy in its natural state. 

The Texture Positive Act of 2024 would implement a federal grant program for states to award grants to minority or women-owned businesses and nonprofits experienced in providing textured hair education. The organizations would partner with cosmetology schools to create a more inclusive curriculum program.  

Rep. Velázquez believes that the Texture Positive Act will help people who feel marginalized when they enter a hair salon or work in the beauty, fashion and entertainment industries and feel stuck because there are not enough professionals to do their hair.

“This lack of trained professionals not only hurts communities of color that tend to have textured hair, but it also does a disservice to professionals’ post-cosmetology school careers when they enter the workforce and lack the techniques to service diverse clientele,” she said. “I am proud to introduce the Texture Positive Act of 2024, which will help foster new partnerships between experienced small and minority women-owned businesses and cosmetology schools to produce more trained professionals in textured hair.”

The textured hair industry is currently worth around $2.5 billion. However, cosmetology schools are not required to train students to deal with that specific hair type.

Additionally, a 2020 Hair Bias Report study conducted by TRESemme revealed that 86% of Black women surveyed had challenges finding consistent and quality service at salons. Challenges ranged from finding a stylist who can adequately care for their hair texture to facing blatant bias and discrimination at beauty salons.

The study also found that 65% percent of hairstylists expressed wanting more training on working with textured hair.

The Texture Positive Act of 2024 is endorsed by SAG-AFTRA, Youma’s Beauty, Professional Beauty Association (PBA), the Personal Care Products Council and Color of Change. The bill is also sponsored by other New York lawmakers, including Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-5), Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-9) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-13).