An Aesthetician Shares How to Give Black Skin Experts the Credit and Business They Deserve
As we aim to become more conscious shoppers by buying from more Black-owned businesses, much work can be done in the area of supporting more Black beauty industry professionals as well. There is no shortage of amazing makeup artists and talented hairstylists that are underrepresented in the beauty space out there, and we can all take steps to change that.
There's adjustments to be made on both the brand and consumer sides of things. For anyone wondering how you can make a difference, it's simple: frequent more Black-owned salons and seek out more diverse experts. To help lay out what exactly that looks like, Naeemah LaFond, hairstylist and global artistic director at Amika, created a guide on how to support Black hairstylists, and this started a chain reaction. Soon after, New York City-based makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran did the same for her field of work and most recently, Lakeisha Dale, aesthetician and founder of MelaSkin Studio, followed suit and created a guide on how to support Black aestheticians and skin experts.
"As black woman working in this industry, I have experienced microaggression and averse racism too often with clients and my peers," read Dale's Instagram caption. "I have been in situations where I have not felt supported when it comes to addressing these situations. I have been the 'trainer' without being compensated for it. I have worked for companies where the only representation was on the service provider level. I have been asked by white clients whether or not I have my license or gone to school, to validate me providing the service. It happens enough to become too much. These are some of the reasons Melaskin Studio was born. A place where black clientele is the priority. A place where we are both free of racism and microaggresion. Where my passion for teaching my people about skin wellness is appreciated. But I'd be doing my beauty community a disservice to not speak up about ways that I think black skin care professionals can be supported."
Keep reading to see all of her directives on how you can give more Black aestheticians the business and credit they deserve.
#1. Hire Black aestheticians (more than one).
#2. Hire Black educators and trainers to be a part of your training team. All aestheticians need to be versed in treating and caring for Black skin.
#3. Pay for your team to get advanced training on how to care for Black skin.
#4. Hire consultants who are experts in caring for Black skin to come in and help make the necessary adjustments.
#5. Carry products in your retail and back bar that can treat skin conditions of Black clientele.
#6. Support Black-owned skin-care lines by adding them to your retail.
#7. Highlight Black-owned skin-care brands, educators, and businesses at major trade shows (and in spa industry magazines).
#8. Read and educate yourself on racism, averse racism, and different type of microaggressions. Then work to develop a protocol for Black aestheticians to feel protected in those situations.
#9. Be more intentional with your brand inclusion. Hire more Black professionals to be a part of your marketing, client relations, and HR teams.
#10. If you are learning techniques from a Black aesthetician that is your peer, acknowledge them. Share their work. Collaborate with them.
#11. If you depend on the knowledge and expertise of a Black aesthetician that works for you, create an opportunity for their role to evolve (title and financially). Don't just capitalize off of it.