Toronto woman wants to bring first-ever textured hair education to beauty schools

A Toronto woman is working to create a curriculum that will bring awareness about textured hair to beauty schools in Canada. 

T’kehya Prentice-Cupid has been a professional hairstylist for the last six years. She taught herself about how to care and style curly and afro-textured hair of all kinds. 

Throughout her career, Prentice-Cupid has noticed a gap in the beauty industry, where she says salons and schools aren’t provided with the proper training on how to care for non-Eurocentric hair textures. 

“There’s this whole facade that textured hair representation exists but unfortunately it’s mainly an emphasis on white or mixed people with curly hair,” said Prentice-Cupid. 

The stylist once worked in a salon that hung advertisements showing images of women with afro-textured hair. Yet, they didn’t have any products or services available to take care of inquiring customers who had this type of hair. 

Prentice-Cupid says the gap in the hair industry followed her around her whole career, it wasn’t until lockdowns  and the uprising of Black Lives Matter movements that prompted her to think deeper on how she could fill what’s been missing. 

She created a poll on her social media, asking other hair professionals the question of: How comfortable do you feel taking care of textured hair?

Prentice-Cupid was stunned at the results, turned out that 90 per cent of those who responded said they didn’t feel confident at all because of the lack of training they got in school. Some of them even claimed to have never touched afro-textured hair in their entire careers. 

Shortly after conducting this poll, she began brainstorming and developing classes for Textured Hair EDU, a curriculum that’s bringing how-to videos, guides, and other courses to beauty schools about how to treat textured hair.  

“People need to be trained on the science of textured hair, how to manage it and the history behind it, right now, not many people have those skills and there isn’t much available for them through school to learn,” said Prentice-Cupid. 

The goal of Textured Hair EDU is so that people with textured hair can feel confident and comfortable to walk into any salon they’d like and know that the person taking care of their hair, understands what they’re doing, through and through. 

Prentice-Cupid says she wants to open up conversations with industry experts to bring awareness about the many poor experiences people with textured hair have when going to mainstream salons.

Although the curriculum is still being built, Prentice-Cupid says she’s already developed a silk press class teaching people how to properly wash, blowdry, trim and prep for the service, as well as a colouring video that she completed last month. 

In general, she wants her curriculum to train people on the basics of textured hair, such as understanding different curl types and how they retain moisture, along with a breakdown of what each looks like. 

Prentice-Cupid recently put up a GoFundMe page where she’s accepting donations to help her buy more resources, like film spaces and production equipment to create content for her courses. 

A formal website for Textured Hair EDU is set to go live in January.