My kick-start in Afro Hair education

My kick-start in Afro Hair education

So you want to broaden your hair skills and become a fully competent hairstylist? You need afro hairstyling and hair care skills. But if you have no personal experience, where do you start?

I started with reading up on hair hydration theory and curl patterns from Afro Hair blogs and accounts on Instagram and Twitter (I’ll add some links to a future blog post). I’ve been slowly learning about this for a few years now but on and off, and without a real focus.

Over the past few years I have been following and listening to Black women who know their hair better than anyone. I’ve also started networking with Afro haircare specialists and educators to learn more about the needs of the community.

That has helped me see what I need to focus on, outside of my own personal goals of being prepared for proper haircare and styling on fashion shows. I’ve never let a Black model go out on the runway with substandard hair, but it’s never been flawless. As the makeup artist I am fully capable of executing beautiful, flawless makeup looks. So why not hair? As a session stylist and sometimes catwalk hairstylist, I should be on top of it and know my shit to the same level as my makeup application.

To not be 100% confident in afro hair skills is my failure to prioritise my afro hair education. To remedy this, I really started focusing on getting my afro hair skills up to scratch in lockdown 3.

First step was a free mini course in theory by GeGe from Glam Gorgeous Hair (available here

That’s just a taster, but she has a more detailed course, Introduction To Multi-textured Hair for just £197 covering detangling, washing, conditioning, natural braids, cornrows, twists and more.

I’ve been wanting to get hands on training for years but have been limited to most educators being London-based and so I’d have to save more money for accommodation, arrange for my children to be taken care of while I was away, take time off work etc and that meant that I was always putting it off. With lockdown and the increase in remote learning, this provided a golden opportunity to get that hands on education, so I searched for afro hair specialist and educators currently offering zoom classes.

I found Tifanny Pierre and liked her work and saw she had a vast amount of experience. As it happens she’s local and based in my city. That’s an added bonus for future courses or booking 1to1 training later on. I attended her one-day introduction to afro haircare & styling. The course fee was £150 and included the kit we’d be needing of the hands-on tuition part. There is a 2 day course that also covers braiding and cornrows for £220.

Since then I’ve been practising the curl setting techniques on my training head. Each time I get quicker at it and my technique improves, so the curls set better.

My next step is learning braiding and cornrow techniques. I’ve attended an introductory masterclass by the fantastic Michelle Garande. It has given me new skills to practice and I want to really nail braids and cornrows before I start 5-day Afro Hair Course with Michelle in June.

Michelle Garande – from her free Buns & Ponytails masterclass

Courses I recommend

GeGe Glam Gorgeous Hair – Introduction to Hydration & Moisturisation

Tifanny Pierre – 2 day Introduction to Afro hair

Michelle Garande – literally any of her courses! Michelle does the afro hair training days for a number of the professional tv & film training schools. Available here

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