With an eight-year history as a professional hairstylist, Chrissy Zemura, owner of Zemeura Salon has had plenty of experience dealing with all types of hair. Unfortunately, not many hairstylists in Australia can say the same. In Australia, there is a significant shortage of stylists who can properly care for curly, textured, and Afro hair, and many women with afro hair have been turned away from hair salons.
Many women in Australia with afro hair had been turned away by hairstylists who did not have afro hair knowledge or experience.
Zemura has a long list of horror stories about afro hair salon disasters. One reason could be that one of the largest vocational hairdressing certifications in Australia TAFE, doesn’t include education or training on how to style and look after Afro and curly hair.
To address this, Chrissy Zemura has begun an online petition calling for TAFE to update its Certificate III in Hairdressing to include education on Afro and curly hair. The petition has already amassed over 10,000 signatures signaling a big demand for this important addition to the curriculum. Zemura’s petition began after seeing an increase in questions asking whether she offers education on Afro and curly hair services.
“I finished my apprenticeship with no knowledge of how to do my own hair. I’ve had people who’ve had their hair completely tangled because the stylist didn’t understand how to detangle their hair or how to shampoo their hair without getting it matted together” Zemura said.
Advocating for change!
Chrissy wants to see a wide range of subjects, including the science of Afro hair, cutting and styling Afro hair, and techniques like braiding and dreadlocks added to the certificates curriculum. This new curriculum would also reflect the diversity within Australia showing inclusivity towards indigenous Australians, Torres Strait Islanders, African Australians, and Caribbean Australians. Zemura explained that although some white Australians do have curly hair, the large number of people from the African diaspora, most of whom have Afro and curly hair types, should also be accommodated accordingly.
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