12 Black Actors Whose Hair Was Mistreated On Set


Halle Berry stated the rationale she all the time had a pixie lower in her early profession was as a result of her brief hair was simpler for hairstylists to handle.


Monique Coleman revealed that the rationale her Excessive College Musical character, Taylor McKessie, was all the time sporting headbands was to cover how badly the movie’s stylists did her hair.

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Coleman said, “We’ve grown loads on this trade and we’ve grown loads in illustration and we’ve grown loads by way of understanding the wants of an African American actress. However the reality is, is that that they had achieved my hair, they usually had achieved it very poorly within the entrance.”

Coleman proposed to the hairdressers that they make headbands a part of her character and that she felt fortunate that Disney was receptive to her suggestions.


Lamorne Morris shared that whereas engaged on a manufacturing, the hairstylists informed him he needed to do his personal hair.

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“I must go to the barbershop at 4, 4:30 a.m. earlier than set to get my hair lower,” he said. “After I would get to set, I might see everybody else within the hair and make-up trailer getting their hair lower. After I requested why I couldn’t get my hair lower at work, it was as a result of — that is what they informed me — they didn’t have the price range for my hair.”


Meagan Good recounted how her brow was burned by a hairstylist on a set.

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“When [the hairstylist] went to press my hair, he put a steel comb beneath the comb and that comb slipped out and the urgent comb principally burned my brow and I had about 5 – 6 tooth marks on my face,” she said. “It was fairly irritating for somebody to say that they knew learn how to do it and type of use me as an experiment.”


Halle Berry was recognized for her pixie lower firstly of her profession, however the cause she sported brief hair was that she beforehand had negative experiences with Hollywood hairstylists.

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“That’s why I had brief hair,” she said. “[Maintaining] it was straightforward. I feel as individuals of coloration, particularly within the enterprise, we haven’t all the time had folks that know learn how to handle our hair.”

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Early in her profession, Natasha Rothwell usually had to buy her personal hair provides to deliver on set, and this is able to virtually value her what she would make for filming that day.

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“It’s an actual disservice to actors of coloration who’re successfully doing another person’s job and never getting paid for it,” she said.

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She additionally said that if a Black actor is No. 1 on the decision sheet, they will get a “star request” to decide on their very own stylist, which is what number of Black hairstylists have gotten into the trade and labored sufficient days to hitch the union.


Gabrielle Union wrote an essay for Glamour the place she described the mistreatment of her hair on productions as an up-and-coming actor.

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“I used to be like a guinea pig on set, and I didn’t but have sufficient energy to request a stylist who I truly wished to the touch my hair,” she wrote. “It acquired to the purpose that I might pay to have my hair achieved earlier than I started working and pray they didn’t screw it up.”

Union said, “I spotted in a short time that there have been many individuals in hair and make-up trailers who had been completely unqualified to do my hair. Hairstylists used Aqua Web–like hairspray with loopy quantities of alcohol, which prompted chunks of my hair to actually come off on a styling software.”

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Together with her success now, Union has extra energy to decide on who does her hair on set, however she says it’s nonetheless tough to seek out certified individuals. She tweeted about it, saying, “The outright refusal to rent Black and POC people who’re within the union AND the insane and unequal hurdles which are put up for these artists to hitch the union.”

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Gabourey Sidibe has needed to recommend appears for her characters to administrators beforehand in order that she will be able to come to set together with her hair already achieved.

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“In the event that they don’t have the price range to rent a Black hairstylist for me, or received’t, I simply get the director to agree that my character ought to have field braids or Senegalese twist,” she tweeted.

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Dule Hill stated that he was pressured to do his personal hair on a number of productions as a result of not one of the stylists employed on the units “knew learn how to do hair that seemed like mine.”

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Asia Jackson revealed how she began styling her personal hair after an incident the place a stylist let her go on display screen together with her hair trying sloppy.

“One time I actually rolled off the bed and confirmed as much as set and the hairstylist checked out my hair and stated ‘It’s nice the best way it’s!’ and walked away,” she tweeted. “I actually appeared on digicam with mattress head. Since then, I’ve been styling my very own hair.”


Aisha Dee performed Kat Edison, a predominant character on The Daring Kind, however she revealed that it was years earlier than there was a stylist on the manufacturing who knew learn how to do Black hair.

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In an Instagram submit, she wrote, “It took three seasons to get somebody within the hair division who knew learn how to work with textured hair. This was impactful on so many ranges, and I’m grateful for the ladies who present me learn how to embrace and love my hair in a means I by no means had earlier than. I wish to make it possible for nobody else ever has to stroll onto a set and really feel as if their hair is a burden. It isn’t.”


Jurnee Smollett-Bell needed to ask Margot Robbie, who was producing Birds of Prey, to rent a Black stylist to do her hair whereas they had been filming.

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She explained, “In pre-production, after we had been making a search for the hair, for me it was crucial to deliver a girl of coloration on within the hair division to create the search for Black Canary. My hair, my texture, the type of blonde we had been going for…and I referred to as her up and I stated, ‘Actually, Margot, it’s totally different. I want [hairstylist] Nikki Nelms and for this reason I want her.’”

Smollett-Bell says that Robbie did not initially perceive her request, however after listening to Smollett-Bell out, she gladly agreed to rent Nelms as her stylist.


And lastly, Taraji P. Henson recalled an incident on {a magazine} shoot the place a stylist who did not know learn how to do Black hair broken hers with a root booster.

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Henson considered asking for a brand new stylist, however was afraid she could be thought of “tough.” She additionally stated there was one other incident the place they purchased her an affordable wig that they did not even know learn how to type. Ultimately, Henson simply introduced in her personal stylist and paid for it.

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