Raise your hand if you’ve ever watched a movie with a Black actress in it and wondered, “Who did that to her hair?” From unblended weaves to bad blowouts, it’s, unfortunately, quite common to see Black women with questionable “camera-ready” hair on movie and TV screens. And the ones who get it right often go to extreme lengths to not only look good on screen but also protect the integrity of their own strands.
As part of its Strong Black Lead initiative, Netflix recently curated stories from its stars, detailing horrific experiences of being told by stylists that they don’t know what to do with their hair on set. Or even having to spend their own money to get their hair done prior to filming just to make sure they looked good. As a news release notes, “These stars are investing in the hairstyle of their choosing using their own money, or using their own wigs out of necessity, and sometimes actually out of fear.” From reading the stories shared by Sydelle Noel (GLOW, Black Panther), Ashley Blaine Featherson (Dear White People), Logan Browning (Dear White People), Simone Missick (Luke Cage, Jinn), Nia Jervier (Dear White People), and Antoinette Robertson (Dear White People), it appears the motivation is definitely more of the latter.
Click through to read the horrific first person accounts from these strong Black leads on how they’ve managed to navigate these unfair waters and take care of their image and their hair at the same time.