In Hollywood, there still seems to be a divide behind the scenes when it comes to hiring hair stylists who are well versed on how to handle Black hair.
“That has not been my narrative lately in terms of hair because I refuse it. I reject it,” the “How to Get Away with Murder” star said in a recent video interview about how she dealt with the familiar problem.
“I don’t think that people understand our hair…they don’t understand that we’re different, and yet, the same,” Davis said. “What I find is hair is something that a lot of people don’t honor when you do film.”
Black people in the entertainment industry have long dealt with stylists who did not know what to do with their black hair.
Model Oliva Anakwe posted on Instagram earlier this year about the lack of diverse hair stylists in the industry.
Anakwe has traveled the world and has been featured in high profile campaigns for the likes of Saint Laurent, Miu Miu and Marc Jacobs. Still she grapples with understanding why it’s not the standard for every job or project to enlist a stylist who can do all hair.
“Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair,” she wrote. “I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done.”
Davis, who won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 2017 for her performance alongside Denzel Washington in August Wilson’s Fences, and her husband Julius Tenon own Los Angeles-based independent entertanment company JuVee Productions. She says that her venture will hopefully turn that narrative around.
“I don’t embrace it,” said Davis. “And with my production company — that’s not going to be part of it.”