The cultural landscape of diversity in America is a rocky one. We have a tumultuous past, but in terms of progress, we've made leaps and bounds in the right direction. Finally, major beauty brands have made a point to create products that cater to a wide array of skin tones and hair textures, which had been a problematic, cyclical issue that women of color deal with. Yet we still have a long way to go. Last week, singer Halsey reminded everyone that there is much more work to be done when she brought an important issue to the forefront that's been swept under the rug in the past.
As Glamour reported in a Twitter thread that has since gone viral, Halsey called out hotels and the lack of diverse haircare brands offered that cater to textured hair. Hotel bathrooms rarely carry shampoos and conditioners that are healthy for black women's hair, so using those offerings has never been an option for women of color. "I've been traveling for years now, and it's been so frustrating that the hotel toiletry industry entirely alienates people of color," she wrote. "I can't use this perfumed watered down white people shampoo. Neither can 50% of ur customers. Annoying."
Her tweet warranted opposing responses. Many Twitter users questioned Halsey's ethnicity, something she's defended in the past, speaking publicly about her biracial background. Others expressed gratitude for Halsey bringing this glaring issue up on her platform—I'm with the latter. Despite opposing opinions, Halsey acknowledged her financial privilege and stood by her statement that it's not fair that disadvantaged minority communities are forced to buy and bring their own hair products: "I'm fortunate enough to be financially in a position to do so, but POC traveling frequently for work/medical reasons might not be," she wrote. "If white ppl can enjoy the luxury/convenience, there should be an option for everyone to," she continued. "It's an 'insignificant' example of a bigger problem. That's all!"
To be honest, the limiting hotel toiletries offered to me was a disadvantage I chalked up to being "just the way things are." But Halsey's right—this is another microaggression that speaks to a larger issue at hand. People of color should not continuously be an afterthought—if we are spending the same amount of money for our hotel stays, we should be offered an equal opportunity to utilize amenities. Most shampoos and conditioners offered in a majority of hotels across the country are full of sulfates and harsh chemicals, which are notoriously known to be harmful to textured hair. To make matters worse, sulfates lead to excessive dryness, breakage, and scalp issues.
We're leading up a call to action for hotels to revamp their top shelves and stock up on sulfate-free shampoos that are healthy for all hair types. Keep reading for the most trusted brands and help us spread the word to get these into hotels nationwide.
Dreamed up by a group of black women scientists, this moisture-packed shampoo will douse your strands in argan oil, which is a hydrating agent that'll strengthen and replenish all hair textures. It's free of parabens and sulfates.
This creamy shampoo will give your hair maximum moisture without weighing it down. Weightless hair is ahead of you with this gentle blend of ingredients that'll deliver the smoothest strands.
Lather is a brand dedicated to using the most eco-conscious ingredients that do good for your hair and the Earth. Traveling can stress out your hair, which is why you need this shampoo to cleanse your hair and replenish it with baobab seed extract, which is full of amino acids necessary for a re-up.
This sulfate-free shampoo is loaded with shea butter, an all-natural moisture booster that saves dry, damaged, and brittle strands.
Using ingredients like vanilla, rose, and aloe leaf juice, this sulfate-free shampoo brings the shine and the hydration to cure your hair of all its woes.
The Malin + Goetz peppermint sulfate-free shampoo is the brand's best seller for a reason. Carry this essentials kit everywhere you go so you can experience its revitalizing, cooling effect everywhere you go. Your hair will seriously feel brand new.
If you're dealing with breakage, treat your textured strands to this repairing shampoo that'll gently restore moisture and strength back into your roots—sans sulfates.
Thanks to these brands for pushing the envelope and putting inclusivity first. We can't let this call to action stop here—share this on social media and with friends and family everywhere. We hope to see a big change in 2019 for the hotel haircare industry.