Once upon a time, learning how to style textured hair was just a small portion of a student’s curriculum in beauty school, with very little education surrounding textured hair cuts and color. And in some schools, texture education is still severely lacking. When Aveda educators examined their own texture program, they knew it was time for a major update.
We talked to Aveda Arts and Sciences Institute Executive Director of Technical Education, Renee Gadar about the evolution of the Institutes’ curriculum in the past year, and Corinna Myers, a student at Aveda Institute Tampa Bay, shared her first-hand experience.
Evolution Starts Here
Aveda’s texture curriculum is now comprehensive, covering style, cut and color, and fortified by a prerequisite e-learning section.
“Each section has room to grow and develop, so the information grows and continues to evolve for the learners,” Gadar says. “And we can readily change the e-learning section if we find greater/better information we want to disperse.”
Myers says she had little exposure to textured hair before she started at the Institute, and has loved gaining expertise as she moves through the curriculum.
“My favorite part has been learning how to differentiate types of textured hair and how they are cared for differently, as well as which products will achieve the best results for those different types of hair.”
Students are given a textured mannequin in their kits when they start, and there’s a certified texture coach on every campus, allowing them to learn with confidence.
Part of the texture curriculum’s deep dive is into color through the Texture Color series, featuring specific techniques which do not require straightening beforehand.
“We’re teaching them how to engage and care for the curl/coil during the coloring process,” Gadar says.
Myers found the color education interesting and challenging. “We learned the extra steps we need to take with textured hair when it comes to formulation, application, and shampooing to make guests feel comfortable and confident in our ability to give them the results that they’re looking for,” she says.
The texture curriculum also includes soft skills, so future stylists can feel confident when talking to their textured-hair guests.
“After going through the e-learning, students will be equipped with the right terminology to consult with their clients,” Gadar says. “This precursor knowledge on language and basic information around cleansing creates the right platform to fearlessly approach the hair with agency and know-how.”
Myers adds, “For me, the soft skills are the most important skill within the texture curriculum. I learned how to have a conversation with textured hair guests confidently, making them comfortable in my ability to take care of their hair. I also learned how to ensure the guest doesn’t feel their hair is a chore or challenge.”
The e-learning portion also includes a cleanse chart, providing a starting point for how often a textured guest should cleanse, and which Aveda products are appropriate to cleanse with, based on hair pattern.
“There are other factors to consider, like a client’s active lifestyle and thickness and length of hair, but what we have provided is a foundational starting point—a road map,” Gadar says.
E-learning is followed up by the Texture Style series, which provides students with the confidence to offer an array of styling options to their textured guests, moving beyond a blowout and press.
“We’re taught extensively not only how to care for the hair behind the chair, but also how to educate guests on home care and maintenance,” Myers says.
Students who’ve gone through Aveda’s texture curriculum have a unique advantage when it comes to finding a job.
“I encourage them to look for models (often friends or family) with a great head of textured hair and do them at discounted rates,” Gadar says. “Then take several great shots and repost different ones periodically on Instagram with all the right hashtags.”
“We tend to attract who we are, in our chairs, and if we aren’t what we are trying to attract, sometimes we are the ones who have to do the calling.”
Myers adds, “Decide how you want to be perceived as a stylist, then make your social media reflect that.”
Texture will continue to evolve in the Aveda curriculum as trends change, and Gadar and her team are ready for it.
“I feel proud that this curriculum schools pick this up and better our industry is not only ahead, but deep,” Gadar says. “I hope all creating more inclusive, safe spaces in beauty.”