Brooklyn White
April 27, 2018 4:19 pm
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

In a series of tweets, Halsey discussed the lack of appropriate hair care products in hotels. The singer is currently on her second world tour for her “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” project, so she’s consistently in and out of lodging spaces. With that, she noticed the lack of inclusive hair products for people of color.

Halsey, who is biracial, spoke on the fact that hotels have made white hair care products the standard, which completely disregards customers who are people of color. So unless a person of color brings their own shampoo and conditioner, they either won’t be washing their hair, or they’ll take a risk and use products that don’t include all of the ingredients their hair needs.

I thought pretty much everyone knew this, but I’ll say it for those who don’t: Black people and white people generally don’t have the same kind of hair, and Halsey pointed out how hotels don’t seem to care about this distinction.

But before we dive into Halsey’s important tweets on people of color and their hair, it’s important to give you some insight. While it’s hard to make grandiose statements about Black and white people having different hair textures, because every person is unique (“there can even be variations among the races as well as between them”), it’s widely accepted that there are some strong distinctions.

The hair texture, reactions to water, and the products Black people use for their hair are not the same as a white person’s. Although there are variations of Black hair (with some being closer in texture to white hair after heat is applied), it is still crucial to acknowledge the major contrasts when engaging in dialogue about Black hair and white hair.

Halsey is usually pretty open about her experiences as a “white-passing” biracial woman, but that didn’t stop people from trying to belittle her grievance by calling her white.

The questioning and subsequent erasure of people’s Blackness based on how they look is not new in any way. Meghan Markle, Lena Horne, and Halle Berry are all biracial women who have also faced criticism due to preconceived ideas about their looks. This type of questioning is unacceptable, and it creates even more confusion in the biracial experience.

Halsey is also forcing us to ask the question “why are white toiletries the standard anyways?” Does it have anything to do with the history of white hotels vs Black hotels (meaning that two separate establishments would be erected for the individual races)? Do these industries care about their customers who are people of color at all?

Halsey began a necessary conversation about the way whiteness is openly still a standard. Even though she had to deal with cruel comments, as a result, it was bold of her to use her voice in the first place. Hopefully, her words help facilitate change.

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