In a series of tweets, Singer Halsey (who is biracial), ranted against hotel chains catering to the white majority by providing shampoo only suitable for straight hair.
When a follower asked, “why don’t you bring your own shampoo” The singer replied:
The singer also added,
“It’s about being made to feel unincluded. Which is, obviously, a far greater problem than shampoo…It’s not just hotels. I stayed in a psychiatric hospital as a teenager and they didn’t have hair products for any patients who were POC. It’s hard enough being in there as it is, but then ur gonna too feel ugly and dry n frizzy too? I’m bothered by the idea white people are cool to participate in a luxury/convenience but POC cannot. It’s not about the shampoo.”
This is a picture of Halsey’s natural hair texture:
Okay, ya’ll, when I first read these tweets I was like, “this ain’t a thing.” I have never in all my years gone to a hotel without my hair prepped. I rock weaves, braids, or my trusty twist-out. The only time I’ve ever washed my hair at a hotel was in the Caribbean, and what they provided did the job. Was it great? No. But the lotion was terrible, too. I was ashy, but my hair looked aight. So real talk? This ain’t a thing for me, and it’s not a thing for most of the black women I know. Hell, I don’t even trust my black hair stylist to provide shampoo and conditioner to my liking. I bring my own. But I’m one person, so perhaps this is indeed an issue for frequent black travelers.
And I guess the point Halsey is making is that we shouldn’t have to bring our own. If non-POC don’t have to bring their own shampoo, why should we? So she has a point in that regard. White folks’ products being the default or standard is an issue. And even though I may feel that this isn’t a big deal, I will also admit that I don’t travel much internationally, and when I do travel it’s only for a few days at a time, so I may not be informed enough to be able to fully assess if this is indeed “a thing.”
Hotels should, perhaps, keep a small stash of “curly hair” shampoo or co-wash conditioner at the front-desk available upon request. But I can tell you right now, if these hotels started having natural hair shampoos and conditioners in the rooms, I wouldn’t even use them, but I’d surely throw ’em in the bag!
For what it’s worth, Halsey admits that she “looks white,” but has suffered because of it especially when she’s exposed her bare breasts to white boys.
I still have white boys in my life asking me why my nipples are brown,” she told Playboy Magazine “I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a black woman.
In fairness, she’s only 23, so perhaps with more time spent discussing issues that really adversely affect the majority of black women, she’ll be better equipt to speak up for us. Or maybe other black women do feel this is an issue? I dunno y’all, I’m all over the place with this one. Real talk, I just kind of want her to come up with a better example than hotel shampoo, though.
Your turn, do you think this is a thing??!! Share your thoughts below!
Hey, Boo! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a 30 something-year-old writer/mother/wife who happens to love lipstick, high heels, blackness, and the truth. You’ll find a mix of everything on this site, so I won’t bore you by trying to define this space. I hope you stay awhile!