The most important thing in the beauty industry? Inclusivity.

Inclusivity in the Beauty Industry

How the Cosmetology World Can Be More Inclusive for the LGBTQIA+ Community


At Elite Beauty Society, we’re all about taking stands on the things that we believe in–and we believe in inclusivity in the beauty industry.

This hot take (which, BTW, shouldn’t be considered a “hot take”) is what we’re calling for as an industry standard among cosmetologists and beauty pros, from small one-person shops to enormous corporations.

That’s right, no cutesy intro; we’re getting down to business because this is a really important topic. While the beauty industry does, generally, do a relatively good job of inclusivity, there’s so much more room for us all to improve.

The LGBTQIA+ community is largely underrepresented in our industry, specifically when it comes to transgender men, transgender women, and gender-nonconforming people.

This only amplifies when considering folks in these groups who are also BIPOC.

Unfortunately, the highest tiers of the beauty industry still don’t adequately represent these people–in their products, in their marketing, in their services, and in their advertising.

Overall, there's a fundamental lack of representation for members of these communities. If this matters to you, you don’t have to sit idly by and watch it all happen.

You can do something–even if it’s a small something–to help provide more representation and bridge the gaps in the beauty world.

How?

Here are just a few ideas to think about. Remember, there’s no wrong answer here–if you’ve got solutions of your own, go for them (and share them with us in the comment section below).

The beauty world won’t magically become more inclusive on its own–we all need to make an effort, fight for what’s right, and work hard to make it happen.


How the Cosmetology World Can Be More Inclusive for the LGBTQIA+ Community

Be Aware of the Gaps

This is especially relevant if you’re a product creator or service provider, but it applies to every niche of the beauty industry.

Stop thinking about beauty the way you’ve always thought about it and reframe it from the perspective of the LGBTQIA+ community (even if you are already part of this community).

Ask yourself, where are the gaps in the beauty community? Think about all the different kinds of people in the world, then take a look at what you’re offering–where are you lacking? What are the gaps? Are you offering representation to every person out there?

Reevaluate How You Categorize Products

This is one of those small-scale changes that can make a big difference. This simple exercise can truly help you evaluate if you’re excluding folks from your store or your products.

Are your products aimed at specific genders? Are you leaving any potential person out by the way you’re advertising, marketing, or categorizing your products?

And Re-Think Gendered Pricing

If you’re still charging for “male” vs. “female” services, consider opting for a service-based model instead.

Think about this example.

Let’s say you’re a hairstylist and a person comes in with a long, thick head of hair–you should charge based on the time, effort, and product that’s going to go into that head of hair. Right? Of course.

That pricing shouldn’t change based on the gender of the person who sits down in your chair.

And further, if you do opt for a gendered-pricing policy, where does this leave your non-gender-conforming clients? Excluded, that’s what.

Enforce a No-Tolerance Policy for Exclusion

You might not be able to change everyone’s mind, but you can keep them out of your shop, salon, or spa. If this is an important subject for you, make it known. Post your inclusivity policy where people can see it (in your brick-and-mortar, on your site, etc.) and enforce it.

And, of course, don’t let anything slide. If you know that something is happening in your shop that you don’t agree with, do something about it.

People might say that you can’t change the world this way, but you can change your corner of the world–and someone is going to be impacted enough by that to carry it elsewhere. And to us, that’s changing the world.

Open Opportunities for Underrepresented Folks

Remember when we said to mind the gaps and think about where these folks are largely underrepresented? Do something about it in your own salon or shop. Include the LGBTQIA+ community in your marketing and advertising strategy, ensure the community knows you’re running an accepting and safe salon space, and keep inclusivity in mind when hiring.  

Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Up for What You Believe is Right

Maybe this means getting political; maybe it means taking other peaceful approaches (protesting, providing clear language on what’s not OK in your store, etc.)–whatever it does end up meaning for you, don’t back down. Talk to your local politicians, organize inclusivity movements, and be a resource for the LGBTQIA+ community in your area. And most importantly, listen to what this community is saying–if they have solutions, wants, and actions they’d like to see taken, work with them to make all of it happen.


We’re proud to support the LGBTQIA+ community, and we’re committed to continually improving our own inclusivity. Have suggestions for us? Share them! We’re here to learn, enact, and empower. Let’s do this thing together!

And, of course, subscribe to subscribe to EBS here and now so you never miss new ideas on how to improve your inclusivity actions.
 
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