Major brand pledges $100,000 to Black aspiring stylists

It’s no secret that tuition costs may be a major barrier in discouraging aspiring Black stylists. But thankfully, this New York Fashion Week, long-time sponsor TRESemmé is stepping up to launch a scholarship program to help Black women overcome these obstacles.

The professional hair care brand has recently launched the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund, a new program created to support the ambitions and career development of Black aspiring female stylists. TRESemmé has committed to offering its annual $100,000 grant, with 10 lucky recipients receiving $10,000 each to put towards their cosmetology school tuition in order to earn their professional license.

Those who are interested can apply for the scholarship via between September 9 and October 18. A selection committee comprised of a powerhouse group of women and leaders in both beauty and fashion will then select 10 participants to receive the funds.

And according to scholarship committee member and Unilever North America executive vice president and chief operating officer of beauty and personal care, Esi Eggleston Bracey, judges are looking to award “capability, passion, commitment and financial need.”

“They’ve been calling this the ‘she-session,”  Bracey said, adding that industries most impacted by COVID-19 – such as hospitality and hair salons – have disproportionately been female workforces. “It’s so clear that women of colour are often underrepresented in women’s programs, so for TRESemmé, it was a no-brainer to say, ‘where could we help?’ And that we could make this pledge, $100,000, to help women in cosmetology.”

Going further than just finances, the brand will further invest in the winners’ futures by awarding recipients with knowledge and on-set experience, networking opportunities and mentorship and development resources from members of the TRES family.

“We have so many platforms that once women have their degrees, we can give them even more exposure and opportunities,” Bracey said. “Why we’re starting at that scale is because we want to remain committed to the women…we want to use our network to really advance investment in Black creators and entrepreneurs.”

Stylists looking to apply for the scholarship program will be asked to submit several pieces of information, including a 60-second video, work samples and a recommendation letter. Applicants should also be ready to impress the committee with their hair career goals by sharing ambitions.