Bad makeover of black woman’s hair on Today Show points to bigger issues in haircare industry

Anyone watching the Today Show on Wednesday probably didn’t think much about a segment titled “One Minute Summer Hair,” until a minute after it was over and the video went viral.

Why? A black model featured in the segment ended up with hair that looked like a bird’s nest, after Deepica Mutyala, the show’s resident beauty expert, attempted to style a side-pony with bangs that went horribly wrong.

 

Honestly, none of the styles looked that great, but viewers, particularly black women, did not let the fact that Mutyala turned the model’s hair into a frizz ball go unnoticed.

That segment just didn’t go over well, but in some ways it went hand-in-hand with another issue in black hair that cropped up this week.

A former Atlanta woman, who now lives in Iowa, was at the forefront of a civil lawsuit which claimed that forcing hair braiders to get a cosmetology license negatively impacted their ability to earn a living in Iowa. (In Georgia, hair braiders have been exempt from cosmetology licensing since 2006.)

Last month, the Iowa governor exempted Iowa braiders from the cosmetology licensing laws and the lawsuit was dropped. Now braiders in the state only need to register.

Aicheria Bell, in an interview with The Atlantic, described how challenging it would have been for her to obtain a cosmetology license and more important, that most of the schools she went to focused on Eurocentric hairstyling, not African-American hair or styles such as braids and dreadlocks.

A cosmetology license could cost up to $22,000 and require 2,100 hours depending on the state and who has that kind of time or money to throw around when you’re not even getting the kind of training you want?

But this all goes back to how a disaster like the Today Show segment could happen. Even if Mutyala was an actual licensed hair stylist, chances are high that she probably would have never learned how to style black hair.

Reader Comments 0

88 comments
Monique Knox
Monique Knox

Check out Monature Natural Hair on Facebook,Instagram-Monaturedesignz....

Pam W Grier
Pam W Grier

She messed up her already beautiful hair.

Brenda Pawloski
Brenda Pawloski

What is she going to have to do to get it back the way it was before? Would it be expensive, time consuming or both? It was so pretty before! And I think the today show should have to compensate her extra for that!

Monique Knox
Monique Knox

Everybody cant do All types of Hair...Going to School does not Make you an Expert, Neither does a Liscence....You have to LOVE doing Hair...Natural Hair, All Hair Types too!!!

Kia Renea
Kia Renea

She's famous via YouTube not beauty school.

Monique Knox
Monique Knox

Youtube is based on how many times your work is viewed which still does not make one an expert in doing great hair!!!!!

Lori Ellis Parlier
Lori Ellis Parlier

I saw this segment and thought "I wouldn't be cause dead with that hair!" One minute my tail! They were all awful!

Rachel Austin
Rachel Austin

OMG! Should have kept her hands out of her hair!!

Deborah Hartman
Deborah Hartman

WOW\U0001f61eWhere did this "Expert"get her training?? Oh I KNOW-The Hair School of Buckwheat\U0001f612

Erica Toni Dixon
Erica Toni Dixon

She should have practiced the styles prior to going live. She is not a professional.

Monique Bradford
Monique Bradford

KEEP THEM PEOPLE AWAY FROM OUR KIND OF HAIR LIKE TF I WOULD'VE NEVER LET HER TOUCH MINE TO BEGIN

Jaz McIntosh
Jaz McIntosh

That was the stupidest video ever. Crazy

Cynthia Reed-Perkins
Cynthia Reed-Perkins

I saw that! All the model could do was smile. But I hope she put the "expert" in check!!! All she really needed was a cute headband or scarf to tie around her curls! And who wears a "side" ponytail!

Elaine Jackson
Elaine Jackson

Girl she jack your hair up, don't let her do it again lol !!!

Chuck Caple
Chuck Caple

Thanks Vivian Lopez-Freeman. Too many people unqualified getting in these big positions.

Vivian Lopez-Freeman
Vivian Lopez-Freeman

But that is why you are out there. A clear sign for you that you are on the right track with your career and your calling.

Shelley Schumaker Callico
Shelley Schumaker Callico

I am white with very curly hair. I actually had a stylist ask me how I got the tangles out in order to sell me a product. Don't brush it! The girl on the today show had beautiful curls before. Don't mess with beauty!

Summer Hughes
Summer Hughes

I watched this when it was happening. I couldn't believe it \U0001f62c\U0001f602

Norma Lewis Mason
Norma Lewis Mason

You all blaming the 'expert'. Why did the girl participate, what did she think they were going to do with her natural hair

Megan Kriss
Megan Kriss

Probably that they would style it properly, as an expert should be able to.

Celestine Godley
Celestine Godley

She probably thought she was an expert like they said she was

Courtney Renae
Courtney Renae

Wtf, she was a model and probably thought this "expert" was going to enhance her curls and not fluff it so much. Probably was paid to do it

Denitra Gaines
Denitra Gaines

Just don't touch a black woman's hair unless you have extensive experience. You know she got cussed out. Lol

Monica Gladden
Monica Gladden

Someone said she look like she got into a FIGHT\U0001f44a! I laughed so hard\U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602. But the woman was so ruff ?! Grabbing and pulling and snatching! Not a pick or comb or brush in sight!

Tina Bailey
Tina Bailey

The Today Show completely threw her under the bus and now she's takin the heat...don't go on live television claiming you're offering "expert" advice and then fail miserably. All the hairstyles looked awful but as a sista with natural hair, this one made me cringe \U0001f616\U0001f616 P.S. I will fight anyone who even thinks about putting their hands in my hair \U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602

Nina Medina
Nina Medina

She would have been better off just putting it in a high pony and leaving it at that. Looke like she had no idea how curly hair behaves. She left her with that just walked through a tornado look :/

Winnie Baldwin
Winnie Baldwin

They didn't throw her under the bus. She glady accepted that role as an expert & failed the natural hair sister horribly! Today show gave her a platform & she blew it! \U0001f60f

Tina Bailey
Tina Bailey

She is deemed a "beauty expert"....as in giving advice about what looks good...she has never titled herself a hairstylist...She blew it cause that's not her forte but hell, if my boss said fly this plane, I'm flying the plane cause they sign the check...they gave her a platform as in "This is the segment...do this"

April Roberts-Everett
April Roberts-Everett

Why she didn't practice doing a black person hair before the show? Got her hair looking like she just finished running a marathon.

Nina Medina
Nina Medina

Or even anyone with curly hair! It was pretty bad!