Do you travel a lot? Are you used to the perks of fancy hotel rooms? You haven’t realised that complementary vanity kits are actually race-specific, have you? Neither have you considered how the travelling experience differs for those belonging to ethnic groups. Well, they are and they do! I’m here to fill you in about five things Black people can’t make use of in hotel rooms.
1. Body Lotion
OMG. The body lotion. This one shouldn’t really come as a shock. Since the beginning of time, Black people have taken their moisturisers seriously; we love the butters. Our skin in naturally dry after we’ve been in water so after the shower, we need to soak up something creamy. Unfortunately, the body lotion provided in hotel rooms (all the ones I’ve stayed in, at least) have been lacking. They just don’t do the job and after applying, still leaves my skin parched.
Solution: Provide a body lotion that effectively moisturises all skin types. Shea butter is a great place to start.
Like our skin, our hair is also naturally drier than most. So we need extra moisture. Instead of the shampoo that dries out our hair (I think that stuff dries out everyones hair, to be honest), find a brand that works for us all! Recently, it’s been highlighted that hair products made for specifically for Black women contain more dangerous chemicals than those for women of other races. Additionally, these chemicals have been left out of the ingredients lists on the back of bottles, meaning we have not even been aware that these harmful chemicals are present.
Solution: Find shampoos for all hair types with natural ingredients
- Shea Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo
- NaturAll Avocado Shampoo
- Thank God It’s Natural Shampoo and Conditioner Duo (they also have a soap that you can use for hair and body. Geniuses).
NB: We need these in travel sizes though and in the airports!
3. Shower Cap
You know the natural hair movement has been poppin’ off lately. Our hair grows up though, so once our fros have reached full capacity, an average sized shower cap cannot and will not fit over our heads. And to make matters worse, if our hair gets wet, it shrinks to a fifth of the length.
Solution: Make them for the many, not just the few.
4. Hair Dryer
Ok so we can use hair dryers in the same way every other human does. And I know recently, we’ve been trying to stay away from heat damage by blowdrying less and using the cool air instead. However, did you know women with curly hair typically use diffusers to prevent their hair from frizzing? Should we not be helping them feel cute enough to delete later?
Solution: A little diffuser attachment wouldn’t go amiss!
Did you know that 70-90% of Africans (and their descendants) are lactose intolerant? I didn’t know this until recently either. It seems as we’ve gotten older, a lot of us have had to cut out dairy from our diets and this is because our bodies no longer produce the enzyme needed to break down lactose. This is compared to 5-20% of most Europeans. So if you’re travelling over Europe and your not originally from there, you may want to think twice about that complementary cup of tea!
Solution: sachets of oat, almond, coconut, soya, hazelnut, hemp, rice or even goat milk could be provided as alternatives nowadays. There really is no excuse.
Whether you like it or not, whether you realise it or not, this world has not been created with Black people in mind.
Sadly, this is only one example of a product that at the root is beneficial and thoughtful but resultantly shuts out those from other people groups. I’m sure when the idea was formed, Black people were not frequenting hotels and so there was no need for us to even be considered. However, now that we are travelling more than ever before, why has this not yet changed? Can we still claim ignorance?
A quick google search has helped me find all this info. It’s not rocket science.
In which other industries do you feel people of colour have been underrepresented or ignored in the planning process? How can we remedy this? Let me know in the comments!
Love you guys, Helen x