Awarding Body Tackles Lack of Diversity in Stock Imagery for Aspiring Hairdressers

by hjiadmin / last updated September 28, 2021

VTCT Stock Image

Market-leading awarding organisation, VTCT, have created their own hair and beauty imagery after finding stock images lacked enough diversity to educate their learners.

VTCT, who offer vocational and technical qualifications around the UK for the hair and beauty industry, decided to shoot their own photos to ensure that learners will receive accurate training on the hair they will be working with.

The hair and beauty experts travelled to Francesco Group, Birmingham, to shoot photos which reflect the behaviours of a range of hair types -from poker straight locks to wavy, coily hair.

VTCT diversity

This move from VTCT comes after the company announced that they are set to become the first awarding body to embed black hair and skin into their core curriculum. This is part of their roadmap to leading the industry in equity, diversity and inclusion – the photoshoot marking their dedication to creating this.

All hair types are vastly diverse, meaning adding this in to their core curriculum ensures learners have an accurate representation of the hair they will be working with after their education. This gives aspiring hairdressers and beauty practitioners the skills to thrive in an increasingly multicultural country.

Leading the charge for this move towards inclusivity in hair and beauty education, VTCT quality lead and industry expert, Sonia Robinson, said, “While there are images of curly hair available, they do not adequately reflect all the complexities of it. We needed to capture how uniquely hair behaves and looks when wet, styled, dry, and everything in between.”


This follows on from the latest National Occupation standards (NOS), which were updated in June to include Afro and textured hair. Meaning that Awarding Bodies must review qualifications and ensure they accurately represent all hair and skin types. VTCT were the first and, so far, only body to announce plans to renovate qualifications for the next academic year.

With this addition to their qualifications and the new imagery they have, VTCT will also prepare their staff to understand the different characteristics of each hair and skin type, in order to prepare them to deliver the qualification successfully.

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