I hope the above picture gives you a glimpse of how this post is going to go.
Germany is a predominately white country, which is no secret, the secret is, if you’re not white, good luck finding hair and makeup products.
Growing up in the United States I never struggled with finding products for dark skin girls. There have been a couple of occasions where a certain store didn’t have the right foundation color or edge control that I needed, but all I had to do was drive to another store and it was easily accessible.
To my surprise, Germany is the exact opposite.
Yes, I had been to Germany before moving here this past January, but it was only for a summer, so I didn’t need to re-stock on any hair and makeup products. Now that I live here, I’ve found that finding makeup in my color and the correct products for my hair have been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. I understand the market for makeup is tailored for people with fairer skin, but in no way does that make it okay to not have ANY products for people of color in most stores. I went to four different makeup stores in four different neighborhoods and took these pictures. There aren’t even any shades of foundation for mixed people, let alone dark skin people.
‘Cause everyone’s skin color fits within a couple shades of beige, right??! WRONG!
I know what some of you may be thinking “not everyone wears makeup, it’s not that big of a deal, you can order some online.” But it is a big deal. Imagine being a native black German and having to travel to more diverse cities like Paris or London to find products that fit your complexion. It shouldn’t be like this. My good friend Subah and I are currently planning a trip to London to get the makeup we normally find in the US.
The only solution I’ve found besides going to London is ordering products online. Seems simple enough, right? No, not at all. Makeup products online are more expensive and there is an extra cost for shipping internationally.
Thankfully, I live in Berlin, which is a melting pot of diversity, so we have more stores with a wide range of foundation colors than cities like Flensburg, (where Subah lives.) Mac cosmetics is the only option I have for finding makeup in Berlin, so I will, of course, be a loyal customer.
I don’t want to scare any people of color from not coming to Germany, just know finding certain products can be challenging.
If you didn’t already know, melanin rich queens, aka my black sisters, are incredibly versatile with our hair.
The above pictures are just a couple of styles I’ve had over the past two years.
I don’t like changing my hair up that much, but the possibilities are endless. There’s box braids, Bantu knots, wigs, sew-ins, faux locks, etc. We can do so much because of our hair texture and it’s very unfortunate that the supplies needed are not readily available. Once again, the fact that I live in Berlin makes it a little bit easier to find people to do my hair and the products I need.
Here are my top three favorite African salons in Berlin!
- Afro Lydia Hair Salon
- Ashanti fur Afro Hair & Beauty
- M-Chantal Afro Hairdresser
Before I moved here, I was terrified I wouldn’t find anyone to do my hair, (because I can’t do my own), but for my black queens out there, just know it is possible to find the products and stylists we need.