New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Opinion: Sidestein should sell curly hair products

With such a diverse student body, it’s time NYU Eats started stocking essential items for curly-haired people in its university markets.
Abi Rivera
(Abi Rivera for WSN)

Maintaining my hair is an essential part of my daily routine, and sets the precedent for my confidence and comfort on campus — a sentiment shared by a lot of curly heads. However, the reality is that curly hair products are more expensive and challenging to find in stores compared to other hair products.

At on-campus markets, such as the Market at Sidestein and the Market at Palladium, I’ve noticed a similar issue. I rely on specific products to maintain my hair’s health and appearance. The empty shelves spoke volumes about the oversight in catering to the needs of curly-haired students. In order to best support all of its students, the university should ensure the availability of curly hair products in all of its market spaces.

Last week when it rained, my hair was so frizzy that I wore my hood in every class. I was fresh out of leave-in conditioner, which usually costs around $20 at Target, so I took my chances at finding leave-in conditioner at Sidestein, where I could use my Dining Dollars. To my surprise, the shelves had just the slim pickings of basic shampoos and conditioners and not a single curly hair product in sight — no gel, no co-wash, no cream or mousse. I’ve bought Maui Moisture shampoo and conditioner from Sidestein before, but it’s a product advertised for all hair types, and my chances weren’t any better at the Market at Palladium, where the hair product section was also lacking.

According to data from NYU’s Common Data Sets — an annual form containing information on enrollments and student demographics — there were 4,838 students who identified as “Hispanic/Latino” and 2,290 students who identified as “Black or African American” enrolled at the university in fall 2022. Last year, NYU also admitted a class “expected to have no racial or ethnic majority,” meaning there are plenty of students who would likely benefit from having access to curly hair products in the university’s markets.

By stocking affordable curly hair care products in on-campus markets, NYU Eats, which operates all five markets on campus, can also assist all students in reducing out-of-pocket expenses and save them valuable time. Being able to buy products with Dining Dollars can help students save money they might need to pay for things outside NYU, and the proximity to campus makes it much easier to grab hair products during a busy day of classes.

NYU Eats should make curly hair products widely available across its market locations, ensuring that all students can feel confident as they go about their day-to-day lives. The absence of adequate hair care products in these markets underscores the need for change — a simple addition that would bring about a shift toward inclusivity and convenience for curly-haired students on campus.

When asked for comment, the university referred WSN to Chartwells, NYU’s dining provider. A spokesperson for Chartwells did not respond to a request for comment.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Abi Rivera at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Abi Rivera
Abi Rivera, Opinion Editor
Abi Rivera is a CAS Junior and OP Scholar studying Environmental studies and Spanish. She loves leadership, the color purple and reptiles.

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