NEW YORK — Tiffany Haddish recalls leaving the set of a big-budget movie in tears in search of someone who could properly do her hair. Lorraine Toussaint blithely recounts the times her tresses have been damaged by stylists inexperienced on how to do black hair.

Other African American actresses have similar stories about hair struggles in Hollywood and say the lack of diversity behind the scenes has led to challenging situations.

Black hair comes in different textures but is generally defined by its curls. Racism and segregation typically dictated that black people exclusively worked on black hair. Many non-black stylists today remain unfamiliar with African American hair.

Halle Berry exploded on the Hollywood scene in the 1990s with a short, pixie hairstyle that others copied. Berry says she didn't set out to start a trend. Short hair was easy to maintain.