If the hair of Black women could talk, it would have stories to tell for days. From relaxers, weaves, braids, and natural styles, we each have our individual hair journey. For so long in American society, our hair has carried such negativity. We have been taught our natural hair is unacceptable. That it’s too ethnic and doesn’t fit “society’s standard of beauty”. We have been conditioned to believe that it’s nappy, unattractive, and unprofessional. Causing so many of us to water down our naturalness in order to fit in.
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Our hair is beautiful the way it was created. We have to start believing this more and also teaching this to Black girls. It’s important for not only us to be reminded of this, but for them to understand the hair that grows out of their scalp is just as beautiful as anyone else’s. Our hair contributes to our uniqueness, culture, and journey. We should no longer be afraid to authentically and courageously be ourselves. With the negativity and ignorance about Black hair, it’s important for us to accept us, because hair discrimination still exists.
The CROWN Act is a law that prohibits race-based hair discrimination because of hair texture or styles including braids, locs, afros, twists or bantu knots. CROWN stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. This law was first introduced and passed in California in 2019. Currently, twenty- three states have passed the CROWN Act into law and it prohibits race-based hair discrimination in employment and educational opportunities.
Some Statistics Based on the Dove 2021 CROWN Research Study for Girls
Black Women are:
- 3.5% more likely to be perceived as unprofessional because of their hair
- 80% more likely to change their natural hair to meet social norms or expectations at work
- 53% of Black mothers say their daughters have experienced racial discrimination based on hairstyles as early as five years old
- 66% of Black children in majority-white schools have faced race-based hair discrimination
- 100% of Black elementary school girls in majority-white schools who report experiencing hair bias and discrimination state they experienced the discrimination by the age of 10.