Hairstyles have been a topic of debate a lot lately but not for reasons related to fashion. As it turns out, hair has become the frontline of the racial equity debate.
There are more white people in America than black people. In general, black people have a different hair texture than white people. So, when schools make rules around hair, typically they cater to white hair as opposed to black hair, and this creates some issues. For example, a school requiring students to have straight hair is essentially requiring black female students to get up early and use tons of heat to straighten their hair… which is not healthy for curly hair. These types of policies affect males too as evident by a wrestler being forced to cut his locks to continue competing, or the policies requiring close shaves, which typically lead to painful razor bumps for men with extremely curly hair.
California has taken steps to prevent discrimination against hair.
California State Senator, Holly J. Mitchell has authored Senate Bill 188 which seeks to “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair”.
— SenHJMitchell (@SenHJMitchell) April 22, 2019
The bill is also called the CROWN Act. The bill, which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, is supposed to “ensure protection against discrimination in the workplace and schools based on hairstyles by prohibiting employers and schools from enforcing purportedly race-neutral grooming policies that disproportionately impact persons of color.”
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) July 3, 2019
This bill is also applicable to the workplace. Many other advocates around the nation are pushing for similar laws or regulations.
Read the full bill here.