BET INDEX: The Politics of Natural Black Hair

Watch the latest episode of BET INDEX to explore why Black hair discrimination is still so concerning and ways the community can come together to put an end to it.

Whether in locs, a curly fringe, or silk pressed to the gods, natural Black hair is perceived as a political statement. As a result, white America has heavily policed our beautiful coils, curls, and waves.

Here are the facts: According to a Dove CROWN Research Study for Girls (2021), one in two Black girls will experience hair discrimination by age five, and Black women are more likely to be sent home from workplaces that have adopted grooming policies rooted in Eurocentric and racist standards.

Furthermore, young Black men, like New Jersey teen Andrew Johnson, have been forced to change their natural style to participate freely in school, and Black men are constantly racially profiled as criminals for wearing natural styles. What’s particularly unfair is that hair discrimination occurs while the business of Black hair has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry, which some white people own or operate.

In the United States, most legislatures do not offer protections against these injustices, but Dove has stepped in to help drive change.


Redefining Professionalism: Celebrating The Beauty Of Black Hairstyles And Fostering Inclusion

As a co-founding member of The CROWN Coalition, created and driven by a team of Black women leaders in partnership with several organizations and individuals, Dove is actively supporting the advancement of The CROWN Act. In 2019, Senator Holly J. Mitchell was the first to introduce The CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) in California, the first state to sign the bill into law, which prohibits discrimination based on hair texture and style.

To date, the bill has passed in 20 states and 44 municipalities, including New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, Maryland, and more. The CROWN Coalition will not stop there. Members will continue to fight until there is an end to the discrimination against Black people's hair and the styles in which we choose to wear it.

Watch the latest episode of BET’s INDEX to find out more about the politics of Black hair and what you can do to help keep our crowns safe.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.