Ban Hair Discrimination In The UK

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When I was at school, I was forced to take out my braids because a teacher didn’t like them. My mum was forced to fight my corner. Growing up, I soon learnt that black people have been refused jobs or give ultimatums in their jobs because their hair doesn’t make them look “professional”. 

It isn’t difficult to find a black person who can speak about how their hair has affected their lives in both subtle and life-changing ways. It’s not ok for people to be targeted because of their hair. That’s why, I’m calling on the UK Government to ban hair discrimination. 

Natural and protective hairstyles including afros, braids and dreadlocks are traditional ways to express our heritage and simply have our hair. It is because this is not understood, that young children are subjected to being punished by teachers or bullied by peers. When we're not attacked, we also experienced people that see our hair, touch it, and grab it without permission - making us uncomfortable.

In New York and California they have already taken the step to ban hair discrimination - it’s time we do it in the UK too.

Stories like mine are not isolated. School student Chyna Cowie-Sullivan was told to return her hair to a “normal” from braids. A black woman with braids was told she would not get a role at Harrods unless she chemically straightened her hair. University graduate Lara Odoffin saw her graduate job offer revoked because the company didn’t accept braids in its dress policy.

Because of incidents like this:

  • Only 37% of Black women feel comfortable wearing an Afro or Dreads to a professional event 
  • 1 in 5 Black women feel social pressure to straighten their hair for work 
  • 78% of people instinctively prefer smooth hair 

Please help by signing this petition. Thank you.

#UnderstandMyHair