Microaggressions Against Natural Hair

New York and California are the only two states that ban race-based hair discrimination in the workplace. These POC professionals opened up about microaggressions they've experienced.

Black women suffer more anxiety around hair issues and spend more on hair care than their white peers

New York and California are the first two U.S. states to ban race-based hair discrimination. This is an experience that many have had in the workplace. Black women are almost twice as likely to experience social pressure at work to straighten their hair compared to white women according to the Perception Institute. The potential for ‘hair biases’ to limit both perceptions of self and opportunities in the workplace has a distinct effect on black women. Amid a growing natural hair movement among black women, can the science offer any solutions that can help reduce bias and promote positive perceptions of natural hair both for women themselves and among others who see them?

Black women are 80% more likely to alter their hair to meet social norms at work, and 50% more likely to be sent home or know a black woman who was sent home because of her natural hair. Some key findings confirm that black women suffer more anxiety around hair issues and spend more on hair care than their white peers. They are almost twice as likely to experience social pressure at work to straighten their hair compared to white women. Studies like The Perception Institute also concludes that “White women demonstrate the strongest bias — both explicit and implicit — against textured hair.” They rated it as “less beautiful,” “less sexy/attractive” and “less professional than smooth hair.” However, white women who are in contact with black women “naturalistas” demonstrated lower levels of bias. Given that white women make up a large majority of the 38% of female managers who decide what looks are appropriate for work, legal conflicts sometimes ensue.

The bottom line is that time, society shifts and cultural integration in the workplace along with more mainstream media, TV and movie appreciation of natural hair will ultimately move the needle forward towards wider acceptance to a point where these biases may be eroded or untaught.


08/02/2019 12:03 PM
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  • Ivana A.
    07/29/2019 19:43

    Everything stands, but this girl said “reintroducing yourself cause you didn’t recognize me cause I changed hairstyle” hahah I’ll reintroduce myself over and over again, when you change your hair, make up, clothes and when you take off your sunglasses

  • Anke P.
    07/29/2019 21:14

    is this really racism if s.o. doesn't recognise you because you changed your hair??? It's normal. People do not recognise others if they chance parts of their aspect. If you don't wear the uniform you have in your workplace... If you've lost or gained weight...if they meet you in a totally different place than expected... yes, and also if you've changed your hair, even the colour of it. This is normal for everyone. I've experienced it, I'm white, i didn't feel embarassed. I just took it as a feedback that showed me that I looked different. That's all.

  • Dee S.
    07/29/2019 23:42

    Coming from Asia, I must say only in the western countries it seems that racism exist just because of hair.. do people really get racism slurs there just because of their hair?

  • Regina S.
    07/30/2019 00:22

    Love your HAIR! There are 97 verses in the Bible about the importance of Hair. For the Civil War and WWI the Shaman Indians were hired for the power of their hair.

  • Hassan M.
    07/30/2019 02:57

    Damn first world problems to the maxx!

  • Acharya H.
    07/30/2019 08:10

    New badge

  • Goldenskillz G.
    07/30/2019 09:28

    Hello Guys Greetings To You All. My Name Is Golden Prince And I'm A Musician I Sing And I Rap Hip Hop. I'm From Africa Nigeria precisely. Guys I Need You To Help Me Share This Video Below It's The Continue Killings And Kidnapping Of Innocent School Girls By The Boko Haram and Fulani H Men. Here In Nigeria. It's Really Getting Out of Hands. And Instead Of My Fellow Nigerian Musicians To Steep Up Raise There Lovely Voice Sing About it For the Whole World To See And Hear What's Happening In There Mother Land There All Busy Partying And drinking Clubbing Forgetting if Nothing is Being Done By We The Youth Nigeria Might Just Become A History With The Way Things are going. Please Guys Help Me Watch Comment And Share this Music Video Until it Gets To the D. Trump. Thank you Guys For Your Understanding And Support GOD Bless You All. Wow I Bet This Music Video Will Make You Shared Tears, Watch The The Adoption Of Some Nigerian School Girls And The Killings Of Some Innocent Nigerians By The Boko Haram And Fulani H Men. Titled. Stop The Killings Who Be The Boko Golden Prince. Please Share With Your Friends and family Until This Message Gets To Mr President.

  • Mark K.
    07/30/2019 11:03


  • Ahlem G.
    08/02/2019 12:45

    The issue is that pple would think it’s normal to do so (make dumb jokes about someone else’s apprarance) being a person who wears a scarf pple would even tell: oh you all look the same for me!!

  • Marjorie D.
    08/02/2019 12:56

    I love curly hair, because mine is not!

  • Brut
    08/02/2019 13:31

    Why are black women consistently defending their natural hair? Ignorance mostly. It's why this influencer is hoping to change that narrative — one hair tutorial at a time. 💁🏿‍♀68

  • Jayp V.
    08/02/2019 14:44

    They should ban all type of joke in work place if it was for me ...

  • David F.
    08/02/2019 19:40

    Jesus people are so soft these days, this is what you have to complain about???

  • Mephan S.
    08/04/2019 22:35

    You should not be offended If someone literally doesn't recognize you because you changed your hair, no one is at fault. And if your hair is too big for people behind you to be able to see in class then wear a scarf or sit in the back, don't be rude.

  • Katheryn W.
    08/05/2019 07:22

    It's ridiculous and just plain rude to make comments about someone's hair . I personally think they are all beautiful and don't you dare change 😊

  • Rustic E.
    08/06/2019 14:48

    God created me the way he wanted and my hair is my beauty so if the way I wear it offends anyone, they can go straight to HELL because I was not placed on earth to please anyone but God and myself.

  • Marie D.
    08/06/2019 22:15

    I experience this everyday

  • Sandra C.
    08/07/2019 03:39

    When you are looking at pigment . You are not seeing the real person . Every woman . Should wear their hair . The way they want . What ever makes them feel good about themselves . Is all that matters .

  • Mannan M.
    08/07/2019 06:00

    It's sad we live in a country where hair discrimination has to be banned. What happened to land of the free? Its hair. WTF

  • Vantravise M.
    08/07/2019 08:06

    I went go through this alot