U.S. NewsRace in America


Hair discrimination is a problem in the workplace, study says

A new study shows more than 20% of Black women ages 25 to 34 have been sent home from work because of their hair.
Black woman with braids
Posted at 3:14 PM, Mar 24, 2023

Many women say they are being subjected to race-based hair discrimination in the workplace. 

According to the Crown 2023 Workplace Research Study, which was commissioned by LinkedIn and Dove, more than 20% of Black women ages 25 to 34 have been sent home from work because of their hair.

"For far too long, Black women and men have been subject to unfair treatment, outright discrimination and a myriad of inequities for simply wearing our natural hair texture and hair styles that are inherent to our cultural identity," said Esi Eggleston Bracey, president and CEO of Unilever Personal Care in North America.

Bias against natural hair and protective styles, which include braids, is also impacting women before the land a job. According to the study, 66% of Black women change their hair for a job interview, many of them opting for straight hair rather than curly. 

Woman in Army uniform ties back hair

Military changes hair standards to be more inclusive

Women in the Army or Air Force can have shaved heads, ponytails and braids after the military admitted old rules discriminated against Black women.


Race-based hair discrimination and bias has gotten the attention of lawmakers in Washington, D.C. 

The House of Representatives passed the Crown Act in 2022. It would ban discrimination based on hair textures and hairstyles. The bill stalled when Senate Republicans blocked the bill.

"Black hair is beautiful, and no amount of racism or ignorance from the other side of the aisle will stop the power of our movement," said Rep. Ayanna Pressley. "I won’t stop pressing to ban race-based hair discrimination and I urge the Senate to use any legislative avenue to pass this critical bill and send it to President Biden’s desk."

California was the first state in the country to pass the Crown Act. More than two dozen other states now have similar laws on the books. 

Two dolls are shown.

How toy designers are improving diversity in dolls through hair

Making Black hair more visible in society is the first step in ending its scrutiny, and some designers are trying to foster that in dolls.