California Might Be The First State To Outlaw Natural Hair Discrimination

Nick Owuor (astro.nic.visuals) on Unsplash (California natural hair discrimination law)

“Create a Respectful and Open Workplace and Natural Hair," acronym “CROWN," is the name of a bill passed in the California State Senate in April. This week, California waits for a vote in the state Assembly and a signature from Gov. Gavin Newsom to put the law into effect, making policies in the workplace concerning natural black hair illegal.  

The first of its kind in the country, the CROWN Act outlaws grooming rules that disproportionately affect black professionals as well as students in public schools statewide. Protected hairstyles would include cornrows, dreadlocks, braids, Afros and more.  

Kari Williams, owner of natural hair salon Mahogany Hair Revolution in Beverly Hills, told the LA Times that clients ask her to cut their dreadlocks because of discrimination they’ve experienced at work. 

“It's important to me as a black woman, […] our skin color and our hair have been used as ways to continue to keep us disenfranchised,” Williams told the Times.