Wearing Natural Hair Despite Discrimination

Across the county, several incidents have been reported regarding natural hair. Vanessa VanDyke, 12, of Florida, faced expulsion for her Afro. A Texas cheerleader’s braids caused an uproar. And Mya and Deanna Cook of Massachusetts received detention and were barred from extracurricular activities for wearing braid extensions.

Despite a natural curly hair revolution, institutions haven’t caught on. The “neat and clean” standards found in most handbooks on grooming were not written for black women, for they ignore the fact that kinky and coarse natural hair grows from the scalp.

We went to Magic Fingers Studio, a natural hair salon in Brooklyn, and spoke with black women, a father of a young girl and elementary school students, all of whom shared stories of their natural hair struggles.