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Black hair is unlike any other hair. The texture, the look, and the feel of natural black hair is different. Even some of the styles that we wear can only be worn on our hair without causing damage. But is this trait that is almost exclusive to the black community used as a new form of race discrimination? Sadly, this not new, as minorities have suffered from hair discrimination for years. Studies have shown that African American women face the highest instances of hair discrimination and are more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair. The same study also revealed that 80% of black women feel as though they have to change their hairstyles in order to fit in at work. Although laws such as the Crown Act, are working towards relief for black people to wear their hair how its grown, many black men, women, and children suffer in their workplaces and schools everyday due to unfair rules involving their hair.
You may love to read: How Insecure Normalizes Type 4 Hair
In the past, there weren’t very many natural haired black women in the media. Foxy Brown, Denise Huxtable, and Whitley Gilbert are a few characters who did regularly wear their hair in natural styles. But after the emergence of Issa Rae, and Insecure we are finally able to see both black bodies, and black hair styles properly represented on our television screens.
Although Issa’s on-screen life may be a mess, her hair is always on point. With more black women being represented on shows such as Grown-ish, Queen Sugar and She’s Gotta Have it, natural hairstyles are being represented more often. Characters like Issa, and Kelly each have type 4 hair that we are not very likely to see on television. Issa wears her natural 4c hair in a TWA (teeny weeny afro) often, but also switches it up to wear braids or an updo. She also doesn’t shy away from her shrinkage on the show. Insecure’s hairstylist Felicia Leatherwood often times shows us how versatile the character’s natural hair is. Teaching us to not shy away from new styles due to your texture, type, or length.
You may love to read: Black Actors frustrated over Hollywood’s Hair Problem