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No Dreads at Work…You Can Be Fired for Hair Style



By: Leticia Latrice

Too often black people are ridiculed for their hair. People act like they are afraid of nappy, wild, unique looking hair. Just because black hair is coarse, kinky, curly, full and thick doesn’t make it unattractive. Recently the Federal appeals court has gone too far by ruling that people who have dreadlocks can be denied or fired from their job because it is “messy”. This subjective regulation is absurd! How can the style of someone’s hair determine their work ethic, skills or knowledge? It is funny how America says that they accept all colors, genders and creeds but always find a way to discriminate against people. If there is a freedom of speech, why isn’t there the freedom to express yourself as you please through your appearance?

It is sad how black people always have to be measured against European styles and cultures. African American’s and the African Diaspora are a reflection of various African cultures, so why would it be compared and expected to mimic European styles? America needs to quit trying to place black people in a false, inappropriate, unrealistic box. People need to learn to accept black people as they are.


All of the pressure of society sometimes causes black people to question their identity and doubt their selves. Many black people feel they need to try to conform to the European expectations of their appearance to be accepted. So, black people often try to adjust their image and appearance to reflect that of Caucasians. Hair straightening, weave, blonde hair, color eye contacts, skin bleaching are some commonly used techniques. Thank goodness many black people have awakened, are not swayed and stay true to themselves and their culture. The natural hair movement has been huge over history. Black men and women are proud to embrace their natural styles. It is easy to feel like you need to try to fit into society. Don’t believe the hype, be proud of whom you are and the culture you represent. Dreadlocks are an amazing heritage hairstyle that represents the African Diaspora culture and was worn by the ancient Egyptians. If someone is allowed to show up to work with blue or purple hair they should be allowed to wear dreadlocks.


Do you think it is fair for the Federal Appeals Court to Ban Dreadlocks from the work place?

Have you ever been discriminated against because of your hair?

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