Just when we were starting to love our natural hair and all that it can do, a blow to the foundation of that love is dealt.
As reported by BlackGirlLongHair.com, the Horizon Science Academy in Ohio is banning “Afro-puffs and small twisted braids with or without rubberbands” as part of their newest dress code. A letter was sent out to parents stating as much and the natural hair community is up in arms – and rightfully so.
The reason behind this ban on these particular hairstyles is vague at best and offensive at worst to a community who has often been told how to wear their hair to be accepted into certain social circles or even to climb the corporate ladder. How awful a rule to impose on CHILDREN who are beginning to learn about themselves and love themselves? To passively tell them that in order to be “appropriate” or “acceptable” their hair can only be worn in a specific way? To tell them that wearing their hair in any of the protective and creative styles that they can achieve is offensive?
Sounds like the 1960s fear of the ‘fro all over again to me. What is to be understood from these new rules? Are parents supposed to abandon the traditional ways of styling their children’s hair and regress to the days when the hotcomb and curling iron oppressed African American hairstyling? BlackGirlLongHair.com makes a good point of pointing out, “Afro-puffs are essentially the black version of the ponytail (when pulled back our hair puffs out instead of laying down), and yet the rules do not have a ban on ponytails for students of other ethnicities.” Fair is fair. Ponytails should have to go for non-Black students too. The school has not yet given a satisfactory reason for banning these particular protective styles but they will answer for it if the parents and natural hair community have anything to do with it.