Do we endorse Dove products? No. (You do you. Choose whatever body products you want.)
Do we think their marketing team is onto something? You bet.
In recent years, Dove has led a campaign to drive awareness to help end race-based hair discrimination nationwide in schools and workplaces. The campaign showcases a number of Black hairstyles and leads with this line: “My hair is professional.” Check out their commercial:
History of hair discrimination
Did you know?
- 2 out of 3 Black women change their hairstyle for a job interview.
- 53% of Black parents say their daughters have experienced racial discrimination based on their hairstyle, which happens as early as five years old.
For years, Black hairstyles have been stigmatized and viewed as unprofessional, particularly in predominantly white spaces. From school suspensions to workplace dress code violations, Black hair is often criminalized when worn in certain ways. This is systemic racism in action, and it undermines the dignity and self-expression of Black communities.
Racial discrimination based on hairstyles isn’t anything new. In fact, it was a foundational part of colonial rule and enslavement across the globe. Practices like the Tignon Laws in Louisiana, which forced Black women to cover their hair, were commonplace.
Want to learn more about the history of hair discrimination and the Natural Hair Movement?
It’s still happening today
In 2014, the U.S. Army issued new guidelines prohibiting certain natural hairstyles, including twists and dreadlocks.
In 2019, California became the first state to pass a law banning discrimination against people with natural hairstyles in workplaces and schools. But race-based hair discrimination is still allowed in most states.
In response, Dove partnered with the National Urban League, Color of Change, and the Western Center on Law and Poverty, to form the CROWN Coalition. This group is advocating for the passage of The CROWN Act at the federal level, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Hair.” The CROWN Act seeks to end discrimination against people with certain hairstyles or textures in workplaces and schools.
Everyone should be able to express themselves freely without fear of discrimination. The CROWN Act is a step in that direction.