The UK’s first Black hair code, The Halo Code, unveiled to tackle hair discrimination in schools and work places
Katiann, co-founder of the Halo Code. Credit: @thehalocode
A group of 30 young Black activists from the Advocacy Academy has launched the Halo Code, which aims to prevent discrimination based on hair style or texture. Launched by The Halo Collective, the Halo Code is calling upon UK schools and workplaces to help end hair discrimination by signing a pledge that promises members of the Black community that they have the “freedom and security to wear all Afro-hairstyles without restriction or judgment”. This includes any child who wishes to wear their hair however they choose to in school.
“Despite hair being a protected racial characteristic under the law, there is a widely held belief that Black hairstyles are inappropriate, unattractive, and unprofessional,” co-founder Edqina Omokaro told the Guardian.
Race-based hair discrimination has been illegal in the UK since The Equalities Act became law in 2010, however it is still a regular occurrence in organisations. In recent research from The Good Hair Study by Perception Institute and The Hair Equality Report by World Afro Day & De Montfort University, it was found that one in five Black women feel societal pressure to straighten their hair for work, and more than half of Black students have experienced name calling or uncomfortable questions about their hair at school.
As on the UK’s biggest employers, Unilever is the first employer to adopt the code, with more schools and workplaces to be announced in the coming week.
To find out more about the Halo Code and how you can get involved, click here.