“My hair represents freedom. It represents boldness. It’s hard to ignore my hair right now. It represents confidence,” says Luvvie Ajayi Jones. This author, speaker, and entrepreneur lets her truth shine, but it wasn’t always easy for her to love her hair. And it’s not always easy for Black men, women, and children embrace their natural hair or protective styles either because of race-based hair discrimination.
Read on to hear more of Luvvie’s story and to see how you can help make a difference for you, your family, and your community—#BlackHairIsProfessional and should be celebrated, not censured.
Her Hair Journey
After watching her hair fall out as a result of getting a perm early in life, and then again during college, Luvvie began to embrace her natural hair. The perm was not agreeing with her scalp, so she transitioned to locs. She loved them for seven years but when her first book
came out in 2016, she decided to cut them off. “It was a new time and I’ve been rocking my short hair since. I actually just cut it all off; I’m rocking a Caesar right now and I love it,” says Luvvie. “People like to say that you look like a boy whenever you have short hair and you’re a Black woman. It’s fascinating to me because men don’t have a monopoly on short hair. And women don’t have a monopoly on long hair.”
Right now, Luvvie’s hair is super short, blond, and parted. “It makes me feel so sexy, so feminine, so fierce,” she says. “I remember how, in the past when my hair as fallen out, it hit my confidence so badly that I didn’t know how to navigate through my day. Now, I don’t allow my hair to completely define me.”
Dedicated to creating an environment where everyone can show up as their authentic self, Luvvie says that Black people who are being punished because of what their hair looks like is deplorable. Our hair represents who we are and where we come from, restoring natural hair and texture is essential. “I want to tell young Black women that we are enough. We belong in every room that we find ourselves in,” she says. “And in spite of the ways in which we might be treated or the messages we might receive, we have to hold onto the confidence that we are valuable in every way.”
And that’s where Dove comes in. As proud co-founders of the CROWN Coalition and advocates for the CROWN Movement, they are supporting the passage of the CROWN Act to help ensure protection against race-based hair discrimination based on hair texture and protective styles (such as braids, locs, twists and knots) in the workplace and public schools. This initiative “is absolutely what disruption is. That is what it means to be cutting edge,” says Luvvie. “We shouldn’t have to legislate hair discrimination. But Dove has stepped up to support the CROWN Act and because of that we’re all realizing the ways in which our hair has stopped us from moving forward.”
Your Time to Act
So now is the time to let your voice be heard. Let’s help to shift culture and change the narrative related to Black hair by wearing our natural hairstyles and protective styles boldly, by supporting each other loudly, and by standing up to race-based hair discrimination proudly. Now that the
CROWN Movement is starting to gain traction, help amplify it across your social media channels by advocating to make race-based hair discrimination illegal in workplaces and schools.
“I think we all need to stand up and say enough is enough. Our hair should never affect our ability to do work or move forward or be promoted,” says Luvvie. “Let’s all stand up and sign this petition.” Help Dove spread the word and sign the CROWN Act petition at Dove.com/CROWN.