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44 J. Legal Prof. 279 (2019-2020)
New Growth: Afro-Textured Hair, Mental Health, and the Professional Workplace

handle is hein.journals/jlegpro44 and id is 299 raw text is: 








NEW GROWTH: AFRO-TEXTURED HAIR, MENTAL HEALTH,
              AND THE PROFESSIONAL WORKPLACE


                            I. INTRODUCTION

    One thing has been and will always be true-all hair is good hair.1 The
natural hair community has internally struggled with hair typing and the no-
tion that certain hair textures are good hair. Tight, coily and kinky hair
naturals are underrepresented and by far under-celebrated, given their hair
does not conform to the hair images being glamorized and glorified by many
popular natural hair brands.'2 Specifically, afro-textured hair is also un-
derrepresented, misunderstood, and even discriminated against by corporate
culture. Company grooming policies may negatively impact the mental
health of black professionals, specifically black women in America. Dis-
criminatory grooming policies should be considered a form of racial discrim-
ination and should be regulated and protected adequately by the law. Addi-
tionally, analogizing therapeutic jurisprudence may be helpful in expressing
the significance of creating laws that regulate discriminatory corporate be-
havior.

                          A. Grooming Policies

    Grooming policies seem to be commonplace in the corporate world of
America, whether in the form of formal guidelines, or informal dress code
standards.3 Grooming standards are essential dress codes that stipulate in one
way or another how an employer would like its employees to present them-
selves physically at work.4 Employers can enforce dress codes to regulate
the appearance of their employees, so long as the dress codes are not



1.    Mixed-ish Sl E3 Let Your Hair Down (ABC television broadcast Oct. 8, 2019), mixed-ish
(@mixedishabc), TWITTER,   (May   19,   2020),  https://twitter.com/mixedishabc/sta-
tus/1 181947855277379584?1ang-en
2.     Trudy Susan, The Sad Truth About Natural Hair Discrimination, EBONY, https://www.eb-
ony.com/style/the-sad-truth-about-natural-hair-discrimination-987/ (last visited May 19, 2020).
3.     See Illegal Workplace Policies: Appearance, Dress Codes, and Grooming Policies,
EMPLOYMENT LAW FIRMS, https://www.employmentlawfirms.com/resources/employment/discrimina-
tion/illegal-workplace-policy.htm (last visited May 19, 2020).
4      Id


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