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Dove The CROWN Coalition

Inclusive beauty: working to end race-based hair discrimination

We want inclusive beauty. All beauty should be recognised and welcomed in schools, at work, and everywhere else. Narrow beauty standards make it difficult for women and girls to freely express and celebrate their own beauty. And while all women experience appearance-based pressures, Black women are disproportionately impacted by the Eurocentric beauty standards that so often define what’s seen as beautiful.

Societial bias has created unfair judgement and discrimination against Black women, based on hair texture and protective styles such as braids, locs and twists. Crucially, there is a substantial economic impact associated with this level of discrimination – Black women are held back in education and careers through social exclusion.

Did you know…

  • 1 in 4 of Black adults have been sent home from work or faced disciplinary action as a result of wearing their hair in a natural or protective style*
  • Nearly two thirds of Black adults have faced hair discrimination* 
  • More than half of Black children have been sent home from school due to wearing their hair naturally or in a protective style* 

The situation around Black hair discrimination in the UK is complex. Racial discrimination is already illegal under the Equalities Act 2010 and enforced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). However, there are still significant barriers around understanding and implementation.

Black children can be penalised by their school’s uniform policies and can even be excluded from school. Black women can experience hair discrimination in the workplace, being pressured or denied opportunities or employment because of their natural hair. This is NOT okay.


Action starts within organisations

That’s why we’re proud to be the first brand, with the support of our parent company Unilever,  to adopt the Halo Code – the UK’s first Black hair code for schools and the workplace. Founded by the Advocacy Academy, the code was created to protect the rights of staff and students with natural hair and protective hairstyles, giving Black people freedom and security to wear their hair without judgement.

We believe no one should be discriminated against for choosing to wear their hair naturally. Follow us @Dove and find out how you can get the Halo Code adopted at your workplace or school.

In 2019, Dove co-founded the CROWN Coalition in the US to address race-based hair discrimination through legislative advocacy and societal change. It’s already had tremendous success in introducing hair discrimination into legislation through the Crown Act in 7 states, as well as the US House of Representatives, with more to come.


Our ongoing mission

Our mission was, and is today, to advance efforts to end hair discrimination and to create a more equitable and inclusive beauty experience for Black women and girls.  

The CROWN letters originally stood for: Creating a Respectful & Open World for Natural Hair.

Today in the US, The CROWN Coalition is expanding to offer wider support for the Black Community. The CROWN letters now encompass this by standing for: Creating a Respectful & Open World with No racism.

With more support in place for the Black community in the US, we’ve launched The CROWN UK Fund to accelerate our work to help eradicate race-based hair discrimination and campaign for legislative change in the UK. During 2021, The CROWN Fund will invest £170,000 in Black-led grassroots organisations with the aim to: eliminate barriers to progress for women and girls in the Black community, empower the next generation, and drive long-term systemic change.


How you can take action today

Through the Dove Self-Esteem Project, we’re committed to designing self-esteem tools and experiences with unique cultural nuances in mind. Which is why we’ve launched My Hair, My Crown – a two-hour session for educators, parents and mentors to boost hair confidence in kids with coils, curls, waves and protective styles – and to build allyship in others to create a respectful and open world for natural hair.

Dove Partners Emma Dabiri and Zina Alfa have both created petitions to make hair discrimination illegal under the UK Equalities Act. Add your signature now.

Join us in creating real change that will enable Black women and girls to fully express and celebrate their natural hair and afrocentric beauty – without judgement. Hair discrimination is unacceptable – at work, at school and in all areas of life. Together, we can help end race-based hair discrimination today.


* Research was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Dove, surveying 500 Black adults (men and women, 18+) and 500 Black pre-teens / teens (girls and boys 11-18 years old) in England and Wales from 12/10/20 - 23/10/20

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