The Halo Code Is Introduced to Prevent Hair Discrimination in the UK
In a step to end hair discrimination in the UK, the Halo Code guarantees black people in both schools and workplaces the freedom and security to wear their hair as they want, without restriction, judgement or, ultimately, discrimination.
Created by the Halo Collective, a group of 30 young black people who have experienced the racial bias that having Afro hair can bring, it’s a positive move to ending discrimination.
Race-based hair discrimination has been illegal in the UK since the the Equalities Act became law in 2010.
Speaking to vogue.co.uk, Olamide Taiwo, a member of the Halo Collective says: “The expectations for Black hair are completely different [to those with other hair types], despite the Equality Act that was passed in 2010.
“There are unspoken, discriminatory rules against Black hair in workplaces and schools. Some of these rules are explicitly stated, while others are implied through actions and words.”
Members of the collective shared their experience of hair discrimination. After dying her hair blonde, Olamid recounts her new hair being met with disapproval, despite the shade being a ‘natural hair colour’ as per her school’s guidelines.
She says: “I also remember one teacher commenting on how I changed my hair styles, implying that it was a bad thing. That bothered me because I see my hair as a form of expression.”
In fact, 46 per cent of parents say their children’s school uniform policy penalises Afro hair while one in five Black women feel societal pressure to straighten their hair for work, according to The Halo Collective.
The hair industry’s reaction the Halo Code
Cimone Cheveux, curl expert
How you can get involved
Unilever UK, which is Dove’s parent company, is the first employer to adopt the code, which demonstrates its commitment to diversity in the workplace and is good news for a beauty industry that still has a way to go in the inclusion stakes.