Ohio School Bans Afro Puffs and Braids

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The Lorain Horizon Science Academy in Ohio is facing heat from the natural hair community after a copy of a letter to parents that included a ban on afro puffs and ‘small twisted braids’ was posted online.

The letter details changes to the dress code for the upcoming school year and includes the line:

Afro-puffs and small twisted braids, with our without rubberbands, are NOT permitted.

It’s unclear what the administration means by small twisted braids, but if they are referring to box braids they are banning a protective style that black girls have worn for generations. Afro-puffs are essentially the black version of the ponytail (when pulled back our hair puffs out instead of laying down), and yet the rules do not have a ban on ponytails for students of other ethnicities.

It’s unspecified whether this ban applies to both male and female students, or male students alone.

The dress code restrictions highlight an age-old struggle that naturals face from both within and outside of the black community. Our hair is viewed as radical, funky or unruly in its natural state, and restrictions are sometimes placed on us in academic and professional settings that do not extend to our non-black counterparts.

So far the school hasn’t issued a response or explanation of this dress code item.

What do you think ladies? Is this a fair restriction to include in the dress code? Why or why not?

A copy of the letter is below.

***UPDATE: Just received word that the school has lifted the ban. Here is the letter they issued today:

Screen Shot 2013-06-21 at 4.19.09 PM

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast.

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  • Jujudollie

    Why is there a war against natural black hair? This is shameless, blatant, obscene racial predjudice and discrimination.
    Natural black hair = black power. Keep fighting. The racists will never win this war.

  • Brian Banks

    Well let’s be perfectly honest here. The hairstyle is over the top and the school is right to make the recommendation the did. And racism has nothing to do with it, The rule applies to all students who sport unacceptable hairstyles. A school is a place to learn, not a fashion show.

    And for the record Jujudollie, Stop bringing the race card into this, As i’ve already stated race has got nothing to do with it. It’s the ditzy mother who allows this girl to attend school like this.

    • society

      Alright.Pig tails not allowed.1 big ponytail will also get titled as inappropriate so not allowed.A bun will probably be poofy without heat so im guessing not allowed.Braids not allowed.SMALL braids with or without rubberbands are not allowed even though theres no way on earth this is distracting.What would you suggest as an hairstyle for girls with her hair type?please enlighten me.

    • Alix Kayy

      I’m guessing your not black or you would understand. That’s how some black peoples natural hair grows, my hair included. It grows out instead of down, or it grows kinky and coily and all over the place. We cant tell our hair to lie straight like other peoples hair. If I were to put my hair in a ponytail it would be puffy. I don’t have to tease it or use hair spray, that’s just how it is NATURALLY. Braids are a protective style that is a part of my culture. Black people use braids to protect our hair because it is delicate and would break quickly and often otherwise. This is a tradition that has been going on for thousands of years. To ban braids and “afro puffs” is racist because that is banning something targeting only one race of people. Black people. Colored people have different hair than other races and I don’t like that you are saying something that grows NATURALLY on me is “unacceptable”.

  • Melissa F

    The parents of this girl are complete and utter idiots for styling her hair to resemble Minnie mouse. Who in the right mind would do this to a child? A ditzy person no doubt.

    And this in not a natural hairstyle, Jujudollie, It’s a “style hairstyle” not a “natural” hairstyle. So get your facts right before you start squeezing designer words through that tiny provincial brain of yours.

    Just like this girls, you too have no class or culture, All you do is try to sound intelligent by repeating what similars screamed out before you. The race card is getting really old now. The school rules are laid out, And it’s not to pick on a person or their race, cause that would be illegal.

    • putthemintheirplace

      Are you an idiot or are you just not familiar with other races?if you saw a white girl with 2 ponytails would you say its not natural?That girl NATURALLY has an afro and has her hair in two ponytails.her hair is not styled that way,it is naturally big!Would you rather the child come to school with just an afro??I’m sorry that the only way her hair will lay down like a white girl’s hair is with chemicals/heat which IS NOT natural.Keep your mouth closed if you have nothing educated to say.

    • Naturallybeautiful

      All this comment did was make me laugh . It’s funny how people can be do ignorant. Honestly it is a natural hairstyle and if you don’t know anything about natural hair I suggest you not say anything. What was she supposed to do straighten her hair all the time for the school. That would totally destroy her BEAUTIFUL hair.

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