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

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

Leave a Reply

508 Comments on "Ohio School Bans Afro Puffs and Braids"

Notify of

[…] Check out the full story at Black Girl Long Hair. […]


[…] Ohio School Bans Afro Puffs and Braids […]


[…] women in America, the option to remove the costume simply does not exist. Black girls are being shamed in schools for styles specific to black culture.  Black women feel uncomfortable in the workplace […]


supposedly the ban was never supposed to be for girls, but to prevent young males from having the longer hair styles described (though that could be just some quick ass-covering). Even so, even given that it is an institution trying to maintain a certain college-bound atmosphere, that seems unnecessarily gender-limiting and unfair. I’m glad they are responding at least somewhat gracefully to the pressure and public outcry.

Celeste Bianco
I’m glad folks put pressure on these idiots and got them to back down. Got to tell you, I am white (oh hell, let’s just call it what it is…I’m pasty), and I love black women’s hair. People should be able to wear their hair or their clothes any damned way they please. I’ve been fighting against dress codes since 1967. WHY is this still even a thing? You wear your hair any damned way you please, and if they don’t like it, to hell with them. (But if you need help, I’ll hold ’em while you slap ’em upside… Read more »

[…] this really is the case at Horizon Science Academy (according to the blog Black Girl With Long Hair, the new prohibitions came in a letter to parents about next year’s dress code that was […]


[…] should not be punished, or banned for wearing our natural hair.  I love what Leila, founder of Black Girl Long Hair had to say in response to the […]


[…] feel the rule is racist.Black Girl With Long Hair, explains why the afro puff and braid ban is particularly offensive to parents and students:“The dress code restrictions highlight an age-old struggle that naturals […]

Denise Collins

Draft copy my ass! I worked in a School District for many years and trust and BELIEVE this was NOT a DRAFT copy as they assuage! Whatever is sent out is a FINAL COPY unless otherwise noted! Nice try though……..

Annette Saggitarius Annette
Annette Saggitarius Annette

I hope lawsuits were filed because this is blatant discrimination on a race of people. Plus, I hope every black parent sent their children to school the next day rocking puffs and braids…it’s our hairstyle!!…What was the follow up? Does anyone know?

Carlos Louhisdon

My only question is why did this article or letter take so long to be outed to the national public it’s only October 2015 and this letter was written June of 2013. I use to sport my Locks for personal reasons I decided to cut it. That is totally ridiculous that someone would even write such a letter to the parents. Since this took place two years ago what follow up has been done to see if this new ordinance was being enforced or whether it was repealed. Anyone!.

AyoDle Rhodes

They so jealous n envious of us itz sickening but yet they try n copy us evry chance they git our style our skin color or style of dance they’re true hypocrites all across the board they wanna control us so bad as they did our grandparents n great grandparents they wanna take our voice away at any cost….petty on all levels

Chloe Chloe

This is the time. To say no


this might actually be the dumbest thing i have ever read….who the hell is the school to dictate how one can or can not wear their hair?

AyoDle Rhodes

Exactly but they let these lil white kids com to school wit purple n green n blue colored hair but thats acceptable


This shouldn’t be an argument. It’s an assault on black children, and the black community. It’s exactly why we had the ‘Black Panthers nearly 50 years ago’!!

Melody Writes

I would still remove my child from the school.

RAmember, (spelled correctly, if you know your Afrikan History), it’s not the WHAT (what the hair looks like), rather it’s the WHY (Why did God assign this special hair to these particular people) that gets others in a tizzy! Speaking of Science and research, If African (Includes African-American) people understood the REASON God gave us this hair; and there is a specific reason, not just for show, not just because it looks different; there is a FUNCTIONAL scientific reason we have this type of hair! If you don’t know, research it! READ, READ, READ until you know. Once you know,… Read more »
Jasmine Moore

Some African culture believe that our hair works as an “antenna” to connect to our ancestors. Hair also showed status. The more elaborate the hair the higher in social status.

1 7 8 9