PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The movement to ban hair discrimination across the nation is gaining momentum. A local woman is helping to lead the charge.
“Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” — that’s what the CROWN Act stands for, and it’s a bill one natural hair stylist says is a step in the right direction.READ MORE: Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct Involving Ocean City Beach Patrol Members Under Investigation
“What made me want to embrace my natural hair was truly trauma,” said Syreeta Scott, owner of Duafe Hair Salon.
That’s the case for many Black and Brown folks living in the United States. And the same holds true for Philadelphia.
In fact, hair discrimination caused Scott to leave corporate America.
“I wanted to start my locs, and I went to my manager to ask for permission about how I chose to wear my hair. Even though I got there on time and I was the last one to leave,” Scott said.
After management discussed the idea of allowing Scott to wear her hair in a natural style the decision was ultimately no. Scott left that company and started Duafe Hair Salon.
“Natural hair, for me, is more than making something beautiful, making something acceptable, making something that is ready for the world. For me it is my mission,” she said.READ MORE: Multiple Faiths Joining Forces To Combat Philadelphia's Rising Gun Violence
The fight against hair discrimination rages on, but hope may soon be on the horizon.
The House of Representatives has already passed the bill and is now calling on Vice President Kamala Harris to make sure the CROWN Act makes it to the president’s desk.
“Let’s be clear, the reason why people are uncomfortable is because now you’re making space for somebody other than you. Now you’re forced to make space and learn and educate yourself in something bigger than you,” Scott said.
The CROWN Act would make it illegal to discriminate against someone at work or school over how they wear their hair.
And with education comes change.
“If you have to learn, that means you won’t come up to me touching my hair,” Scott said.
And it’s OK if that change causes some discomfort.MORE NEWS: 2 Mothers, Babies Rushed To Hospital After Being Rescued From Burning Frankford Apartment Building, Officials Say
“Somebody that doesn’t look like me, coming up and just forcefully touching my hair without permission, you make me feel like I am also on that slave block, where my body does not belong to me, where my beauty does not belong to me,” Scott said.