Hair Won't be Silenced
Help end Afro hair discrimination
Gold Series, by Pantene has partnered with Black Minds Matter and Project Embrace to help end discrimination against Afro hair in the UK. A new report shows that 93% of Black people in the UK have faced microaggressions related to their Afro hair.
Hair has been shown to be key to confidence and identity, which is why we are on a mission to give more great hair days to all. We have set a goal of increasing the positive representation and understanding of Afro hair through advertising and education to help reduce micro aggressions, with this campaign and the Power of Hair Fund.
Of those that have been or have felt discriminated against due to their hair, the top three most cited places this happened are:
At school (59%)
In the workplace (49%)
In a work interview (45%)
Uninvited hair touching was reported as one of the most common types of microaggressions, experienced by 46%.
Agree that discrimination against their natural hair has negatively affected their self-esteem or mental health
Of people without afro hair could recognise common microaggressions***
3 ways to help end hair
1. Knowledge is key
2. Don’t touch without consent
3. Call it out
With more than half of those surveyed stating that discrimination against their natural Afro hair has negatively affected their self-esteem or mental health, we’ve partnered with Black Minds Matter and Project Embrace to highlight the power of hair on mental well-being and self-esteem. We have launched a short film featuring six Black British women talking about their own experiences of hair discrimination and microaggressions as well as their own personal journeys to accepting their natural Afro hair.
The My Hair Won’t be Silenced Campaign is just 1 step in the journey to end the daily discrimination. We have a goal of increasing the positive representation and understanding of Afro hair through advertising and education to help reduce micro aggressions. This will be enabled by supporting organisations who help eliminate hair bias and deal with discrimination via our Power of Hair Fund.
Working with Black Minds Matter, Project Embrace, World Afro Day, The Ideas Foundation and other partners we will share educational materials crafted by experts about microaggressions, the science and beauty of Afro hair, ways to support the mission of ending hair discrimination and fund organisations who enable this change.
Agnes Mwakatuma, Founder of Black Minds Matter said: “Many Black women are subject to racial microaggressions throughout their life - from school all the way to treatment in the workplace - with discrimination against hair and a lack of self-acceptance being an almost universal lived experience. Pantene’s campaign is much-needed to emphasise that racism isn’t always explicit and can also take the form of subtle, unspoken microaggressions. When Black people face this over time, it can be incredibly detrimental to maintaining mental health. We hope that ‘My Hair Won’t Be Silenced’ will lead the way and inspire other brands in the haircare industry to take long overdue steps to cater for, and proudly represent the Black community.”
Click below to hear from Dr Wilkerson on the science of Afro Hair and Funmi Fetto on microaggressions.
Dr Rolanda Wilkerson
Black Minds Matter’s Mission is to connect Black individuals and families with free mental health services, making mental health topics more relevant and accessible.
Project Embrace’s goal is to make Afro textured hair more visible in the media and advertising to inspire and empower others with self esteem
World Afro Day is a global day of change, education and celebration of Afro hair; endorsed by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights. Working to tackle discrimination against Afro hair by carrying out research, producing events and resources to empower people with Afro hair and raising awareness in wider society.
Working to help move the creative, tech and communications industries in a more diverse direction. The Ideas Foundation are creating bespoke workshops on the topic of hair discrimination and delivering them in schools across the country.
We’ve signed up to the Halo code and would encourage you do too. Halo is a youth-led Collective of organisations and individuals working to create a future without hair discrimination. You can sign up to adopt the Halo code, we have at Pantene already. Click to find out more.
* Research by Censuswide, of 510 Black men & women with Afro Hair in the UK, 2020
** Global Research by Pantene and Yale into the Power of Hair, 2017
*** Research by Censuswide, 1005 Respondents - 502 Black men and women with Afro hair and 503 men and women without Afro hair, UK 2021