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The Halo Code is the UK’s first Black hair code for school and workplaces. Here’s why it’s needed

by Hanna Ibraheem for the Stylist

The Halo Code champions all Afro hairstyles and aims to get rid of hair discrimination in schools and workplaces. Here’s why it’s such an important step for the Black community.

The UK has its first ever Black hair code for school and workplaces – named the Halo Code, thanks to the work of the Halo Collective.

Founded by 30 young Black activists from The Advocacy Academy (a social justice youth organising movement dedicated to creating a more fair, just and equal society), the Halo Collective is an alliance of organisations coming together to combat hair discrimination.

Their first major move comes in the form of the Halo Code, a set of simple and clear asks of UK schools and workplaces to help end hair discrimination.

Employers can adopt the Halo Code and ensure Black employees won’t face barriers or judgments because of their Afro-textured hair.

“Despite hair being a protected racial characteristic under the law, there is a widely held belief that Black hairstyles are inappropriate, unattractive, and unprofessional,” explains Edwina Omokaro, the 21-year-old co-founder of the Halo Collective. “We’ve been suspended from school, held back in our careers, and made to feel inferior by racist policies and attitudes.

“These ideas strike at the freedom and dignity of Black people and serve no purpose other than to instil shame in us about our Blackness. No one should have to change their natural or protective hairstyle in order to thrive. Together, we will ensure that all Black people can learn, work, and live free from hair discrimination.”

While worrying about how your hairstyle will be perceived within a school or work setting is a thought some of us have had the privilege to never deal with, that isn’t the case for many people in the Black community.