How Black women have been empowered to wear their natural hair during the pandemic

Women of color have long faced prejudices against natural hair in professional and academic settings. Now, a growing online movement is empowering them to embrace their curls, coils and waves.
3:09 | 09/17/20

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Transcript for How Black women have been empowered to wear their natural hair during the pandemic
Reporter: From Kingston curls to frozen locks, braids to bantu knots, it's highly political. In a time when we are exploring race, we have to unpack race. People may not be using racial slurs but judging based on appearance. Reporter: The term national hair refers to hair of those of African descent that has not been straightened by products. A white woman came to me and said oh, you scared me. And I'm like, why did I scare you? We work together, we're on the same floor, we already have a rapport. Reporter: It is intricately intertwined with racism. She was like, you have Bo Derek braids. And I was like, Bo Derek braids? Reporter: A division based on type and texture of hair that's been dubbed "Texturism." Sometimes "Good hair" is more acceptable than kinkier coils and traditional styles like afros. People who have hair textures that are the closest approximation to whiteness are favored. Reporter: Both types of discrimination have real impacts. According to a national study, black women are 80% more likely to change their hair to meet social norms or expectations and are one and a half times more likely to have been sent home because of their hair. You don't recognize that oh, I'm spending so much extra time to figure out if my hair's presentable. Reporter: To fight the prejudice against natural hair, California became the first state to pass the C.R.O.W.N. Act in 2019, aiming to ban race-based hair discrimination. The C.R.O.W.N. Act is an extension of the civil rights act of 1964. There was a loophole. It did not protect black hairstyles. Reporter: More and more you're seeing women take advantage of the versatility of their hair, creating a community on social platforms to openly promote acceptance of all different natural hair types. I often tell women, there's no such thing as good hair or there's good scalp. Good scalp will definitely help you produce good, so-called good hair. Reporter: Faleisha leatherwood says quarantine has given women a lot of time and space to experiment with their natural hair and is encouraging everyone to keep pinning, snipping and twisting. If your hair starts here and strings back to here, this is a good time to find out. Really be patient.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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