New Study Shows That Black People Have Bias Against Black Hair
Do you love your natural hair?
A new study claims that all people, including black folks, hold an implicit bias against the types and styles of natural hair worn by black people. According to NPR, The "Good Hair Study" was conducted by Perception Institute, known within the research community as "a consortium of researchers, advocates and strategists" that uses emotional and psychological research to identify and reduce bias in areas such as law enforcement, education, civil justice and the workplace.
The hair study resulted from a partnership with Shea Moisture to better understand the link of implicit and black textured coils. Researchers asked over 4,000 participants to take an online test, which involved rapidly-changing pictures of black women with permed hair then black women with more natural hair.
The study showed that most people, including blacks, have
an implicit bias towards women of color based on their hair. But the results of the test show that the bias can be unlearned.
Some key findings confirm that black women suffer more anxiety around hair issues, and spend more on hair care than their white peers. They are almost twice as likely to experience social pressure at work to straighten their hair compared to white women.
The study also concludes that "White women demonstrate the strongest bias - both explicit and implicit - against textured hair." They rated it as "less beautiful," "less sexy/attractive" and "less professional than smooth hair." However, white women who are in contact with black women naturalistas demonstrated lower levels of bias. Given that white women make up a large majority of the 38 percent of female managers who decide what looks are appropriate for work, legal conflicts sometimes ensue.