Future under the CROWN Act
March 5, 2023
According to Polk, hair texture can be an impactful part of a student’s life, and he hopes they are able to embrace and feel proud of it.
“Students’ natural hair definitely can, and does, affect their academic experiences,” Polk said. “My hope is that people continue to embrace their natural hair, not because they feel like they need to wear it a certain way, but just because they like it and want to wear it that way.”
Ryan Johnson said that he hopes the CROWN Act allows people to embrace their natural hair more in the hair industry.
“In our industry, hopefully it affects things as far as people embracing their natural hair,” Johnson said. “In my workplace, the employees can embrace the artistry of different hair. We’ve got all kinds of hair going on. I hope people are accepting more of themselves, like, ‘This is what I have.’”
Leary said it’s especially important to have written policies in schools to support students and create a comfortable environment for them to learn.
“It’s very important to expand that into the schools because I hear stories of kids getting pressured into cutting off their dreads or cutting their hair short,” Leary said. “I think that’s important to focus on.”
When I started working in a workplace before the bill, there was a higher possibility that they would say, ‘Change your hair, it’s not professional.’ Now that you legally can’t do that, I feel more safe in having my natural hair out in public.
— Miles Johnson
According to Sallet-Smith, the Storiole could incorporate more curly hair products into its stock to make them more accessible for everyone.
“They have brushes, and if they want to give things to students, they should add more curly hair products,” Sallet-Smith said. “Like a Denman brush, moisturizer… Just more stuff to attract more people who have curly hair. If you just give the normal brush, it won’t really work with curly hair.”
Engebretson said she would like to see more legislation passed surrounding natural hair, both nationally and at Park.
“I hope more states continue to pass bills into laws similar to the CROWN Act. I would love to see us get a national law, too,” Engebretson said. “It’ll be interesting to see what policies, practices and professional development Park puts in place that will also align with the CROWN Act.”