May 28, 2021

Rooted: 3 North Texas men with loc’d hairstyle were told ‘cut your hair to get the job

By Tashara Parker

The three North Texans hope their hair stories will serve as a reminder that their appearance is much deeper than what meets the eye.

Three North Texas men who have never met each other are connected by their hairstyles and shared experiences because of it.

They say while seeking jobs in the past, their loc’d hairstyle has always been a concern. It has caused them to either be passed over for career advancement or have job opportunities rescinded.

“I started my journey right around the time my father passed away from cancer back in 2006,” said Ronnie Haynes, Assistant Principal of Special Populations at KIPP Destiny Middle School.

Depending on who you ask, the answer you receive will often remind us that hair isn’t just hair for some.

“The meaning behind my hair is my roots,” said Christopher Irvin, a former substitute school teacher, currently working as an artist. “I think it says strength and courage and it’s an inspiration.”

Christopher Roberts, the Direct Care Specialist at Promise House, a non-profit organization for homeless youth says his locs represent his culture.

“It means everything,” Roberts added. “It means my heritage, it merely represents my crown, my Blackness.”

That’s a sentiment shared by all three of the men we spoke to for WFAA’s Rooted series.

“So, I first realized that my hair could be a concern in 2007,” said Haynes.

Haynes started growing his first set of locs in 2006.

study by Dove on hair discrimination specifically focused on Black women, but a key finding suggests across the country Black people are disproportionately burdened by policies in the workplace that target, profile or single them out for natural hairstyles.

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