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California will become the first state to ban discrimination based on natural hairstyles

The California State Assembly has voted unanimously to pass a bill that will ban racial discrimination against people wearing natural hairstyles, the New York Times reports.

While other states have introduced updated definitions of racial discrimination to include a broader range of hair textures or styles, California is set to be the first state to outright ban discrimination based on it.

The purpose of the measure is to educate the public about the unique qualities of black hair textures and challenge commonly held myths and misconceptions about what constitutes professional hairstyles in the workplace, schools, media and even the military, said California Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove.

"Workplace dress code and grooming policies that prohibit natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks, have a disparate impact on black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter black applicants and burden or punish black employees than any other group," the bill says.

The bill will encourage schools and businesses to create grooming policies that foster inclusion and diversity, CNN reports.

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