Hair racism: the everyday prejudice black nursing staff face at work

Workplaces can marginalise staff of African-Caribbean heritage who chose afro styling

Nurses of African-Caribbean heritage discuss workplace attitudes that expose employers’ and individuals’ bias against black norms of grooming and undermine cultural identities

  • Black nurses describe feeling marginalised and even violated at work because of discriminatory attitudes to their hairstyles
  • Cultural competence is a fundamental nursing value that needs to extend to colleagues as well as patients
  • Advice on how to combat hair racism in healthcare

A nurse manager demands you alter your hairstyle even though it complies with uniform policy. A colleague pulls on your hair to ‘see if it’s real’; a patient suddenly


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