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Asian Parent Balks After School Tells Daughter She Needs To Darken Her Hair So It ‘Looks Natural’

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With each passing year, schools have more and more rules.

Hard as it is to sometimes admit, many of these rules are made with the best intentions.

Showing children that there are consequences for bad behavior or slacking off.

However, things become incredibly problematic when rules are not enforced on everyone who breaks them.

A recent Redditor became frustrated when they were told that their daughter was breaking the school’s dress code by dying their hair.

Even though the original poster (OP) noticed that several other girls were also dying their hair.

When the OP made the unfortunate discovery that their daughter was being singled out owing to her race, they were understandably not willing to take it sitting down.

Wondering if they were making too big a deal out of this, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to dye my daughter’s hair because her school complained?”

The OP explained how their daughter was being penalized for not attending school in her “natural” hair color.

“My daughter(15 F[emale]) dyed her hair dark reddish brown for her birthday.”

“I didn’t let her dye her hair in middle school but said she could in high school.”

“The school has a dress code for hair that just specified ‘natural hair colors only.'”

“Which I took to mean browns, blondes, reds, black, etc basically natural tones.”

“Her natural hair is black but I don’t think it’s much of a change.”

“The hairdresser that did a bleaching on her hair said it did not lighten enough to cause significant damage.”

“But then one of the teachers at the beginning of last year began complaining to me during parent-teacher meetings that her hair didn’t meet the dress code.”

“I said her hair color grew out of people’s heads so why was it out of the dress code?”

“She told me it was clearly not her natural color and I shot back tons of her students that I saw that evening had blonde hair and highlights when they clearly natural brunettes.”

“She claimed they look like they could be blonde, but my daughter’s hair was supposed to be black.”

“My daughter is Asian so it’s pretty racist to say she can’t dye her hair. I brought it up with the principal but he agreed with her saying it was against the dress code.”

“But I saw tons of white kids in her class with obviously brown hair that dyed it blonde and even red but no one said anything.”

“They want me to darken her hair again so it looks ‘natural.'”

“This went on until the end of the school year.”

“I contacted the superintendent several times but she never got back to me.”

“It’s almost the start of school again and I get an email from the principal reminding me my daughter is only allowed black hair.”

“She still has her reddish brown hair and doesn’t want to dye it back.”

“But I’ve tried to fight it and the last thing to do is to barge into the superintendent’s office and demand she get involved.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for refusing to dye their daughter’s hair back to black to appease her school.

Everyone agreed that the OP had every right to be furious, with some even feeling they should take legal action against the school for what they felt was a blatant act of discrimination.


“The dress code says ‘natural hair colors’, NOT ‘their own natural hair color.'”

“If other kids are allowed to color, perm, or otherwise process their hair, then your daughter should be too.”

“The color she chose is a natural color.”

“End of story.”- MySquishyFishy

“Some Asians have dark brown hair, some have reddish tints.”

“If your daughter is being singled out because ‘all Asians have jet black hair’ and ‘white people can have a variety of natural hair colors,’ please fight this.”

“My hackles were raised while typing out that sentence.”

“NTA.”- AgeLower1081


“The AF?”

“’You’re Asian so your hair better be black’.”

“Are you in the US?”

“Hardcore ACLU.”- Defiant-Currency-518


“Contact your city’s newspaper and inform a reporter about the school’s racism.”

“The reporter will contact the school district’s PR person for info.” 

“I promise, you’ll hear from a district representative quickly!”

“The principal will be mad you went nuclear, but he’ll have had his butt reamed.”- TheQuietType84

“Wait, the emails said ‘only black’ for your daughter?”

“You have that IN WRITING?”

“OMG! Discrimination lawsuit much?”

‘NTA.”- KSknitter

“If other kids can dye their hair a different natural color, then your daughter can too.”

“I would consider contacting ACLU because telling her she can only have black hair because she is Asian is discrimination.”- AccurateSky4900


“Keep fighting racist policies and keep fighting for your daughter.”- QuackLikeMe


“Some people might feel that a fight over hair is not worth the hassle.”

“But if you and your daughter have the energy, I think you should take this as far as you can.”

“Because the rule is pointless, illogical, and systemically racist.”- cpagali

“NTA is this clearly race-based.”

“If you are in the states, you can file a discrimination complaint with the US Department of Education.”

“Honestly, sometimes schools need to be outed publicly in order to pay attention.”

“There are ramifications to think through, and it’s not for everyone.”

“If you have the stomach for the trolls, and the consent of your daughter, maybe post a photo of your daughter’s hair alongside the white girls with dyed hair and tag the school, super, and USDE for a response to your inquiry.”

“Keep it brief and don’t go for personal attacks.”

“Explain that you’ve been ignored by the super and the teachers & principals are keeping up this bias.”

“It’s not ok.”

“Obviously, you’d need the consent of all the girls, or to blur out faces.”- dont_stare_case


“Teacher here and I’d say fight it.”

“My school has almost no dress code because we know realistically a parent can get a lawyer and get almost anything thrown out and it’s not worth the hassle.”

“Our dress code is simple.”

“No hats/hoods on head and the four Cs covered.”

“The hair thing could be fought and won in court I bet.”

“Go to the superintendent.”

“Go to the school board.”

“Go to the media.”

“Go to a lawyer.”- zebramath


“And contact the media to shine the spotlight onto these bigots.”

“Public shaming seems to be the only way to get closeted racists to behave themselves.”- Kwooni


“All you really need is a letter from a lawyer explaining how they are discriminating against your daughter because of her race.”- Flat_Shame_2377


“Stick to your guns, this is racist as all hell.”

“If they push the issue, mention that the media would love to take this story of discrimination viral.”-Sweeper1985


“Just send her back and say until you hear from the superintendent and no other students have highlighted, bleached, or colored hair.”

“Then SHE will have her hair however she wants it.”

“Also yes.”

“What the lady said was racist as hell.”- Fluffy-Doubt-3547


“I don’t understand why the color of her hair has any impact on her ability to learn.”

“Shouldn’t that be their main concern?”

“Also the rules should apply to everyone equally.”

“This seems illegal somehow.”- MidniteProph


“There is not a question in my mind that this false enforcement of the dress code is racially motivated.”

“It is time to have an attorney reply to their letter.”

“Until every Caucasian kid has their hair their natural color, they are setting themselves up to lose in court.”- Fattdog64

“Go to the county superintendent.”

“I had to do that with my son.”

“It is amazing how fast the local schools back down.”

“They are being racist, you can also go to the state level.”- Still_Ad8530


“This strikes me as a situation where you want to either contact a lawyer or contact a reporter.”

“Have it tried in either the court of law or court of public opinion.”- Munchkins_nDragons


“Yeah, wow she actually acknowledged that she’s discriminating against your daughter.”

“Do not back down.”

“Escalate this all the way up the chain of command.”-UhLeXSauce


“Go to your local media about this.”

“This is clearly racism.”

“Express that you have tried to get in touch with the superintendent with no success.”

“Fight this tooth and nail!”

“Good luck!”- BoizenberryPie

“NTA but I hope you read this.”

“My hair is naturally dark brown and I dyed it a light auburn red for most of my adult life including 8 years in the Army.”

“I had one 1SGT who decided to take issue with it.”

“I printed out a copy of the regulations that said ‘hair color must be ~A~ natural color’.”

“Reddish brown is A natural color.”

“The rules do not say it has to be HER natural color.”

“Look at the wording in the rule book and fight for your daughter.”

“It’s not fair and you shouldn’t teach her that she should bow to people who want to treat her differently from her classmates.”- DesperateToNotDream

This school better take a closer look at what exactly they are trying to enforce with this particular rule.

Otherwise, it looks like they will be hearing from many, many other angry parents.

Which might very well be the very least of their problems, should the ACLU get involved.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.