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On Jan. 1, the Baltimore Police Department's new, more rigid professional appearance standards goes into effect—standards that prohibit such hairstyles as cornrows, dreadlocks and twists. These natural hairstyles are deemed to be "extreme" and a "fad" by the department.

"We just felt that over the years, some officers have taken advantage of the old general order and are not presenting themselves, while in uniform to the public, in the most professional manner possible," said Matt Jablow, spokesman.

NaturallyCurly.com is completely opposed to such a rigid and discriminatory policy. By implementing this policy, we believe the police department is sending a negative, hostile message to individuals who choose to wear their hair in its natural texture. It shows complete ignorance and disrespect for the differences in hair textures, and the styles that suit those textures.

These hairstyles are neither extreme or fads. Men and women have been using these methods to style their hair for centuries because they are styles that are well suited to natural hair.

"I think it's incredibly insensitive," University of Maryland Law Professor Taunya Banks told Baltimore's WBAL-TV. "I'm really kind of concerned about labeling as faddish a practice that's not faddish at all, and what appears to be a targeting of black officers."

"What they're saying to a woman is either she has to wear her hair short...or she's going to have to chemically straighten her hair," Banks said.

We hope that the Baltimore Police Department will reconsider this policy.

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