So Why Does Airport Security Need to Search My Hair?
Latest posts by Dianne Austin (see all)
- Entrepreneur Tonya Cross Is Making Waves in the Natural Hair Space: NHCN Podcast #0026 - November 4, 2017
- Part 2: Alopecia, Hair Loss and More: A Candid Conversation About Our Hair with Dr. Shari Hicks Graham NHCN Podcast #0025 - September 27, 2017
- Part 1: Alopecia, Hair Loss and More: A Candid Conversation About Our Hair with Dr. Shari Hicks Graham NHCN Podcast #0024 - September 25, 2017
Recently, I returned from a trip to New York via La Guardia Airport. I took off my shoes, piled my items on the conveyor belt and walked through the x-ray machine so the male security checker could start his peep show. Just when I thought that I was done with this indignity, a female security checker indicated that she was required to check my hair.
Hmmmm… I travel a few times a year and this was news to me. I asked why and was told that the x-ray machine isn’t able to view through big hair and I was assured that the request wasn’t a new one in terms of airport security. I suppose I could have been hiding anything in my hair: a machine gun, a machete, a couple of sticks of dynamite…
Mind you, I was not asked by Logan Airport security to pry through my big natural hair, so I had my doubts about this “rule”. In the interest of time and not wanting a hassle, I let the security person “check” my hair which consisted of three very quick pats on the top middle and bottom of my hair. The security guard seemed as uncomfortable as I did during the process, but she wasn’t the one suffering this indignity. A friend who I was traveling with and who is not natural was beside herself and couldn’t believe that I had to go through this hair check. I felt a combination of anger and disbelief welling up in me.
Since the incident, I’ve done some research and have found that searching people with big hair is indeed a TSA practice – albeit an inconsistent practice since it’s never happened to me before now. I understand the need for security checks, but this practice seems to be pre-destined to unfairly discriminate against a specific race or group who by the essence of their DNA are more inclined to have “big hair” when in it’s natural state.
Should I have resisted? And what good would it have done really other than likely delay my flight home?
Once on the plane, we sat near another naturalista and I couldn’t help but ask her about her experience going through airport security. The woman who was from Texas indicated that although she was not “hair frisked” before getting on the plane that we shared, she has had this experience at other airports.
It made me wonder. Do white women with big teased hair or large buns get their hair frisked? What about men wearing toupees, or women with wigs or people who wear turbans? Or, are only women of color with natural hair being singled out?
I’d love to hear if anyone has had this experience and how they handled it.
|“Changing attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. Not sure of which products are right for your hair type? Visit our solution oriented natural hair products store.|
You May Also Like:
- NHCN Podcast 0012: Why Does Airport Security Need to Search My Hair?
- Are Black Men Missing From the Natural Hair Conversation?
- Hair Nah- The Natural Hair Game
- Senegalese Women’s Group Called “N’happy Galsen Find The Beauty In Their Natural Hair
- Naturalista Who Fought Off Cancer Now Fighting For Her Right to Wear Her Hair Natural
- The New Age Hair Revolution
- Beyoncé Backlash: What Does Hating on Blue Ivy’s Hair Say About Us?
- The Power Of The Puff… The Afro Puff That Is
- Just a Joke? Comedian Sheryl Underwood’s Shocking Comments on “Nasty Afro Hair” [Video]
- Natural Hair News From Around the Web: 9 Things Some White People Don’t Understand About Natural Hair
- What We Can Learn From Viola Davis About Wearing Wigs, Natural Hair, and Hair Loss
- Why It’s Wrong to Call Your Hair Nappy
Explore Our Website!
Let’s Stay In Touch
What Others Are Saying
Natural Haircare Topics
- How Do You Know If You Have Scab Hair? Pictures
- 6 Tips for Controlling Frizz in Natural Hair
- The Finer Things In Life: Tips For Fine Hair Naturals!
- Combating Fairy Knots In Natural Hair, (Single Strand Knots)
- The LOC Method: 3 Steps For Happy, Moisture Rich, Natural Hair
- Mature Women and Natural Hair – A Photo Gallery
- Transitioners Start Here
- Natural Haircare Training and Certification Available at a North Carolina Community College
- The Benefits of Hair Steaming For Natural Hair
- To Trim Or Not To Trim – That Is The Question