A Zara Employee Was Told Her Hair Was 'Too Extreme' For The Store She Worked In
A Toronto woman is considering filing a complaint and quitting her job at the Zara store she works in after she claims she was discriminated against because of her hairstyle.
Cree Ballah (20) who is mixed race, told City News that when she interviewed for the job last February she was told she couldn't have extreme hair colours, so she removed grey extensions from her braids.
She was then shocked to be pulled aside by a HR manager who said her hair was too extreme for Zara and asked her to take it down. At the time she was wearing her braids in two thick ponytails, and was made tie them into a low bun.
She was examined in plain view of other employees and customers and felt embarrassed.
The manager reassured her, ‘we’re not trying to offend you, but we’re going for a clean, professional look.’ Then I asked her, ‘what is a clean professional look to you?’ And she replied, ‘natural colours.’”
Ballah pointed out she had no bright colours in her hair and that there were multiple store employees with brightly dyed locks.
“The way they handled it was extremely unprofessional,” Ballah says. “The words they used were very problematic. To suggest that they were going for a clean professional look, and I didn’t fall in that, to suggest that my hair wasn’t clean, or professional, just because I had braids in.”
Ballah wants the rules around hairstyles to be clarified, to avoid more potentially embarrassing situations occurring.
“The guidelines are not fair,” she says. “My hair was deemed a problem, but someone with blue hair was fine, and someone with pink hair and a shaved side head was fine, and somebody who has two pigtails in straight hair is fine.”