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And Agyemfra’s voice was definitely heard. Long added that since Agyemfra came forward, the restaurant has established a “confidential channel through which any employee can share their views on our policies – without fear of consequences – with senior management.”

 

“Hopefully moving forward working there will not feel pressured and will be able to wear their how they please,” she says. “I just want the women there to be able to express themselves accordingly and make a difference!”

 

“I’m not going to compromise my roots and edges because my employer wants me to. My scalp has a right to breathe just as much as the woman standing beside me.”

 

“I know most black women at restaurants are forced to wear wigs or weaves or extensions, or are forced to straighten their hair everyday. Don’t get me wrong, I think extensions look great. I’ve been them ever since I was a little girl. I love when I get my braids. It’s the protective style I choose and works for me,” she said. “But why am I scrutinized when I decide to to take them out? That’s not fair.

 

Kathryn Long, a marketing manager for Astor’s, clarified to PEOPLE that their written standards allow an “option to wearing ‘hair down’ or up in a ‘stylish up-do.’ ”

 

“She was really nice about it,” said Agyemfra, who added she was not informed of the policy prior to being hired. “But it still doesn’t take away from the fact that she sent me .”

 

On her third day of training, Akua Agyemfra’s manager explained that the chain insists women wear their hair down. When the 20-year-old took her hair out of the , she told