Former AEG Employee Fired For Not ‘Taming’ Her Afro


Apparently if you have a job as a security officer you cannot have an afro. One lady learned this the hard way, when she was fired because she refused to ‘tame’ her hair. As a result Tiffany Bryan filed a $900,000 lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court because of the discrimination she faced. Tiffany is only 27 years old and a bone marrow cancer survivor, so naturally she decided to stay away from chemicals and go natural in 2008.

We can only imagine the joy she must be feeling after finally seeing her hair start to grow back after all the chemotherapy she had to endure due to her sickness. To be quite honest  was a little surprised at this, because I figured Brooklyn would be a little bit more tolerant than it actually is. The Barclays Center probably provided many jobs for people who otherwise did not have one so the value of that should out weigh a hair style.

Of course again, the afro trumps all of that and it again becomes center stage in a very negative way causing one woman to endure constant harassment due to her hair and eventually she was fired.

We still have work to do ladies, you would think something as simple as hair would not cost you your livelihood but it can. We see it everyday and sometimes we take it lightly because it hasn’t happened to us.

There is definitely discrimination in the work place and the argument still remains unresolved about what is considered appropriate for work. We will be watching to see how this turns out, Tiffany might get a huge payday, we just have to watch and see.

From the NY Post:

Bryan said she was first hired by AEG Worldwide in September 2013 and didn’t receive any hair-related reprimands until security supervisor Denise Brown told her last March that she “looked like she stuck her finger in a socket and was electrocuted.”

just sad! Comment below and share your thoughts on this one!

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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Ashley Weatherspoon

she should come to work looking decent, people get fired for appearance related issues all the time, no o e wants their company represented by someone who looks unkept…..employees face disciplinary action for tattoos, piercings, apparel and so on. This is no different.

Alexis Alleyne

There are so many nice styles you can do with natural hair I honestly do believe she doesn’t have to go to work with her hair flying like that all the time

Felicia Allen

I agree with you. People be using natural as a way to be lazy and not comb their hair.

S. Daniel
S. Daniel

That sound ridiculous! Do your research on Natural Hair, before you say such uninformed things!

Kerimah Rogers

THANK YOU. Fix that crazy looking hair. Not a reason to fire someone, but good grief comb it!!!

Ricardochantal Fleurival

she can’t be looking crazy @ work.. scaring customers

Kimberly Mckinney

I agree she needs to tone it down a bit cause that speaks volumes and its going a bit overboard for any employment….she had to know this though!

Jessica Bahadi

That is unacceptable. I wuld understand if she were a cook but no way.

Jokoya McLean

Honestly…. at your job you do have a certain way you should look even at food restaurants you can’t have crazy hair and at my job we can’t even show our piercings or tattoos. There are tons of styles she can pick for natural hair she didn’t have to work with her hair all like that everyday. People can pull the race cars etc but I don’t feel she had a case here.

Rebecca Tribeca Akrofie

This is bad news for other naturals tbh. This woman and her refusal to just tie it back/ braid etc will reflect poorly on natural textures as a whole. The haters and the ignorant management teams out there will feel a little vindicated over this.

Danita Scott

You can be natural that’s not an excuse for being unkept. Every employee should look neat and presentable at work because as an employee you represent that company.

natural subscriber
natural subscriber

I’m not sure, what was discussed with her or how she was wearing her hair, but if it was worn as the picture above, if there was consistent and continual discussion of being presentable at the work place, i can somewhat understand the stance. whether you are relaxed or natural, a person must remember, they are a reflection of the workplace and must be presentable at all times if the job requires it.

Kristen Bert

She could use a head band. There are ways to style your hair if u want to wear it all out

Doresa Carrington

Firing her over hair, not right. A reprimand suspension. She could have AND should have found a salon.

Jovahn BlackDiamond Thompson

She look crazy lol

Anna Ogonji Smith

Why do she have to tone it down??? An afro is supposed to be big! As long as it’s clean and combed its none of their business.

Pattie Armstead

That’s why she’s out of a job! That is no way professional looking.

PurplenPurrtee Howard

It doesn’t look “combed”

Shalaya Hasbrouck

Go to africa and see whats natural. Professional just means uptight.

Ruth Fennell

she need to fix her hair.

Lucki Coupon Queen

they probly gave her many warning a head band and trimming would have done the trick smh im sure it say something about grooming when you get a job

Pattie Armstead

It’s her fought not AEG!

Tay Diosa Caliente-roja Simmons

In my opinion, I think the employer is right. This has nothing to do with being natural. This is about being presentable. She can wear a fro to work. I did not see anywhere in the story that said she needs to straighten or relax her hair. There’s a difference in waking up then doing absolutely nothing to your main and styling it. To me it looks like she didn’t attempt to do anything on purpose. I think she got her desired outcome…..a lawsuit. My mother is in remission from cancer and is natural. This has nothing to do with her following the rules at work….looking presentable.

Pattie Armstead

Well said!

Sam Drigo Freeman

totally agree

Rhea Kelly-Evans

And she will lose her case based on presentation. She had options but chose to neglect her hair

Kerimah Rogers

Thank you! People take this natural hair movement too far. Natural doesn’t mean be lazy!!!

KG Goncalves

Did you read the part where agreed to a headband that they told to put it in a ponytail?

Sandra Ifeoma Orimilikwe

I couldn’t agree more…well said:)


I’m all for natural hair in the workplace but her hair looks very wild & unkempt. Most people,employers included, have seen afro styles that are neat & attractive. Her facial expression in that photo shows an ” I’ll wear my hair any way I please & I’ll sue for discrimination & get some money”. I bet she’s used negative attitudes on the job, the hair just being a part of it, & some of that is also behind her getting fired which is why she’s hollering discrimination. Some people use natural hair as an excuse to look ratchet. All thru my 30 + years teaching career I wore afros,braids, cornrows, & curl defined afros. The black teachers & staff as a whole wore their hair in every style black women wear,including wigs & weaves. Same for women i know who work in the corporate world. No problems at all with employers , but NO ONE, repeat NO ONE, ever ever ever came to work with their hair looking like that photo. It’s ghetto,ratchet & a disgrace to the beauty of black women

Princess Elvin-Lewis

You think it’s ok to tell a black woman to tame her hair you and your black that’s crazy!
No one ever tells women with strait hair that it’s unacceptable to wear it out (unless when it comes to health and safety) of any race, the more not going to tame my fro because it makes other uncomfortable and they THINK it’s unkempt which is shocking because it takes me two-three hours to wash mine.
Other people attitudes need to change not OUR natural hair, it’s just anouther way of letting you know your not white enough!!

Pattie Armstead

That’s not true. It’s not about looking white. It’s called maintaining and combing your hair.

Shalaya Hasbrouck

No its looking white. White folks have straight fine hair and “supposedly” thats the only professional look people go for. I say rock that natural fro! I wear mine the same way. Security AND office work. No one said boo. ROCK THAT FRO!

Pattie Armstead

There are many naturals who have professional jobs and maintain their hair. She should have been fired.

Shecka Benson

Every workplace has rules. Putting your hair in a pony tail as a cook is not new. In this case she was not a cook but you need to make yourself presentable. She look like she just goes to work without combing her hair at all. Try going with washing your clothes and see what happens. Any race can try it.

Princess Elvin-Lewis

You can comb it out and still look like that

Jovahn BlackDiamond Thompson

I would have fired too , just because you natural doesn’t mean you don’t comb your hair

Princess Elvin-Lewis

Unless it affects her work its discrimination unless everyone was asked the same

Jessica Young

With every job there is a description for appearance and a dress code unless you’re self employed. I doubt that she looked like that when she was hired, you can dress and look anyway you want when you’re not on the clock, but be wise enough to follow the companies rules and regulations when it come to dress and appearance.

Sandra Sahara

Style it! Hope the judge throws out the case! She could’ve gotten it braided, high bun with pinned twists! Box braids, twists. She had multiple ways to wear her hair! You can’t be walking around with wild hair! Glad she beat the cancer though!

S. Daniel
S. Daniel

Why can’t you walk around with wild hair? it’s yours.

Anna Ogonji Smith

If a head band and a trim was ALL she needed she wouldn’t have gotten fired. They didn’t want her to look as black as she already does. She’s a security officer and cancer survivor give the woman a break. I’m merely saying she deserved all $900,000 of her lawsuit.

Kim Eddins

Presentable is subjective…employment should have so much more emphasis on one’s ability to perform the job’s duties…and so much less judgement regarding appearance….
Not all consumers are so shallow as to feel the need to dictate how a person should LOOK to provide insurance services

Jennifer Price

Here’s my thing y’all – natural, relaxed, or if your white, your hair still has to be styled and neat. Even white folks gotta run a brush through their hair or it’ll look a mess no matter how straight it is. Sometimes we can rock natural our hair in cute and more socially acceptable ways if we stop trying so hard to make a political statement. Look neat. Keep your job.

Jennifer Price

And YES where it natural if you like! But do it in a neater way.

Jennifer Price

Forgive the typos

S. Daniel
S. Daniel

That is the problem right there. “socially acceptable”. Why do naturals have to wear there hair in a way that makes others comfortable??? smh

Kitty Galore

she is should of kept it classy. an Afro does not =no class.

Princess Elvin-Lewis

Did you miss Chris rocks movie on black hair? It’s good, alot of you need to watch it

Ta Shauna Leonard

She needs to comb her damn hair. Looking crazy.

Sandra Harris-Holloway

Look to impress always. Natural does not mean wake up and go. Embrace your hair, natural, relaxed, curly or straight. If we don’t take our natural journey seriously who will?

Sharon Atkinson

LOL is all I can say

Besie Bennett

I have to agree with Sandra, natural doesn’t mean hair should look uncared or disheveled. Natural or not we always need to look presentable and like we have self respect.

Shalaya Hasbrouck

No. She is right. Why should she have to “tame” her fro. My old job tried that and failed. White folks and non minorites get away with any old hairstyle. Fros can be messy or neat. It doesn’t matter. I like her fro. Its natural. Did anyone READ the article. She was a SECURITY GUARD NOT COOK!!!

PurplenPurrtee Howard

According to the article, the employer didn’t say “cut, straighten, get rid of ur afro, but, rather, she was asked to “tame” her afro. Being natural doesn’t equate to looking unkempt, which to me, she does. She failed to follow a reasonable instruction.

Stella Boamah

If her hair looked like it does in the photo when she was terminated, then I understand why. Im natural and my hair never looks like that at work. Do a nice professional natural hairstyle and if they still harassed her then its a different story. Otherwise her hair does look very wild and unkempt.

Tamekia Floyd Poole

Every work place you go to have policy and procedures and u are agreeing to abide by those standard before you even begin working. So therefore the lawsuit need to be tossed out.

Victoria Mackie

I need more info on this, like whether or not there are appearance standards in place, exactly what was said to her, how many warning, etc. You don’t need to use chemicals to tame a fro. There are things she could have done to meet the requirements of her job while still maintaining her hair. If I wore my hair that way (I work in a business setting) and my boss asked me to change it within reason it wouldn’t be discriminatory. I work for a business that requires a certain image that looks professional, to me, her does not fit the professional category. If it were a white women who came in with birds nest hair and the boss asked her to get it under control before interacting with customers it would fine and acceptable. Everything isn’t an attack.

Paola Nadege Kouadio

Just because one is natural, it does not mean their hair need to be all over the place & not professional. There is a time and place for behaviors & proper grooming & attire. In a professional environment, ones hair should be groomed regardless of hair texture or race or ethnicity! I am natural (before a natural movement existed) & I know not to go to my work place with an unkempt hair. Nothing wrong with “messy” fro but it needs to be styled. A style messy fro is different from an unstyle one.


I applaud her! Sue the crap outta them. Why should she have to subject her skin and body to chemicals. She is a SECURITY GUARD. IVE SEEN WHITE FOLKS LOOKING WORSE. They don’t get fired. 400lbs guards who cant tuck in their uniforms and she gets fired over NATURAL HAIR. WTF? THATS stupid and wrong. Bet if she put some caustic glue on her scalp and some china made weave they would have been like ok. Weaves and glues aren’t healthy. Why look white?


I totally agree with your point! The style is too BLACK/ETHNIC for them. This matter is so subjective too me! Who is to say what taming looks like? Maybe to her it is styled. How do we know that she did not comb her hair? Many organizations and people in the community at large feel that Black women’s hair is unattrative and nasty. Some people feel that braids are unattrative. Some think many of the hairstyles that black women wear without a relaxer are unprofessional/ethnic/unattrative. Many white organizations with primarily white people find black women with their hairstyles make tnem as a whole unprofessional. Why should she have to trim her afro or wear a head band to make them feel more comfortable/professional? Why should she have to slick her hair down? Were does it end? There are so many organizations were women of color know that they better not think of coming to work with braids/twist/nappy or kinky buns/kinky textured wigs. I feel that when all is said and done, the more a black woman wears her hair in a white manner, the more acceptable you are as a person. Looking presentable means tone your look down and keep it down.

Malann Marshall

Me personally, I see nothing wrong with her hair. It looks clean & it’s shaped ok. So many of us are brain washed into thinking that everything has to be a certain way. Who’s to say what’s the correct way? Oh Yeah Society. Well f*ck Society. You keep wearing your long busted weaves, tight clothing, big fake a$$es & perfect ‘every fricken hair in place’ styles. AEG needs to pay that girl!!! That is all!!

Shalaya Hasbrouck



Well said my sister friend! She deserves too be financially compensated for this matter. I find that even in 2014, that many Black folks/African Americans are so uncomfortable with seeing others wearing their hair in it’s natural state. Straightened hair makes most people feel more acceptable as an individual.

Jovahn BlackDiamond Thompson

Im tired of ppl always throwing the race card around or saying someone is being discriminated on when its not the issue. Here is a woman who clearly looks like she woke out of bed and went to work. Regardless if she is natural or not have pride in yourself noy to walk out the house that way. Also in a working place such as hers im sure they have a dress code and if she working with food its just nasty to have your hair flying all over the placr while fixing others food. Pretty soon when a reall issue about race arises ppl will noy pay attention. Its like the boy crying wolf to many times. Also if you do where a fro trim it up to make it look nice noy like a troll doll.

Maybell Lena Killion

A.troll.doll, omg, perfect visual! Lol

Shalaya Hasbrouck

She was a security guard not a cook

LaShaun Whichard

I’m sorry but you can’t go to work looking a mess she could have done a lot of different things with her hair that are acceptable and still be natural she could just put it in a bun or ponytail or something her hair does look wild I work in a professional setting and have ever since I’ve been natural and no one has said anything about my hair or the the other naturals I have and currently work with because we look presentable and everyone’s hair ranged from tea to a big fro so there is no excuse if I were her boss I would have fired her too after she has been warned multiple times and clearly not doing anything

Andrea MoonPearl Banks

I am a natural girl, and that right there is not professional in my opinion. Do you off the job. Or get your own business. Stop trying to prove a point and end up broke and unemployed.

Shalaya Hasbrouck

My fro was finger combed. I don’t use brushes or combs.

Tiara Cornell

I’m sorry in the professional world, you have to carry yourself a specific way. You are representing the company that employs you. There isn’t anything wrong with being natural, but being natural doesn’t give you an excuse to roll out of bed and go. Put a headband on or something! She can’t be taken seriously looking like that, and she doesn’t take herself seriously looking like that!

Andrea MoonPearl Banks

I work for an Agency that fights discrimination, and trust me, sometimes its not the issue presented. Most of the time its the employee’s performance. If she was hired looking like this, why would they hire and then fire her for the hair?

Sivon Lockhart

there’s a difference between rockin’ a fro and not combing your damn hair! GTFOH

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