Saturday, June 15

Is This Real Life? 11-Year-Old Cheerleader Kicked Off Squad For Curly Hair

Young woman in hairdresser saloon having a treatment and haircutBlow-dryer anxiety is a thing…”

So says Allure Associate Beauty Editor Lexi Novac on the magazine’s Daily Beauty Reporter blog.

She goes on, “See, I have curly hair, and since most of the top dryers don’t come with a diffuser attachment, they leave my hair a sad, stringy, stretched-out mess. Well, I say enough with the silky-straight oppression.”

And while oppression might seem like a hyperbolic choice of words for a discussion about curly hair, it no doubt rings true for 11-year-old Makayla Fallaw. The Texan pre-teen was reportedly kicked off her cheerleading squad for her curly hair. Rather, she was allegedly kicked off the squad after she refused to straighten her curly locks, as per her team’s competition guidelines. Makayla has been participating in cheerleading since she was four years old, but her curly locks have never been a problem until recently.

“Just a few weeks ago is the first time I had heard about a special hairstyle,” her mother said to ABC 13 in Houston, TX. “I felt like it might make my daughter feel like her hair is not good enough because she’s not like other girls…It would destroy her hair, so I wanted to explain to them my reasoning.”

While an experienced hair stylist could have helped Makayla straighten her hair for competitions, repeatedly straightening curly hair can cause long-lasting damage. That’s just one reason the natural hair movement has been trending in recent years.

The coaching staff at Woodlands Elite Cheer told Makayla that all cheerleaders have to comply with certain aesthetic requirements for competitions, like hair and makeup.

“We were trying to make the exception. We were trying to find a compromise and a happy medium. And she wasn’t willing to have a compromise. She was very defensive,” said coach Kevin Tonner. “It wasn’t about hair. It was about we don’t want this negativity on our team.”

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