Do TSA agents have a problem with afro wigs? Several cases have been reported in the press of agents searching afro hair and wigs all in the name of airport security. Solange Knowles can now add her name to the list of black women whose afros have been searched by TSA.

The “Losing You” singer tweeted that TSA agents patted down her afro, while she traveled yesterday:

To her credit, she managed to have a sense of humor about the ordeal, even playing a game with her followers of “What Could TSA find in Solange’s afro?”

But discrimination is no laughing matter. It appears that TSA agents have an issue with voluminous, textured hair when it’s on African-American heads.

I wonder how many non-black women get their hair searched by TSA. Or women who have “big” hair that isn’t textured like an afro. The number of black women, famous or not, who have to deal with their hair being patted down by TSA agents is too high for it to be anything but discrimination.

What are your thoughts on TSA agents searching afros, Clutchettes? Is it discriminatory in your opinion?


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  • Humanista

    I try not to fly in my big fro for this very reason. However they slice it, this practice literally INFURIATES me. The first time it happened, I had not opted out of the scanner, but they pat me down, which doesn’t really bother me. The woman who was patting me down was white but when she got to my fro, she called over a black woman to do it. …not sure what that means, but it seems that if it wasn’t racially motivated, there would be no need for racial sensitivity.

    …but that’s just my take. Glad to hear it’s not just us, though.

    • sweetypie09

      maybe it’s because a black woman is supposed to know how a fro feels? lol

  • Mademoiselle

    I have a teeny tiny fro, and have had my hair patted by white and black agents. Same thing when my hair was long and I used to braid it up and throw it under a hat for every flight. Any time I opt out of the body scanner it happens. Considering “briefly grazing” my privates is a part of the procedure, checking my hair seems incredibly minor to me.

    Also, wasn’t there a recent story about women who sewed drugs into their weave trying to make it through customs?

  • Gail

    I always get my hair searched now. I understand a few women have been caught with something in their hair so hence why it started in the first place. But i have noticed it primarily being black women. I personally have never seen a non minority/arab searched so I hope they do this equally before a lawsuit appears sometime down the road because it doesn’t appear “random” that they pick these particular women out and i find it borderline out of bounds. Funny though, they always ask me if it is ok if my hair is patted down. So if I say no, what would happen? Has anyone ever said no to the TSA hair search? Because imagine a woman going through chemo being searched under a cranial prosthetic. Its absolutely humiliating in front of hundreds of people to have that done especially when she is going through enough already in her life. They need to be able to scan for this instead of this kind of embarrassing procedure.

  • scyren

    I went through the body scanner for first time in July and I was pulled aside to check my hair. I had one row in my hair, the rest was mine and it was flat ironed. So, it wasn’t flat at all and trust me, they were gentle with it. I was kind of annoyed.