Dove launches campaign to combat race-based hair discrimination

Inspired by real life stories, “as early as five” calls for an end to hair discrimination

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Black girls experience hair discrimination from as early as five years old; this is the insight that has inspired Dove’s latest campaign designed to draw attention to the issue of race-based hair discrimination.

Dove’s new US campaign “As Early As Five” has been inspired by real life stories of children and adults who have experienced hair discrimination and bias in schools and the workplace. In 2021, the brand conducted the ‘Dove 2021 CROWN Research Study for Girls’ where insight showed 53% of Black mothers in the US whose daughters have experienced hair discrimination have experienced it by the age of 5. 86% of Black teens who experience discrimination have endured it by the age of 12.

To draw attention to these statistics, Dove has launched the “As Early As Five” campaign with the help of WPP agencies Ogilvy and Swift along with consultant input from JOY Collective.

The campaign centres on a film which shows audiences three seperate scenarios of race-based hair discrimination experienced by a girl starting in elementary school at age 5, in high school and into adulthood - all inspired by real life events.

The film is directed by writer/director Aisha and aims to reflect the journey and relationship many Black women have with their hair. In an introductory video accompanying the film, she explains the inspiration; “With this film, I wanted to tell a story about a Black woman going on a journey and staying rooted in her self love about her hair that her father taught her"

Dove believes Black women and girls should have the freedom to wear their hair how they choose without the fear of job loss or education

Alessandro Manfredi, Global Executive Vice President at Dove

The campaign is part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to take action, raise awareness and lead on the issue of race-based hair discrimination and advocate for the passing of The CROWN Act. Dove co-founded the CROWN Coalition to advance anti-hair discrimination legislation. The CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, is a law that prohibits discrimination based on hair texture and hairstyle.

“As Early As Five is a continuation of Dove’s longstanding efforts to contest harmful beauty standards.” explained Alessandro Manfredi, Global Executive Vice President at Dove.

He continued: “Dove believes Black women and girls should have the freedom to wear their hair how they choose without the fear of job loss or education. As CROWN Coalition co-founders committed to ending race-based hair discrimination nationwide, we’ll continue to take action to help protect the 2.3 million children nationwide who are most vulnerable to race-based hair discrimination and are currently unprotected by the law”.

Dove hopes that the launch of this campaign will spark urgency in parents, school administrators and advocates to sign The CROWN Act petition. To find out more about The CROWN Act or sign the petition please click here.