• Japanese schools are facing backlash for encouraging students to dye their hair black. (Digital Vision)
Schools are forcing students to submit a Natural Hair Certificate.
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

24 May 2019 - 1:35 PM  UPDATED 24 May 2019 - 1:35 PM

Schools in Japan are facing a growing resistance from students who object to dying their hair black.

A new survey, which was thought up for a Pantene shampoo campaign, has found that students with naturally brown or lighter hair are regularly pressured to dye their hair darker, so as to fit in with the majority of the school population.

Two years ago, one 18-year-old student even sued the Osaka Prefectural Government for damages after reportedly being forced to dye her hair repeatedly in order to attend class.

One result of the 2017 case, according to The Telegraph, is that 60 per cent of Japanese schools now demand that students supply a Natural Hair Certification, which documents a person's natural hair colour and level of curliness.

However, Pantene's new campaign video, which has already clocked up close to 10 million views, suggests a change could be on its way.

“I was told to cut my brown hair or dye it black,” one schoolgirl says in the video.

“Even after submitting a Natural Hair Certificate, I was still told to cut or dye it. I wondered why I need to do this.”

Another said: “My school makes everyone submit a Natural Hair Certificate. We have to write down what colour, how curly our hair is. I want to make sense of why this is necessary.”

The controversial campaign has also inspired a petition opposing hair rule restrictions on schoolchildren in Japan. The petition received over 10,000 signatures in a matter of weeks and will reportedly be delivered to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

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