From France to Egypt, from the United States to the Democratic Republic of Congo, women face discrimination in the streets, at school and at work because their natural hair is viewed as too curly or voluminous compared to Western beauty norms.

These stories appear with regularity in the media. In early May, a Congolese student at Kinshasa’s Catholic university was barred from campus because she wore her hair in an “afro-puff” hairstyle. And shortly before that, a young Egyptian woman announced she was leaving her country because she had to deal with frequent insults about her curly hair.

In this week’s FRANCE 24 Observers show, we examine these two cases and speak with a member of the organisation ScienceCurls, which promotes the beauty of “textured hair”. She explained why negative perceptions exist all over the world when it comes to natural hair.