- Governor Gavin Newsom, who signed the bill, spoke of a high school student who was forced last December to cut off his dreadlocks before a wrestling match or forfeit the bout.
California on Wednesday became the first US state to ban racial discrimination based on hairstyle, passing a law to ensure afros and dreadlocks can be worn at all schools and offices.
The law is primarily aimed at protecting the rights of black Americans who favour the distinctive cuts, and was passed unanimously by both state chambers.
It is due to enter into force on January 1.
The law was introduced by Los Angeles Democrat Senator Holly Mitchell, who is herself black and frequently wears microbraids.
"This law protects the right of Black Californians to choose to wear their hair in its natural form, without pressure to conform to Eurocentric norms," the state senator said.