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Isis Brantley's afro searched at airport

7:04 PM, Sep 21, 2011   |    comments
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Isis Brantley

By Jeanne Moos

New York (WXIA/WFAA/CNN) - And now for a hair-raising story on airport security.

It seems a Texas woman's hair was a little too big for passenger screeners.

So, her flamboyant 'fro was checked for explosives!

This the story of a woman trying to fly out of Atlanta with her hair in the upright position. Prepare for turbulence.

"I saw these people running talking about, 'Hey lady! Stop! Stop! You! You, with the big hair'" said Isis Brantley.

Brantley is a Dallas hairdresser who counts singer Erykah Badu among her clients and specializes in natural hair. So naturally, she's been growing hers for 20 years.

"I said, 'What's the problem?' and he said, um, 'We have to check your hair for explosives.' I said, 'You're kidding me,'" She said.

She had already been through security, but when TSA agents said submit to a hair search or miss your flight, Isis submitted.

"She started digging around in my hair, several times, just touching it and digging and I said 'Find the explosives? Do you see any?'" said Brantley.

Now, most folks don't like their hair being touched by strangers.

Brantley got so upset she cried.

"This is humiliating and embarrassing," she said.

[Reporter]: "Will you grant, though, that because there's so much of your hair, you could actually be hiding something in it?"

"Was Dolly Parton hiding something in her hair? Does, or was Cher hiding something in her hair?" she said.

Do they search Howard Stern or Snooki? Something could definitely fit in Snooki's pouf.

Weapons? Explosives? I can't even hide my ears under my hair. But at least I fit through the door, unlike O.J. Simpson in his oversized afro in Naked Gun 33 1/3. So what does Brantley want from the TSA?

"A public apology," she said.

But the TSA says she left the checkpoint prior to the completion of the screening process, and was offered, but refused, private screening.

"That's fabricated," she said.

But this isn't. Aevin Dugas' big-as-a-disco ball hair is in the Guinness Book for largest natural afro in the world. We don't know whether her hair has ever been searched at the airport, but we do know she says it makes for the perfect pillow. Great for those long-distance flights.

WXIA/WFAA/CNN

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