Auto normalize not working?

I created a hair mesh with bangs and ponytails and a rig with corresponding bones. I have Auto-Normalize on (as I always do), assign weights to the head to 1.0 and use a weight gradient on the pigtails and the bangs.

Oddly enough, the head is staying at 1.0 even with AN. I though I might have pressed some hotkey by accident, so I opened a new file and appended the model but the problem persists.

Any Ideas what may be causing this?

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Weight gradient doesn’t work with auto normalize. Use brush, or if you necessarily want to use gradient use it with vertex weight mix modifier, not with auto normalize.