To wear natural hair in corporate America, or to not? What a hot topic, always! For the last couple of years, I thought that the answer was simple – wear your natural hair. I had grown such a strong love, appreciation and respect for my hair that it was easy for me to walk into interviews and complete internships while rocking my natural curls.
It was not until recently that I have felt uneasy while walking into the office because of my hair. I work for a pretty “corporate” firm, but despite that, I’ve always felt very comfortable wearing my natural curls. But now that summer is coming to an end, it’s time to switch it up, and that’s just what I did. I installed some 12” Havana crochet braids, and while I loved them I was nervous that I would look “too black” at work. My first day with the style, I was nervous to walk in the building, nervous to go to the gym and nervous to leave my desk. I literally skipped breakfast and sat at my desk until lunch – no water, no bathroom, nothing! Once I finally worked up the nerve to leave my desk, I realized that my new hair wasn’t that big of a deal. I received so many compliments and had the opportunity to answer so many questions – I had the opportunity to share a part of my culture with people and they were genuinely interested.
After that experience, I now understand why people can feel uncomfortable in the workplace because of their hair, but here are three reasons why corporate America needs you to wear your natural hair:
- Wearing your natural hair encourages others to wear theirs – Nothing becomes acceptable until we force change. Natural hair will always always always be looked down on as long as people continue to not wear it. It is up to us to introduce it into the culture, and therefore affect change.
- Corporate needs a new look – When people think of corporate America, everyone usually has one look in mind; white men and women in suits. This is not fair to all of the hard working people in corporate America who do not look like that. When people think of Corporate America, they should think more of just white men and women, I want them to think of people that look like me as well!
- Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn about our magical tresses– As mentioned earlier, my new hairstyle gave me the opportunity to answer so many questions and in turn allowed me to share a little bit of my culture. Our hair is magical, and the truth is that most people don’t understand it. But the more we bring it to unfamiliar places, the more we can educate.
Love you hair, always, and never be ashamed of it.