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Kinky, Curly, Coily: Natural Hair and the Workplace

By Clarissa Williams, Editorial Intern

Natural hair appears to be the new “hair fad” that has hit the streets today. Numerous African-American women today are letting go of the so called, “creamy crack”, and going back to their roots; literally. While the natural hair look is acceptable for a night out, a quick trip to the grocery store, or just an everyday look, many people are still wondering if it is acceptable in the workplace. Before natural hair became what it is today, it was not as appreciated or accepted in the office. The big hair or the small coily tresses were and still are often questioned and sometimes looked down upon in a work environment. This could be due to the fact that big natural hair is, to many, unprofessional. When being interviewed for a job, many natural African-American women, either straighten their hair or wear it in a bun; thus taming the natural look. Several people see this as conforming to what is “acceptable”, while others view it as something that is necessary in order to get their foot in the door. Nonetheless, whether natural hair is being tamed in the office or able to run wild, it shouldn’t take away from the skills and knowledge of the employee.

As times change and natural hair becomes the more prominent style for black women, it should become more recognized and accepted in the street as well as in the office over time. When the workplace does wholeheartedly embrace natural hair, they will also be embracing and recognizing a different kind of diversity. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to rock that fro, the time for naturals is here.

 

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