I am not my Hair. Am I?

I recently read an article by Maya Allen on BYRDIE entitled ” 22 Corporate Women Share What Wearing their Natural Hair to Work Means” and I was captivated. The sheer title alone grabbed my attention. The experiences of these women felt similar to my own. Their stories were somehow also my story. 

BACKGROUND

As a young girl, I looked forward to hair days with my mother. On Sundays, she would wash and braid my hair for school on Monday. My excitement for Sundays was always sky-high. The fancier the hairstyles, the better I felt.  Hairstyles such as braids, ponytails, clips, bubbles, and ribbons were my normal as a child. 

Getting my hair done on Sunday would set the tone for my week. I felt majestic, beautiful, and like royalty.

SOMETIME AGO

Something interesting happened from childhood to professional women. There was a shift in my delight of getting my hair adorned.

I felt I needed to fit a mold.

For me, that meant straight and black.

Every hairstyle I wore to work was black.

Straight, and without curls.

Whenever I was prompted by my hairdresser to try a different style, I felt uncomfortable. I remember saying to her “NO BRAIDS AND NO COLOR!”

At my first job out from Grad school. My number one hairstyle- Alway black.

TODAY

My views have completely changed. The idea that professional hair is straight hair was a completely false narrative I had adopted. So this last year, I decided that I wanted to rock my natural hair in its fullness. Whenever I could not wear puffs, Bantu knots, or braid out, I decided to wear protective hairstyles that were more natural-appearing. After examining the disconnection between my hair and my professional appearance, I have found two points to be true:

  1. I realized that I wanted to be accepted by others, even if others could not understand my inner conflict.
    I became too concerned about corporate/professional America accepting my big, curly, and colorfully loud hair yet, I had not accepted it myself. I did not need their acceptance. I must first accept me.
  2. For any young girl reading this- know that you are PERFECT. Your kinks, color, coils, clips, dread, and braids are all apart of you. What sets you apart is your most valuable asset.
    • We can all do more to accept each other’s differences, complement each other’s beauty outside the workplace and within corporate America.

KNOW THIS:

Professional Hair is YOUR hair!

Professional Hair is YOUR style!

Professional Hair is YOUR color!

SO I got my hair braided today and added a little color

Referenced Article

7 Comments

  1. Hi I am very happy that you have embrace your natural hair and proud of it .After all hair is a woman’s beauty .I love it .

    Like

    1. I love your hair natural. I had never seen you at work with your natural hair. I am happy that you are embracing different hairstyles. You are beautiful and so is your hair.

      Like

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