So What's Wrong With My Hair?

So recently I was having a 'hair' discussion with a friend who is also a natural. The topic of natural hair and workplace was on the agenda. What disturbed me about this discussion was the remarks she has to deal with about wearing her natural hair to work, which sadly comes from her own African American co workers.

Why is natural hair considered a no-no in corporate America?

Last summer Glamour Magazine had to deal with an issue pertaining to insensitive racial comments made by a former white staffer who branded black hairstyles as no-nos because they were considered political.Though I'm not surprised by this comment I'm disturbed that the wrong hair could affect your job, in this case Afro hair.

While I don't subscribe to the belief that you should be free to wear your hair however you want in a work setting. I do have a problem with being penalized for the hair that grows naturally from my roots.

Have you had a notable experience with your hair and job?


  1. I work in a corporate environment where there aren't a lot of African Americans in the city, let alone the work place. My hair seems to be of great fascination to my coworkers, and to be honest, I don't understand why. I get asked all sorts of questions...

    Does it grow like that?

    How do you make it do that?

    Can I touch it?

    Ultimately, I chalk it up to ignorance and try to educate my coworkers, but it can be frustrating and exhausting having to explain something as natural as the follicles growing out of my head.

    What is interesting is that my natural hair seems to be more accepted by those that are not African American more so than by African Americans. I get all sorts of smart-alecky comments and side-eyes by my people about how "nappy my hair is" and how I "need to do something with it". Fortunately for me, I am not one who is phased by what others think and have confidence in my myself as well as my heritage.

  2. I have to deal with this issue a lot at my job. Many of my co workers make comments about my hair and like you say they are mostly AAs co workers. I wear my hair neatly and professionally so I dont have problems with my employers.

  3. My best friend is natural and I'm currently transitioning. Before she went natural she was worried about how her co-workers and boss would react. Both of us were surprised when the negative comments only came from AAs. She said the white people on her job could have cared less.

  4. @ dani : u know that's so true. my hair is completly natural. i work at hollister in soho newyork. what i came to realize is that my white co-workers and friends are actually in love with my hair. my black co workers love my hair too, but there is a handful that aren't fans of it at all. they just can't see the beauty in a girl w/o a perm or weave.

  5. I believe that whether you wear your hair natural or not, generally your hair solomente does not ultimely define who you are. A compliment receives a "Thank you" graciously and anything else you just ignore.

  6. I am not African American but my hair is lol! By that I mean both my parents are Hispanic. There is something about AAs that they are constantly hating themselves. They hate their noses, they hate their skin color to the point they try to bleach it, they hate their hair so they perm, straighten and flat iron to make it more...EUROPEAN. Instead of realizing that a lot of that self hatred was a tool created by white slave masters. The curse still lives on, to the point that AAs have problems with men and women who choose to embrace their hair, their skin, their bodies, their facial features. We've all seen the black men and woman who love Africa, not because it's a fad but because they love who they are and where they come from. For me, I am just beginning to learn how to love my heart. And right now, people LOVE my afro, mostly white. But I also get a lot of compliments from AAs that tell me they wish they could get it to be so full and so long. But there are those who tell me that they can't deal with having their hair this way. They'd rather perm or weave. But if anyone has seen the movie "Good Hair", we see that AAs just being exploited by white and asian industries that know nothing about this type of hair. As such, the products aren't good for this type of hair either, is it bad? No! of course not, but for as long as white America keeps telling you that your hair needs to be straight like the women in Pantene commercials, the longer AA and other women, like me, who have this hair, constantly think we need to do something to look just like those Europeans. I say: Enough! So the next time an African American wants to condemn your hair tell them: "stop projecting your hair issues on me."