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Is Natural Hair for the Corporate Woman?

Is it a work-hindering problem or a just diversion?

Is it a matter of Racism or Company Policy?

What could make natural hair more acceptable in the workplace?

Is Corporate America designed for the Natural Woman?


With the Natural Hair Community growing as fast as it is, there is less and less room for discrimination due to the texture of one’s hair. So do all the questions above even really matter? It is most often NOT in any company policy -specific requirements [in regard to] the texture of hair for a Woman, especially an African American Woman; but there are many unspoken policies that take effect when someone feels it is necessary.

What will my boss say? Is a question many are stressing about when making the empowering decision to go natural. How will I wear my hair? Will I be able to keep my job? It is a major issue among Women, and the answers seem few and far between. It is already a daunting task to make the choice to go natural as it is a tedious process to transition from chemically straightened hair to natural, thick, and coily hair.

It is interesting even, how wearing braids and twist extensions  are acceptable hair styles to wear when someone is transitioning; but when actually cutting off the relaxed ends and rocking an all out afro, is viewed as distasteful and disgusting to some. The old snoot gets turned up even in offices where other Black Women, who have opted to keep their hair straight, see another Black Woman go natural. There is murmuring of “who does she think she is” to “I wouldn’t have done that if I were her” to “that is so ugly”. Whatever the opinion, it hurts doubly so, when it comes from someone in our own community.

Educating one’s self is important as it is necessary to educate others on the beauty and benefits of having natural hair. When you know what you are working with, it is easier to teach others how to understand what you are working with. If you don’t know, then the thoughts of others may trump all the time and effort you have made to go natural in the first place. It would all seem for naught. But when you research and review the facts, and the wealth of information that is made available to you [mostly online], it empowers you and enables you to continue in your journey.

So back to styling, what CAN you do with all that thick, coily hair up there? If you aren’t bold enough to rock an all out fro, there are other options that don’t require straightening, weaving, or adding extensions to the hair. It’s about getting to the basics. What are the basics? Properly cleaning the hair; keeping the hair conditioned and moisturized; detangling the hair; then styling the hair.

4. Use a wide toothed comb to comb the hair, starting at the ends and working toward the scalp

It is often perceived that natural hair is unmanageable. It may appear to be this way, but it is far from the truth. Natural hair is softer to the touch, but it is stronger than straight hair. Straight hair has no tension, no where to go if pulled or stretched, except right out of the scalp! Hair that has any bends, waves or curls in it, is naturally stronger. Its reaction to tension is far better and causes less damage than hair that is straight. There IS a possibility that natural hair can also be pulled too tightly and that would cause breakage and possible hair loss; but overall, natural hair has a great deal of strength and can withstand many treatments and manipulations without weakening. It also retains moisture better than straight hair.

Keeping the hair moist is important to maintaining sheen and pliability. Dry, brittle hair will break off and create split ends, then trimming is necessary. It may then appear that the hair isn’t growing because you have to do so much trimming.

A key tip is to style the hair when damp, unless you are seeking a desired look that doesn’t require it. This makes the hair more manageable and as you begin styling (ie: braids or twists) the leave in conditioner and moisture is retained longer.

Creating a base for a myriad of styles.

Two of the best bases for many natural styles is to either two strand twist the hair or to plait (box braid) the hair. This gives one look, if it is done neatly. You can part it anywhere in the front, to cause the hair to fall on one side moreso than the other, etc. Next, twists or braids can be fashioned into other styles, like The French Roll; A Pompadour; A Bun, A Twisted Mo Hawk; A Combo Style (ie: half up, half down); and The Partial Updo.

*All of the links will open in a new window on youtube.

Here are a few styles in the Business Style Gallery to try. These can be varied by size of twists or braids, and combinations of some loose hair and some braided hair. The creativity is up to YOU! Most of all, this information was written to prove that Natural Hair IS appropriate for Corporate Woman!

Do you have questions about Natural Hair, Locked Hair and Styles? Leave a comment below or email :