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natural hair corporate america

What are your views with natural hair corporate America debates? Do you feel that corporate America accepts natural hair or frowns upon it? My personal thought on the subject is a little bit of both. I honestly believe if you wear your hair neat and presentable in the workplace,  you be accepted with no slack, but if you decide to come in with matted uncombed hair, you will definitely find opposition. On the other hand, I think some people do have a problem with such hairstyles as a big Afro or Rasta thick dreads no matter how neat you wear it. I am curious, what are your thoughts or experiences with natural hair in corporate America? Do you think natural hair is unprofessional?

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About the author

thirsty roots®

Our goal is to share the beauty of Afro-textured hair and to have a place where we can come together to get examples, advice, and information of black hair growth and hairstyles. Whether you have permed, pressed, or natural hair it's still black hair and it's beautiful.


  • It depends on the corporation. I’m in the education field, and its a little more flexible in the area of hair, although your hair should always be neat and on some level still conservative. Natural hair can really be styled in some funky hairstyles, and some of these styles may not be appropriate. I’m a teacher so I don’t want to look like the students, you know what I mean? You have to look professional, but without loosing yourself, and that’s a very thin line when it comes to natural hair. If you change from straight to natural, it can be a shock to your co-workers, so expect people to behave differently. I came in with an afro after wearing a protective style for six months. Some pretended to notice, some felt compelled to comment. I wasn’t looking for approval, though, just acceptance, after all, I’m the same person whatever my hairstyle happens to be! They don’t know what to expect from me now; afro, twists, updo with extensions, whatever I feel at the moment. I do try to not get too funky; you know the children are watching, and their perceptions do count to me! I love my nappy hair though, and bottom line is, if you don’t, then that’s your perogative, just like its mine to not care!

  • The person above is right. It depends on the corporation. If you live in an area like mine where the majority of the corporate office has maybe 5 black women in the entire place and no black men.

    You should be surpirsed, as I was, to find that white people who don’t know any or very few black people. Know nothing about African American hair.

    And why or how would they?

    Especially the young people around my age, in their 20s, think my hair just grows the same way theirs does.

    I’ve been transitioning for a year now. yay. So I’ve been wearing pieces since I’ve been working here. Weaves, braids, today it’s a wig.

    Everyone tells me how great I look because my hair looks so great and shiny. Yes, wig spray will make your hair shiny people!

    I’m doing a mini chop tonight. There’s a little perm left so I’m getting rid of it.

    Looking at my hair I feel so much better, I feel like this is the way God wanted me to look. I just wish everyone else would get on the acceptance bandwagon like they say they are and not have an issue.

    It’s just hair, dead folicles on the top of your head. It’s not a threat to you.

  • I agree with the both of you as well. I went from relaxer to a cornrow now I’m sitting hear with a quick weave. I’m finally mentally prepared (I think) to take it out and rock my mini ‘fro.

    Being in a leadership role I am concerned about the reactions to my hairstyle. Overall my personality is pretty conservative.

    As india.arie says I am not my hair…natural, relaxed, weave, or wig…I’m still the professional me.

  • Folksies. I’m hail from Trinidad in the Caribbean and sport natural hair for close to two years now. What I find unconscionable,is the notion that there must be a discussion about natural hair. Does the word NATURAL mean anything to anyone? Its the hair you were born with!Why does this persist?

  • I had been unemployed for 2 years and struggled with how to wear my hair for interviews. I wore twist outs and was professionally dressed in suits in interviews but still wasn’t getting the job offers. I wasn’t sure if my hair had any impact on agencies and whether or not they decided to send me out on interviews to represent them. Then my agency called and asked if I would work an assignment for half a day. My hair was on it’s second day twist out and I went just like that thinking that if they want a qualified worker, they should not look to my hair for verification. After the half day’s work, the General Manager offered me the short-term position. He thought that I meshed well with the group. He was a black man in his mid-50’s, while all the others in the group were white. I have noticed, however, that most older black folks are the most judgmental with natural hair because they have the most history with it.

    Seven months later, it was time for me to move on. I had a great relationship with the entire team and my natural hair was mentioned only twice, both by white men. One told me he loved my hair and another asked me if my bantu knots were the style or the beginning of a style before untwisting. Other than that, my hair never came up. So this time, there was no delima on how I was going to wear my hair on interviews. I definitely had more confidence and my hair was now long enough to roll into a bun, should I choose to do so. So on the day of my interview, I neatly rolled my hair in a bun and put on my tailored black, skirt suit. I was told that I was the top candidate on paper (resume), the top candidate in the phone interview and I walked in there and claimed my job. I got the job. I’m now heading to Microsoft, natural hair and all!

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