Natural Hair News

natural hair is unprofessional?

There are many women who are told that natural hair is unprofessional in the corporate environment. It’s not that they are being fired but the problem is in getting hired and promoted.

In my research I have found that many of the natural sisters own their own businesses and therefore cannot be told what they can or cannot do with or to their hair.

If you are considering  the transition from relaxed to natural please be aware that it could potentially cost you more than your hair. It might cost you a career unless you have a plan to be in business for yourself. I know that suck to hear but it’s happening everyday.

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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.


  • Unfortunately, corporate American is everything not related to natural hair. India Arie’s lyrics to I Am Not My Hair says it best: good hair means curls and waves (white, European), bad hair means you look like a slave (black, Negro) so it is hard and will continue to be hard to promote a natural look in corporate American. Smooth, straight, hair that looks like white people hair is what is considered professional and attractive. Natural hair reminds people’s mindset of slavery, black skin, big lips, wide hips and ebonics. Now, intelligent people know that natural hair is beauty but even most black people have the same negative thought process when they see natural hairstyles. It’s a shame, but there it is. The truth.

  • This is such a shame because I’m sooo close to getting, what I consider, meaningful employement. Something in my field, a job I went to college for and it’s right around the time I started to learn more and more about going natural. The people at my job (I’m trying to be nice) really don’t know anything about African American hair. Extensions are a major mystery, I don’t even want to know what’ll happen if I go natural. Maybe I could ease them into it. 😉

    Both of my parents have told me to hold off, which makes me so sad, but I don’t want to ruin the opprotunity.

    Hopefully I can find an inbetween solution.

  • I am not concerned because I walk under the favor of God and when God decides to open doors for me, NO ONE can stop His plan. Natural or not. 🙂

  • Im sorry but I compltetley disagree with this. I know plenty of natural hair women in coorperate positons, and no they do not own their own business. My older sister who is also natural is a partner at a law firm in New Orleans. She keeps her hair a neat natural puff. No matter what the texture of your hair is, as long it’s in a neat style. I get so tired of people saying black natural hair is unprofessional. The sad thing its mostly black people who say this. Your natural texture is very professional and won’t cost you a career or promotion as long as its in a neat style, and no, I don’t mean flat ironed .

  • @ Mya – I definitely agree with you on this point. I hold a ‘corporate’ position and have had no problems wearng my natural tresses. In fact, my colleagues and peers at work have complimented me on it after the weaves they have seen me wear for the majority of my time here. I have only ever encountered black people saying natural is not corporate but I have seen lots of styles which contradict this. I have two other colleagues at work who also have natural hair and we all style our hair neatly but in a way which protects our ends.

    To those of you transitioning or thinking of going natural – all you need to be aware of is how you present yourself in general – a neat bun or twists or updo is what you should be doing anyway to protect your ends and they look more professional.

  • I think most black people have a problem with natural hair, especially the older generation.However,when I go to an interview I act, dress and speak professionally using proper diction and depending on whether its a male or female interviewing I show a little cleavage lol. It is a shame that as black people we have been taught to hate ourselves physically and some of us would rather die then be seen in public with nappy hair.

  • I work for the government in a predominantly white male environment and hold a position of authority within that environment. I made the jump to go natural almost 3 years ago. I slowly integrated my hair into my workplace. Those I supervised were excited about my hair and could not wait to see how it would look from week to week. Tell the truth, I couldn’t wait either and did I mention these individuals were white? Now, my supervisors (one black, one white) were skeptical. I could see it in their eyes so I held back on the styles and kept my natural hair a little closer to my head. Now, truly, I wanted to bust through the door with a big ol’ curly, wavy afro but that would not have gone well and I was anxious about the comments I may have received. I’m very sensitive about my hair because I love it and I feel like everyone else should too. However, being in the corporate world (whether private or government) and being a sister with natural hair is touchy. I’m better protected in the government because there are avenues available to protect individuals who are mistreated or harrassed in any manner. But for those sisters who are in the private sector, it may be a little harder and scarier to put themselves out there with their hair. One of my best friends has said she’s just glad those on the interview panel gave her a chance and hired her. Her hair in styled in silky dreads. I believe more and more people and sectors are coming around to natural hair and hairstyles but it is still slow coming. Even our sisters who still make the choice to chemically treat their hair sometimes have a hard time with sisters who chose not to. Even my husband is not in love with my hair and it’s been almost 3 years. So, everyone…natural and non-natural, keep fighting the good fight. And to my natural sisters…Peace and Hairgrease, ya’ll.

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