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Why are Locs (aka Dreadlocks) considered Unprofessional?

Ashley Davis, 24-year-old who has been growing her locs for 10 years, but her employer says her dreadlocks are not acceptable and unprofessional for their workplace.Ok, the question lies, Why are Locs (aka Dreadlocks) considered Unprofessional? Time and time again there arise in the corporate sector black men, women, and kids dealing with employers, educational institutions, and society in general, that forces them through policies to get rid of their locs.

In the video below, you’ll find that twenty-four year old Ashley Davis, who has been growing her locs for 10 years, is just one of the people who recently have to deal with making a decision in following dress code or losing her job. Davis’ employer, Tower Loans, recently told her after being employed for more than two months that their new policy states “dreadlocks, braids, mohawks, mullets and other hairstyles,” are not appropriate for their place of business. Wow!

Video from Fox 2 Now St. Louis

Why is natural hair not corporate enough? We have to ask ourselves why does this keep happening and how do we go about changing how people view a hairstyle that is cultural and signature to Afro-textured hair. Yes, other cultures and races embrace and wear dreadlocks as their choice style too, but why can we not meet half way in the workforce?

Just like any other hairstyle there are do’s and don’ts for professionalism. So why does deadlocks or even braids have to be a total “don’t” when it comes to being professional?

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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.


  • This happened to me as a non-emergency EMT. Since, I didn’t like my “starter locs”, I shaved them off and had my barber design a beautiful lady fade. When I went to work the following week, the supervisor complained that ‘I didn’t look like a girl”. I laughed at him and walked away and resigned several months later to devote more time to my business. Natural people need to open and support our businesses, it is the only way to feel safe and make a living.

  • I am a police officer in Barbados and I have sisterlocks. They are always neat and tidy and off my collar as was detailed in the regulations. Now all of a sudden, the hierarchy has demanded that dreadlocks and sisterlocks are now forbidden, regardless of the reason and no rationale behind the move given.So we are all expected to cut our hair. Why are we so backward thinking as a people? Why is natural hair always seen as unprofessional?

  • It’s mental slavery. The mind control of keeping an individual below them. Natural is more than just a culture or cute style. In this time and age natural is a huge political statement that puts fear in whites and our own people. The black society has focused on changing their appearance to feel accepted in white society for years; mentally and physically abused tortured; brain washed; force to lose forget and lose their identity. Humans are already scared of change be nature. Your brain accepts and knows what it is feed to them. So for the 21st century to accept this change right now it will take a miracle. This is the first step to black identifying and knowing themselves, breaking the mental slavery we all have or had suffered. So please my fellow sisters continue to be you, love yourself, and stay beautiful.

  • I have been on my job for five years, I currently and have always worn low cuts, but now Im ready to grow my hair out , dreadlocks,. I took time and read the employee handbook and it just says keep yourself clean neat and groomed. So if I grow my dreads and I am faced with employer telling me I must cut my hair: Shouldn’t this be considered some what sexual harassment or discrimination? isn’t this something worth fighting for, getting a lawyer and press charges?

  • I agree with NappyNana and Glenika–Natural, Grow your OWN Business+Value Brothers and Sisters in YOUR Community! I have been growing my hair natural for a year or two and just “severed” all ties to faux-hair braids and started my natural locs. My spiritual decision; be natural (be real)! Confront myself completely and this includes having enough courage to start my loc journey AND make self-employment (aka my “OWN” businesses) my success story! In a very small Ole’ South City, far away from the Northern cities I have thrived in on many levels, and after ‘fighting’ for many menial low wage jobs in the ‘deep’ South American legacy, I am celebrating the Ancestral legacy left for her children in this generation. Self Determination and Freedom is not easily won but worth the prize! Like the mirror of Hollywood we are still fighting for equality or we can choose to simply “be” as natural as we are (God-Given) -no other race has this double consciousness, no political statement, they are simply Natural and Thrive!

  • I have been employed in one food service job for 10 years… I cut my hair once BC of certain changes I’ve been through personally. I was voted one of the top employees in my company and then it came time for a promotion and my district manager at the time was ready to move me up with my dreads. She resigned before my promotion could go through and when I got a new dm he wanted me to cut them immediately. I fought for 2years on the matter at hand and I felt like I’m only keeping my kids from having there blessings through me. I feel different being forced to cut my dreads which I’ve been complimented on more than complained about. I don’t like this unprofessionalism outlok on locks.

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