Is it Acceptable to Wear Natural Hair in the Workplace?

Is Natural Hair Acceptable in the Workplace? -

A few days ago, news/TV personality Angela Green, posted a video with her assistant, a 19-year old college student with voluminous blonde ringlets, and the video caused an epic uproar in the natural hair community (video below). The problem— Angela Green, the “seasoned professional” made it blatantly clear that her assistant needed to straighten her hair if she wanted to succeed in the news industry because that’s what “her bosses like”…

Personally, I did the big chop in 2009, my senior year of college, and I can only imagine how I would feel if my manager, a fellow Black woman, told me I needed to assimilate to succeed— It’s not a good feeling. I vividly remember straightening my hair for my first interview and feeling so uncomfortable, awkward, and distracted because instead of focusing on the interview I was wondering if my roots were reverting. Maybe that’s just me, but how many other young, educated, black women would have those same feelings?!

It truly saddens me that it’s such a common belief that you can’t have natural hair or locs in Corporate America if you want to succeed because, despite what our own community would have us to believe, there are professionals proudly rocking their textured hair in positions of power.

My Hair Protects Me From Places I Shouldn't Be - CURLYNUGROWTH.COM

“My Hair Protects Me From Places I Shouldn’t Be”
– @AngelaGoneSocial, Owner of N Natural Hair Studio

Watch the latest episode of the #NuGrowthChat series— “Natural Hair in the Workplace (Response to “Natural Hair or Nah?)” and share your experience wearing your natural hair in the workplace.

Do you think it is acceptable to wear natural hair or locs in the workplace?

Is It Acceptable to Wear Locs in the Workplace

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

Blog Comments

I have loc’s and I work in a professional setting. Nothing has never been said about my hair. There are a few of us that have loc’s and natural hair. I think it should be a problem as long as the person wear nice styles and keep it neat.

Comment….your boss says “your skin is too dark” that is your “natural” skin tone, but it can be bleached. That sounds crazy to some of us. Would you bleach your natural skin tone to fit in?

Comment….your boss says “your eyes are too light”. That is your natural hazel eye color…..but you can wear contacts. Once again sounds a little far fetched. i worked with a mixed young lady who pinned her natural frizzy fro and sometimes sported a fro hawk. When I did my big chop from my relaxed tresses, I was treated as is if I did something wrong. A sweet friend who honestly meant no harm informed me that my Caucasian peer was accepted because that was her natural hair and it was “easy” for me to “fix” mine but my peer would have to go through a lot every day. It is time that we stop making this look easy and cheap because it us not! Care for yourself…..Care about yourself. Why does that young lady need to straighten her hair. If it will be distrecting in the scene…….why can’t she be asked to keep it behind her shoulders or just pulled back in a pony tail for the project? It amazes me that straight is always the right way. European straight is the measure of acceptance. That changes……when we change it. So now we will hire blacks but only those who straighten their hair so they look a certain way…..and I have a question……Her hair is distracting…… To whom?

Food for thought…

I also don’t understand the logic behind “distracting hair”, especially when it applies to children in school. Who really gives hair that much attention?!

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