Natural Hair & Professionalism. An oxymoron?

I saw this article from Black Enterprise Magazine

Natural Hair and Professionalism. An oxymoron?

The question:

Can natural hair and professionalism co-exist? Or should we all expect to conform when we take (or apply for) positions in various companies?

Now it must be noted that I wear my hair in its natural state. As in no relaxers aka “perms”, and I rarely straighten my hair. So it is worn in its kinky curly state or in some type of natural style.  I have had a relaxer for a number of years, so I know both view points.

As I read this post, I thought about a couple of things

#1 I still can’t believe we are still discussing this in 2011. Is hair  really a big deal?  The fact that wearing you hair in its natural state frowned upon bothers me. For the me the issues that people have with hair often run deeper than hair (it borders on self-hatred in some cases). I also thought of how Blondes are often stereotyped as dumb simply because of their hair color. People make a lot of assumptions based off the appearance of hair. Strange yet true.

#2 From a corporate perspective I don’t know if  could stay at job that made me feel inferior or ridiculed me for wearing my hair natural. That makes for a hostile work environment. And grounds for a possible lawsuit.

#3 Natural hair care and styling is important! Proper hair care and knowledge on how to care for black hair would end a lot of these negative stereotypes.  Particularly with natural hair you have to know how to style your hair.  So while working in a “professional environment” you have to take extra care with your natural hair so you can you don’t look disshelved.

Any thoughts on this issue?

Happy Flying,

~Solo Dove~

About the Author

Sandra Florent is the entertainment and non-profit publicist behind Solo Dove Public Relations. Solo Dove Public Relations is based in New Jersey. Solo Dove Public Relations provides personalized publicity, consulting,and event planning services to clients in their area of expertise.

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