Thursday, September 23

Natural Hair in the Workplace- Repost from YBP

Hey Everyone,

Just thought I would share an article/post I saw on I thought this was very interesting and maybe some of you will too.
My Thoughts- There should be absolutely no issue with a woman wearing her natural hair out no matter what the work environment is. We were born with these beautiful curls, so why should we receive any type of back-lash for it!

A striking number of YBPs have decided over the last few years to nix the relaxers and other chemicals and wear their coifs in its natural state. Embracing our true roots with a more natural and holistic vibe when it comes to hair is a trend that shows no sign of stopping. Natural hair is appearing everywhere from red carpets to the catwalk to offices in companies worldwide. But as it is accepted in a more playful medium, the boardroom is one place where natural hair may get winces.

What’s a YBP to do?

In terms of natural hair itself, a company cannot mandate the way you wear your hair unless it is in a contract of some sort. For example, if you’re working for a relaxer company, then it may be in your contract that you are to wear your hair in a chemically processed style. For regular office types that are not in the beauty or fashion industry, a contract that has hair stipulations borders on discrimination. A company can set guidelines on wearing your hair in a well-groomed, neat fashion, but they cannot set the terms concerning the style of hair.
The gray area begins with the definition of neat hair or well-groomed. It can get sticky because what I consider neat and well groomed may not be the same as someone else’s definition, which is why natural hair in the workplace can cause issues.

Natural hair is looked upon by some as avant garde or against the grain, and in some workplaces, may get a second or third look. In my own journey of transitioning from relaxed to natural tresses, I had questions from colleagues about what I am “doing to my hair.” I answered their questions although I didn’t feel it was necessary. People are curious by nature, but I drew the line at explaining the reason behind my journey. It was none of their business.

There are some positive natural hair stories in the workplace, however. According to natural hair and beauty blogger Roshini Cope from, “My natural hair has been received very well. I’ve rarely had any issues and I work in a corporate environment. ” She goes on to give advice to those that are natural in the office. “Stay confident! I genuinely love my hair and I believe that sort of thing shows when you strut down the hallways.”

The politics of natural hair and the workplace will be a topic that will be a discussion point for years to come. From the HR prospective, you cannot be discriminated against for the way you choose to wear your hair. If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your natural hair, consult a Human Resource manager in your company by filing a grievance, or the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) in your area if you were let go because of your hair or you feel you were overlooked for a job due to your tresses.
Diversity has been lauded as a strength in the modern workplace and true diversity is a plethora of differences in the office. No matter how you choose to wear your hair, keep pushing forward and do you.

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