Happy Hump Day!!
Yesterday, I presented to a group of students preparing for internships within their field. Well, a student informed me that she was concerned about her hair because she has chosen to wear her hair natural. She has gone on interviews before and feels that she has been denied opportunities for employment due to her natural hair. Now, I really have an issue with topics such as this and since it was not my class, I chose to be very careful about my response. Lord knows it was hard because before I knew it, my insides grew heated. While searching for the most real but politically correct response, I posed a question to another student who is natural. I asked if she thought about how she would wear her hair for her interview. After hearing her response, It was over; I lost my cool and decided to keep it 100 which is how I operate anyway. Sadly, the student informed me that she would wear a wig to her interview! As I type this, my head is beginning to hurt.
When it comes to Hair and Employment, I view things from a totally different perspective! I have been natural the majority of my life and over the past 10+ years in the professional world, I have NEVER thought about whether or not my hair was acceptable for an interview. That is NOT how I live my life. That is NOT how others should live their lives. Our hair provides some insight into who we are as individuals and our culture.
Before I continue, my points are by no means an attack or a Black vs. White issue. Instead, my points are simply Right vs. Wrong. Many times in my professional career, I can recall coming in contact with a woman of another race working with tattoos exposed; hair died orange, blue, purple, or all three at one time. I can also recall men of another race allowed to work with tattoos exposed; hair down their back; or earrings in their ear. My problem is that these same things are deemed unacceptable from jump street when compared to those Black or African American. A Caucasian man with a ponytail down his back in a professional setting is the same as a Black male with Locs. Natural Hair does not equate to bad, dirty, messy, or anything else negative. Is everybody’s natural hair in order? No! But that is by choice and that is applicable to all races. The #1 Reason why my hair in the professional world is not a concern and it should not be for any of my natural sisters is because I believe in my GOD. I know that if I do not get a job, the real reason is not my hair; It just wasn’t for me. What He has for me is for me regardless of how I look….Preach! 🙂
After telling that young lady that point, she felt better about her abilities and who she is. Remember, if you are in order, you should not have to change who you are or make drastic changes. A nose ring or blue hair is appropriate to take out for an interview. You should not have to shave your head or harm your scalp in order to please someone when you are working with what you were born with.
Everyone isn’t going to like your natural hair. That is their problem, not yours!