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Natural Hair; Protective Styles In The Workplace

This has been a constant topic in many of my group chats. How acceptable are natural hair and protective styles in the work place. Many times you hear people say "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. " Well does that also include hairstyles? I have been 50/50 when it comes to wearing your nature hair (afros, twist, locs, etc) in the work place. Let me tell you why.

I have seen some natural styles not in the best state or properly maintained, which causes opinions to further be formulated on whether it is acceptable. I also see a lot of or majority of management NOT wearing the natural styles. Do brothers and sisters change in order to advance? Is it considered taboo? Does this now become a part of the hiring or career progression process?

I recently spoke with someone in management regarding braids in the work place. It's summer time and I wanted some, but wondered how they would be perceived. Sure I probably should have been talking about deadlines and my career progression, you know the things you talk about in your one on one, but I wanted to know the opinion of someone with some pull. No I am not thinking of a vibrant color or wearing my hair untamed. This topic keeps coming up with women of color as we think about promotions and career progression. When you look at the top of the career ladder, corporate America has an idea of what they want their top executives to look like, mainly white males. Sad but true. The idea of a natural hairstyle or protective styles would not be the norm. Oh well! I decided to get my braids and enjoy my summer. How do you feel about natural hair/protective styles in the workplace?

*I now have box braids and have gotten so many compliments on my hair on how neat it is and how pretty they look.*

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