Wait, I Can't Wear my Hair How? Corporate America Edition

The Great Corporate America Debate

Corporate America and Natural HairThe pressure to maintain a professional appearance on a job can become quite the topic of controversy, especially if that job happens to be in Corporate America. I’m sure we all have our personal idea of what we consider to be “appropriate attire” for the work place, and so does our employer. With that being said is their an unofficial rulebook of what natural hairstyles are okay to wear to work, or are we allowed to wear our hair anyway we please?

Lately, I have been blessed with the opportunity to fellowship amongst local naturalistas from all walks of life inclusive of Corporate America. It’s amazing how the response to the posed question correlates directly with the person’s work industry. A few months ago I was told by an anonymous individual –who so happens to work in Corporate America, that her picked out fro was already “too much” for her colleagues, and she was ready to relax her hair. Luckily I was able to talk her out of it however, sadly enough I think it’s only temporary. Do you feel like we as Knotty By Nature Divas place more pressure on what styles we consider appropriate or is it honestly pressure from our employers to look a certain way?

Before I go any further let me back track and say I do believe the hair should be clean, neat, and out of the face. However, I can’t help but to ask myself a slew of questions beginning with, “Why does my job title get to determine how I wear my hair?” Why are certain natural hairstyles deemed to be unacceptable in the workplace if they in fact are clean, neat, and out of the face ? Am I honestly less likely to get hired for a Corporate America job position if I wear a picked out fro vs a twist out? Lastly, Are my lengthy locs really not to be worn down while at work?

Maybe I’m being too rebellious of Corporate America and exercising my first amendment a little too much. Stacey Edey says it best in her blog post “Professional Workplace Appearance: It’s a Hairy Situation.” While the debate still continues, be sure to comment below and let’s discuss how you feel you should wear your hair in Corporate America.


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