Here’s the deal: Professional hairstyles for natural hair are becoming a very big topic of conversation lately.
With the up-rise of the natural hair movement and the large number of black women working in corporate America, it was bound to become a topic of conversation.
Do you work in corporate America?
Do you have plans to work a corporate job and keep your natural hair?
Well these women do and they talk about the challenges they face, silly questions they answer and the mental strength needed to be comfortable in their own hair when many people are not yet accustomed to seeing it or even understanding it.
Professional hairstyles for natural hair in the corporate world is often a matter of opinion, but when most of those that surround you have opinions based on lack of knowledge or exposure, how would you handle yourself?
That's what makes this video interview about corporate hairstyles for natural hair interesting.
The questions that these women have to face on a daily basis are quite revealing and has caused some to shy away from enjoying their natural hair to the fullest. Check out the video below and let me know in the comment section if you have any ideas of corporate hairstyles for curly hair that you will be rockin' while you're clockin' dollars.
Lee's Video Highlights:
One of the women expressed her frustration about not being able to just "go to work and do your job" as a natural in corporate America.
Although the women are proud to be natural, they do admit that it can be a challenge. Especially when having to answer questions like, "Do you wash your hair everyday?". It's not always comfortable answering a million questions.
One of the corporate women was told while going through law school that "You're never going to make it natural", but years later she still is and happy for it.
The natural hair movement is so strong that The Curl Club decided to poke a little fun (in a light-hearted way) and imagine if the natural hair movement were a cult. They used a lot of imagination and creativity to think up this off-the-wall scenario.
It is hilarious!
The video is going SUPER VIRAL and is causing a lot of interesting conversation between large groups of naturals and even non-naturals as well.
We've even seen friends jokingly tagging each other on Facebook saying stuff like "This is soooo you!!"
And of course, there are some people taking the video waaaaaay too seriously and are even offended, I don't exactly understand what there is too get upset about, but hey, some people will find a reason to complain no matter what you do.
But for all y'all that just enjoy a good laugh this will be right up your alley.
Anyway, check it out and enjoy the humor. The end of this video cracked me up, home girl had no idea what she was walking into.
Enjoy! And please leave your thoughts and comments below... Did it make you laugh too?
News anchor Angela Green recently got a lot of attention because of a video she put up on her Facebook profile.
In the vid, Green gave her personal advice to an intern with gorgeous naturally curly blond hair. Green talked about how the intern was told that her hair was “unprofessional” and too “distracting”. Obviously these were comments from people who don't understand the science of black hair. Responding to the situation, Angela Green suggested that the intern straighten her naturally curly hair just this once in order to please everyone.
Some naturals ripped into Angela and her advice. Some others said that her advice was practical. They noted that the ability to be mindful of your image is key to your ability to advance in the workforce, especially when black people deal with so much discrimination in the workplace and don't understand their rights in the workplace anyway. Why offer another reason to be judged harshly and unfairly?
Many woman strongly felt that a black woman straightening her hair only to appease others at work was considered “selling out.” Yielding to these workplace microaggressions against how black woman wear our natural hair means discarding a crucial piece of how we were created naturally. I have to agree with this last point of view.
In order to fully understand the scope of the push back against black women wearing their natural hair, we have to think about how American society defines and determines what’s considered “beautiful” and acceptable.
A culture’s standard of beauty can come in many forms, depending on the country you compare yourself to. In Saudi Arabia, newscasters may wear hijabs, etc. In India, you will find women wearing saris in TV commercials.
In Western culture, the celebrated standard of beauty is typically white women with straight hair. We see this everywhere from fashion show runways to TV commercials to highway billboards, it's always the same look. In American society, the further a woman deviates from this "ideal", the more undesirable you appear in the eyes of those that live by the set agenda.
So this set agenda makes you wonder. How does Western society deal with those that don't bow to its "standard of beauty"? The women that push away from the set status quo? What occurs when society’s perception of beauty is shaken up by a particular hairstyle they have no intentions on embracing?
Black women are, and have always been, the outliers. Traditionally, outliers (i.e people who are outside of society’s normative standard of beauty) are forced to conform to what society deems acceptable or risk being push away. This is what Green was attempting to communicate to the intern. The intern’s hair is a “distraction” simply because it’s outside of society’s traditional standard of beauty. No more, no less.
The Natural Fact Of The Matter
Her naturally kinky curly hair shouldn’t have been an issue. Professionalism in the workplace should only be referenced when it comes to a person's competence and skill. Had professional appearance been a problem, we’d have to make it fair across the board and put a mandate in place regarding ANY physical appearance be it makeup, hair, etc. How people wear their hair is an art and it’s the only wiggle room women have in the workplace besides makeup.
Of course, there had to be SOME reason the intern was singled out. Obviously most black women's hair doesn’t naturally straighten, it naturally stands up and stands out. Standing out in society, much less the workplace, isn’t always rewarded. Because the intern deviated too far from the classical conception of beauty, she kept being reprimanded, even in the subtlest of ways.
Natural Hair Often Unfairly Aligned With "Threatening" Images
Don't let this though get lost in the mix. Without a doubt there's a deeper, more nuanced reason that American society seems put off by natural black hair. Traditional styles such as afros and locs (some refer to them as "dreadlocks") are often connected to militant black movements. Many women in the Black Power Movement during the 1960s wore afros as a symbol of defiance in the eyes of some, although many would argue it was a symbol of embracing themselves. Mainstream society saw black men and women, who were conscious, armed with guns, and ready to defend themselves and their families, all while wearing these hairstyles. Back then, embracing your natural hair signified rebellion against society and centuries of self-hatred that has been ingrained in African-Americans since the days of slavery. Because of this, society still thinks of our natural hair in terms of being a disruption against the status quo and a hostile force, especially in the work environment. They need to shake that thinking and see people as proud to be themselves and not in need of changing into some watered down version of themselves.
In short, while Angela Green’s advice may have been understandable in the context of being able to advance in a predominantly white work environment, it does much more harm than good. It forces black women to choose complacency in a broken system that continually discriminates against anyone different. It's far better to embrace our our natural selves the way that God made us, our culture and face discrimination head on than continue to yield to unequal and invalidated bias societal beauty standards. Embracing our natural hair means embracing ourselves as beautiful, as worthy, and we need to fight for the right to show our natural selves in the workplace. Of course there are standards set, but my natural hair isn't an "offense". We are beautifully made.
This is a super cute video of a mom having fun with her daughter and at the same time teaching her to love her natural hair. All to the tune of Afro-Dance by Les Nubians.
I really loved the question that her daughter asked her in the middle of the song, it shows she's being raised right in more ways than one! Check it out!
Video Description from the mom:
Me and my daughter celebrating our Afros! Please Please PLEASE! help our lil girls understand the value of our beauty. Media is heavy against us. FYI you must start with yourself!
Teach Them Young
Help your daughters celebrate their beauty, have fun and help them nourish and protect their hair instead of trying to chemically change it, damage it, and insult it like so many of us had to live through. They'll thank you for it when they grow up with a full head of hair and a soul full of self esteem.
The group has been amazing and extremely positive. It's been amazing to see all of the beautiful naturals and aspiring naturals sharing tips and encouragement and I've been looking for a way to show my appreciation for them.
So let's get to it. Our 1st ever family member natural hair journey....
My Natural Hair Journey: Johanna Denny
I always went back and forth with my natural hair journeys as my mom started creaming (perming) my hair from back when I was very young. A few years back though, I had put in some braids and I had those braids in for a mighty long time. It was my friend's birthday weekend and we decided to go out of town for clubbing. I wanted to get a fresh new look so I tried what my friend would do. She would take her weave out and cream her hair in that same day and moment. I guess that method wasn't my kettle of tea as the cream irritated my scalp and burned me so badly that my heartbeat raced so hard I felt as though my chest was gonna pop. That night my friends laughed at me so hard, because of how I ran around Sydonie's Kingston apartment creaming to the top of my lungs for burning pain.
A few hours into the morning after clubbing was through I looked into the mirror and saw a badly burnt scalp. I was so ashamed to let the guys on the outside of the club see the condition my scalp was in. Later that day I washed my hair to get the scabs out and decided that I would never hurt myself in this manner again. I decided that black hair in its natural state is beautiful and placing harsh chemicals in my scalp wasn't true love for self. So I stopped.
Tried Locking and Then Big Chopping
I have tried locking my hair since then, because I wanted to escape the reality of having to comb black hair in its natural state each day and realized that wasn't for me either. There are so many videos on YouTube that gives so many tips, tricks and styles in coping with black hair and I am determined to stay away from harsh chemicals.
When I cut my locks off everyone loved the new look. They were not at all negative, although a few preferred me with long hair, but it is just hair and it grows back. Many people are really getting a hang of kinky hair and when I wear mine many people call me an African Queen or Princess.
I believe if we accept our hair as black people in its natural state, it would change the way people of other ethnic backgrounds and even we ourselves see skin colour. If black hair is bad, then our skin colour is bad, but if black hair is good then our skin colour is good also. Understanding this can clamp down on many aspects of racism drastically.
I love my black hair!
A huge thanks to Johanna for sharing your story about transitioning to natural hair and sharing your natural hair journey pictures.
If you are a member of the BlackHairOMG Facebook group and want to send in your "My natural hair journey" story, contact me there and I'll tell you where to send your info and put your story up on this blog to inspire other naturals.
Yup, I’m going there. I’m taking about some of the stupidest, silliest, and downright insulting assumptions natural hair stereotypes that are made about natural haired women.
We all get them and what makes it so shamefully sad is that many of these assumptions or stereotypes come from other women, co workers friends and even family members.
There are countless things to say about natural haired women that are positive, polite and perfectly right but if you’ve been natural for a while those comments are not as prevalent as the ones we’ll be discussing. Without further ado here are my top 10 stereotypes that naturalistas have to deal with daily:
Lee's Article Highlights:
Here are the 10 biggest stereotypes of naturals.
1. Natural are tree-hugging fanatics.
2. Naturals are political rebels.
3. All Naturals are vegan or vegetarian.
4. Naturals make all of their own products.
5. Naturals think women with relaxers are self-hating.
6. Some think natural hair is dirty (especially locs).
7. Naturals are hair obsessed.
8. All natural women love neo-soul or reggae.
9. All naturals are just fad-driven.
10. Natural hair is hard work.
♦ Some of these stereotypes are downright messed up (#6), some aren't that bad (nothing wrong with neo-soul and making your own hair products). But either way, you can't fit a whole group of people into a small box and that is often what happens. This was an interesting top 10 list of what some people think about when they see naturals. It goes without saying that people are often judged on their appearance, some more than others, so the way you choose to wear your hair will also be a factor. Some ladies won't care what people think and others will. But it never hurts to know what the leading perceptions (or misperceptions) are out there.
♦ I don't think these misperceptions should discourage, natural hair is becoming more and more mainstream and understood (and loved). Rockin' your natural hair with pride and living your truth will only do good things as far as perception is concerned, because at the end of the day, your natural hair is a VERY GOOD thing that God gave you for a reason.
Many people have mistaken beliefs about things they don't experience or don't see for themselves. Having more and more natural-haired women "stylin' on em" in the workplace, on the streets and wherever else will only prove what the natural hair movement really is. It's beautiful women reclaiming their natural beauty. No more, no less (in most circumstances).
When Angelica Sweeting heard her young daughter wishing for blonde hair and white skin similar to her doll's, she decided to create "The Angelica Doll" for little girls with curly hair, wider noses, and fuller lips.
The doll comes with hair that you can twist and knot just like real-life natural hair.
Sweeting's Naturally Perfect Dolls Kickstarter campaign has already raised $23,000 of the $25,000 needed to launch production of the doll, which promotes positive beauty ideals and self-acceptance for young girls.
Sweeting and her daughters tested The Angelica Doll's hair for eight months with common natural hair practices, such as twisting, bantu knotting, and curling, to make sure little girls could style and wash their doll's hair exactly how they would do their own.
Lee's Article Highlights:
♦ First off, I want to to stress the importance of supporting Angelica's business. If you have the means to do so you can help her get these dolls made for thousands of little girls by contributing to her kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/angelica/the-angelica-doll-a-natural-hair-doll-for-young-gi and hey, I know it's hard out here on these skreets (yeah, I said SKREETS), so if you don't have money to help her get these dolls made then just share this article. Someone else who reads this might contribute and it will be because you let them know about it through sharing this story.
♦ I always love products like these and BlackHairOMG is known for promoting these kinds of businesses and products because they make a difference, I just recently wrote about the coloring book for natural hair kids. When children grow up rarely seeing a positive reflection of themselves in the things that they are entertained by it has a negative psychological effect.
Angelica's daughter thought that the standard of being beautiful was the dolls that she played with and nothing else. Little girls adore their dolls and so she began to adore what she was not and undervalue what and who she is. It's not a conscientious choice she made, it is the mental conditioning that comes from being exposed only to what is the opposite of yourself and being told that it's the most precious thing without seeing any alternatives. Natural hair dolls gives the girls a chance to see beautiful representations of themselves.
♦ This serves as a lesson to myself and you as well as far as business goes too. When you see something missing, something that is needed... MAKE IT. It's much more effective than wishing and hoping for something and it's a great opportunity to build a business, make money while giving people something they need and want. More people need to have the entrepreneurial spirit like Angelica. I'm supporting her, I hope you will too.
This natural hair movement video carries a powerful message for women who have gone natural or those who are going natural. But Essence Farmer's video is also a bit controversial for some.
Although for the majority of women who viewed the video it's seen as highly-inspirational and it really communicated to them the fact that their natural hair, as well as themselves in totality, are naturally beautiful and MORE than acceptable. Some women had issues with the strong words in the natural hair movement speech.
Some women who are not interested in going natural have said that they were a bit turned off by the video. One woman said that she feels the naturalista in the video is preaching bias against women who choose not to go natural and in her opinion, that's equal to what "euro-centric society" is doing to black women as a whole. Making them feel not worthy of being seen as beautiful.
Well, I personally liked the message of the video and thought Essence did a great job with her anthem/poem. But I'll admit she does kind of "go in" on women who like to perm their hair and chemically straighten it. Check out the video...
I'll also say that not everybody thinks of women who don't go natural as weak or naive. Some women like what they like and that's it. Tell me what you think, does Essence's natural hair movement poem go to far? Or is she dead on?Let me know what you think below in the comment section.
Some of the most-talked-about beauty moments of the season have come via black models whose natural hair has taken center stage.
Dominican newcomer Lineisy Montero stole the show at Prada with her short Afro adorned with a bejeweled barrette, and at Balenciaga, Nykhor Paul, Ajak Deng, Grace Bol, and Mari Agory all wore close-cropped natural hair with Alexander Wang’s demure collection.
Montero brought the style to Céline’s Paris catwalk, where she was joined by fellow model Karly Loyce, who sported a beautiful, larger-than-life ’fro.
Lee's Article Highlights:
In this article, fashion model Lineisy Montero says that the head of her modeling agency actually ENCOURAGED her to go with a natural TWA (teeny weeny afro) for her fashion show, for me this really shows the change in image the natural look is getting.
Social activist Bethann Hardison says that the wearing of weaves and extensions wasn't about trying to be white, but instead it was the model's way of staying in the game and getting jobs. It was a matter of supplying what was demanded, but things are changing.
Montero says that after she went with the natural hair look she got even more jobs and achieved a higher status in the modeling industry within her country.
I couldn’t see the cold, unfamiliar hands disappear within my thick patch of curls claiming ownership over my head. But I felt them.
Seemingly everywhere I looked — long, straight, luscious hair spilled down the backs of women. Meanwhile, my hair barely kissed my shoulders, and despite my efforts, it wouldn’t grow.
I spent the next 10 years attempting to alter and hide the natural texture of my hair. And as each new weave and hairstyle gracefully obscured my natural roots, I felt beautiful.
And I was addicted to the feeling.
I wasn’t alone. Since slavery, African Americans have altered and changed their hair in attempts to mimic whites’ hair.
Today, it can be seen as a personal struggle and a struggle shared by many within the African American community.
Despite changing fads throughout the decades, the Natural Hair Movement, a movement that encourages individuals to wear their natural hair, is becoming popular once again.
I, and many others, are reclaiming the beauty of natural hair.
Lee's Article Highlights: This was a really great article, Darrah Perryman gives us her modern day hair journey and the article is loaded with history regarding black hair and society going back to slavery times.
In the 1500s, slave traders from Europe captured African slaves, then they cut they slaves hair off as a way of stripping them mentally and physically of their identity and culture.
Until this article, I had no clue that women could get a migraine from the weight and pulling on the roots that comes with wearing some types of weave. The writer's description of the pain sounds like a nightmare. The worst part is thats it's done in order to hide the natural beauty.
This write-up shows that natural beauty has to be realized before it can be embraced. This realization has been happening in a big way recently.