Kinks and coils. Naturalists. Afro queens. These are but a few of the buzz words around due to this current and ongoing black natural hair movement. With this move towards being yourself, expressing your personality and upholding your culture, surely there is still not an issue with natural hair in the workplace is there? Is there?
This blog post is rather fitting taking into consideration the continuous negative dialog that sorround's Afro hair. there are numerous accounts of Afro hair discrimination, for example on the 21st December a young man in America was forced to cut his loc's, or forfeit the wrestling competition, that he had been preparing so hard for. Wearing ones hair in the natural state rather than covering up with weaves, wigs and chemical processing is just that, 'natural', and we shouldn't feel ashamed or have to explain our reasons for doing so. We are all about heritage here at Nylah UK and our tight or loosely curled locks are an ultimate sign of where we have come from.
The BBC ran an article online back in 2016, where they spoke to young black ladies in the UK about their experience of wearing their hair natural in the workplace. They spoke of discrimination, out right vehement hostility and being made to feel that it was just easier to wear a weave to work. Fast forward to 2018 and though society has changed somewhat, the view towards natural hair in the workplace is still quite stuck in the dark ages. Imagine, banning dreadlocks in the workplace is still legal in the US.
Hair choice is exactly that, a choice, and if someone chooses to wear a full Brazilian weave down to their butt or a loud and proud afro to work, they should not be judged for it. More often than not, we as black women are guilty of judging each other for the hair styles we choose to wear. To add insult to injury, some of our sisters feel they have to assimilate, to wear hair more akin to their Caucasian counterparts to be accepted or rise up the ranks at work. Some black women are actively encouraged to cover up their afros and wear more 'normal' hairstyles to work. Just let me be!
I personally know someone who's boss constantly comments on her hairstyles and makes it known that he prefers when she wears longer, straighter type hair to work. Shocking. This same person has worked in jobs where her colleagues have spoken on the topic of afro hair calling it 'horrible' and 'unmanageable'.
The well known author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once quoted that "Relaxing your hair is like being in prison. You're always battling to make your hair do what it wasn't meant to do". Wise words. As long as your hair is neat, well kept (Nylah UK products can help with that!) and in a conventional colour range in keeping with company grooming codes, then why can you not be natural?
This is still a hard topic and no doubt we will be talking about this for a few years to come still. The saying says, if you can't beat them, join them, but the opposite can be true in this case. In this day and age of entrepreneurship and the many forms it can take, it is so possible to break the mold and be your own boss. My advice, just be you, no matter what. Please feel to discuss further in the comments below.