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Throughout time, hair has evolved into the glorious movement it is now in 2018. For so long, black women have endured backlash and unjust treatment for wearing their natural hair. Their truth is being snatched and told that they are unprofessional. A place that is supposed to be a safe space has been inhabited by obvious discrimination.
We continue to make the mistake of not letting everyone be their true self. Many companies behind closed doors have turned black women away for their hair. Many have come up with different ways to tell black women that they can’t wear their hair because it’s “untamed.” It correlates to telling someone that ultimately, their true self is not good enough.
Below are a few testimonials from women in different industries all over the country. These testimonials are drawn from an Essence article called, “Black Women Speak Up About Their Struggles Wearing Natural Hair In The Workplace.”
“When I was working in financial services, I remember feeling like it was only work-appropriate to wear my naturally curly hair pulled back in a bun. It wasn’t something that was [expressly] stated, but there weren’t any other people in power positions that looked like me and wore their hair out, curly, kinky and free. I remember also feeling validated by all of the compliments I would receive when I would come into work with my hair blow dried straight.” -Wellness/Food Entrepreneur
“I feel very comfortable wearing my natural hair in any environment. I’ve been lucky enough to work among people whose job it is to celebrate and advocate for diversity. I haven’t always worn my hair in its natural state, and I give a lot of credit to my HBCU and an endless amount of natural hair YouTube tutorials for allowing to embrace the beauty of my hair, and teaching me how to style it.” -Non-Profit Civil Rights Activist
“For the first time in a while, I finally feel comfortable wearing my natural hair in the workplace. However, there are still some embedded conditions preventing me from truly wearing my natural hair in the office that I have issues breaking away from, like sporting my curl. Upon graduating I entered the world of corporate public relations, marketing, and social media and did not see women who looked like me. Not having representation in the workplace led me to want to alter my natural appearance to conform and fit in. I once wore my hair curly to the office and it was a topic of discussion for the whole day. I felt like I had to constantly explain my hair and its texture.” -Social Media Manager
These are only a couple of the countless stories(might I add that these are some of the lighter testimonials) of women speaking their truth whether it be good or bad.
We’d love to hear from you! Share your experience wearing natural hair with us below.