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Is Natural Hair Unprofessional?

Well, I guess that would depend on who you are asking. In my personal opinion, it absolutely is not unprofessional. I might be biased for many reasons. I have been wearing my hair naturally for ten plus years. I am also a Natural/Curl Specialist by profession. It’s my job to help people embrace their natural.

I am writing this blog post based on a post that I put on on my Andrea Peele Roberts Instagram. I asked the question if natural hair was unprofessional. I put up a picture of a client who has type 4 curls ( a black woman). When I began to see the comment I realized that as black women we believe that natural hair struggles are exclusive to us. I used to believe that too, but my mind changed a while ago.

At Beauty for Ashes Salon, I service clients both in person and virtually. Before I service clients I do a consultation, whether or not It’s in person or over the internet. During these consultations, I have heard so many things good and bad when it comes to the perception women have about their natural hair. Now let me just say this. This is not a race thing at all but it is a texture thing for sure.

I have clients of different races. Back in 2018, I got my DevaCurl Certificate which allowed me to learn more techniques on other types of curls. Which then allowed me to diversify my clientele. One of the biggest aha moments I had with this experience is this. The choice to go natural is just as difficult for women of other races as it is for black women. Please don’t shoot me or get ready to go off by that statement. Continue reading then Ill be open to whatever comments you may want to state in the comment section of this blog post.

Think about it, if you are white and everyone in your family has pin-straight hair or slightly wavy hair, then boom you have an afro. How does one explain this? The family definitely doesn’t know what to do with it, and neither would you. Have you ever seen people of a nonblack race with an afro or big puffy hair and think to yourself hmm how did that happen. Well, news flash it happens because their hair is curly or wavy, and they don’t know what to do with it.

No different from a black woman who doesn’t know what to do with their natural hair. Or better yet I have a client who is from Hong Kong with curly hair. I couldn’t believe it myself. Trust and believe I tried to get pics of her hair and she wouldn’t let me LOL. Seriously, could you imagine what she went through in her China?

The list could go on with stories that I have heard from nonblack women who have gone through some of the same things that black women go through wearing their hair naturally. They hear the same comments from co-workers and employers. Some of these comments like.

  • What’s wrong with your hair?

  • You didn’t comb your hair today?

  • Must have been a rough morning.

  • When are you going to comb your hair?

  • Trying something different with your hair huh?

  • I like your hair better straight………….

Now, this is not to minimize the deeply embedded issues that come with a black woman’s struggle in the acceptance of natural hair, but rather this blog post discusses whether or not natural hair is professional or not. I just thought I should share some food for thought when it comes to the topic of natural hair, which is not exclusive to black women. When someone chooses not to straighten their hair and wear it in its natural texture that is what natural hair is.

I took a poll on Instagram 100% of the people said that Natural Hair was professional. The funny thing about that is that those who choose to wear their natural hair have tons of stories of people in the workplace saying out of order remarks to them. Why is it that people feel it’s acceptable to comment so freely about another human’s hair choice in a negative way? Especially someone choosing to wear their hair in its natural state.

It saddens me that still in today’s society straight hair is considered “professional” It bothers me that people would consider someone’s God-Given Hair unprofessional. It breaks my heart that still up to this day that a lot of black women chose to believe that they have to straighten their hair for a job interview or even for their wedding to look more “presentable”

The moral of the story is most people agree that natural hair is beautiful and professional but for some reason by the time they get to the workplace that thought goes out the door. We have to do better.

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