I was recently doing a Google search for “Professional Hair Styles for Natural Black Hair” and I came across this CBS news special out of Richmond, VA on the natural hair “come back.” I have to first give props to Reba Hollingsworth for an informative piece. Check out the first video below from WTVR.com –Part 1 . I have to admit; deciding to no longer process my hair and grow the hair that I was born with was a huge struggle for me and most women that I know. As a professional, a double minority (female and black), there has been an increase in discrimination as a result of no longer perming my hair.
In this local news series, they touch on the increase of women who are transitioning and the struggles they face from family and in searching for employment. I am interested to know your thoughts on the subject. What I have found is that there is a major division amongst African-Americans because women who have permed straight hair think it’s a fad and women with natural hair believe they are misunderstood.
In the workplace, there is pressure to look a certain way because of what other may think. I know several women who are natural who either use a wig, straighten their naturally curly hair or get weave in corporate America because they don’t want to stand out or be different. I’m bothered by this but I’ve felt the same way. If I had an interview or a client who I’m meeting for the first time, I run to my natural hair stylist and say, “Make it conservative as possible, please!”
I have also had experience with hair stylists who believe that the natural hair phase is a fad and it has negatively affected their business. I recall a time last year when I first began to grow my hair out and a cosmetologist that I know (who is also natural) went off on her niece for deciding to no longer perm her hair. She said to her 16yr old niece “You know that your hair is going to curl up right? It’s won’t be long and pretty, it will be tight and kinky!” I was appalled by her statement. She turned to me and said “This is only a fad and they don’t get it.” In part two of the CBS video three-part special (See part Two) they discussed details of how natural hair affects the workplace and how education is the key.
I have a friend, Vaughn Dabney, who questions why there is such a division in amongst states, regions and people in regards to natural hair. Check out the details of his book and documentary via his Kickstarter page. Hear from bloggers like NaturalChica.com, salon owners, men and women on the topic in his developing documentary. I’m excited about the conversations it may bring. I’ve created an event series called “SPARK! ” This meeting of the minds event discusses controversial subjects to try to end prejudice of individuals and groups. Stay tuned for my post next week that will provide details on our upcoming event.
Are you natural? Have you ever considered the change? Have you been natural and switched back? I’ve love to hear your feedback and thanks for reading.
Cheers to conversation!