I was having the conversation with a co-worker a few weeks ago about how blessed I am to live in the time I live in. I’m allowed to be authentically me, not only at home and out with loved ones but at work as well. Now I also know that the industry I’m in plays a big part in me being able to wear my hair how I want. And I’m not talking about requiring hairnets or hats or anything like that, I’m talking about organizations saying that people have to have natural hairstyles and colors, but don’t allow certain people to wear their hair how it grows out of their head. IE – the United States military. The Army and Marines were the first ones to change their policy and the Navy lifted their ban allowing Black people to wear their hair how it grows out of their heads. Braids, locs, small fros, buns bigger than 4 inches are now considered “professional” enough to be worn with uniforms.
Let that sink in.
What sucks is that military is not the only industry that deemed my natural hair as unprofessional. In fact, most industries felt this way. For decades Black women have been pressing, perming and putting wigs on their natural hair in order to make it more “presentable” in an office setting. We were taught not to ruffle feathers and if we wanted to climb the corporate ladder.
And I’m not talking about anything like extreme like wild colors or a mohawk or anything, but twists, curls, top knots are regularly rocked by me in the office. I’ve talked about my wash day routine numerous times on the blog, so y’all know that it takes at least 24 hours for my hair to dry so it’s not uncommon for me to rock two-strand twists and top knots part of the week and then a gorgeous twist out the rest of the week. Pineapples, flat-twists and even protective styles like braids have been rocked by me in the office.
There was even a brief moment when I rocked a straight weave for a few months. I wanted straight hair and didn’t want to straighten mine. It was such a huge departure from my usual hairstyles, and it shocked not only me but others around me.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that my curls are professional. My twists are professionals. My fro is professional.
My hair is professional.