Natural Hair At Work: 6 Best Practices To Remain Professional

Practical Styles – Avoid Distractions From Your Job 

The point of employment is the work that you are hired to do, it really isn’t about buns and afro puffs. Sometimes we can get caught up with the texture of our hair but really the issue is how the hair is styled.

Style your hair in a manner that is not distracting to you or the people around you. Define distracting? Distracting is, hair in your eyes where you are unable to make eye contact with someone that is interviewing you or the people you are addressing as you make a presentation in a meeting.

If you have to constantly move your hair from your face, or play with it in any manner, then your hair is probably a distraction. When your hair is shorter you may be able to get away with a neat puff pulled away from your face but as your hair gets longer, well, you have to admit that as naturals, we have A LOT of hair and a puff will probably come across as wild regardless of how tame the front looks.

An easy go-to style would be a neat bun or an updo that pulls the hair back out of the face or even pinning your hair behind your ears.

Avoid Potentially Political Hairstyles Such As Afro’s

This one is a doozy and there might be potential swearing and side-eyeing because what some of you consider ‘political’ others, on the other hand, might consider normal. Here’s the thing, get your paper and save the speech for another setting that is more appropriate.


This is as hard a pill to swallow as it is to write because we don’t want what we know to be beautiful and special to be seen as political and negative. Let’s face it, there is a lot of history behind certain styles specifically an Afro, some of it positive and some negative.

If you were Caucasian and had long flowing hair down to your butt, a headband and a long floral skirt its highly unlikely that your client who is a senior engineer will take you seriously at your quarterly client’s meeting.

You cannot fight the good fight alone, and if you choose to, there is a slim chance you might win but a bigger chance you may lose and lose way more than its worth. Choose a hairstyle that will not start a political or negative conversation, even when you feel different.

Style Your Hair According To Your Schedule

This just means, know what days to make sure your hair is polished versus the days when you can take it easy and wear something relatively fun. For example, if its Monday morning and you are the manager about to begin your monthly one on one meetings with your employees you might want to choose a style that is sleek polished and shows focus. There is a reason why buns are seen as somber, they were probably invented for Monday mornings!

The idea is to set the tone of the meeting and your appearance plays just as an important role as the conference room you choose to have the meeting in. Additionally, a loose twist-out might be more appropriate for ‘Jeans day Friday’ or a casual lunch meeting with a long time client. You would be surprised at how the smallest of details derails intent because as humans we are affected by so many things, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Originally posted 2013-05-13 15:00:37.

About Petra


Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra


Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

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Deanna Merritt RossSedinam Fianyo-NarteyJamila KellyCheyenne X RevfrolutionistNeva Tavenner Recent comment authors
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talesia98

2 years in and I’m just tired of it all… sigh…

BiscuitBunny
BiscuitBunny

The political Afro point irked me I have to say. That whole idea feeds into the Eurocentric ignorance of black hair/ people being frozen in a time of heightened racial politics. I highly doubt that most people I meet (Afro/Caribs included) know who Angela Davis is! my hair is not very long compared to some, so its not going to be very big- and heck, I can tie it down to make it sit lower. I hate having to call my hair ‘something’- every other race has hair. Yet I have to call mine an Afro, like I’m naming a pet dog. If I had lots of hair it would stand out very wide- I would tie that back or down, I don’t like hair on my neck or around my ears very much.

froyo11
froyo11

RE the political afro–
Even though I don’t feel free to wear my hair in a (large) afro to an interview, I’m not upset about it BECAUSE I’m so optimistic about the future. Things are changing! I honestly think my kids or at least their kids will feel just about free to wear afros whenever they want! And I’m happy about it.

Don’t despair!

Dawn
Dawn

We don’t have to be stuck with anything we don’t want. Movement has political overtones as well as the basic meaning of moving. If we want to we could use various words such as: acceptance, evolving, re-emergence. All these words also have overtones and undertones, which could lead to different levels of discussion.

Jamila Kelly

Really shouldn’t matter how your wear your natural hair as long as its not in other people’s way. Sometimes wearing a bun in class is better than your sig puff…not because we are haters or because we are trying to restrict you or anything else but be cause is just common sense and being polite :p

Sedinam Fianyo-Nartey

I stopped reading the moment I saw “Avoid Potentially Political Hairstyles Such As Afro’s” Really??? Ridiculous!

Deanna Merritt Ross

Ikr???

Neva Tavenner

I always wear an Afro. It’s all I can really do with my hair at the moment. The humidity in my work place makes my curls frizz and I end up having to pick it out…

Deanna Merritt Ross

My Caucasian colleagues say their favorite style is my huge Afro. I have also recently been hired to do presenting work for a non-profit and in my own school district. My new colleagues all love my “cool hair”. So thanks for the advice, but no thanks.

Cheyenne X Revfrolutionist

Eh, I didn’t particularly care for this post