Being a young professional in a white work environment isn’t always a cake walk, especially when it comes to the elephant in the room, my natural hair. On interviews I always wear my hair straight in my full, long, lace wig*.
To me, I like how it frames my face, and also makes me look a tad bit older. So, on my interview with my current boss, she met me with bone straight hair. Fast forward to now, and I have been working at this company for almost a year now.
At first I was a bit reluctant to go to work with my natural hair out because I was the only natural girl there, and I didn’t want to go through the odd looks or annoying questions concerning my hair.
It wasn’t until one morning I was literally forced to go to work rocking a natural style, that I learned that all of those preconceived notions were just that, things I made up in my head that stemmed from my own insecurities and anxiety.
The first day I wore my natural hair to work I was totally shocked by how many compliments I received! I mean, genuine compliments! It empowered me and actually was the boost I needed to feel comfortable not thinking twice about wearing natural styles in the work place. Even my boss passed by my office and told me she really liked the “new” hair.
That comment through me for a loop at first, because even though it was new to her, this was not new to me. This was me. I really felt bad that I was hiding a part of me for so long, so much so that people thought it was a “new” me, versus the ‘me’ that was there all along, just under lace wigs* and sew ins.
This post is really for anyone who is in an environment where you and your natural hair may be the minority. I want you to embrace your hair, and walk in confidence, regardless of the environment.
You never know who you are encouraging or inspiring. The following week, one of my coworkers took out her weave, and rocked a twist out, and we looked at each other and just smiled.