Despite my lingering thoughts, I still took the leap. I honestly did not feel I had any other choice. Perms had taken a devastating toil on my hair, in particularly my scalp. I also was tired of the whole weave routine. The majority of the negative remarks came from family and friends. Comments such as: “You know so and so just had to cut their Locs in order to get that job.” “No one will hire you if you want to change employers with Locs.” As people of color, it has been sadly etched in our psyches; that, if we embrace our natural hair, in turn you must forget about making it in corporate America. For the most part, this is no longer the case.
At the time I made my natural hair leap, I was fortunate my employer recently hired a manager who was a woman of color that had been natural for many years. We often discussed the ups and downs of working in a professional office setting with natural hair. The best two pieces of advice she offered me was always be confident and keep your hair well groomed.
If you have been on the fence about going natural, now is the time to get off! Things are changing for men and women who embrace their coils in its natural state. Understand that there are still boundaries and do your homework on what is acceptable on your job. While the general acceptance is slowly turning, progress can be seen and it’s not only in corporate America. With the recent military revisions on acceptable natural hair styles, I am confident more and more corporations will also come into the light in 2015.
Find other people you can rely on as a support system in your office, office building, or community that are already natural. I am sure they will be happy to share any tips or advice they have learned along the way. I also would utilize social media. Following other natural men and women who are working professionals not only helps with style ideas, but will keep you uplifted on your journey.