Sunday, November 13, 2016

Are Head Wraps & Turbans Unprofessional?

Are Head Wraps & Turbans Unprofessional?


If you are asking me then the answer is a resounding “No!” but I am confrontational and don't take kindly to what I deem as a personal attack on people who fall outside a specific “norm”. I love head wraps, turbans, and hijabs and find them remarkably beautiful and a lovely accessory to any outfit. While not downplaying or disrespecting ones worn for religious or cultural reasons, I just find them lovely and by all means appropriate for any occasion. What I find distasteful is how some find them unprofessional and unbecoming.

In a world where tolerance seems to be challenged almost daily, I find whether we are talking about bathrooms or boardrooms our society is steadily trying to limit our individuality. It scares me and angers me at the same time because what one finds offensive, ugly, unprofessional, or inappropriate is subjective on many accounts and majority rules is not the ideal way to handle it. Women are forever changing their style and as fashion houses tell us what is beautiful, many simply choose to dress as they see fit. 

Hair is stylish and just as much a part of fashion as the clothing models wear down the runway. While natural hair is trendy it is more than just fashion but also a budding lifestyle change. I wear my natural hair as it is healthier for me and will allow me to keep it longer on my head. Chemicals were doing me no favors and while we still see instances in schools and jobs where natural tresses are being called “unprofessional” the desire for natural hair to go away for some is laughable. 


It's more than a trend and women are embracing their natural tresses daily so while the fight for our hair to be unaltered rages on in some arenas a newer fight is being fought about head wraps, turbans, and even hijabs.

A photo posted by HijabπŸ‘‘Lyf. πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί Bred / πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬ Born (@hijabkween) on

In a country where a man can pull off a woman’s hijab in the name of this being America, and where a child can be sent home for her natural coils being distracting, we are seeing less tolerance and more ways to keep some from wearing what they want. So is saying a particular head accessory as unprofessional a new way to deem it non-conforming and non-conforming to what exactly? 

Now, some may say head wraps are simply not professional in certain settings like corporate America but why? Is it because it has never been a style choice for it? Or can is simply be an evolution of style that is becoming the new norm like women wearing pants or women being in boardrooms? I say the latter and just as men fought against women dressing in non-traditional styles, it needs to be accepted as a new norm for women to wear natural styles, head wraps, and turbans without it having to fall under religious freedom for it to be acceptable.

Head wraps are hair accessories like barrettes, headbands and hats and while most places don't tell women to remove those items, head wraps and the like should have the same allowances. Whether you rock them or not, hate them or love them, they are tightly bound to the history of women who were once made to wear them to cover their hair in public. 


There was a Louisiana “law” that demanded women of color to cover their hair with fabric cloth in 1789. Laws like these were a means to downplay the fabulous ways they were wearing their hair. They were put in place to keep these women from appearing too appealing or threatening to the delicate social order between free black, slaves, and white people. 

A photo posted by Cee Cee's Closet NYC (@ceeceescloset_) on

Despite this law fighting to hide the beauty of women of color it afforded these women the opportunities to create elaborate wraps. These wraps were created with beautiful colors and in turn made them even more appealing and many of those same styles can be found today in lovely wrapped arrangements that are covering many beautiful heads. 

Head wraps are beautiful, protect one’s hair, and may be distracting but to call them unprofessional (IMO) is just another way to force conformity to an outdated version of beauty and acceptance. Are head wraps and turbans unprofessional? Only to persons unwilling to see that the word “professional” is fluid and our beauty is diverse. 

Do you wear head wraps? Share pics below and tell me what you think about them being professional or unprofessional.


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