My last semester of undergrad I asked my professor was it okay for me to wear my natural hair to interviews. At the time I had only been natural a couple months. I was unsure if natural African American hair was acceptable in corporate America or in the professional world. She responded “Look into the company prior to the interview and see the culture. Some places still view it as unprofessional, but it is ultimately up to you.” Only having two African American professors my entire undergraduate career, her words and advice meant a lot to me.
I’ve always considered myself to have good hair. Looking back at old pictures from when I was younger I had long hair. Growing up my mom relaxed my hair and that’s all I knew. I would get a relaxer about every three months and my peers would get one about once a month and I thought that was just crazy.
In my adult life, I continued to get relaxers. Often times when I would get my hair done I would get roller sets. I liked my hair curly so one day I decided to make the transition from relaxed hair too completely natural. I have been on this natural journey since February 2015.
Starting the natural journey, I didn’t do a big chop instead, I slowly cut the relaxed ends off and hid behind braids. Box braids became my go-to style for the first year before I started to show my natural curls. During the summer of 2016, I cut all my relaxed ends off, and I was officially natural.
Often enough others consider natural hair to be dirty, nappy, or unprofessional when that is not the case at all. What makes natural hair even more unique is that no one has the exact same texture or curl pattern.
I feel as if my hair is my best feature. I’ve learned to accept if my twist out does not come out perfect it is not the end of the world. I express myself through my hair especially when I have braids. I love to have color in my braids, whether it is grey, red, blonde any color that I can put in it.
I am not my hair; my hair does not define who I am as a person. Hair should not define anyone but often enough it does. My hair is a conversation starter and I love the confidence it has given me. Embrace your hair sis.