Posted by HMH BloggerBy Patience MuiaIf you are a bi-racial or black woman who have decided to avoid and chemical hair treatments and relaxers to get unprocessed form of curls and coils then you belong to the natural hair community. People have a different definition and opinion regarding the term “natural”.
1- The women who pass on all chemicals from relaxers and colour treatments to certain product ingredients.
2- The women who no longer wear relaxers, but rock blowouts and weaves happily on a regular basis.3- Those who don’t mess with weaves but rock colour.4- The ones who live with protective hair styles such as box braids, crochet braids and other trendy styles. The truth is that some naturals are being eliminated or discriminated in the natural hair community. Initially, going natural was a way of breaking free from European beauty standards and starting a journey to embrace one’s natural hair. But recently a lot of things have changed with some natural hair sponsors ignoring some types of natural hairstyle while at the same time praising a certain type. Women with the type 4, kinky textured hair seems to be experiencing texture discrimination in and outside their workplace. If you haven’t realised it, the wavy and curly girls dominate the branding in products marketed to natural hair community. Look across the beauty industry and marketing channels such as Facebook, Instagram or even YouTube, the kinky and coily hair naturals are being under-represented and are not being celebrated as compared to other hair types. From my personal experience of running multiple natural hair focused media accounts, I think that images of kinky textured naturals doesn’t get many shares and likes compared to the others.
Posted by HMH BloggerBy Patience Muia Many African-American ladies have been encouraged by the natural hair movement to embrace the kinks and coils. Even though some agree to do so, they proceed with caution in fear of what their new hair style might do to them at their workplaces. It is not surprising to find co-workers discriminating one of their colleagues just because of her natural hair. There are a number of reasons behind the increase of natural hair styles at workplaces. For instance, if your relaxed hair is constantly break and become thin, what would you do? You will obviously cut it off out of frustration, and then you wouldnt have any other option than to go natural.Your friends might appreciate your natural hair, but you should be ready to encounter differences in opinions at your workplace. You might face a lot of co-workers scrutiny especially if you work in a predominantly white public relations agency. That is why many African-American women still prefer straightened hair. You will realise that while some women have negative experiences, some get a lot of positive reactions as well. The more confident and attractive you feel with your natural hair, the easier you will be able to handle natural hair discrimination at workplace. The time you spent growing out your perm (the transitional phase), is the time you should test your patience.
Some women also have concerns that once they go natural, their hair won’t be able to be the way they were while they used chemicals. Wearing hair in its natural state at workplace is more of a convenience than a hassle. Even if your co-workers disagree to your belief, you can still have fun and work without worrying about their perceptions. You can test different types of hairstyle in order to reduce the chances of discrimination at work. Pulled back, pinned up or twisted hairstyles are usually acceptable and workplace friendly.
Posted by HMH BloggerBy Patience Muia If you are a woman rocking your natural texture, feeling comfortable about your hair and skin is very important. But you will also come to realize that if you are working in a corporate world, you will be compelled to find the balance between socially acceptable hair and self-acceptance in your workplace.If you experience natural hair discrimination in your work place then you definitely have co-workers who rarely acknowledge your presence. Then you will also have co-workers who will occasionally stop you in the hall-way and tell you how they like your hair or how your hair looks professional. So where exactly do we draw the line between natural hair discrimination and corporate guidelines? Here are a few things to consider:1. Know your work environment
It’s a new millennium, we all expect every work place to accept natural hair but that is not the case. It is important to proceed with caution while entering a new work environment. You know it, unless you are working in an artistic or a fashion field, you should always stick to blue or black suit. In a corporate world where you don’t want to distract from your skills, your hair should be simple you don’t need to straighten your hair.After understanding the limits of your work place you can try a few styles on your hair. If you are in a liberal work environment where your co-workers wear jeans then you won’t have problems even if you make it big. Knowing your work environment might help you reduce natural hair discrimination at your workplace.2. Always take good care of your hair
It is important to note the difference between unkempt hair and natural hair. There are some attributes that describe unkempt hair. Never try a new style on your work day but you can always try new styles during weekends. If a style goes wrong be ready to have a backup plan.3. Learn to distinguish between discrimination and corporate guidelinesMost companies have certain dress code requirements. If you feel that you are being harassed because of your hair texture then it is time to grab the company handbook before you contact the Human Resources.