Wearing Your Natural Hair in the Workplace and to Job Interviews

1BlessedNatural: Wearing Your Natural Hair in the Workplace and to Job Interviews
(photo courtesy of Flickr- (cropped) HelenSTB CC by-SA 2.0 license)

Happy Tuesday, my blessed naturals,
In a previous article, many of you discussed whether your natural hair should be straightened for a job interview. At the time the article was written, I'd just done my big chop a few months prior, and I was curious to see how many people would rock an afro to a job interview. Now that my natural hair is long enough to do other styles, I have been able to better test the idea of natural hair in the workplace and on job interviews. For me, the answer is no! You do not have to straighten your hair for a job interview.

For the last 5 years, I 've worked in school administration, and I'm happy to say that I've been able to wear my hair in any style I prefer, as long as it's neat. I've worn puffs, afros, cornrows, flat twists, etc. My workplace styles include most of the styles you see on the blog. I realize other workplaces may not be so lenient. When I interviewed for the position, my hair was still permed. As a result, I am not quite sure if I would have gotten the job if I had a Teenie Weenie Afro (TWA), but I believe another natural hairstyle would have been fine.

In addition, I've had the opportunity to wear my natural hair on job interviews. From my experience, if you are going on a job interview I would suggest wearing natural hair styles that are not obvious distractions. You don't want to take the the interviewer's attention away from your answers to their questions. For example, you go to your job interview with an Afro. You may notice the interviewer looking at your hair instead of your eyes. You want them to focus on your words and abilities during your interview, not your appearance. Try to tailor your natural hairstyle to the type of job in which you are a candidate. There are some companies that do not care if you wear an Afro or any other natural hairstyle.

Natural Hairstyles I've Worn to Interviews

1BlessedNatural: puff formal update style

 There are 3 hairstyles I've worn to job interviews:

1. 2 flat twists or french under braids in a bun (see style)*
2. puff formal updo without accessory (see style)*
3. plain buns or ponytails*

Copyright 2015 1BlessedNatural
1BlessedNatural: flat twists into bun hairstyle style

* Sometimes, I like to use water and Eco Styler gel for these styles to give my hair a shiny and frizz-free look.

I've had friends who wore wigs for their interview and then returned to their natural hair once they got the job. That is up to you.

If you wear your hair in a natural hairstyle and you feel like the interviewer or your workplace is  discriminating against you because of your natural hair, you will have to ask yourself whether you want to work for that type of a company. There's been much debate about natural hair in the corporate workplace, and I will be discussing the topic in part 2 of this article. In the meantime, I would love to hear about your experiences with natural hair in the workplace!

What experience did you have with natural hair in the workplace and/or on job interviews?

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