Women say more hairstyles are being accepted in the workplace
As we transition from Black History Month to Women's History Month, Channel 3 wanted to talk to everyday women about how their hairstyle plays a role in the workplace.
The women we spoke to said hair is definitely a conversation piece, but for some, it can feel like they are being belittled.
We had a conversation with four women to learn more about the factors that affect their hairstyle choice.
Some were their job's standards, ethnicity and personal preference.
We cut it, color it and sometimes straighten our hair based on a number of different criteria.
Christiana Willocks works at Channel 3.
She says her style is based on personal preference, social trends and expectations.
“I’m most self-conscious about my natural state,” Willocks said. “I never show my naturally brown hair or my naturally curly hair. I try to reflect a style based on what society tells us.”
For years, Lorean Mays straightened her hair to fit into the pageant world. Now, she wears her naturally curly hair to beat the stereotypes that come along with African American hair.
Mays believes some people have a perception already made up of what is professional and what is not.
“Natural hair is looked at as unkempt or unclean,” Mays explained. "So, I think for things to change, especially for black women in professional settings, we have to be the change.”
Mays said she's had women of other races ask about her hair while trying to touch it.
She feels that's degrading.
Stephanie Durham agrees.
She says she gets uncomfortable when women ask why she washes her hair every day.
“Sometimes I have to because of the style, hairspray or the product I’m using. If I don't wash it, then it won't set it right,” Durham explained.
Kabrella Moore wears her natural hair and extensions.
She says having an open conversation about hair types can be informative, and she encourages more women to take the time to educate one another.
“There’s a whole world out there with women of different shades, tones, and hair types. So you just can’t classify just because you’ve been in one neighborhood,” Moore said.
All of the women agreed that nothing is wrong with enhancing your natural features.
They say they do not want to be caged in by society's image.
“Well either way it goes, I’m still a professional,” Mays added. “It doesn't matter if it was better the day before or if it's great today. Either way, I am who I am, and I still carry myself in a professional manner.”
All the women agree that our hair says a lot about who we are, and it's a great accessory and a conversation starter.
They wanted to send a message to everyone to just be yourself.
Lawmakers in New York City have passed new legal guidance for employers banning policies that penalize black people based on their natural hair and natural hairstyles.
This is to detour people from discriminating.