Black women always talk about the negative connotation surrounding natural hair, especially if you are in a very conservative industry like law and finance. We all have the perception that if you want to fit in and succeed, you have to fit the mold. I want to bring to your attention an article that I read in the Victoria Advocate about a young, successful woman’s brave decision to rock her natural mane.
For Simone George, cutting off her chemically relaxed hair and wearing her natural hair was not an easy decision. George, who is a process engineer at Seadrift Coke, worried that both her boss and her colleagues would perceive her naturally kinky Afro as being unprofessional, even though it was not an unnatural color or cut in a distracting style.
“I was very concerned that it would seem like I was challenging authority,” said George, 27.
The possibility of displeasing her employers with her hair posed a larger problem for George than it would for most other people.
“Most people who get laid off can just get another job,” said George, a native of Dominica who is in the United States on a work visa. “If I get laid off, then I go home.”
Despite the potential outcome of her decision to return to her natural roots, George decided to make the transition in December.
“I gauged the Human Resources Department to get their reaction,” George said about her first day at work after cutting off her chemically relaxed hair. “I don’t think they cared.”
George is one of a growing number of black women in Victoria and worldwide who are opting to forgo the $9 billion black hair care industry of chemically relaxed and weaved hairstyles and return to wearing their natural hair.
Afrobella, a popular natural hair website, defines natural hair as Afro-textured hair whose texture has not been altered by means of a chemical relaxer, perm or any other chemicals that would permanently alter the way the hair grows out of one’s head.
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