I wore my natural hair to work for the first time and it felt awesome! Some people might be surprised that it took four years for me to wear my natural hair to work but getting the courage to do so was a journey in itself.
I started my natural journey in 2011, and it has been a very long four years since then. Sometimes, I can’t believe it’s been that long. My hair journey is complicated. To give you the short version of the story, I big chopped when I was about to graduate from Penn State, wore wigs for 2-years and then during the summer of 2013 I got so sick of wearing a wig every day, I decided to wear my natural hair on the weekends (baby steps).
Well in 2014, Beyonce just dropped her album and I wanted a funky bob like she had so I decided to get a weave. The beautician who did my hair (some random lady my friend goes to) blow-dried and flat ironed my natural hair (why she did that, I still don’t understand?) and when I took the weave out a month later, my natural hair was fried and falling out by the second due to heat damage. I decided to do another big chop that year but I didn’t cut my hair off, like I did the first time, just short enough where it would stop falling out—very short. Thus, I continued wearing wigs for over a year.
About a month ago I got sick of wearing wigs again, so I let my hair out for thanksgiving and that’s when I realized how much it grew, but for some reason, I still wasn’t ready to take the plunge into wearing my natural hair to work—not every day—ahh!
So what changed my heart?
My friend Jess decided to cut off her dreads after 8-years of growing them. I went with her to the beauty salon the day she did it and I admired her bravery. Some women are so connected to their hair, they wouldn’t think about cutting it off, but she was confident and ready. I wanted her confidence and I knew exactly what I had to do to gain it.
The Sunday before the work week started I went online and googled professional ways to wear natural hair to work; the results that I found were okay, nothing that gave me immediate inspiration. Nevertheless, I’ll share the links below:
At this point, I was getting discouraged. I could’ve chicken out, braid my hair in some cornrows and put my wig back on, but I decided not to. I did the best darn twist out I could do, took some rollers and rolled the ends of my hair and prayed for the best. The next day I took the twists out and smoothed the left side of my hair back so I could put about 7-bobby pins in it. On the other side, I left hanging free. This was as “professional” as I was going to get. I was so nervous going into work and super self-conscious. What would they say to me? Will they love it? Hate it? No, they’ll love it. Sure enough, my anxiety was put at ease when the first compliment rolled in, then the second, then an email, and a skype message, then it wouldn’t stop. “Omg Kydee I love your hair.” I was so excited. My hair was a hit!
There’s plenty of misconceptions when it comes to natural hair. One of them is that natural hair is wild and not acceptable for work. I want to counter that belief in saying there’s nothing wrong with showing the real you at work, especially if the work that you do speaks volumes for itself.
Have you guys ever struggled with wearing your natural hair to work? If so how did you overcome it?