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Professional Recruiter Shares Best and Worst Natural Hair Interview Styles

• Aug 10, 2013

Black businesswoman

By Indigenous Curls

It’s no secret, our hair is a source for controversy, confusion, and frustration, on a daily basis for some. Interviews are nerve racking enough. What to wear? What to say? What about THAT hair? Going On an Interview? Don’t worry! I have answers!

As a professional NYC recruiter, I’ve worked across various industries from fashion & retail empires, to Wall Street firms, all while transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. I have my share of success stories, and horror stories from my journey.

1st Tip: Do your research.
No matter how fly your hair is, the most important thing a recruiter is looking for, is that you’re qualified. They are making sure that your resume is consistent with your interview. They are also analyzing your personality. Will you be a good fit for the department, or team? The fact that you are scheduled for an interview speaks volumes. Your resume beat out hundreds or possibly thousands of other resumes and the recruiter has seen something special, something worthy of a closer look. Be confident in that! Before they laid eyes on you, they loved your resume. Do your research and be prepared! Be confident! You Got This!

2nd Tip: Look the part
No matter the industry, or the level of the position, when you enter those doors you must already look like you work there. Like the star employee. Wear a full suit, or a knee length dress. Stay away from distracting patterns, and too much fragrance.

Now, on to the hair!
I have interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life, for all kinds of positions. Hair DOES matter! Big hair is OK, only in a ponytail. Neat hair is necessary. Limit hair accessories to thin simple headbands, and a hair clip or two. Below is a list of suitable styles for corporate interviews. Important tip: keep your look tailored, and your edges in check.

Safe Side
Bun (Curly or stretched)
Top Knot Bun
Braided Bun
Coiled TWA
Palm Coils
Flat twist into Bun
Pin Tuck Roll
Stretched Up Do
Wash n Go
Mini twist in a bun
Anything straight, but it must be polished

Wear If You Dare
Twist Out into Ponytail
Braid out Into Ponytail
Cornrows into Ponytail
Fingerwaves
Flat twist updo styles
Mini twists

Don’t Do It Girl!
Messy Wash n Go
Shredded ends, or little knotty balls at the ends of your hair
Wet Hair / goopy wet hair products
Braidout/ Twistout left out
Big & Fluffy hair (Unless company culture is big and fluffy)
Cornrows straight back
Unkempt edges
Large / distracting hair accessories
*Box Braids* { Hit & Miss…}

Don’t Do It Girl! Here’s Why!
Messy Wash n Go: It’s just not cute. If you have not perfected your wash & go, an interview is not the best place to try it again. DO NOT experiment with your hair on an important day. Just don’t! It says to the recruiter, “I’m not put together”, I don’t have it together yet. Shredded Ends also give the same impression.

Wet Hair: Please do not go to an interview with your hair dripping all over your suit. Do not go to meet anyone with globs of product mangled in your hair. Work the product in, allow time for it to dry. I know that’s a tall order for some. My hair takes 3 hours to completely dry. Keep this in mind: going to an interview with soaking, dripping, goopy wet hair says “I just jumped out the shower. I was rushing. I have time management issues”. Keep that in mind when choosing your look for the interview.

Braidout / Twistout: Just don’t do it. Our hair is amazing! It is so beautiful, and massive by nature. By simply growing out of our heads it makes a statement whether you want it to or not. A massive braidout or twistout can be breathtaking, and distracting. Sadly, our hair can steal the spotlight from what we can offer the company. I have witnessed natural hair taking over an interview, or a meeting. It can be unpleasant, as a minority. Keep the spotlight or your skills and talent. Not your cascading coils. Corn rows and box braids can be distracting to some interviewers, or may be a clear departure from the company culture, or dress code. I love all these styles and sport each of them at appropriate times. To keep the emphasis on your skills and talent I recommend that you minimize anything that can distract from the bigger picture.

Box Braids: You might be surprised to see this on the list. To explain this, I’ll give you two differing stories of how box braids were received in a professional setting.

One of my first jobs was at a local mall. I worked at a teen apparel retail store, and interviewed in jeans and a tee shirt, my hair in box braids. I also worked in jeans, tee shirts, and blouses. While on a lunch break, I was stopped by a solicitor, who wanted to survey me on a new product from a major beauty company. She led me down a small corridor, and into an office. She was a sweet Italian mother. As she conducted the survey, she probed into my daily beauty regimen, my likes, dislikes and needs, including my hair. The survey flowed like a conversation between two old friends chatting about a new product. At the end of the survey she slipped away, and returned with her boss. He was a tall heavy‐set man in a suit. She introduced me to him.

Ellen tells me your very personable, and you’re working here at the mall.”
I nodded my head, unsure of where this was going.
“I would like to hire you. Are you in school?”

My box braids did not hider me from getting this position. The surveyor became my boss, and she loved my hairstyles. She would always compliment my hair, and even asked where she could go to try something similar! Positive experience with braids at the work place.

Flash forward a few years, I’m interviewing for a luxury goods retailer, I wear a full black suit, with a classic white button up in a fashionable cut. My hair is in a long cascading weave, my coils moisturized and protected underneath. I interview with a young black woman (her hair is a short relaxed bob), and an older, reserved Caucasian woman. The three of us began to chat, the black lady driving the conversation. The interview flowed like a conversation between three old friends chatting about a new role. At the end of the interview they slipped away and returned with their boss. He was a short young man, VP of the company, and grandson of the company’s founder.

The ladies tell me you’re very personable, and you’ve worked in payroll as well.”
I nodded my head, unsure of where this was going.
“I would like to hire you. Are you in school?”

I accepted the offer, and started 2 weeks later. A lot can change in 2 weeks! The young black woman I interviewed with quit, and it was just me and the director running the entire ship! Despite that initial set back, the first week went smoothly.

It was time to remove my protective style and without a second thought I had box braids installed. I figured there would be late nights and early mornings until more people could be hired, and I would not have time to deal with my hair in the harsh NYC winter months. A new manager was hired within days. He was a tall slender, well‐manicured, high energy Indian man. When we met, his eyes connected with mine, then my hair. On his second day he gave me an employee handbook to look over, despite the fact that I had already reviewed it. I had a feeling my hair was making him uncomfortable.

After a client meeting, I was suddenly pulled into an impromptu meeting, just the new manager, the reserved Caucasian director, and I. The initial focus: MY HAIR! Their argument: they were a luxury retail whose employees adhered to a strict dress code that limited clothing color, nail color and hair styles. Perfectly legal, as long as the code was applied evenly across all employees. Their concern: As a recruiter I should reflect the principals and corporate culture that they wanted in their staff. I made it clear that my hair was my business and the process for braids was time consuming, costly and, most importantly, directly connected to my heritage. My braids were staying put, like it or not!

At this point in my story I want to refer you to my first tip. RESEARCH! If I had researched further, I would have noticed that this company was recently sued for discrimination. The company was small, and family owned, and not diverse at all. Researching gives you the knowledge to make better decisions. With that in mind, I spoke with the former manager and got the skinny on why she promptly left. Turns out, this wasn’t the company for her, or me, or the person before her that left.

Needless to say I no longer work with that company. I left with a few classy, but true words, and moved on to better things.

~Final Take Aways~
* Research – stalk that position & company
* Look the Part – plan ahead, keep those edges in check, look sharp
* Let the interview flow — like a conversation between friends, or colleagues, keeping the focus on the bigger picture, emphasizing your skills. And smile!
* Safest styles — a neat Bun, coiled TWA, polished wash n go

Sound OFF! Share your hair raising stories here! What is your go‐to interview hair style?

For more natural hair interview tips, check out Indigenous Curls.

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Kami
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Kami

Regardless of if my hair is loose or in twists, I always wear a bun when I go in for an interview. My thought is, if the job is really important to me, I am going to do everything in my control to convey that I am the perfect candidate. You can see what hairstyles you can wear after you get the job…and that 90 day probation period is over.

Zacaria
Guest
Zacaria

I’m sorry, but our hair is big and fluffy by nature. I can understand not brushing it out to it’s fullest puff, our pulling it back *if straight haired counterparts are also expected to do the same* but to say that it is no‐go really bothers me. Especially when straight haired women don’t have to go to such lenghts to “hide” their hair, but I mean their hair is standard already. Not everyone is a hairstylist or wants all that trauma and pulling on their scalp. Most of the professional white and hispanic women I know do not style their… Read more »

Zacaria
Guest
Zacaria

*distracting
*discriminatory
damn typos sorry just got back from a 12 hour shift.

Kade
Guest
Kade

Believe or not but I know a heck of a lot of white people who actually have to style their hair daily. I know a couple of friends who can never leave their house without running a straightener past their hair in the morning in fear it will become frizzy..etc The need to comfort to society very high europeen standard of beauty is being felt by all races…even by those who created the standard! I just felt y’all had to know this too. Yes we have to bad end of the stick but a lot of other women of other… Read more »

ismafromgahna
Guest
ismafromgahna

White women do not have “frizzy hair” unless they are in the small minority, or have black in their lineage. “Frizz” is just a synonym for kinky hair which is characteristic of people of sub‐saharan decent. Forty‐five percent of white people have straight hair while most of the other have wavy hair, while a very small percentage have curly hair. I go to college and do know a couple white women with wavy hair who sometimes straighten their hair, they certainly don’t feel like they need to. They just see it as a change of style. I also know some… Read more »

Megan
Guest

I have to disagree Isma…I know multiple White women who have actual, frizzy hair…not kinky–frizzy…especially red heads, and that’s regardless of texture (straight or wavy). Some I’ve known since we were children, others are new in my life. They do straighten their hair every day…now…this doesn’t mean they face the same treatment linked to their hair, but they do have frizz…look at all the products geared toward them to combat it. Their standards of beauty drag them down too…it’s just that they drag us down even more.

ismafromgahna
Guest
ismafromgahna

I have to disagree. I do know a couple of white women who straighten their hair, but not on a consistent basis, such as to get a sleeker look if they have straight hair (or wavy hair). Most of them do not, however. I do not know any white women with “frizzy” hair. My close friend groing up was a red‐head and she did not have “frizzy” hair, it was board thin and straight. Infact, all of my white friends growing up had hair like this naturally. My other red‐head friend does have curly‐wavy hair but it is not “frizzy”.… Read more »

Camron
Guest
Camron

All this hype about frizzy hair is ridiculous. I’ve seen white women with hair that is a lil wavy say their hair is frizzy, as if in the negative, when infact I don’t see anything wrong with it. I’ve seen black women whos curls clump and stretch when wet say they have frizzy hair when it dries and shrinks, undefining the curls. When infact that is the natural state of their hair. I’ve seen white women say they have frizzy hair merely because it is not shiny and flowy. I hear people say heat can cause frizz, but manage the… Read more »

ismafromgahna
Guest
ismafromgahna

Wow, thumbs down? I really don’t know why all you women want to deny the truth or why you seem hard pressed to show that white women have hair problems remotely similar to ours. It’s like you want to defend your view that black women should style, fix, whatever you are trying to say, their hair sense these white women do it too. The fact of the matter is that most black women relax and weave their hair to look like what the vast majority of white women’s hair looks like if they just leave it alone. If the white… Read more »

mosdef
Guest
mosdef

White people DO have frizzy hair LOADS OF US DO. Like the other person said, we spend THOUSANDS to get it and keep it straight! JUDGE JUDY gets relaxers / kertains…it is what it is.

mosdef
Guest
mosdef

BIGGER picture: Who cares‐I worry about my hair, my weight, my skin, my teeth I AM A WOMAN we all have issues none greater than the other…

KD Mills
Guest
KD Mills

I have to agree with you Zacaria. My most recent position (which I did beat out tons of other candidates -83 to be exact‐ in a reputable Media Advertising organization, that is a very straight laced corporate environment, where I’m unfortunately the only minority) acquired was while wearing the fluffiest, biggest, flat‐twist twist out I’d ever attained. So much so that I’ve yet to replicate it. I intentionally went for big, fluffy, and free curls to show them “This is me”. I didn’t want to “put on” because I refused to do it on a daily basis. I got the… Read more »

Megan
Guest

Reasons I’m beyond ready to get out of corporate life…conformity is a foundational value and hair is just the tip of the iceberg.

Kenji
Guest
Kenji

I have a serious question. I have been looking for work for months. I wore my hair braided (box braids) to interviews (they were twisted back into a low chignon type thing at the nape of my neck during interviews). I had so many interviews I have lost count, I was qualified for the positions, dressed appropriately so I figured it must be my hair or my skin. At any rate? these past 2 weeks Ive decided to stop looking for work as I simply cant take the rejection anymore but here is my question to everyone that I would… Read more »

Deena
Guest
Deena

I personally think that you would either have to buy a nice wig or continue wearing the style in a bun. I don’t think it would be distracting to the employer at all. Just try to keep your braids neat and clean. That’s pretty much all you can.do if your not willing to take the out. I don’t know if you care much for these type of.jobs but restaurants/grocery stores/clothing boutiques are jobs that most likely would not care if you have box braids. But is there anything specific that you are looking for as far as work? A company?… Read more »

Kenji
Guest
Kenji

im in education so applying to jobs such as teaching assistant, after school worker, etc. I would be willing to be more prepared and not install them in the first place rather than take them out, but again, once i already have them im kind of stuck as i refuse to waste money installing braids, then a month later end up having to look for a job and take them out. oh and I have no problem wearing a wig, however i dont know any wig that will cover box braids even box braids wrapped up as they are quite… Read more »

Eli
Guest
Eli

Kenji, I think you should stay off braids till you get a job. That way you won’t be questioning whether or not your hair is the issue. You need that job so you do what you need to do. Unemployment is not pretty 🙂

Kenji
Guest
Kenji

Well I wasnt expecting to suddenly have to look for a job, my layoff was quite sudden, the braids were already installed. Again since most seem to be missing my point, I was looking for suggestions on what one should do when THEY ARE ALREADY INSTALLED. but thanks anyway

Nel
Guest
Nel

Hi Kenji,
You have to do your research. Not just for your hair but the job itself. When asked how you would deal with circumstances or your opinions about this or that, or your weaknesses and strengths we want to see that you have done your research. Do you know the companys stance on certain industry topics? Even better, do you know mine? (the interviewer). It’s better to apply to 3 positions fully prepared than 10 out of desperation.

wds
Guest
wds

the only thing you can do is wash your hair, redo your edges and put your hair in a neat, low bun. anything else would require you to take out your braids.

Deena
Guest
Deena

I agree with you ladies, I don’t think our natural black lovely hair should be the subject of cruelty by the eyes of those who do not understand it. It’s hair that’s growing from my scalp so why should anyone else care? I’m the one who has to deal with it on a daily basis. It pisses me off that black hair has had such a bad reputation all of these years. Im 24 and will be 25 in november and I’m am just learning how to take care of my hair. Its crazy I know and wish I did… Read more »

Jojosatoes
Guest
Jojosatoes

I have mixed feelings abt this because I had five inch locs when I started working for a big four accounting firm in NYC as an auditor who visited clients. I had long cascading locs when I started my current job at a bank. I cut my locs last year and the number two finance official (caucasian early 60s) in the company told me he likes my fro. I guess everyone’s luck is different but my hair has never been an issue and I’ve had natural hair and have travelled the world for majority of my career. Perhaps it’s more… Read more »

zacaria
Guest
zacaria

I think frohawks can look fine. They look more like banana clipped hair rather than a traditional, or rocker style Mohawk (Native American style). I don’t wear them but I think they are cute and will probably try it out once my hair gets a little longer. I don’t compare them to a white women dying their hair pink (not that many would want to do that any way). Many people use unnaturlly colored hair as a analogy to black people wearing their natural hair. Which is saying that black people in their natural state is unnacceptable, while white people… Read more »

Jojosatoes
Guest
Jojosatoes

To each its own. I think wearing a mohawk in corporate America is a no no, regardless of one’s skin color! If you have a few inches of hair and u clip up the sides, it should be fine… Im referring more to what we refer to as frohawks, huge afro Mohawks. Also, figures of speech are not meant to be literal, and “natural state” is relative. We can agree to disagree.

mangomadness
Guest
mangomadness

For interviews, I wear my hair in a braid‐out or a high bun. I wear a bun to an interview if and only if the weather warrants it (rain, snow, etc.) — I do not hide or minimize my ‘big hair’ for anyone.

Also, I would not discuss my hair care practices with an employer — especially if they do not have hair similar to mine. I find it invasive when folks inquire about my hair care practices when it’s clear they have no practical use for the information. I don’t entertain that behavior.

Dananana
Guest
Dananana

I agree with you to a point–Nobody should be asking about my hair care regimen during an interview unless it’s a facet of the job. I agree with not entertaining that behavior, and wearing my hair how I want (but neatly) during an interview. However, if you already have the job, and your colleagues express interest in your hair during normal conversation, what does it hurt to answer their curiosities? In fact, I feel that it helps. Where else would they get this information? If you don’t tell them, they’ll never go and look it up on their own–they’ll most… Read more »

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

I agree. I can see that many women are still brainwashed about hair, just by reading this thread. Afro hair or a twist out is the equivelant of a white women wearing her hair down. If someone sees it as messy, they more than likely just don’t like that it is not straight or uniformed. They just don’t like the hair because what they deem as “messy” is just charecteristic of our most well taken care of hair.

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

As long as the hair is neat, clean and professional looking, it shouldn’t matter but we know it DOES matter #tiredofthiswithusandourhairforajob:/

AnonSince87
Guest
AnonSince87

It really is the same for everyone regardless of race. I don’t think going to an interview with a massive afro is inappropiate, the same way Amanda bynes’s latest wig fiascos would not be acceptable. We should rock neutral, simple styles — twists, buns etc. I think thats common sense. The blurry line is with twist outs and wash n gos. They may see it as ‘messy’ — like the white people version of ‘bed head’ — so I wouldn’t risk that to be honest (depending on where you’re applying). There are plenty of white people who also have to… Read more »

AnonSince87
Guest
AnonSince87

* Sorry, was meant to read: going to an interview with a massive afro is not appropiate.

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Says who? I say let women live and learn on their own and stop dictating what “professional hair” is. Our natural hair should not be a problem, it should not have to be tucked away, minimized, or braided down. If you like those styles better fine, but stop pushing your preference out onto others and let them decide for themselves what is appropriate. I think that’s really what it comes down to. Many women, although natural, still do not find our natural free hair appropriate.

AnonSince87
Guest
AnonSince87

It’s not about saying natural hair is not appropiate or about natural hair at all. It’s about the STYLE of hair. Nothing wrong with twists, cornrows, braids, single extensions, Havana twists, locs — all styles natural haired women rock. I was making a point about certain styles which runs true for women of all races. I don’t dictate what professional hair is, your profession does. Saying ‘Can you straighten your hair?” is very different to ‘Can you tuck your hair away?’ (providing this is said to ALL ethnicities in the work place). I think you’ve missed the point. It is… Read more »

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Well in that case, I think the point you was making was silly, and well, pointless. I really do not feel that most (if any) women would want pigtails in their hair for an interview. Just as I wouldn’t dye my hair purple, not because I don’t think it’s unprofessional, I just WOULDN’T want to do that.

Candrea
Guest
Candrea

Except many people DO want to dye their hair purple, and blue and sometimes in all the colors of the rainbow. So it still does stand that you should not do it if you want to look professional for particular fields. If you’re an artists by profession those hairstyles may fit right in, but if you are looking for corporate area, it’s a no. In the same way some offices require that certain hairstyles be saved for more casual settings and not used in the office and wearing a specific kind to the interview may not work for you.

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Ceandrea tell someone stupid who cares! And Anon87, no one was talking about big afros on here. Nor have I ever seen any women wearing a massive afro. The artical is clearly stating that our natural hair is not appropriate, unless it is tucked away and hidden to look as close as white women’s hair as possible, as are you calling it “messy” and I have a problem with that.

SayitLoud
Guest
SayitLoud

Tbh, you will never know if a company rejects you for your hairstyle unless they personally tell you so I will continue to wear my hair in styles that I am most comfortable with. Also why not start as you mean to go on that way no‐one is shocked when you want to wear a twist out later on down the line.

Ana
Guest
Ana

I have mixed feelings about this article, I think it is important that you should research the culture of the company, however the most important thing is to look presentable, polished and well prepared for your interview. I worked for a well known corporation in the city of London and I was interviewed by 2 senior managers that were not black. I wore my hair in tiny/medium box braids pulled into a pony tail (In fact my braids were not newly done but a couple of weeks old) I wore a T.M Lewin shirt and looked like I belonged in… Read more »

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Some of you people seem real accepting and subscribing to racism. I wasn’t aware that there were companies which had culture that only considered white women’s hair or imitating it acceptable. Discrimination is unprofessional, not someone wearing the hair God gave them. I work in a daycare, so I wear my hair up. But if I worked in an office enviornment you better believe my hair would be out if Mei Ling, Lakshmi, Becky, Olga and Yancy wore theirs out.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Uh, no. What we are accepting of is the reality of the workplace in that what is acceptable to me, might not be acceptable to the people I work with. That shouldn’t change just because my hair is natural. I can be stylish without having my hair be the focus. This would apply to any ethnicity, and does. Black women are not the only one’s who have to dial things back to fit into the workplace. Asian men and women change their names to more western sounding names. Women from India will braid their hair and refrain from wearing henna… Read more »

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

I’m sorry bsbfankaren but you are failing to make a point. I could go off on a tangent to back up my logic but from the looks of your warped way of thinking it would be like beating a dead horse. What I said stands. You are the one who sounds “odd”.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Oh, please. My point is made. Just because you don’t like the point doesn’t make it “odd”. It just means that we have differing points of view. It’s O.K. You’ll get over it eventually.

Camron
Guest
Camron

If you want to work with people who find a part of you unnacceptable, based on their own ignorance and insecurities, it really is not my problem. That to me is unnacceptable. Keep your issues to your self and stop trying to convince others your twisted attitude regarding this thread is best. I’m not going to even touch on other cultures immigrating here on their own free will, because it’s irrelevant and would take a rant to dabase. Did it ever occur to you these people from other cultures you THINK or claim are “conforming” are doing so the same… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

When did I say I wanted to work with anyone, and why do I care what you are mixed with? I’m sorry, was that part of this discussion? Uh, no. No one here is insecure, but there are any number of opinions regarding what is or is not appropriate in a work setting regarding hair and attire for that matter, or most importantly, on an interview. While it may bother you that I do not agree with your opinion, your need to describe the disagreement as an insecurity when you turn around and feel the need to out of the… Read more »

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Thank you for making yourself more clear in your babble bsbfan. I know there are jobs that require women to pull their hair back or it’s just convenient for them too, but I have never heard of the office enviornment having this policy. So black women should not subject themselves to it. If they are more comfortable with it fine, but if they are more comfortable with their hair out it should not be a problem. I have heard of “no ethnic hair” policies but these are discriminatory and should be illegal. Company policies cannot single out one race more… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

The sole reason to never get into a discussion with women, is their incessant need to make everything personal. I’m either full of self loathing solely because some random female who doesn’t know me from a hole in the ground has decided this, or I am babbling because the same random female cannot comprehend that debate often involves disagreement, and therefore has to turn to personal attacks rather than simply dealing with facts. Go ahead. Enjoy reading your own thoughts. I’m going to leave you to them, as you revel in once again stating that you are mixed. Yawn!

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

bsbf YOU ARE as WHITEWASHED as a WHITE RACIST! It’s sad that black people are racist against their kind. Racism in the work place is not accepted.. what more don’t you get. You need to keep your BS to yourself, seriously. It’s more damaging to our community than any white person is.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

And I am sorry, but you are stuck on stupid, and obviously happy about it. Take your racist rhetoric somewhere else as it is not needed, warrented or appreciated here.

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

That last comment says alot and definitely shows you got it backwards. You keep living in denial, just don’t talk as if your opinions and preferences is a fact of life that everyone should conform too. The black community is still corrupt, our children are still failing doll tests and the only thing you hear from africa is feed the children infomercials. And it’s because of thinking like yours.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

The only good part about this non discussion is that fact that you have so much confidence in yourself and your views. While I don’t agree with any of them, I think it’s always a good thing when a black woman displays self confidence.

Moving on! Perhaps you should too?

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Good bye! You must be more conservative and (thus dimwitted) it is to be understood why you are making such stupid insinuations. I’d like to add that I find your myopic view on this topic offensive and reprehensible. But you as a conservative probably, with your narrow minded thinking, wouldn’t understand that.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

No, no. Being more conservative in manner and dress (including hair styles) doesn’t make someone “dim witted” but to make such an enormous leap does call into question the cognitive reasoning abilities of the person making such a gross assumption.

For the final time. Moving on.

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

LOL. Yeah, you’re conservative in general I’m not referring to manner or dress. I’m quite familiar with cognitive reasoning abilities and early childhood development, seeing as I studied it as a major and I can tell yours is lacking. You are overbearing and it is sickening. It is not my view I’m confident in, it’s what I’m experiencing as a black person and a women. You are detrimental to our community, and that is a fact. YOU are the problem. I don’t feel its right for you or the author of this artical to talk about something like its an… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

#beatingadeadhorse.

Nappy4C Rocks
Guest
Nappy4C Rocks

I want to know what exactly is “unkempt edges”

nikkib
Guest
nikkib

Adjective
(esp. of a person) Having an untidy or disheveled appearance

A
Guest
A

I’m assuming type 4 edges like mine that don’t slick no matter how much water, gel, or satin scarves I tie around my head.

Nappy4C Rocks
Guest
Nappy4C Rocks

@A guess so I’m in the same boat…I can do a roll&tuck from side to side and no matter how much cream, gel and butter my edges are.…“unkempt”…no professional job for me

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Don’t worry about your edges. As long as your hair looks good I guarantee you no one is looking at the edges of your hair! That kitchen can be a different story. If I’m wearing a ponytail, I use a little gel and brush up the smaller hairs to blend in better. Otherwise, I let it go.

Danielle
Guest
Danielle

What are shredded ends and knots at the ends?

Nappy4C Rocks
Guest
Nappy4C Rocks

I would like to know also?

Twist outs
Guest
Twist outs "out" ARE professional

I don’t see how a twist out or braid out is any different from a person with a different texture of hair wearing it “out” wavy or curly. For the record I am a PhD level psychologist. I have always worn wash‐n‐gos– from my graduate school interview–to my recent interview where I was hired for my first job as a psychologist ;-). Hun‐tee, I will be rocking fluffy twist outs, updos, whatever the hell I please. Worked too hard to be worried about hair. All they need to know is that I am professional and competent. (I do always dress… Read more »

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Welp…I am getting a PH.D. in a social science and will be on the market it the fall and due to the conservatism that is still prevalent in the field I was told by many women (of all races) it is better to where your hair pulled back or in a bun because it can be distracting when you are doing talks. When they said distracting a lot more of it was tied to the fact that men in our field have difficulty seeing the women as equals so you need to minimize some aspects that make you seem more… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

I wear a braid out and think it looks just like someone with curly hair, as my hair is not curly enough for a wash n go. It makes for a lovely, very kempt style that is not overwhelming and is very professional.

Joy L.
Guest
Joy L.

While I have mixed feelings about this article, I’ve seen some real horror stories walk through the doors for interviews. My feelings are only mixed because I’m shocked that articles like this must be written to help grown people who I think should know better. In my line of work I’m often charged with calling and scheduling interviews with prospective employees as well as retrieving them and escorting them into interview rooms. As a black natural, I’m consistently surprised with job seekers. One lady had purple hair, several have old braids where the dandruff is bigger than the braids. You… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Considering the fact that when I worked at a staffing agency I saw women coming for interviews with outfits that looked better suited for a night club, it makes perfect sense to me that there are people that need to be told to style there hair appropriately.

CB
Guest
CB

For a while when I was first natural, I straightened for interviews or special occasions BUT it was because I wasn’t yet confident in my styling ability. Now that I’ve been natural almost 8 years, I know how to wear my hair in a natural style and make it appropriate for the situation. For my current job, I interviewed with a twist out and met with 10 Caucasian people who ALL complimented it. I knew better than to pick it out and make it bigger like I usually do, but I also didn’t think it was, and will ever be… Read more »

piscesgirl
Guest
piscesgirl

I agree! Caucasian people compliment my natural styles more than African Americans.

Lin
Guest
Lin

I also think it depends on what country you’re in (and what industry). I guess this advice is only meant for the USA. I think it’s uncommon for recruiters in the UK to have a problem with box braids. My experience in Nigeria with natural hair is only a bun or braids were acceptable in corporate culture. Anything else drew unwelcome comments from coworkers.

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

I agree with some of this, but my hair is currently in micro braids. I have an interview in a couple of weeks for a senior position at a law firm. I’ll be wearing my braids neatly tied up in a low bun. If they reject me because they don’t like my hair, too bad for them. They’re not the firm for me. This is how I wear my hair for now and how I’ll be wearing it to work. A rejection because of my hair would also be an indication of other things in this firm that would probably… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Personally, I think microbraids are better suited to styling than box braids are, since they tend to be bulkier and therefore less conducive to styling.

Angela
Guest

Yep, I have never had any issues going to an interview with box braids, I actually got a job wearing braids.

piscesgirl
Guest
piscesgirl

I had a very big interview and wrestled with how to wear my hair for weeks beforehand. I was told my other naturals to go with a classic bun but I went with a 1st day wash and go instead. It was fairly shrunken and not too big yet. I thought it was super cute. I haven’t been called back (yet) but I think it has more to do with my lack of experience as my hair wasn’t offensive in my eyes…but now I’m starting to question that. 🙁

Fii
Guest
Fii

I think is admirable that OP spoke out about her own experience. Of course, everyone can alter her advise to meet their own needs. If you have no problem with twist outs in your work environments, by all mean, wear them. A lot of us work in environments where we are one of the only black people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are completely stuffy corporate environments. Some careers and even specific work places will be stricter than others. My work place is pretty diverse but still majority white. When interviewing for my job I had old Havana… Read more »

K-Jo
Guest
K-Jo

I have locs. I noticed there was NO mention of locs in the article. So.…what of my hair?

Candrea
Guest
Candrea

I would think a neat bun would be safest as that is what I see often in the workplace or a pulled back ponytail. You may also try wearing your hair out as long as it is pulled away from your face a little. What is definitely key for you is to do research, lock are just being recognized as a neat hairstyle in some workplaces.

brandy
Guest
brandy

Good point. I wear buns, braided updos.

Candice
Guest
Candice

I think that the focus of this article would be better spent on how your feel rather than how you are being perceived (which you can’t control at all). When I wear my hair out, I have a tendency to have my hands in my hair too much, it can look drastically different from the time I left my house to getting out of the car. I would probably end up in the bathroom before the interview, re‐primping my hair and being not as sure of myself during the interview (“What is my hair doing?”) I do agree that updos… Read more »

Candrea
Guest
Candrea

I agree that how you feel is important but I don’t think it disqualifies the importance of how you look. For example I can be very comfortable with my twist out fro, not touching often. But that look tends to also distract others from the conversation we’re in, leading people to touch or question… not to mention if the interviewer sees it as being uncombed, which technically it was. You know what styles get you the least touches from friends (and strangers -_‐) and are less changed by touches, which one makes you feel comfortable and which one makes you… Read more »

Jackie
Guest
Jackie

Regardless of what we think, first impression are a combination of what is on that resume AND how you look. You may be comfortable with a certain style, but an employer, rather white or black, may not be. I work at a large law firm. I have locs. Even though my résumé is polished with ears of experience and several recommendations from very well known attorneys and clerks of the court, I know my appearance is key to getting my foot in the door. Not because I am black and wear my air naturally, but simply because neatness is key… Read more »

Veronica Jones
Guest
Veronica Jones

Thank you for this article! This article was very informative and true!!! I wished that I had researched my last teaching position. I had no idea that the privately own facility that my school district contracted with would not accept me because of my hair. Thank you again!!!

anon
Guest
anon

I find this all fascinating — are we the only race who is constantly being told by people who don’t have this hairtype how to style it. Years ago women with braid extensions in Marks and Spencers were told to remove it or leave! I have been interviewed with my hair in twists and still got the job, my hair was not even a topic in the interview and if it had become one I would have hauled the interviewer over the coals. I won’t stand for hair discrimination — fortunately here in the UK most white people don’t notice.… Read more »

Guest1234
Guest
Guest1234

Folks don’t really want to admit it here in the states much, but, truth be told, most white people here don’t notice either. I’m getting a bit sick of the constant messaging that we have to fear what other people think of our hair. It’s stupid. We need to have more courage than this. Wear your hair however you want to. And if somebody doesn’t want you do do it in their establishment, their loss. Go someplace where your co‐workers aren’t stupid. Cuz I’ll tell you. Your hair ain’t the beginning and end of racism. If you change it, they’re… Read more »

Tel8
Guest

The only thing about this, is that for someone like me “go somewhere better” isn’t an option‐ I’m a 23 year graduate student currently interviewing for my first full‐time job, and the job market is bad enough as it is. If I turn up and don’t get the job because of my hair, I don’t just automatically get another shot at it. It’s not as simple when you haven’t got years of experience to back you up on your CV! I’ve currently got rope twists in, and while I love them, I’m worried that I may come across the wrong… Read more »

D.K.
Guest

I try to incorporate a printed, “scarfy” scarf with it tied around my head once (like a headband) and let the tails go down my back, and my outfit will always be a shirt and an open cardigan over it; skirt or dress pants optional. The scarf and cardigan makes it pretty and feminine (which calms down the afro or twist‐out, i.e. Diary of a Mad Black Woman/I’m Black And I’m Proud!) but I still like to show the employer my diversity, which is key to relating to clientele, consumers and fellow employees. I usually get the job after the… Read more »

leah
Guest
leah

I actually favor wearing a twist out for my interviews over a wash n go. I don’t let it look all wild & out, but I twist and pin back the front to make it look neater. For the past two jobs I’ve interviewed for, wearing a twist out, it wasn’t a distraction from my resume and skills and I was hired for those two jobs. I think a twist out can be conservative and neat enough for an interview as long as you tame it well and not have it looking too “out there.”

Beans
Guest
Beans

I still haven’t figured out how to put my hair in a bun…

Jumoké
Guest
Jumoké

If your hair is mid length Ike mine, you should try a faux bun using marley hair

DreamGirl
Guest
DreamGirl

I went to an interview and the ‘white’ lady asked if there wasn’t anything I could do to my hair,I asked if she wanted me to do something about my skin too,she was shocked and kept quiet. Another reason I’m gonna be an entrepreneur,I aint got time for this and damnit if I want to wear a twistout or puff to work I’ll wear it!! But untill then I’ll stick to a neat updo,thanks for the tips.

anon
Guest
anon

my point exactly a white person asking questions about a hair type they don’t have or understand. No other race gets this attitude — it’s as if everyone else feels that they own our hair except us. Bizarre!

Guest1234
Guest
Guest1234

What is a “coiled twa”. If my natural hair is more bushy than coily, it’s not professional? WTF is that about?

Amarmi
Guest
Amarmi

she meant finger coils. Not just leaving it out. There’s no hair type discrimination in this article.

Guest1234
Guest
Guest1234

Why should one make finger coils? What’s so unsightly about afro textured hair out?

lovemeloveme
Guest
lovemeloveme

braid outs/twist outs and wash n gos look almost the same to me, so i don’t understand why the b/t‐outs would be a problem. it is just a finer detail of hair texture. maybe people miserably fail too much (i don’t think i’ve had more than 3 successful braid outs in the 4 years i’ve grown my hair out)? as for braids… yes GROWN women, i think it’s time to give up rocking braids in a business suit. Even we, ourselves, culturally label braids as “kid’s summer style”, “style for vacation”, “giving birth hair style”, “a style where we don’t… Read more »

Guest1234
Guest
Guest1234

See, I don’t get that. I have never heard of a white woman being denied employment because of a bad haircut or split ends. If somebody’s hair is breaking off, does that mean that they are less fit to do a job? I see white folks with all manner of damaged hair and they don’t get shamed for it. Why is it different for us? And why do you subscribe to that notion? This is nothing more than a rehashing of the notion that our hair is somehow comparatively unsightly. My damaged ends are no more unsightly than my white… Read more »

lovemeloveme
Guest
lovemeloveme

actually I’ve worked with alot of white people who have been told it is time for a hair cut and that box blonde hair color does not fit.

my only point is that people shouldn’t excuse their appearance or BLAME their appearance on being “natural”.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Thank you. We are so quick to take offense and personalize everything (and I get the history behind that) that we can’t just stop and listen to good advice sometimes. I’ve worked with non‐white people who have had their appearance addressed by management, including their hair and makeup.

Guest1234
Guest
Guest1234

This isn’t a question of “hair and makeup”, generally. Nobody’s advocating a world where any and every hairstyle is unfair to criticize. I’m talking about equality inside that construct. I’m saying that black women ought not be treated any differently from others for split ends and damaged hair that is otherwise professional enough for the environment. Perhaps in the area of retail sales or something, that sort of critique is ordinary. But in a professional environment, frankly, it’s not. I’ve never heard of anybody saying: “you can’t be attorney here until your bangs grow out, or you get those ends… Read more »

lovemeloveme
Guest
lovemeloveme

@Guest1234 You are really riding on my “uneven fro and breakage” comment. How did you interpet that as “split ends” I don’t know<— that interpetation definitely would worry someone because it practically means that management would have to pull out a microscope to determine who has split ends and not. But BREAKAGE and UNSTYLED UNEVEN hair– regardless of hair texture– IS visible without a microscope and DOES look sloppy. And some styles— like an afro– can make it even more visible. All i’m saying is be honest with yourself about your hair. You don’t have to straighten your hair, you… Read more »

nikkib
Guest

Here’s the problem with your argument, Your hypothetically comparing your Damaged afro to your white Co‐Workers hair. But Going for an interview is different than going to work. They are NOT your coworkers, but you hope them to be, after that interview. During an interview, Put your best foot forward! Is uneven, disheveled ends the best you can do? This article is about the corporate world, Board room warriors. not lower level, or casual work environment. Expectations are a little different. thats ok

wds
Guest
wds

I don’t understand your argument. Braids are not okay to wear for “grown” women? What exactly is the cut off age for wearing braids? Hair braiding is a traditional technique for afro textured hair that allows for less time consuming hair practices (meaning you don’t have to manipulate your hair everyday). Isn’t that what you want when you have a full time job? The same logic that allows you to say that braids are not “corporate” is the same logic that allows someone else to say twistouts or braid outs are not “corporate”. If these styles are neatly done the… Read more »

hmm
Guest
hmm

Well I guess I wont be getting hired anywhere according to this article because I choose to wear a wash n go puff. I refuse to dedicate anymore hours of my time trying to protective style my hair into submission, this week I had it. Because of this choice I can freely wet my hair and stop worrying about frizz and crap. Mind you I have mainly 4b‐4c hair with bits of 4a. If anyone else is frustrated w/ their hair just try it for a week. P.s I went to a career workshop event on campus and the recruiter… Read more »

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

I think a lot of people are missing the point of the article. She’s not talking about how you wear your hear once you’ve been hired. She’s talking about what to do for the interview process. Let’s keep it real here. The interviewing process is not just about who you are on paper. Every aspect of who you are is being analyzed and dissected in that interview and you don’t get a second chance to make a good impression. I work in a very conservative environment and wear my hair in a wash‐n‐go. I keep it neat and off my… Read more »

Christine
Guest
Christine

I think we spend a lot of time accusing blacks of having the biggest issue with our when that’s not true. Blacks are just more comfortable being vocal about it. Let’s not get confused here.

Christine
Guest
Christine

I would just like to say that I interviewed for a received a job offer at Goldman Sachs, with a twist out. I believe in the rule that you should wear your hair how you feel comfortable and confident. A company that cannot accept the hair that grows out of my scalp is probably not a good fit for me.

Chinneli
Guest
Chinneli

I agree with all the comments from the UK sisters. I live and work in London and for the majority of jobs I’ve secured, I wore my hair in single braids in a bun. For my current job I interviewed with stretched hair pinned up to an up‐do. Most UK employers are not afraid of natural hair as long as it is neat and tidy. ‘Neat and tidy’ shouldn’t be offensive words. Of course it’s up for interpretation but yes, you should use some common sense and taylor your style to your environment and industry. Creative industries and some public… Read more »

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

The article is on point! No where, unless I missed it, does the article say slap on a wig or weave (I do have one on stand‐by). All the article is saying is how to professionally style your natural hair for the interview process. Neat, clean, pulled off the face, and professional‐looking is all that is required. Wild tricked out twist‐outs and messy wash and gos show an unkempt appearance. Even I would be hard‐pressed to wear a BBA (big beautiful afro) to an interview. These are good tips for natural hair interview styles. It depends on the company and… Read more »

Naturefro
Guest
Naturefro

I find your comment self‐loathing and offensive. Wild? Tricked out? Messy? That’s how you view our God‐given hair? I’m at a loss for words. It seems like for some women natural hair is a fad (which some people mindlessly follow just because others are doing it, whether they like it or not) and they still see our hairs true nature in a negative light. Some girls wear twist or braid outs because it’s a way for them to wear their hair out free without it tangling up, but others are all about hiding our hairs true texture and piling on… Read more »

Jacqueline
Guest
Jacqueline

Is it professional to wear my small extensions in a bun for an interview? Please help. Thanks.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

O.K. I’m sorry, but I have a hard time believing white people care about the edges of our hair or are as obsessed with them as far too many black people are. I’ve never had anyone look askance at my edges BUT black people. The rest of the article was great, but I’ll keep my edges the way I always have. Thanks!

Pat
Guest

This article means nothing to me since I always keep my hair clean and short as that’s the way I love it. I’m an older woman w/o gray hair but I’m sure some folks will have a problem with a gray haired person showing up for an interview. I don’t do twist outs and the such but if I did they would be neat. I guess that matters most and yes I have seen some badly damaged hair on white ppl but I guess that doesn’t hinder their employment/interviews.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Women with gray hair do indeed have issues getting jobs. There are countless articles about that and most are not specific to black women.

The Mane Captain
Guest

any out style or exotic hairstyle can really take the attention off the interview. But I think it can also set you apart and you can be memorable to the interviewers. Your hairstyle and personality will keep you in their mind as they make the final decisions. I think the safest style to an interview would be a bun, pin tuck and roll style. Any other style would be foreign to the interviewer and could even be insulting depending on who the itnerviewers were. This is just ridiculous in my opinion. reason why I asked readers if they would wear… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

I wouldn’t choose to wear an afro to work unless my hair was very short, but that’s a personal thing. I think there are jobs in which it would be acceptable, but the corporate world is going to have an issue with it. I say, get the job then test out hairstyles to find what works best. However, I am not about to go through the time and expense to install braids in my hair before first knowing that it will be O.K. I think microbraids would be far more acceptable than box braids, but that’s just me.

ade
Guest
ade

What about a wash and go puff with a neutral coloured/ hair colour headband? I think that this looks neat and it pulls the hair off of your face. You can also wear it as high or low as you like. There are restrictions for all hair types: unnatural colours, unkempt or any styles that are too distracting are usually in corporate handbooks. Box braids/ locs/ long hair hanging everywhere? Distracting. Pull it back in a bun and everyone should be happy. There are also some jobs where certain hairstyles can be a safety hazard ie: laboratories, construction and working… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Sounds like a great option to me.

trish
Guest
trish

Well.…I appreciate the tips, but no matter what I do my edges won’t stay in. Anything named moisture touches my hair (including gels — I’ve tried a lot) makes my hair shrink. It doesn’t want to conform. I do braids or twist and in a week the edges are out again beating to their own drum. I’m used to them by now.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Let’s be clear here. The only women obsessed with the edges of their hair are black women. No one else cares. If your hair is curly, why in the world would the edges of your hair be straight or worse yet, stuck to your face or the side of your head? Please ignore that part of this essay. It makes no sense.

ladyluo
Guest
ladyluo

I have never understood the obsession with smooth edges while the rest of the hair is curly/kinky

Loc Starrr
Guest
Loc Starrr

Before I had locs, I did prefer neat edges when my hair was pulled back. And even now, with some styles I like neater edges. For me, if I want to tame the edges for the next day, I just wet them a little and sleep with a cotton headband around my hairline. By morning they’re fine. To respond to the other commenter: Let’s be clear, only black/ethnic hair has the potential for messy edges. For lots of styles, it makes no difference at all. But in some cases, it’s just a more polished look. A little thing that makes… Read more »

HairHasItsOwnMind
Guest
HairHasItsOwnMind

I’ve resorted to wigs for interviews in the past because I wasn’t sure on natural hair styles. I’m still dubious because of all the styles I would choose, it would have been box braids. Hopefully my natural hair will be long enough when I’m ready to go job hunting again so that I can wear a bun.

nikkib
Guest

For those saying “Do You”, http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/hampton-business-dean-bans-dreadlocks/

Do You, But you will not earn an MBA from this university. *(See link above)
Do You, But you will run the risk of departing from the company’s culture, or dress code.
Do You, But Unemployment and welfare are not pretty. When Crap hit the fan, and you NEED to make moves for your family, You’ll swallow whatever pride, Bun that hair, and Kill that interview. An interview is just a hour, or so out of your lives, Bun it.

Guest1234
Guest
Guest1234

Oh stoppit! Nobody winds up on welfare because of a failure to bun their hair. That’s enough with the ridiculous hysteria. Hampton may ban dreads, but Harvard does not. Take that to mean what it means about where our natural selves are welcome. I think I’ll survive being more welcome at Harvard than Hampton. Just sayin’. Cool it with all the silly hysterics.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

I totally understand what you are saying about welfare, and perhaps that was a step too far. However, when we are faced with a job market that routinely has 10 or more viable candidates for every one position, it makes sense to put one’s best foot forward when an interview is offered. If that means putting one’s hair in a bun, I don’t see what the issue is. You got the interview because of your qualifications. Why lose the job because you are determined that the style you prefer must be exceptable?

Former
Guest
Former

Given your typos and comma splices, you have no room to talk about professionalism.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Oh, you got me. Wounded to the core! LOL! This is not a job interview, and I don’t know you from a hole in the ground. The fact is that presentation is everything. As someone who spent months looking for the right position recently, the one thing I learned was to request and listen to constructive criticism and use it help me along on my journey. While it may work best for you to hit below the belt, I trust that most people reading this article and posting here are not so inclined to remain in the gutter as you.… Read more »

Guest1234
Guest
Guest1234

@bsfranken I just don’t think, in the end, that it makes any difference. Black folks have got it wrapped up in our minds that everybody else is sooooooo worried about our hair when, really, they’re not all that pressed. At all. Do what makes you comfortable, but my observation is that when we limit OURSELVES to suit what we THINK other people WANT us to do, we sell ourselves very short. Wasn’t it Oprah who said “You wouldn’t care what other people thought of you if you knew how little they did.” Do what makes you feel comfortable. But I… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

And as a billionare with her own company, Oprah is free to live by that edict. Look, at the end of the day we are all going to do what we think is best. However, if tweaking your look a little to get your foot in the door is all that is required, to me that is a small sacrifice to get to where I want to be in life. It is not a figment of the black female imagination that we are judge, it is simply a proven fact that I’ve seen first hand on LinkedIn on a thread… Read more »

Guest1234
Guest
Guest1234

I reiterate. Those are YOUR fears. And I’m sorry that you’re so committed to them that you continue to try to heap them onto me, and the other readers here. At this point, I’ll exit from the discussion and leave you and your fears together in peace and harmony. Good luck.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Thank you, but I have a job Guest. I have that job because I kept making changes and doing what I had to do to get to the job that was best for me. You are free to feel that everyone is brainwashed if you choose. I on the other hand, am going to continue to work toward my goals, with no irrational fears involved. LOL!

Ellie
Guest
Ellie

@bsbfankaren Now that last comment was rude and completely unnecessary. You don’t know anything about Guest1234, but to try and rub in someone’s face that you have a job because your methods worked for /you/ is completely childish and rude. Especially when Guest1234 has a point. I’ll be the first to tell you that the professional “culture” has a standard when it comes to hair (for all hair types) and that it’s just easier us naturals to take the “safe” route (your way) if we’re concerned about our hair affecting our ability to get a job. But at the same… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

O.K. you obviously are choosing to pick and choose what to read and not to on this thread. I was not in the least bit rude to Guest, but responded to her points, as she responded to mine. You may not like my response, but it was not intended to specifically be to your liking. As a point in fact, I worked diligently for six months after caring for my mother for a year prior to her death, to find a job. I took all the criticism I could get people to give me, either good or bad to then… Read more »

Jojosatoes
Guest
Jojosatoes

Isn’t it ironic that Hampton does though?!?!?! smh

Jojosatoes
Guest
Jojosatoes

And for the record I’m smhing at Hampton, not any of the remarks.

Lucille
Guest
Lucille

If a company recruiter cannot see beyond a hairstyle then they definitely have bigger problems.…some of the best put together people are the worst employees.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Sounds good, it really does. However, when you are competing with as many as 10 other equally qualified candidates, you do what needs to be done to not distract but to make yourself memorable. HR professionals find all sorts of reasons to dismiss a candidate. I choose to make it so that my hair is not one of those reasons.

Hyspin
Guest
Hyspin

Good points but I got away with a defined twist out with a interview meeting (two people were involved in plus the manger on speaker phone) for a major financial corporation, but here is the thing, I am design/media industry so that hairstyle is considered tamed for any creative industry.

But I think some of the styles incase of twist‐out vs. wash n’ go is based on your hair behavior, I would have said no wash n’ go for interview for my hair but a fully defined twist‐out is excellent.

Tramelle
Guest
Tramelle

I actually enjoyed reading this. It will definitely help with future jobs. When I started my job 3 years ago, I was relaxed. It wasn’t until I reached my 1 year anniversary that I chopped my hair off. So I haven’t experienced “what do I do to my natural hair for this interview”. My job doesn’t have a strict dress code, so as I’m typing this my hair is as big and curly as it wants to be and no one says anything about it (at least not to my face lol) and I work in a company where it… Read more »

gapch
Guest
gapch

smh… 1 step forward 3 steps back.….

Tafadzwa
Guest
Tafadzwa

I think box braids pulled back in a bun are just fine for interviews. I have interviewed for many jobs wearing my hair in that fashion and i was hired for each of those jobs. Based on my experience box braids have never hindered me from getting hired. Unless of course she meant box braids worn in a free flowing style.

Jay
Guest

I just interviewed with a recruiter today and wore my hair in a cinnabun type style. I know there can be a stigma with natural hair so I try to be as low key as possible. The funny thing is the recruiter told me how great I looked several times. Then she sent me an email later in the day telling me that she viewed my LinkedIn profile and that I might want to change the picture to something with a hairstyle like I sported today (in the picture I had a twist out on my twa). It was funny… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

I have always had mixed feelings about having my photo as part of my LinkedIn profile, as I never wanted someone to interview me or not based on preconceived notions of who I am based on my photo. However, it worked out for me in the end as prospective employers could look there to find out more about me, and I think that helped me to get the job I have now.

Jumoké
Guest
Jumoké

I find it interesting because I posted a comment about this on a different article and I got a lot of thumbs down. Messy hair is NOT a good look for an interview! I still can’t fathom why anyone would want to wear a week old twists out to an interview out of ALL places! ._.
I think us naturals take this movement a little too far sometimes. I agree that our hair texture should never be viewed as “unprofessional” but the WAY you wear it speaks volumes! Idk why I’m the only person who thinks this…

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

You’re not alone in thinking the way you do, and I would imagine there are more people who believe the same way, and are just choosing not to post.

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

@ Naturalfro…come one…these are tips and suggestions on how to wear natural hair for an interview. A lot depends on the ype of company. If you think you can show up for an interview dressed in anything and have the hair style all wild, crazy, and unkempt, go ahead. I LOVE OUR NATURAL hair. I love mines too. I am willing to put it in a professional bun or pulled back for an interview. If YOU can wear your BBA to an interview, go ahead! Again, these are just helpful tips…take it or leave. #enoughsaid

Naturefro
Guest
Naturefro

Last time I checked, you do not know how I dress or wear my hair for an interview so stop with the nasty attitude. It’s not attractive. Second of all, how in the world are you equating a twist out or a afro with a wild, crazy, ungroomed, and unkempt appeareance, while in almost the same sentence declaring you love natural hair? I guess you only love it if it’s true nature is out of sight and it’s highly manipulated in some way? It’s sad that black women are perpetuating this nonsense about our hair. I don’t wear twist outs… Read more »

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

I meant to say come on to Naturalfro and @ Ellie well said!

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

So “anything” you do with straight hair is fine, but kinky hair needs a list of regulations, like “keep your edges in check”? GTFOHWTBS.

In my professional experience, (I currently report to a CEO) the *only* people people up in arms about natural hair in the workplace are other black women. Hair of any texture is professional if it is kept clean and neat.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

I think that’s the point this article was attempting to make. However, “neat” is open to interpretation.

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

@ Naturefro…it wasn’t a snotty altitude. I am sorry for you you took it that way. You don’t have to agree…that’s fine. You don’t know me and that is ok really. I had friends that were natural before me even one had a buzz cut. I never said peep because that’s her style, and you don’t even wear a twsit outs, great for you, ok. Again, if a person wants to wear a BBA, braid, or twist out to an interview GO AHEAD! These are JUST suggestions! Do you ok. I truly appreciate the list of dos mights, and don’t… Read more »

Naturefro
Guest
Naturefro

I don’t believe you merit a response. You are just one of those natural haired black women who have a “permed” state of mind when it comes to natural hair, and that there are ways that it’s “supposed” to be worn.

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

@ Naturefro.…You can think and say whatever you want be it truth or lies…and just because you say it is so doesn’t mean it is. We can or I will agree to disagree. HHJ #mvoingonsmartly

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

Again, these are just suggestions! If YOU feel comfortable wearing your hair out or the BBA go ahead. I will use some of these suggestions. No one said a person couldn’t get a job sporting a neat TWA and the like. Should it matter NO BUT DOES IT, WE KNOW underneath it does unfortunately. My hair shouldn’t matter that much but it does. Neat, clean, and professional‐looking for that environment is all that’s needed. One day, I hope we can ALL show up in a BBA and get any job under the sun…maybe call it BBA day BRAID OUT/TWIST AND… Read more »

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

Here is my weave results. I texted a few guy friends (one of them not black) and asked why didn’t they like a weave a a black woman. The top five answers are:

1. Not real
2. She is hiding something
3. Fake
4. It stinks
5. Horse hair

They They didn’t seem to mind if if relaxed, colored, or natural. The central theme for these guys they wanted her to have her own real hair.

#wowdeep

TB
Guest
TB

WOW did this come on time! I’m 47 and have been natural for over 10 years. I have my first interview in many years in a few days. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 7 years now. My hair is shoulder length and wavy/curly, but this gave me some great tips! Thanks!

Alwina
Guest
Alwina

Thanks for this article! This solidifies my thought process towards dressing and wearing my hair appropriately for an interview. I’m usually pulled back in reserved. It’s just mentally easier to do. But my conservative look also comes from my background and what my mom taught me. Different strokes for different folks.

KornerStone
Guest
KornerStone

Genuine Souls have no need for a disingenuous appearance …

R.L. Worthy

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Hair.jpg[/img]

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

I wish BLACK WOMEN would stop looking at our hair or referring to our well‐groomed and neat hair as “wild” or “messy” because of it’s very nature and texture. That is derogatory. The maybe it would be viewed as professional. I have never considered our natural hair “wild” or “messy” and it nags me when black women refer to it in this twisted manner. It’s mind‐blowing.

coley
Guest
coley

I agree…the word “straight and smooth” appeared too many times.! Newsflash! Our hair is not straight and smooth!

rainbow rider
Guest
rainbow rider

I agree, very subjective. I hate the word neat being used in reference to natural hair. As if there is something inherantly messy about it. I’m not happy with this artical either. Something only becomes “unprofessional” because someone, somewhere didn’t like it. And if our natural hair is viewed as unprofessional due to it’s “messy” nature, then black women should be looking to change that prejudiced view. Not dictating how to be cookie cutter for white society. It’s funny how black women regard an afro as ungroomed, a twist out as wild, and a wash and go as messy and… Read more »

melanie washington
Guest
melanie washington

Unfortunately being judged is apart of the interview process.I can’t agree completely with this article but I can see the why behind certain styles.Thanks

rainbow rider
Guest
rainbow rider

Unfortunately you’re just as deluded as any white person who came over here, took over the native americans and enslaved us blacks. Natural haired black women have as many thinking flaws as permed hair black women. WAKE UP BITCHES! Real natural ladies ignore these black bimbo bitches and white people who aren’t even aware of their own history.

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

First, I am no one’s bitch. Second, you can keep your attitude in place if you wish, but understand that there are those of us who now what it takes to get where we want to go, and ware not willing to make excuses or accept them in return.

rainbow rider
Guest
rainbow rider

What?? You are pathetic! Quit trying to shove your ignorant, draconian views down everyone else’s throat. Are you medicated?????

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

Oh, please. Do what works best for you. However, there is nothing “ignorant” or “draconian” about taking the time to understand the game and playing it well. And no amount of insult slinging is going to drag this natural diva down into the mud with you. Have fun!

rainbow rider
Guest
rainbow rider

LOL. Will‐do without some whiney nitwit like you telling me. “Natural hair diva”? I think you are on medication for that irrational mindset black women tend, but IT’S NOT WORKING. You may not think our natural hair looks professional or becoming. BUT THAT IS YOUR OPINION. And maybe you do look crazy with natural hair for all I know, that’s your probablem. However, many women are comfortable rocking it, look fabulous doing so and have no problems whatsoever. So all your complaining is very unnessacary. And if you are wondering why people are losing patients with you, it’s because YOU… Read more »

Vee
Guest
Vee

You do realize that “these” people are the ones that do the hiring right? So forgive us all for trying to make some money and provide for our families by annoyingly conforming to this standard to get a job that pays above min. wage.

spicyscorpion
Guest
spicyscorpion

I just have to say although I don’t feel like not being your self is the way to go I understand this post.…. Make your way in the door before you put your foot in your mouth… I’m100% black and proud to be.… But this industry and government has detoured people into believing being skinny is in having long straight hair is in.….. If you have to put that wig on just to get your foot in the door do it your going to be looked at differently already because you are black… Once in the door climb them steps… Read more »

NewbieNatural
Guest
NewbieNatural

Ok. So I’m a 23 year old college graduate and I’ve made a decision to go natural. I don’t have a lot of new growth being that my hair is still 90% permed. I’ve been considering getting box braids to transition with. For me braids seem easier: I won’t have to use heat, and I already know how to take care of them. But my hair now is dry and stringy looking and I can’t go on interviews looking like that. And I see a lot of people saying “wait until you get the job and until the probationary period… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

I say go with the box braids, but it may depend on what your field is. If you are looking to work in a creative industry or one that is multi cultural such as the tech field, box braids will work just fine. In other professional environments like say a lawyers office, perhaps not so much, but as long as you keep your braids looking good and out of your face during interviews, I don’t thing there will be an issue. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you might also consider changing your profile photo after you get your box… Read more »

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

Check out Youtube for transitioning styles and other blogs, Vloggers for tips. Box braids are ok but there are other styles too. All the best to you! Keep us posted!

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

Heat will damage your hair like never before! You can never go wrong with box braids. Box braids can be very professional. You can tie it in a bun, ponytail or leave it straight. The author of this article had one bad encounter with box braids for a company that was known to be discriminatory. So don’t pay attention to her. Wear your box braids. I’ve had many jobs and braids were never a problem as long as it was tied back and not in my face.

trackback

[…] Professional Recruiter Shares Best and Worst Natural Hair Interview Styles […]

shenika
Guest

I always make the point that natural hair is professional because it is not a hairstyle, it is the hair that grows out of my head. Professional hairstyles in general are different and that applies to all hair types not just natural hair. Check out my post on this

http://sheni-kare.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/take-your-hair-to-work-day.html

X

Tamaika
Guest
Tamaika

So i suppose you “naturals” stop waxing your eye brows because in nature it’s messy? you also don’t your shave under arms or groom any other part of your body. Any race hair can be seen as unprofessional. being told you need to groom your self is not an invitation to pull out the race card. like when are we gonna stop doing that? I think the Article is very informative and helped me a lot. i was going to straighten my hair for my interview i just might put my twist in a bun and call a day.

Chantel
Guest

Thanks for the tips! I’m interested in this for the readers on my site as well!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Picture2.png[/img]

Leonette
Guest
Leonette

Thanks for the article. This information was exactly what I needed!

Candace
Guest
Candace

We are not in Africa people please stop wearing your hair like we are

AAA
Guest
AAA

That was in incredibly ignorant comment. My current location doesn’t change my hair texture or how it grows out of my head. As an African who has worn my hair both ways(relaxed and natural) I am deeply offended. Know your heritage and be proud of it rather than running from it.

Candace
Guest
Candace

Whatever I’m tired of hearing love your hair love your hair last time I checked we are imperfect in an imperfect world we do not have to love everything about ourselves

Candace
Guest
Candace

And for that matter I hate my feet too so I try not to show them

spicyscorpion
Guest
spicyscorpion

Not every bodies hair is of Africa nape so natural doesn’t mean you’ll look terrible I’ve been transitioning and my hair is BEAUTIFUL.…. Wear your hair how you want it’s your hair

Eryn
Guest
Eryn

Candace, it’s totally your prerogative to hate your hair and feet, but leave the rest of us be. We should all respect each others differences and freedom of choice, the same way white women choose to or not to tan or blow dry their hair every day.

Candace
Guest
Candace

I will when you weirdos stop pushing natural on us like it’s the best thing in the world.if you haven’t noticed it’s not only whites who have better hair than us it’s every race so it’s not about being white Indians, Hispanics , Asians everybody so we should try to look good too. Btw I hate white people skin if I were them I’d tan and not think twice about being fake the skin color is horrible and pale Asians eyes are ugly Hispanics and Indians actually have the least wrong with them my point is stop putting whites on… Read more »

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

My goodness! What rock did someone pull you out from under? LOL!

Candace
Guest
Candace

A nice looking rock I’m done here as I’m convinced natural girls are girls who never looked good with their hair done so it doesn’t matter and they’ve just given up

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

No, no be honest. A rock that provided you with such low self esteem you had to anonymously post about women you have never met, nor will ever know, just to make yourself feel better!

Loc Starrr
Guest
Loc Starrr

It must really suck to be you. Let me tell you something, I look good as F**K however I wear my hair. When it was relaxed it was full and silky; fell beautifully past my shoulders. When I went natural, I wore my healthy, beautiful curls and felt just as good as I looked, because I was being me and loving it. Now I have pretty, shiny locs that sit past my shoulders and swing beautifully when I move my head. No, love. Natural women (I haven’t been a girl in years) are NOT women who never looked good with… Read more »

Tawny
Guest
Tawny

Girl, what is wrong with you? Why are you so racist? You said “if you haven’t noticed it’s not only whites who have better hair than us it’s every race”… So aren’t you saying they look better than you. Seems like you’re putting all of THEM on a pedestal and putting yourself on the bottom. Probably a good idea, because that’s where someone with your mind frame deserves to be. Bottom b@tch!

Tre'
Guest
Tre'

poor baby… YOU HAVE ISSUES that I hope you are working on resolving… #LOVEWHOUARE

Loc Starrr
Guest
Loc Starrr

C’mon y’all… I don’t think she said anything offensive. I’m 12 years natural, 2 years locked. I’m all about black pride and loving what’s naturally us. BUT, just like white hair, natural black hair CAN look messy and unprofessional. Your afro needs to be neat–I would even say pulled back from your face with a small headband. Your curls need to be neat and polished. Not wild or messy. If a white woman has hair that’s naturally big and curly, she would need to bind it or style it in some way that looks polished and neat. If a white… Read more »

Loc Starrr
Guest
Loc Starrr

Traditional**

bsbfankaren
Guest
bsbfankaren

While what she said may not have been racist…and I didn’t call it that…it was misguided. I’ve been natural for close to three years. My hair is always neat and tidy and is lovely whether I wear it out or in a sleek ponytail as is my norm.

No one should go natural if they don’t want to, but neither should anyone who chooses not to wear their hair natural, choose to denigrate those of us who do, and vice versa.

Loc Starrr
Guest
Loc Starrr

I don’t understand your context. I was responding to the article, not the poster above (Candace). If you read above, where I did respond to Candace, you’ll see that I said exactly what you just said.

Ouida Cordell
Guest
Ouida Cordell

Can someone tell me why cornrows straight back is on this list? That’s my best style and I get tons of compliments from prow all the time.

Tanell L.
Guest
Tanell L.

Exactly! They say keep your hair neat but then why are straight backs excluded from the approved list? It certainly isn’t a distraction.…..

Jazamine
Guest
Jazamine

The key is to look presentable & well groomed whether natural or relaxed. I interviewed for my current job in a natural updo. I refused to falsely represent how I usually wear my hair. I preferred a job that accepted people of all backgrounds regardless of minor differences in appearance. Most of the women at my job are natural and wear their hair in a variety of styles . The key is we all conduct ourselves in a professional manner& efficiently perform our jobs so no one really cares if our hair is straight. No person has reason to harp… Read more »

Tiffani
Guest
Tiffani

Everytime BGLH posts this article I hate it more. Aside from my not wearing your hair wet or messy you can come as you please. I work at Fortune 500 company and I’ve seen executives hire men with messy ponytails because they’re brilliant. The rule is to wear your hair as it makes you feel comfortable. I always wear my hair in a bouncy braid out and I’m always professionally employed.

Dorothy Ricot
Guest
Dorothy Ricot

Thank you for posting this. I really needed to hear that.

Melly
Guest
Melly

I have an interview in 2 days my curls are reddish brown(ends only) & I have. 6 braids going upward on the. Right front side sort of mohawk‐ish but my curls hang a little over the braids hiding them a little my interview is at the courthouse (peer specialist ) I’m a little nervous although I live in anything goes miami FL

Alyssa
Guest
Alyssa

I definitely agree, of course some statements are cut and dry but with me having natural hair I hardly ever where it for an interview…Just like the interviewer needs to get a feel for you, you need to get a feel of the companies style and culture.… In any job interview you need to look well kept, just like a messy shirt would give off a message so does messy hair

Lean In, Keisha
Guest
Lean In, Keisha

There are many different characters and company cultures across corporate America! I don’t want to be characterized as “the black girl” with my tapered twa, yet I still value the power of being myself. I work better when I am comfortable with myself! Check out my job as I journey thru corporate America @ leaninkeisha.com

Andrea Miranda
Guest
Andrea Miranda

I have never had problems with straight back corn rows or box braids. That was your experience..unfortunately. Those are very conservative and often benign hair do’s. If that was a luxury retailer then your hair which is a timeless style should have been very much wanted..and representative of the types of styles that will spend a good deal of money in their stores. If they had of been truthful we have a certain demographic that comes through our stores and they are opposed to braids.. that would have been honest but still discriminatory. Having a conforming uniform dress code seems… Read more »

anonimella
Guest
anonimella

that’s s fucking oppressive… how can you encourage it? why don’t you just stand up for the right to wear your beatyful, majestic hair without white‐gazed compromises? Or the right to not be constrained to spent an obcsene amount of your life time in order to “normalise” your hair at a white standard? Afro air are gorgeous. Stop normalising it. Be proud of it.

trackback

[…] BlackGirlLongHair published a post written by a New York City recruiter who specifically addressed the concern that many naturals have about how to wear their hair for interviews. She emphasized the importance of keeping all styles neat and tailored (which could be very subjective) and doing your research on the company culture before deciding how to wear your coils for the big day. […]

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