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True Life: I Revealed My Natural Hair at Work and Now My Co-workers Won’t Speak to Me

Avatar • Aug 6, 2014

by Portia of huneybflyy.com

tashay natural hair style

When Tashay Manning decided to embrace her natural hair over 2 years ago, she didn’t expect her decision to affect the way her co-workers treated her. Manning’s motivation for wanting to go relaxer-free began when one of her daughters was admiring her bone straight relaxed hair.

She said that she wanted her hair to look like mine. My four girls are natural and at that moment, I felt like a big hypocrite trying to get my girls to love their natural hair when I wasn’t even embracing mine,” said Manning.

Manning decided that the best way for her to go natural was to do the big chop. However, she admits to immediately wearing wigs as a protective style to try and achieve some length and later to avoid having to style her hair. She also admitted that she was nervous about revealing her natural hair to the public. She wanted to make sure that she knew how to care for her hair and how to style it before a big reveal. Manning was even more nervous to reveal her natural hair at work.

I can honestly say that I was most nervous about revealing my natural hair to my co-workers. I am one of the few African Americans on my job, so I didn’t know what to expect, especially since I was responsible for getting my co-workers used to my relaxed hair and perfectly curled wig. I had a hunch that they weren’t ready for my 4b hair and I was right!” Manning said.

She realized after her first day showcasing her natural hair at work that her hair had suddenly became the elephant in the room. Many of her co-workers didn’t acknowledge her hair at all. Most of her co-workers ignored her and avoided speaking to her or making eye contact with her for at least 3 weeks. These were people that she had been friendly with on a daily basis for years.

Tashay Natural Hair Curls

Their reactions weren’t all bad. Some actually complimented her new look and told her how much younger she looked without the wig. Others, just quickly glanced at her as if her hair was a freak of nature.

Just last week we were lunch buddies and now I’m an outcast!” she said.

Fortunately, her co-worker’s reactions didn’t discourage her from her journey. She realized that it was time for her to stop trying to blend in and embrace how God made her. For Manning, it was now or never.

I realized that fairy tale I had of everyone in the work place raving about my natural hair was not reality, so I figured people would just have to get over it because I was done pretending that my hair looked like theirs,” said Manning.

If this naturalista didn’t receive a single compliment from her co-workers, it wouldn’t matter. Manning has plenty of support from her family and friends, her husband being her biggest fan. He was proud of her when she kicked her creamy crack habit and he doesn’t care if her hair is down to her ankles or one inch off of her scalp, he just wants her to be her natural self. Manning’s daughters are also equally supportive and they admire the natural hair styles that she creates.

Tashay Natural Hair Updo

As for her co-workers, she doesn’t have any hard feelings. However, she does have an increased awareness that deciding to be natural is a bold movement. She believes that she is changing the dynamics of her office and she’s forcing people to look at the real Tashay Manning.

My hair does not change my professionalism or productivity. Many of my co-workers that ignored and avoided me, have come around because I’m still the same person. I guess they realized that hair is hair, it doesn’t make a person,” she said.

Manning’s best piece of advice for women who may be experiencing the same negativity is to let the stares and ignorance roll of your back. If you embrace your hair first and are confident, then small minded co-workers will feel silly for having any issues with your hair.

 

Have any of you experienced a similar reaction in your own place of work? Did anyone stop speaking to you when you revealed your natural hair? Are you experiencing this now?

Portia is a wife and mother who enjoys making things and people look pretty! As a graduate of Rowan University, Portia has an insatiable craving for natural hair, beauty, and fashion, but she also enjoys traveling and home decor. If you’d like to know more about her, visit her blog at huneybflyy.com

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KP
KP
6 years ago

Wow. Quite an interesting story. Glad she didn’t start relaxing again because of it.

Although, I’m not sure I would want to really interact with those co-workers, apart from things work-related anymore after that, even if they did come around later. Kind of says something about them in my opinion.

Emma J B W
Emma J B W
6 years ago

I’m sorry but perhaps I missed something. Did anyone actually say something about your hair or was it that no one said anything?
Perhaps because you were feeling sensitive, you read more into the silence than you should have? Perhaps the other people in your office had other things going on in their lives? I think it’s easy to assume the worst of people and difficult to accept that maybe, our own personal choices don’t factor at all into the lives of others. Afterall, it is just hair…

Chrissie
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

This is what I thought. Plus “Some actually complimented her new look and told her how much younger she looked without the wig.” No insults were made and no jobs lost, so I think it’s best to focus on the positive. This article could have been “I revealed my natural hair at work, some loved it and I feel great!”

c
c
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

It’s not that they didn’t say anything about her hair. They didn’t talk to her at all, period. People that said hi to her everyday were ignoring her and acting as if she wasn’t there.

At least, that’s how I interpreted it.

Deedeemaha
Deedeemaha
6 years ago
Reply to  c

I find it hard to believe that not one single person did not talk to her. If that was the case I would have went to my supervisor , not about my hair but what’s going on in the department We need to remember that when you have been wearing perms of wigs/weaves for years and years and years, lol, then you walk in with kinky curly hair they may not even know who you are. Lol when I cut mine off I did not know me. Lol. I have the pictures go prove it. I did not even know… Read more »

fjkel
fjkel
6 years ago
Reply to  Deedeemaha

Live in your delusional world “LOL” Where forms of isolation isn’t a direct consequence of straying from the box European beauty standards set for AA women “LOL” Her experience and opinion is just as valid as yours “LOL” Because, that totally sounds logical, a change of hair completely changing someones look so much they’re unrecognizable after being around that person fro years “LOL”. Get your heads out of the clouds.….…..LOL

Toni
Toni
6 years ago

Some people are still under the assumption that changing your hair to natural means that you’re some sort of militant, afro pick wearing, fist shaking, “I hate the man” type of person. At least amongs some of the older generation in the Deep South (I don’t know where you are). They will come around like your other co worker once they realize that it is just a hair change. Your hair is gorgeous, by the way.

CJ
CJ
6 years ago
Reply to  Toni

Agree. Her hair is gorgeous

Kellee Blue
Kellee Blue
6 years ago
Reply to  Toni

What’s wrong with that?? Far be it from me to think everyone with natural hair is conscious in anyway…but if you ask me, if white people equate my hair with greater understanding of who they are, what they do, and what they’ve done. I consider their ill-treatment the utmost compliment.

SMH @ “militant, afro pick wearing, fist shaking, ‘I hate the man’ type of person” — It’s a damn shame when black people speak like KKK members.

Heather
Heather
6 years ago
Reply to  Kellee Blue

Oh sweetie. No one cares. She didn’t sound like klan anything. She made a statement thst was entirely too vague to determine her personal views. Don’t be one of those members of the so called “conscious” who picks apart every comment on the internet just to debate. It really gets old, tired, and pathetic.

logiclady
logiclady
6 years ago

I haven’t’ had these issues at work or regular life situations at least not to this degree.Most everyone seems to like my hair natural.I have only received a few nasty looks when I’m realizing that I’m around a lot of ignorant white people. I had a white friend say that she loved when girls who are black wear their hair natural and I get that a lot from younger white people and the dirt stares seem to come from older black and white people. Hispanics and Asians thinks my hair is cool. Maybe people were just shocked to see the… Read more »

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

I agree with most of what you’re saying (because evolution and migration DID influence melanin and hair texture), but your tone is extremely intolerant. For some people, religion and science can’t coexist, and it’s important to respect their views. For instance, I personally believe that a higher power directed evolution, but I’m not tearing down your lack of belief in that higher power. Let people have their own truths. Humanity may be universal, but individual experiences and perspectives are not.

logiclady
logiclady
6 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

I am all for people having their own truths…but not really, because it’s unhealthy for us as black women and for our offspring. Fear mongering is not the way to go towards truth, it’s unhealthy and damages people. Black people need stop being so close minded about cold hard science. We also need t o stop following blindly behind ancient old traditions that serve US no purpose. I merely suggest that black people do their own research about the world around them, instead of buying ito ancient traditions t hat our great, great grandmother’s believed in. Someone needs to be… Read more »

Emma J B W
Emma J B W
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

Ahh… I liked your comment on the whole. I only had one issue: Polar bears. I thought they only appeared to be white and actually have translucent hair shafts. See the following: “Polar bears’ fur consists of a dense, insulating undercoat topped by guard hairs of various lengths. It is not actually white—it just looks that way. Each hair shaft is pigment-free and transparent with a hollow core that scatters and reflects visible light, much like what happens with ice and snow” Also, I have found that many commenters here are God fearing folk, and comments to the contrary are met… Read more »

jojosatoes
jojosatoes
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

Learned something (the polar bears). Sometimes we project our feelings on to others. I know I’m going to get thumbs downed, but it could be the author expected everyone (especially the black co workers) to ooh and ahh over her hair and they were just indifferent. I don’t see why co-workers, black at that, would suddenly stop speaking to someone because they went natural. Her hair style changed, and perhaps its her behavior that changed. She never indicated she said hi to the co-workers and they didn’t respond. Don’t like this article because it promotes that whole them against us… Read more »

straightnochaser
straightnochaser
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

I read the same thing about polar bears and their ‘coloring.’ The article I read stated that their fur sort of resembled fiber optic wires.

So pleased
So pleased
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

Polar bears have black skin.

logiclady
logiclady
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

“Ahh… I liked your comment on the whole. I only had one issue: Polar bears. I thought they only appeared to be white and actually have translucent hair shafts. See the following: “Polar bears’ fur consists of a dense, insulating undercoat topped by guard hairs of various lengths. It is not actually white—it just looks that way. Each hair shaft is pigment-free and transparent with a hollow core that scatters and reflects visible light, much like what happens with ice and snow” Yes “woman of science” This is why I love science! I did k now this! Coincidentally, after I wrote… Read more »

Savannah
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

Too bad science can’t prove anything.

Knotty Natural
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

I’m not a bible thumper but it doesn’t take a genius to know that science and religion can co-exist.

So YES, a creator probably had a grand plan for how the elements would affect his creations so he equipped us to be able to function (or change) to fit the climate in which we reside.

Heather
Heather
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

Honey, black women aren’t ready for that lol. I agree with you to an extent. There isn’t any evidence for a deity, but you don’t have to be so pushy about it lol.

logiclady
logiclady
6 years ago
Reply to  Heather

I am pushy because THEY are pushy about their religious nonsense. They’ve been shoving that nonsense down my throat since I was a kid. From when my grandmother converted from Islam to Christianity to when my Mom remarried a Jewish man lol it’s been shoved down my throat. I’ve been ostracized, (No big deal) but the stress of hiding my atheism has taken a toll, so now for the past 4 years I’ve been very outspoken about it, and no one should be ashamed for having doubts. Heck I even had to go to therapy just to “COME OUT” And… Read more »

The cow goes Mooooooove your butt so I can eat some grass too!
The cow goes Mooooooove your butt so I can eat some grass too!
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

I’m very much an atheist, but now is not the time to be condescending to people who choose to believe in god. Completely ignoring the overall point of this article to teach people about evolution is the wrong way to bring it up.

logiclady
logiclady
6 years ago

I point out BS when I see it. I don’t think it’s ever the wrong time when someone says something incorrect, like “GOD MADE THEM that way” lol guess what, that’s the perfect time to point out that NO, NO God, made your hair that way randomly. Furthermore, she felt a bit unnerved that those around her didn’t accept her hair. I get your point, but it’s human nature for you to jump on the band wagon. Yes everyone is saying I’m being insensitive, or condescending when I’m not being. I’m just simply giving my opinion. If you’re a black… Read more »

The cow goes Mooooooove your butt so I can eat some grass too!
The cow goes Mooooooove your butt so I can eat some grass too!
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

I point out bs when I see it too. But only when it’s relevant to the overall point.
Nitpicking at these things when it is but a minor tidbit in the overall story comes off as petty. 3/4 of your original statement was about god and not about the actual overall post.
Pick your battles.

Cygnet
Cygnet
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

Being a day late, I hope no one minds if I chime in at this point. Just wanna say two things. First: “The Bible teaches us how to go to heaven. Science teaches us how the heavens go.” –Galileo Galilei. Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, and many of the other great post-Yeshuan (Jesus) scientists during the Middle Ages and early Renaissance were Christian, and they were most definite about it. They worshiped God and saw science as just another way, a marvelous one, too, of getting to know more about Him. I view science in pretty much the same way. Much… Read more »

Cygnet
Cygnet
6 years ago
Reply to  Cygnet

I obviously didn’t read far enough down. Thanks to you others also who responded before I did :-).

logiclady
logiclady
6 years ago
Reply to  Cygnet

Well if you are just giving this response to get up-votes and to be liked, then I feel sorry for you. No, science and a GOD cannot go hand and hand. I don’t care if I’m liked, so there fore I won’t come up with excuses. God and science, well that all sounds like pretty poetic words to me. The point of my comment was to get people to become more aware of what they are saying. We don’t know why all of this is here on this great big earth, and in my opinion no one religion has the… Read more »

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

Girl.…really? Why do you assume that because people believe in a higher power that they’re attached to a religion? And why are you assuming that they want to shove that religion down other people’s throats? Not everyone is an evangelist for their brand of God. I’m not a Christian. I’m not religious in any way. In fact, I’m generally abhorrent of organized religion because I feel like it dims people’s understanding of themselves and the world around them, but that’s another story. I believe in a higher power because I have evidence from my own personal experiences that there is one.… Read more »

Cygnet
Cygnet
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

Nothing I have ever said, or will ever say, on this forum is vote-driven. I’m not that fearful of speaking my own mind, nor do I lack confidence in what I say. And know that I am acutely aware of what I say; I’m generally very careful to be in forums like this. If anyone feels the need to exercise vigilance over my words or thoughts, please consider yourself absolved; I take full responsibility for them where they truly are my own. What I said about science has been based on my experience with it, and I am not the only… Read more »

Iona Del
Iona Del
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

Well, science is considered by definition, to be a study of the NATURAL world. God is a supernatural being. Anyway, I’m sorry ppl were shoving things down ur throat. If they were trying to be like Jesus they would show love. Much love.

CozyVon
CozyVon
4 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

I don’t think anybody on either side has to “prove” anything. If you believe in God or a higher power, that’s fine. If you don’t, then that’s fine too. Do you. Atheists get on my nerves just as much as uber-Christians when both sides try to shove their beliefs down everyone’s throats.

Hansy
Hansy
6 years ago
Reply to  Cygnet

They were Christians because the other option (being atheists) would’ve gotten them killed. Heresy was punished by death so of course all those great scientists of the past were “Christians.”

Treacle
Treacle
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

I find your eager cling to evolutionist THEORY quite arrogant and ironically with just as must religious fervour in it as those with faith whom you arrogantly try to put down. You have no real proof that there isn’t a God. Imagine for just a moment how speechless you’ll be if you wake in eternity realising that there actually is a spiritual realm with a creator you were willingly ignorant of(??) Clearly you hold what you believe to be true because the alternative is just too undesirable, not to mention terrifying. God says (it is written in His word) “The… Read more »

waitwhat
waitwhat
6 years ago
Reply to  logiclady

hold up, WTF?! cousins of the APE? GTFOH Tarzan.…smdh

The cow goes Mooooooove your butt so I can eat some grass too!
The cow goes Mooooooove your butt so I can eat some grass too!
6 years ago
Reply to  waitwhat

Yeah. Actually, we aren’t cousins of the apes. We ARE apes. An ape is not a specific species, it’s another word for hominid, the family that humans, gorillas, chimps and bonobos belong to .
I mean, if you’re gonna preach about evolution, at least get it right, lol.

Deb
Deb
6 years ago

First reaction to this: Your coworkers are freaks, seriously who the hell does that? Keep your distance from them and thank the lord their true colors have been revealed. I wouldn’t feel bad at all, I’d actually be really creeped out by them. It’s not normal behaviour at all. Anyway, you and your hair look beautiful! I always read about people getting compliments (usually from white people) on their hair and in my mind, I prepare myself not to expect anything. I don’t expect comments or praise when I wear a new hair do or outfit, if it happens, it… Read more »

Jacky
Jacky
6 years ago
Reply to  Deb

I agree with you. I’m really sad that Tashay went through this. I’ve been through a similar experience. In my case, it happened in my college. When I first showed my natural hair to my classmates and college mates, people loved my natural hair but it was in a twist out on stretched hair; I later tried twists on stretched hair, braid outs and flexi rod sets too. Later on, I started to embrace my hair texture and experiment with afros, wash n gos and textured styles; a lot of people laughed at me, both Africans and Asians but I… Read more »

Anon87
Anon87
6 years ago

Seems odd that so many colleagues didn’t even acknowledge you just because you had a different hair style. I mean people may not like it or may comment, but to suddenly stop talking to you for three weeks is very extreme? I’m not really understanding how it went from “daily friendly interaction for years” to completely ignoring and not acknowledging you for three weeks? Doesn’t that strike you as odd? You didn’t talk to them (as a friend for years) and ask them why? Not one word (positive OR negative)? Something is off

mary
mary
6 years ago

I thank and praise GOD for everything he has given me, including my hair. I only had one teacher stop speaking to me when I started wearing my natural hair. Everyone else was in love with it, coworkers, students and friends. My husband is like hers, he likes it short, long, faded and would love it near bald if I’d shave it off.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

Wow, I had the opposite reaction when I BC’d 5 years ago my co-workers who were not African American loved, ranted and raved about my hair.

It was my own people that threw the most shade and negative comments. Mind you I don’t have “good hair” but it’s the bomb to me and most people have come around and I think it’s mainly bc it’s longer now.

Midnight
Midnight
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

It breaks my heart that you when you referred to your hair you said it wasn’t “good hair”

Cupcake
Cupcake
6 years ago
Reply to  Midnight

She was being sarcastic. Hence the reason “good hair” is in quotations.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago
Reply to  Cupcake

You got it! Lol

Robin
Robin
6 years ago
Reply to  Midnight

Huh, I guess the people who thumbs-downed Midnight’s comment are against all black women believing their hair is “good,” regardless of its texture/type/etc. I mean, I took her comment to mean “all hair is good hair, including yours.” But maybe that’s just me.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago
Reply to  Robin

I was being sarcastic but, I do agree all hair is good hair as long as it’s healthy!

Midnight
Midnight
6 years ago
Reply to  Robin

I know I’m late to responding but that’s exactly what I meant. thank you. I know what “good hair” means and what the commenter was referring to but personally it makes me uncomfortable when people offer those types of comparisons unprovoked. It’s like someone say well “my body isn’t ideal” or “my face isn’t the prettiest”…I get that your pointing out that you don’t meet societies ideal but it still feeds into the negativity (IMO). Its like getting yourself before someone can get you. I wasn’t trying to attack her but her comment could have been: “It was my own people that… Read more »

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  Midnight

hey, now, at least she put it in quotes. lol

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago
Reply to  Midnight

Well you can stitch your heart right on up!
I was being sarcastic and put “good hair” in quotes to emphasize that. And I raved by saying that I love my hair and think it’s the bomb. Also, if I didn’t love my kinky coily highly dense hair I wouldn’t have lasted as a natural for so long .

Midnight
Midnight
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

i apologize for my late response. I glad you love your hair.

My comment wasn’t made in malice.

~ Stay blessed.

Jenny
Jenny
6 years ago

There has to be more to this story. It doesn’t make any sense that co-workers would abruptly stop talking to her. Also, it was mentioned that she received compliments so what is she expecting? Some sort of fanfare for wearing her natural hair to work. Nevertheless, her hair looks great.

LA
LA
6 years ago
Reply to  Jenny

I mean, we don’t even know where she works lol (as in something vague obviously like, “I work at a non-profit/ university, etc.”).

Poof
Poof
6 years ago

Good on you for being like the duck; letting the water roll off your back! I actually had an experience where my BLACK American WOMAN SHAVED NATURAL HAIR boss asked me in the middle of a meeting on whether I would stay full time instead of part time, “So, what are you doing with your hair??”. At the time I had been nervous because I wanted the job but my face went so hard she said, “Oh, uh never mind” But I was still an emotional after. I had just started to wear my hair natural that year and it was… Read more »

Marie L
Marie L
6 years ago

Thank you soooo much for writing this! I had the same experience at work and glad to know I wasn’t the only one. I talked to my friends about it and they said more than likely if your natural hair wasn’t so coarse they wouldn’t react so rudely. Now shamefully I wear natural hair wigs that are 3b/3c so it doesn’t resemble my 4c texture. Everyday was a battle not to cry!

Tashay
Tashay
6 years ago
Reply to  Marie L

Going through this made me realize how shallow people could be and reminded me that some people will always have negative opinions about you know matter how you look. You are going to have remove that wig eventually and own up to who you really are which is a beautiful woman who chooses not to perm and process your hair! Wearing my wigs for so long damaged my edges and made me neglect my hair while caring for my wig SMH! It’s been over a month now and in meetings and trainings, I completely ignore the stares or the avoidance… Read more »

Dominique
Dominique
6 years ago
Reply to  Marie L

I agree with Tashay. I don’t think you should ever be ashamed of something the creator himself gave you. People are going to say negative things, but its up to you not to buy into it. My dad hates my hair, and I just chose to ignore him because it was not helping my self esteem in the long run. Your hair is beautiful no matter what anyone says, and I do not think you should hide it.

Darlyn
Darlyn
6 years ago

A Black male co-worker and a few Black female co-workers at my former job called himself “cracking” on my hair behind my back.

I was assigned to work with the dude and I just lost and let his ass HAVE IT!

I understand that everybody is not gonna like natural hair but what’s unacceptable is when people try to force their beauty standards upon you.

Anyway, I think that her co-workers were really insensitive.

Emma J B W
Emma J B W
6 years ago
Reply to  Darlyn

Sorry — in the UK, cracking is like saying something is great or good, eg, that girl has a cracking pair of legs.
What does ‘cracking’ mean in the context of the man’s comment?

Cupcake
Cupcake
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

She means making rude jokes. At least that’s what I got from reading her comment.

Darlyn
Darlyn
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

Cracking” in the US means to make very negative jokes.

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

the opposite of what it does in the UK. cracking on someone’s whatever is making fun of it or dissing it outright.

Chrissie
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

As far as I know it means he was making fun of her hair behind her back.

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

In the U.S., “cracking” means to make fun of or insult. I’m glad you told that man about himself, Darlyn. On what planet is it appropriate to make fun of a coworker’s appearance?

Sidenote: Isn’t hilarious how U.K. slang and U.S. slang tend to have opposing or unrelated definitions?

Cygnet
Cygnet
6 years ago
Reply to  Emma J B W

In the U.S., “cracking” is best done to you by someone who likes you and you know them well enough to know that they’re only teasing you and mean no real insult. Otherwise, the person on the receiving end of this cracking may well react in just the way Darlyn did. It’s making jokes or, worse, poking fun maliciously.

Tisha
Tisha
6 years ago

Well first it confuses me why when someone tells of a rough experience while being a natural there are several people who believe the victim did something to cause it. You know Besides wearing their hair in it’s natural state. Why do we do that? We all know deep down there is truth to what there telling us. Our very presence here at this blog reveals it. If going natural was so easy and met with no resistance there would be no need for the natural hair community aka Haven. Because the whole world would accept our hair! But where… Read more »

Tisha
Tisha
6 years ago
Reply to  Tisha

After I looked at it the illustration about Germany I realized it could Look like a Joke. It is Not was Not and never meant to be! As I said an illustration but since in hindsight it looks like a joke thus making a mockery of a terrible event in history a badly written one. For that I apologize. If I could I would delete the comment and rewrite it without that part I would, but since i can’t Again so sorry and IGNORE THE EXAMPLE!!!!

Treacle
Treacle
6 years ago
Reply to  Tisha

Sounds extreme …and sooooo true. I see that for some the truth is just too unbearably ugly to even acknowledge, never mind deal with. Yet one can’t change what one won’t acknowledge.

asanda
asanda
6 years ago

Sorry u had such a terrible experience with ur co-workers but am gladd tht u didn’t change your mind about your hair , because its beautiful.I really also want to say to the other viewers please keep your religious opinions to your selves and the science crap aswel.

Kendreya
Kendreya
6 years ago

I remember one time I was at a hair store and I asked the Indian woman who was working there if they had a kinky weave with brown at the bottom she said “no, we only have it for straight hair” and the way she said it was so offensive because it was like she had an issue with kinky hair. And when I got Senegalese twists after wearing my hair permed for so long people started treating me differently. Like they were intemidated by me or something. However, I did get some compliments

CurlyFriend
CurlyFriend
6 years ago

Happy this didnt deter you from keeping your hair in its natural state.…congrats on your coming out lol .…natural looks fab on you and shouldnt it? Of course because you are loving and accepting yourself the way God made you!!!! Go Tashay!!

Tashay
Tashay
6 years ago
Reply to  CurlyFriend

Thanks so much!

LBell
LBell
6 years ago

Like others, I’m not clear on what exactly happened…Was she expecting commentary based on what she’s read about others online? When she says they didn’t speak, was it that they didn’t speak about her hair or they didn’t speak to her in general? When I first BC’d (19 years ago this fall) I got next to no commentary, positive or negative, and for that I was grateful. Now granted I was in a management position at the time, lol…The few people (all white) who did ask me why I did it got a very simple answer: I’d been chemically straightening… Read more »

Stace
Stace
6 years ago

I wish there were before and after pictures of her relaxed hair and the wig. I understand the wig was curly? So when she switched from the relaxed hair to the curly wig, there wasn’t a reaction? I’m confused as to why her natural hair would get that kind of response. I am natural now but, I remember when I did a bantu knot out on my APL relaxed hair at work . Three days later after I washed my hair and returned to wearing it straight, I got a lot of questions. Apparently they thought it was a curly… Read more »

Tashay
Tashay
6 years ago
Reply to  Stace

This is me before wiggin it; my go to protective style:

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/image-10.jpg[/img]

Stace
Stace
6 years ago
Reply to  Tashay

Thanks for the pics. Your before wig and wig look similar. I think with your natural hair maybe you look younger. Maybe they assumed you had some “work” done and got jealous. Was it mainly the women who didn’t speak to you or was it the men too?? I remember a similar thing happened to an attractive woman at my job. No one spoke to her for no reason. You could never find out why. I asked one of the men, and he said “look and her and look at the other women who don’t like her” …it was still crazy… Read more »

Tashay
Tashay
6 years ago
Reply to  Stace

This is me wearing my fav protective style (wiggin it) for 2 years!!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/image-11.jpg[/img]

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  Stace

personally i don’t take offense when people assume my hair is a wig/weave because i’ve been weave-checked pretty much all my life. but also because a significant number of black women, natural or otherwise, do wear weaves/wigs. i’m the only black girl in my class at work who wears her actual hair out, even though a good number of the girls in my training class are natural up under their weaves and extensions. if i were going just based off the huge degree of weave/wig-wearing that goes on on my university campus and at my job, i’d assume that chances… Read more »

Treacle
Treacle
6 years ago
Reply to  cacey

What texture is your hair, if you don’t mind my asking Cacey? Is it different in any way from those with the wigs/weaves (if you’ve managed to catch sight of their true texture)?

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  Treacle

so far as i can tell, yes. and i’ve noticed that particular tendency as well. my hair type is a 3b/c mix but so far as texture goes, it is unmistakably afro kinky 😀 the women i’ve seen (when they were between weaves or if they self described their hair to me) tended to have type 4 hair, mostly of the b and c variety. with that said, the reliance on relaxers, at least, has slackened considerably, and i’d go so far as to estimate that probably about half of the black women at my job (which employs at least 300 i’d… Read more »

Treacle
Treacle
6 years ago
Reply to  cacey

Reading between the lines, your co-workers seem to be expressing that they are at a loss as to how to style their kinky hair in more accepted euro-centric styles. Of course they’ll have their work cut out for them as they’re asking their hair to do what it doesn’t naturally want to (and shouldn’t have to) do. Sounds like they’re still under the oppressive system of non-kinky hair rules. I can really appreciate that fear and reluctance — There is a genuine widespread absence of positive attitudes and portrayals of black women, their natural beauty and hair. Conversely we are… Read more »

Yayla
Yayla
6 years ago

This is interesting but not surprising to me. I remember at work (for a corporate organisation) I went from my natural twists which were just touching shoulder length, to wearing a Longer wavy weave; Something between a 2 to 3a texture. It had golden brown highlights. Two white female co-workers passing by at lunchtime exclaimed loudly (to my embarrassment, loud enough for roomful of about 20 people to hear) “wow, I love your hair!” I thanked them and said something like “yes, I fancied a change”. Unfortunately what followed next was an equally loud exclamation from the other coworker of… Read more »

naijababe
naijababe
6 years ago
Reply to  Yayla

I laughed when I read this because I had an almost identical situation in 2006 at a nail salon in NYC. Your statement about afro hair not being actual hair according to European standards is so spot-on.

Treacle
Treacle
6 years ago
Reply to  naijababe

Thank you … It’s good to know someone else out there understands, even though I’d not wish this on anyone else. I would’ve thought (or is that ‘hoped’?) NYC was so much more cosmopolitan and informed compared to the UK but there it is. Sigh.

Evelyn Alexander
Evelyn Alexander
6 years ago

Ugh. In recent years I’ve had coworkers recoil in horror when I walked in with a fro for the first time…Jaws literally dropped while staring at my head…
Then, when I locked my hair I just got upturned noses and questions about how I keep my hair clean…
Yeah.
I’m oh so over the stupid questions, comments and ignorant behavior regarding my hair.

Elle
Elle
6 years ago

Some of these replies are so deluded: HER AFRICA WAS SHOWING! — that was her co-workers’ problem! The story isn’t fishy or missing details. People act like the progressive/understanding/well-meaning Whites in their lives are the same throughout the world — geez! SOME Whites — no matter how young and well-educated and how many mixed-race children they have — are STILL only comfortable in this ‘post-racial’ world when you’re Black, but not TOO Black. Curly, but not nappy. Accepting of your color-ethnicity, but not protesting its unequal treatment. For SOME, if you’re not TAMED and towing the line, you’re a threat. Some… Read more »

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Elle

I agree with all of what you said…that last line though: YASSS. I’m always a bit suspicious of people who insist that Black people are giving them more hair grief than White people. While I might be more likely to get an openly mean look or a “You should relax it” comment from another Black person regarding my hair, it’s been my experience that White people are more insensitive and intrusive about my hair. Some examples: (after installing Havana twists) Boss: So you dreadlocked your hair with extensions? How do you wash it? (wearing a lazy wng puff) Coworkers: Oh em… Read more »

whylie2010
whylie2010
6 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

I think everyone has a different experience (yes, likely based on where they live), but it is wrong to invalidate one person’s experience because it wasn’t the same as yours. If it happened, it happened. When I went natural, here’s what happened to me (I was living in D.C. at the time): Black folks: generally negative comments from older folks, and Black men of all ages. Women my age (20s at the time) were a mixed bag White folks: No real reaction at all other than compliments. They didn’t generally compliment the straightened hair. Asian folks: Lots of Compliments (especially from women) Others:… Read more »

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  whylie2010

You’re right: it’s wrong to invalidate the experiences of others. Where did I do that in my comment? I said I was suspicious of folks with a reversed experience. I’m suspicious because in my personal experience, I find that Black people as a group love to heap criticisms and negativity on each other and tend to be less critical, even blind, to the faults of their non-Black contemporaries, even when they’re exhibiting the same behaviors. My intent was not to invalidate anyone’s experience–just providing an alternate discourse to the overwhelming chorus of “But Missy Anne LOVES my hair!”

Natty
Natty
5 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

I live in the Midwest but travel the country often. I have been natural for five years. My experience has been that, most, if not all, of the negativity that I have experienced with regards to my hair, have come from black people (including family). I was in a Walmart in the South where a young black couple looked at my hair and busted out laughing loudly ( I was wearing a big ole puff). Most of the compliments come from white people, who often exclaim how much they love my puff and tell me that I should always wear… Read more »

O
O
6 years ago
Reply to  Elle

I actually have got from White people of different ages — “Why haven’t you got a proper Afro?” Then again I live in the UK. Afros have been in and out of fashion at different times not just the 70s as they are identified with different musical subcultures. When I BC in 2001 the people who had an issue with my hair were Black men, Black women and Asian women. Now it’s just Black and Asian women who sometimes deem it necessary to make negative comments. The only two people who openly said I should straighten my hair are two… Read more »

O
O
6 years ago
Reply to  O

I should say by “Asian” I mean Indian.

Japanese, Chinese and Korean women tend to be fasinated by the difference between my hair and theirs.

Unlike in the US it’s Indians normally those whose parents/grandparents got kicked out of Uganda who sell Black hair products.

Yayla
Yayla
6 years ago
Reply to  O

Yes, those Ugandan ones resent black people. My brothers and sisters and myself have experienced their attitudes from having them as managers in the UK workplace. Not nice.

Napturally Kia
Napturally Kia
6 years ago

smh.…can’t believe it’s still people like this still out in a world where a fro = angela davis = threat to national security. REMEMBER: this is her experience and not everyone elses. just because she had a bad experience doesn’t mean that you will so don’t let it deter you from wearing your natural hair at work. i interviewed with a fortune 500 company…nappy (yes, i like the word nappy to define my own hair and nobody else) twa out and all. if someone doesn’t accept me because of my hair then guess what.…i don’t want to employed at a… Read more »

fjkel
fjkel
6 years ago

2 Words: Fuck ‘Em

cnj
cnj
6 years ago

It’s probably good they don’t talk to her. She can get more work done. I wish some of my coworkers would stop talking to me. I don’t even have to act like I’m listening for them to keep going.

Dana
Dana
6 years ago

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here : “what did you expect”?!!!

This is real life, not natural hair paradise. Most of the hairstyles advocated by hair bloggers/vloggers are just to fancy for anyone who has a life.

It’s like when i go to my hairdresser, she always suggests me hairstyles which do not fit my lifestyle. These styles are exciting for her because she can :
‑showcase her skills,
‑and sell me the many styling products needed to keep the hair sleek.

Natural hair websites are lovely but just make sure their interests and yours collide.

Dana
Dana
6 years ago

Can natural hair deter your professional life? You bet! Especially type 4 natural hair. Unless one works in fashion or in an art related job (singer /model /salesperson for edgy brand). Also, if your appearance makes your colleagues uncomfortable, what will clients say? You have to think about it. If you have antagonised your colleagues to the extent they cannot work with you, what does it say about your future in the company ? How long will you survive in this environment? Can your family live on one income if you get fired? I am always suspicious of people who say they never… Read more »

Natasha
Natasha
6 years ago
Reply to  Dana

I don’t deem it as difficult as you think. Here in the UK, many people don’t care as long as it’s presentable. Wearing it in a neat ponytail or even a goddess braid usually does the trick for me.

A lot of natural hair styles that seem to be showcased here are just too extravagant for the office but where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Lele Love
Lele Love
6 years ago
Reply to  Dana

I work as an admissions advisor for a college, and I have always done just fine with my mostly “4b” (and some small patches of “4a”) hair. For my interview, I wore a low bun done on a twist out (laid down courtesy of Shea Butter & a scarf). On a usual basis, I alternate between Marley buns (I don’t wear those that often), buns with all my own hair, big puffs, and mini braids/twists. I wear a shrunken afro puff sometimes. I’ve done one flat twist around my head…I don’t know what you call that…a french braid crown? I… Read more »

Likewaterforchocolat
Likewaterforchocolat
6 years ago
Reply to  Dana

In viewing the statement from Natasha below. It probably depends on where you live. I also agree with the different variables. I have type 4 hair and have found that the more conservative the company, the more difficult it will be to get ahead or even land a job there period. I transitioned while I was at a conservative Fortune 500 corporate company and it wasn’t easy. There was only one other natural black woman who BC’d after I did and she ended up leaving the company before I did, due to getting passed over for a corporate accounts position.… Read more »

Treacle
Treacle
6 years ago

How outrageous is that though??!…that in the 21st century there is still such prejudice and our natural hair, reminiscent to some of our african ancestry, is still treated like some sort of disability or offence that must be at best ignored, at worst degraded and relegated to more ‘modern’ enterprises. It’s like telling women today they just have to accept that at least 70% of jobs done by men are simply not available to them because no ones really ever seen or accepted a woman running a board meeting, let alone a company. They either dress like men (to be… Read more »

Chanda
Chanda
6 years ago
Reply to  Dana

I think it also depends on how the natural hair is styled also. Is it in a slicked back ponytail/bun, bantu knot-out, twistouts, or a wash-n-go. I don’t think most jobs are anti-natural hair, it’s the way it’s worn that’s the problem. It has to be nice and neat. The wild and free styles are for the days off (or those more creative jobs like you mentioned).

ss (short and sweet)
ss (short and sweet)
6 years ago

Don’t stop until kinky hair is accepted in its full glory — not shameful like something to be hidden or altered

Angel
Angel
6 years ago

That’s jacked. Everyone loves my natural hair. I kept it fly when it was relaxed and I wasn’t worried nor did I give a shit what people thought. As for the racial and ethnic make up of who likes my hair and who doesn’t.….they all like it. But again I don’t give a shit. It’s my hair and I love it.

Si
Si
6 years ago

My coworkers did not recognize me when I unleashed the puff. Only Black person in the building. I am also larger/taller than most I must add. They still thought I was someone else. I found this out over the next few weeks — people were not speaking because they thought a new employee was at my desk.

Treacle
Treacle
6 years ago
Reply to  Si

Well it’s so nice to know they make new employees feel so welcome(!)

Elle
Elle
6 years ago
Reply to  Treacle

LMFAO!!!!

Sasha
Sasha
6 years ago
Reply to  Si

If they thought you were a new employee they would’ve said something by welcoming you to make feel at ease. Don’t make excuses for this pigs they ain’t slick

Lonnie
Lonnie
6 years ago

When I mentioned that I was going natural. My cuban boss asked if I was going to be wearing an afro. What ignorance. I simply chuckled and said, “it will always be professional.”

ikkiee
ikkiee
6 years ago

#Americanproblems

KurlyKam
6 years ago
Reply to  ikkiee

#Worldwideproblems

K Murray
K Murray
6 years ago

I did not experience the awful comments when I was working with Caucasian co workers. I experience harsh retaliation from an African America female. I was floored!

Carlee
Carlee
6 years ago

Thank you for sharing your coming-out experience. More naturals should talk about this because it is really telling about the society we are in. When I first went natural in 2009, I was only 16, and I didn’t really look into the politics of black hair. I just HATED perms because they were so harmful to my health. I had a such a mixed bag of positivity, confusion, and disdain. I was in high school in a suburb of Houston, Texas. My Spanish teacher (who was also black and who I inspired to go natural) loved it. My friends didn’t… Read more »

Carlee
Carlee
6 years ago
Reply to  Carlee

Ooopse. I mean, I didn’t leave race out! All races can be trifflin’!

La Toya
La Toya
6 years ago

All I see is negative responds talking about not getting the job. another person wrote whats the secret if you do get the job with 4B hair. The answer to that is Jesus Christ. As a Christian you have no problem where you land bc you are sooo prayed up and walking in the spirit of the Lord that everything is possible. Christians are not defined by their hair but defined by who they are in Christ. We don’t have to worry about that in any topic hair or whatever. Maybe some of yall should try Jesus. If you want… Read more »

Sharon
Sharon
5 years ago
Reply to  La Toya

Amen.

Please No
Please No
6 years ago

From one Christian to another: “believers” like you are the reason some people avoid church like the plague. You’re “soooo prayed up” you never encounter racism? So, bad things only happen to bad people? Have mercy, please — you’re not exactly shining a light for Christianity.

Toya Grant
Toya Grant
6 years ago

I had a similar experience when I did my big chop, a coworker commented that she didn’t like my “boardhead” which is a Jamaican term that is used to degrade natural hair, but apart from her and a few male coworkers who claimed that women must have hair on their heads, I got a lot of compliments, I even inspired two other coworkers to cut their hair too, I have been natural 6 months now and it has been an amazing experience. Ladies who intend to do the big chop, just ensure you get a big dose of confidence as… Read more »

Deedee
6 years ago

I actually did the big chop and at my work everybody loved it, they said i lookedway better than with relaxed hair. And funny enough the only people somehow being bother by my hair is african descendent people. I just dont get it, they ask like if there is something wrong with you, WHAT DID YOU DID TO YOUR HAIR? And im like REALLY? you should formulate your question again. Some people are just not ready to face their nature, as much as sometimes i feel like i wanna go backto my silky straight look, i question, do i really… Read more »

Sharon
Sharon
5 years ago

La Toya, I agree with you. Since when God’s creation is not good. I love my natural hair. Has anyone ever thought that there are people who are actually envious of how versatile black women can be? Besides, most people do not embrace change the way many of us do. It is time black women embrace who they are and give thanksgiving to the Holy Father. Stop trying to fit in a race that you were not born in as women. Embrace you. Do you. Portia, you look beautiful. That is what your co-workers saw. They realized you are actually a… Read more »

sanjidude
sanjidude
5 years ago

I wasn’t brave enough to big chop and transitioned for 9 months before cutting off my horrible thin, stringy straight ends. The reaction at work was positive. Most of my friends were already natural so they were all very happy for me. When I did encounter the occasional negative comment, my standard response, with a great big smile, was “I guess it’s a good thing your opinion doesn’t matter huh?“And it really doesn’t. Now, 4 years later, those few naysayers are still burning their hair with flat irons or relaxers as those poor lifeless strands are getting thinner and shorter,… Read more »

sanjidude
sanjidude
5 years ago

My own black sisters, especially the ones over 40, were the ones who usually made the negative comments when I first cut my ends off. I realize now that it wasn’t because of the texture, it was because of the length. Black women are terrified of short hair. Mostly because thanks to relaxers and flat irons, it can’t grow. My “aha” moment came after I was totally natural for a year and realized that my hair had grown longer in those 12 months that it EVER had in all the years it was relaxed. It used to grow a little,… Read more »

Yannick St-Gérard
Yannick St-Gérard
5 years ago

Her co-worker are dumb. No one forces you to like it but you don’t have to completely ignore the person. I’m surprise, when I went natural I had more compliments from the none black people.

TWA4now
TWA4now
5 years ago

I’m not surprised. I experienced THAT too. Other races complimented me more on my natural hair, the dental assistant said she wished her hair did what mine did..Hahaha.

beabrezzy91
beabrezzy91
5 years ago

same here, i think the relaxed hair thing is kind of one of those self imposed things black people go through. the pressures we put on ourselves are so ridiculous sometimes.

Joan Walters
5 years ago

I am not surprised. Kudos to her. It is a bold move. I share my journey and reveal in my book Nappy Hair State of Mind. Live bold Tashay there is no other way.

TWA4now
TWA4now
5 years ago

Good for her! Returning your hair to it’s natural state is not for the faint of heart. You go girl!

kekeb
kekeb
5 years ago

Yes! I wore my natural hair after years of straight or body wave wigs.Most white people weren’t nearly as offended as the blacks. A black guy that I was actually crushing on called me “nappy headed ass”. Black people are so brainwashed about natural things about US, our skin, hair, figures, lips it’s all beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you dfferently

KiKi
KiKi
4 years ago

Do you think that maybe your experience is based on a self fulfilling prophecy. You thought from the beginning that people would not accept you, so you acted in ways that confirmed your suspicion. I’m sure if you acted completely normal, like you do every day, then people would have treated you the same. You don’t need a million compliments to be accepted. Just saying.

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

I work with mostly white people and me wearing my hair natural isn’t a problem. Depends on your boss I guess. He and my coworkers told me they prefer my hair curly. The other black women I work with relax, weave, or if natural live and die by the flatiron.

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