Like it or not, you are being judged by how you look, how you wear your Hair, how you dress, and how you carry yourself – and, if you’re lucky, how you do your job. The Color and Texture of your hair should not really matter to a prospective employer. However it really does. It is not that they do not want you to dye your hair, it’s that they don’t want your hair to be something out of this world working for their companies.
Our obsession with our hair begins at an early age, right around the time when our mothers or parental guardians start grooming our strands. From that day, we have an idealized hairstyle we want for each day, based on mood, outfits, society and how much work our hair is putting back into the relationship. In a recent Dove hair research, it was found that “only 11 percent of women are happy with everything about their hair.” Even more staggering, the research found 99 percent of women judge each other based on hairstyles. And that’s mentally unhealthy.
There are some companies who will say, that the person they are looking to employ should not have hair that is wild as this makes the company itself look bad. For instance, if you are applying for a job flipping burgers, they may not care what color your hair is dyed. But, if you are applying for a job as a therapist, they most likely will not want you to have orange, blue or purple hair. If you care to know – What does your hair say about you? and what message is your style sending? Also, you might want to consider that there are some predisposed ideas out there, that some hair colors dictate whether or not you are smart enough for a job. Yes. Think about all of those blond jokes you heard in high school and still today. Now, think about what else is said about women with blonde hair.
Black women are known to be audacious when it comes to our manes. A billion dollar business has been spawned from our need to color, straighten, curl, braid, and coif. Hair means a lot to many women, but it can mean even more to our career. Your appearance does not affect your ability to do a job, but it does impact your success. Keeping your hair & looks cute can influence your salary as much as your work experience. I also read . . . ‘research showed that attractive people earn an average of 3% to 4% more than a person with below average looks’. Say what? Nah. . not in the USA where we have labor laws & discrimination laws to protect workers. Right?
Hair goes beyond aesthetics. It is very personal and public – visible to everyone while also being an intrinsic part of our body. Back in the day, many people including Black women, considered only straightened hair to be professional. However, as more women go natural, that notion is changing. Professional hair isn’t about texture. It is about a hairstyle that is neat, clean, and shapes the face. Even though a dress code should not discriminate under Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unfortunate that many enforceable dress codes include provisions that will affect women in the workplace. In the end, if you believe you need to change the way you look in order to get the job, you should seek employment elsewhere.
Your hair does not define you.
It does not define your career.
It should not define your paycheck.
And it surely does not define your social standing.