This Celeb Stylist's Natural-Hair Video Will Make You Look at Curls Differently

Maya Allen

I was up for a total of 24 hours studying and reading before what I considered one of the most important job interviews of my life. For days, I’d shopped for the perfect outfit before settling on an ensemble that made me feel the most “boss.” I’d been wearing my natural hair in an array of gorgeous, free-flowing styles as part of a no-heat hiatus, so I opted to style it in its true state: a big afro full of imperfect curls. My makeup was fresh, and I wore my signature red lipstick. I felt confident that I “looked the part.” But I didn’t get the job.

Crushed, I found myself flooded with thoughts and millions of questions about my interview. Had my research not been enough? Were they looking for different experience? However, one glaring question haunted me most: Did my natural hair prevent me from getting the job? It was 2016, so I was holding on to my last bit of hope in humanity, that society was past the stereotypical notion that the only “acceptable” version of textured hair was straight. This question, though, was just one in a years-long battle with embracing my natural hair.

I decided to ask my family and friends with natural hair if they’d ever felt this way. To my surprise, my first encounter with this feeling of professional inadequacy due to my textured locks is, unfortunately, a familiar experience for many women of color. In fact, young girls have even been suspended from school for wearing natural hair, and women have been fired from their jobs.

What are your thoughts on embracing your natural hair in professional settings? We’d love for you to share with us in the comments below.

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