At unruly we have heard many a story which starts with.."I felt I had to straighten my hair for work because I was worried I wouldn't be taken seriously" or "my hair attracts the wrong kind of attention in a corporate environment'. Coming from a more creative background my curls may be easier for me to embrace than a woman working in a different sector however the sooner we stand up for our gorgeous natural locks, the better we say!
At Unruly we feel it is our duty to look into these stigmas you guys (and most of our team face) over your hair and to start to look into why having curls at work is considered a big no go area.
Much of our research lead to opinions such as “Curly haired women are thought to be carefree and approachable" or "curly hair is seen as a refusal to conform". The fact that your professional capability is based on these opinions we feel is dated and ill-educated. It's like saying blondes have more fun and I know a few people that would disagree with that.
We loved this story about Michelle Breyer from Naturallycurly.com (note:check out asap if you haven't already)
So the story goes... When Michelle Breyer started reporting business news for a local TV station, she quickly learned her curls weren't camera-friendly. "The first day on the job, I got called into my producer's office, who said, 'We need to do something about your hair.'" Shortly after, Michelle founded NaturallyCurly.com, which has become the largest social-media platform and resource for women with textured or curly hair.
More research into why curly hair is 'unacceptable' for work sees many people playing into interesting stereotypes. According to Della Grazia “Women with curly hair are seen as risk-takers — people who are prepared to go out on a limb for the company”. This positive yet brash stance on curls is interesting and dependent on your working sector could prove to be a winner. From this I started thinking.. if curly hair is seen as risky then is straight hair generally more acceptable in a work place because it is normal rather than being more professional? Because normal can be highly valued by certain people and could be why it's been encouraged.
At Unruly Curls we don't believe in looking like everyone else and know it's possible to look just as professional and hit the work load just as well with voluminous locks. So it's time to unleash those curls and let go off that stigma around 'work-appropriate' hair. Put down the flat-iron, corporate women, and own your natural style.
We want to know if you have ever experienced something similar in the work place, email below your story as we would love to feature it on our next blog...