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"Don't Touch My Hair"

You walk in on Monday morning with a new set of knotless braids and the comments roll in. “WOW your hair grew so long, how did they do that, can I touch it, so like they braid your natural hair in this hair, do they just stick it on, etc, etc, etc”.

No, you can touch my hair, can I touch yours? A lot of black women in corporate positions express that they wear their hair straight a good percentage of the time because it looks more “professional”. Whatever that means. So much so, that black women were even pressured into damaging their hair by heat and chemicals to attain 'Good Hair' in the past. This as done so that black women were further accepted into social groups or could get a job.

Now we see more appreciation and movements towards natural hair. Women wearing cornrows, locs, and leaving out their natural hair when entering the workplace. This allows them to embrace their cultural heritage.

For instance, cornrows are not appropriate for black women but are okay and edgy on the streets. All of this is done without knowing that this protective hairstyle is deeply engrained in slavery. The designs and patterns used would represent the roads to help escape from plantations. Also, women would braid seed and rice into their hair to help them plant and grow their own crops once they escaped. Choosing to wear your hair in specific hairstyles is paying homage and respect to our ancestors. We would not be where we are right now if it was not for them.

Fortunately, as a younger millennial, I have grown enough to realize that my hair has nothing to do with my qualifications and professionalism within the workplace. Times are changing. Wear your crown proudly and know that every hair type is beautiful.

If you’re unaware if you have any hidden biases you may have towards hair types in the workplace, take this test offered by Perception Institute

Lastly, Hair Granted is a new black-owned hair store in the Rexdale region of Toronto. It is now one of the LARGEST black-owned beauty supply stores in Toronto. They’ve got it all, so if you have time to swing by I urge you to do so.


Johnson, E. (2016). Resistance and empowerment in black women's hair styling Taylor and Francis. doi:10.4324/9781315605753

Robinson, C. L. (2011). Hair as race: Why “Good hair” may be bad for black females. The Howard Journal of Communications, 22(4), 358-376. doi:10.1080/10646175.2011.617212

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