It is a honor to share my insights on natural hair trends and how I feel Naza Beauty is raising the bar for Natural Hair Salons in Canvas8 case study! Canvas8 is the leading consumer behavior insights consultancy in the UK offering expert analysis on the latest consumer trends. The research address salon service needs of Black women with natural hair. Click case study to read about my experience on The Vine Events' (sister organization) website!
Tonya Cross - Accessory Designer
My natural hair journey began around age 30. My relaxed hair was damaged and brittle so I decided to go natural and see if I could grow some healthy hair. Transitioning natural and working in Corporate America wasn't the easiest thing to do back then, so I went natural for about a year and then cracked under the pressure to conform and fit in the workplace. I ended up relaxing my hair after my manager called me into her office one day to inquire about how I was doing. She made it a point to tell me that I needed to get my hair done.
Since that time, I've attempted to go natural three more times with no avail. I still was not experiencing the healthy hair results that I wanted and I felt self-conscious about my tiny fro.
At age 40 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. During radiation treatments my hair began to thin out in the crown of my head. I made a decision to cut my hair really short and once again let it grow back naturally. So far it's been great this time around. The difference is that I was more confident and strong, after just surviving breast cancer. My perception about myself has completely changed. It's been about 8 months so far and I'm still loving it and it's growing and very healthy. I receive overwhelming compliments on how nice and thick my hair is.
I am now loving my natural hair!
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No, this is not a blog about 50 Cents! However, I do have some questions I got to ask relating to natural hair. I'll ask 6 questions and they're all about us; Naturals!
We all know that when going into a job interview we must look our very best. We have to be clean-cut and professional from head to toe. But what's considered a professional hair style for women with natural hair? Just because I see my hair as tamed and professional, will my potential employer view it the same way? This is a question many naturals are faced with while job searching or transitioning to fully natural hair.
Another question is, would you straighten or change your hair for a job? Many will instantly say no, but sadly many women are faced with this decision in the corporate world. Some women with natural hair are being pressured to straighten their hair or to style their hair in a certain way to receive or maintain a job. This leads to my next question, Is it fair that I may get overlooked for a job, because of the way I choose to style my hair even though I'm the most qualified? Because there's two sides to every coin, I must also look at the situation from the employer's point of view and ask should not the business have a say in how they're represented through their employees?
Personally, I've never experienced being asked to change my hair by an employer. However I can say that when I do go in for an interview, I avoid wearing head wraps. I never thought about it until now, but I also never wear my afro completely out. It's either braided down or worn up in a way that doesn't appear "unruly". My final question is this, should women with natural hair have to be concerned with how they wear their hair at work or should employers be more open minded about what they consider appropriate hair styles for the work place? If you still have love for me (In my 50 Cents voice), please answer one of my questions in comments! Thanks.
P.S. Join Accented Glory YouTube Channel Sunday, January 24th at 8pm EST for Accented Glory Naturals Hangout On Air titled "It's Just Hair or Is It". We will discuss the question, why would someone even care how someone would choose to style their hair?
Cierra has been a part of Accented Glory since its launch in June 2013. Outside of being an "Accessory Diva", she's a millennial who's currently navigating adulthood. Click Not One Of Your Little Friends to check out her podcast!