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Black Hair In Corporate America

Black Hair In Corporate America

By definition Natural Hair Discrimination: is a form of discrimination based on a person’s hair texture. It is a form of injustice resulting in human beings being treated differently based on the stigma attached to hair texture in society. Recently, the Perception Institute partnered with black-owned hair and body products company, Shea Moisture, to conducted the “Good Hair Study”.

The “Good Hair Study” asked over 4,000 participants to take an online implicit association
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test (IAT). The test involved rapidly-changing photos of black women with smooth and natural hair, with alternating words associations with each hair type. According to the study, “a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, held biases towards women of color based on their hair texture.

The study discovered that black women suffered more anxiety with issues correlated to their hair. The study also showed that black woman spent more money on hair care and hair care products than their white peers; and were twice as likely to experience social pressure at work to straighten their natural hair.
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Black Hair In Corporate America

There are countless stories about various employers asking black women to wear weaves at work to cover up their natural hair. Employers have even been bold enough to ask woman of color to cut off their dread locks. Why are cornrows, afros, dread locks and kinky hair deemed as unprofessional. As long as your hair is neat, well-kept, and does not interfere with your job performance one should have a choice in the matter. You have to ask yourself, what difference does it make how I wear my hair as long as I do my job and I am good at it?
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This bias has made many African American woman opt to straighten their hair or wear a weave to appear more professional at the work place.
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If one was to search google for “unprofessional hairstyles for work” vs “professional hairstyles for work”, the results would baffle your mind.  The results illustrate blatant prejudice and unfairness. The search results for “unprofessional hairstyles” displayed a large number of black women with natural curly/kinky hair. Whereas, the “professional hairstyles” results revealed mainly white women, with blonde and straightened hair.
Why do black woman have to walk on egg shells and be extremely conservative about their hair. All to appease corporate American and make white people feel more comfortable. This is the way my hair grows out of my head! If you don’t like it take it up with God. Lol
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