What is Unprofessional Hair in the Workplace?

We have all seen the many articles and heard countless stories of people being mistreated or reported or disciplined because of unprofessional hair in their workplaces.

What is unprofessional hair?

Well employers have said this is “unkempt” hair …and almost always unkempt equals kinky/coily/frizzy/messy.

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Firstly I must say I can understand why messy unkempt hair would be inappropriate in a workplace that is often visited by clients, customers, or other visitors. It’s important that all employees look their best, and in all work environments employees should bring their best to work. However why is hair anyone’s concern when it comes to how an individual wants to style it? Most employers may use the excuse that a hairstyle doesn’t fit into their “company culture”.

What ideal company culture does not encourage individuality? Or does company culture mean we all wear gray/black clothes and wear our hair the same way every day?

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I am a person who does NOT like to wear their hair the same every day. It is rare my hair is styled the same two days in a row. If I am the only one on the office that does this, so what? Why should I be reprimanded?

Curly hair does NOT equal messy. Frizzy hair does not equal unkempt. 4C hair does not have to be slicked down or tied back to be “neat”.

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Now, how do you address someone with type 3 or 4 hair that may be frizzy dry unruly? In my personal opinion, you don’t. Unless it is highly offensive and inappropriate, which I don’t see how hair can be, its not the employers place to say anything. Things that come to mind when I think of inappropriate hair in the workplace are maybe brightly unnatural colored hair.  Other than that I cannot think of any other style that would be distracting or worth mentioning.

If I’m wrong please comment and let me know! Have you experienced being treated unfairly at work because of your hair?

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