Does My Shrinkage Drag Me Down? 

Shrinkage is a topic of concern for most of the natural hair population, but that’s not the topic of today’s discussion.

Does natural hair and protective styling interfere with work and advancing in your career?  It’s sad to say that we live in a world that judges not on competency but appearance. For a woman, especially a woman of color, your appearance can make or break the bank account.  

Right now, we’re dealing with #OscarsSoWhite, #BlackLivesMatter and many other hashtags that express how racially profiled many people in America are. With that being said, it’s safe to assume that I, as an African American woman, am judged not only on appearance but also on my color. Now this isn’t true of everybody and it’s certainly not true of every company. But it is true of some. 

So that means when I walk into an interview with Howard Univeristy on my resume, a feat that speaks for itself, (#HowardStruggle) I’m not simply being interviewed for what I took from my education. I’m being interviewed on appearance meaning how well I dress, my manners, etiquette, how well I speak and my hair. Let’s just take a minute and break these things down.

  
First, what my interviewer doesn’t know is that since I stepped foot on Howard’s campus the School of Business has been instilling the importance of a black suit into my life every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:10-12:30. Second, the School of Business has instructed me on etiquette and manners as well as mock interviewers, resume critiques and CPD sessions with companies to ensure I’m qualified for anything. Lastly, my hair. With Howard being an HBCU you see pretty much everything by way of hair. There’s natural, transitioning, weaves, braids, wigs, relaxed and even bald. The Mecca truly teaches you to become intuned with your roots and yourself. Hair is a way that many females express that. So I can say that while Ms. Nash was strict on no piercings and covering tattoos, hair was never restricted. So here I am. I lived the last four years defining myself and my hair. Well now, I have to stop and think. Will this be exceptable? I mean it should be. It grows out of my head just like everyone else’s. What’s different about mine? 

The answer to that is in the question. Mine is DIFFERENT.  The tight coils that come out of my scalp infused with coconut oil are like magic! There’s no limit on what a naturalista can conjure up to display her curls. 

The moral of the story is you judge my hair because you can’t contain it. It doesn’t fit neatly in a bun. There’s a curl, or two, that’s a little out place. Like me and my opinions on your company. My hair shows growth by how it widens in its structure. This symbolizes that I as a person grow and morph into something more beautiful with every inch. You constantly seek volume to make your hair fuller. Mine is natural. My volume is never ending. 

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