Twisted Updo Tutorial for Natural Hair #WorkFlow

#WorkFlow

Tawanda J. submitted her super cute office style for your inspiration.  Read on for the quick tutorial!

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Natural Hair in the Business World- "So are you really going to wear your hair like that?"


Dr. Kimberly Nettles writes:

I will never forget my first time preparing for a pharmacy job interview. "So are you really going to wear your hair like that?", my fellow colleague asked peering into my Afro as if it were a foreign object. I had never given a second thought to the idea if my hair would be "acceptable" to wear to a job fair. I always put more emphasis into making sure my makeup didn't look too bright, my business suit wasn't too tight, or that my heels weren't too high. Professionalism was something I always took pride in, but the concept of how I would style my hair was never a concern.

Read On!>>>

Naturally Professional- Marisa W.


The Naturally Professional series on CurlyNikki.com Afrobella.com was created to make a positive statement. Our intent is to disprove false and long held beliefs that wearing ones hair in a natural style — including locs, sisterlocs, and loose natural hair — makes a person somehow not professional enough for a corporate environment. Natural hair IS professional, beautiful, well taken care of, and welcome in any kind of workplace. This month’s Naturally Professional woman proves that you can wear your hair in whatever style suits you, and rise to the top.

Name:
Marisa

Age: 32

Title: Reliability Engineer-- I work at an electric and natural gas utility company in Michigan. It is a conservative company.


Tell me about your natural journey. How long have you been natural? What led you to wear your hair in a natural style?

I am in my 28-month of being natural. In August 2009, our family decided that we would make a conscious effort to better our health. We began reducing the amount of chemicals we used and ingested. We eat an organic and whole food diet. So I figured, I might as well include my hair.


Have you ever faced any undue scrutiny and/or adversity in your career because of wearing their hair natural?

No. I have not faced any undue scrutiny or adversity in my career because of wearing my hair natural. I think it has benefited me in that it has reduced the amount of times I am confused with the other black women in my office.

That being said, I have received a range of comments, questions, and reactions from a diverse group of people, including:

Blank stares

Side eye

“What’s up with your hair? How did you do that to you hair?”

“Did you stick your finger in a light socket?”

“Are you doing to your hair what Chris Rock is talking about in his new movie?”

“I was watching Oprah with the wife, and they were talking about natural hair. Is your hair natural?”

“I hope I do not offend you but…I really like your hair. “

“Girl you need to comb your hair!!!!”
Do you think there is an issue today with acceptance overall in the corporate workforce for women who choose to wear natural hair?

Yes, overall there is an issue with acceptance in the corporate workforce. There have been times when I was preparing for a meeting and thought, “ Should I wear the twists?” However, things seem to be changing. I think people do not really care what we look like as long as we are producing quality results. I am an African American woman, so, generally, I do think there is a perception that we all look the same even if we do not.

Are there any particular natural hairstyles they feel are no-no’s for the workforce or a particular style that is “safer” or more accepted than others, based on your experiences?

For me the no-no’s are hairstyles that are too big and not neat. I will not wear bantu knots or regular corn rolls to work. I had my share of apprehensions about styles. When I was in the TWA stage, I wasn’t sure about wearing twists. Also, I was apprehensive in the “almost a big ass afro” stage. As I became more comfortable and confident, the apprehension with wearing various natural hairstyles lessened. I have made presentations to senior management wearing twists, twist outs, bantu knot outs, and afros.


How do you or have you handled any questions or issues you’ve faced regarding your hair?

I answer all questions, even the uninformed and insulting ones. I figure I am saving another person from having to answer the questions in the future. I know some people have the opinion, “I am here to work, so do not ask me about my hair”. Or “I don’t ask about your hair, so don’t ask about mine”. That’s fine and all but education is the best way to root out the misconceptions about natural hair.

There is always discussion and sometimes concern about wearing your hair natural and working, as well as succeeding, in the corporate workforce. What strategies can you offer other women who wear their hair natural on handling issues they may face in the workplace regarding their hair choice?

First of all, don’t get defensive, even with the jackasses. Most people make comments because they are uninformed. We work in diverse environments and all employees must adapt, even those confronted with issues to which they have no frame of reference. That being said Regardless if you are in twists, locks, braids, braid-outs, twists outs, keep it neat and make sure you stay within the confines of your company’s corporate policies.


As a leader what insight can you offer women in general, natural or not, on succeeding as African American women? What are the top 3 tips to success you can offer?

Develop Organizationally Savvy skills. I recommend reading the book “Survival of the Savvy”. It addresses the taboo topic of corporate politics and gives practical tips on how to handle differences with employees of different styles, rather than always reacting to your differences emotionally. Also, I highly recommend attending one of the workshops given by JTW Affiliates on the topic of Organizational Savvy. You will be enlightened on secrets of the “inner circle”.

Understand your coworkers and yourself. Know yourself from an objective viewpoint, and understand the “people styles” of those with whom you interact. Develop communication skills such that you are able to convey any point you have to anyone in the company, regardless of title.

Finally, ask for what you want. Sometimes we think some folks have an edge over us based on relationships with others at work. While that is often times true, that should not preclude you from speaking up when you desire a better assignment or project or even an opportunity for more training.

Naturally Professional -- Carolyn Edgar

The Naturally Professional series on Afrobella.com and CurlyNikki.com was created to make a positive statement. Our intent is to disprove false and long held beliefs that wearing ones hair in a natural style — including locs, sisterlocs, and loose natural hair — makes a person somehow not professional enough for a corporate environment. Natural hair IS professional, beautiful, well taken care of, and welcome in any kind of workplace. This month’s Naturally Professional woman proves that you can wear your hair in whatever style suits you, and rise to the top.


Name: Carolyn Edgar

Age: 45

Title: Vice President and Legal Counsel, The Estee Lauder Companies

Tell me about your natural journey. What styles have you worn your hair in? How long have you been natural? What led you to wear your hair in a natural style?

As a child, I wore my hair completely natural and unprocessed. Straight, pressed hair was reserved for special occasions, like Easter and picture day. In middle school, my mother started giving my hair a light press that usually didn’t survive the week, or gym, whichever came first. From high school until I entered law school at 25, I wore my hair pressed straight. My mom pressed my hair until I went to college, and then I learned how to press it myself. My mom was very good at pressing hair, and she taught me well, so my hair was thick, long and healthy. But when I went to Harvard Law School, I decided pressing was “old-fashioned” and it was time for me to enter the modern world of relaxers. My almost waist-length hair got shorter and shorter. But apart from a brief period when I wore braids to grow out some damage from a particularly bad relaxer, I kept my hair relaxed, even though I hated the damage.

In a way, though, I’m grateful, because if I had continued to press my hair, I never would have discovered the beauty of my own natural hair texture. My family is from the South, and my mother was firmly in the “good hair” camp. I grew up believing my own natural hair texture, while not quite “bad,” certainly wasn’t “good.” And since it wasn’t “good,” it needed to be straightened. It took a long time for me to look at my own natural hair texture without cringing. Finally, in about my 7th year of practicing law, I got tired of relaxed hair breakage. I was also a new mom, and I wanted my daughter to grow up embracing her natural hair. I decided to grow out my relaxer. I didn’t do a “big chop.” I stopped getting touch-ups and cut the relaxed ends off, bit by bit, until I had enough length to finally let the rest of the relaxer go. I went back to pressing briefly, but disliked being so vulnerable to the elements. I then shifted to twists and wore two-strand twists for about five years. When I got tired of getting my hair re-twisted every 3 weeks, I decided to loc it.

Was your hair natural when you entered the working world? Or did you go natural while at your current job?

I wore my hair straight when I first entered the working world, and kept it that way until I finally grew out my relaxer. I don’t distinguish between the years I pressed and the years I relaxed my hair, because both were the result of my not liking the way my natural hair looked. I didn’t wear my hair straight because it was more manageable, I wore it straight because I thought it looked better that way. I was embarrassed to be seen with naps and frizz. When I transitioned to natural hair, I was a bit nervous at first. No other black woman lawyer at my conservative firm had ever worn natural hair, so I wasn’t sure how they were going to respond, but I received nothing but positive comments.

Have you ever faced any undue scrutiny and/or adversity in your career because of wearing your hair natural?

Not at all. I had all these hang-ups and ideas and beliefs about what the “right” styles were for black hair in white corporate America. I thought our hair had to be straight. I thought my natural hair was not only unprofessional, but ugly. Letting go of relaxers and pressing combs allowed me to fall in love with my natural hair and to call it “curly” instead of “nappy.” I learned to work with my hair’s natural curl pattern instead of trying to get rid of it. I had this image in my head of what “white people” would say or think about my hair. It turned out no one cared what I did with my hair, as long as it was neat. That doesn’t mean people didn’t notice, or ask questions. But I have never been reprimanded, “talked to,” or discriminated against because of my hair.

Do you think there is an issue today with acceptance overall in the corporate workforce for women who choose to wear natural hair?

I think it depends on where you are and in what industry you work. I know black women lawyers who practice across a broad range of specialties, from patent law to tax to environmental to corporate, who are natural. I know television producers, PR specialists, real estate brokers, accountants, managing partners at investment banks – all natural. In New York City, for the most part, natural hair isn’t much of an issue. I find it ironic that even in industries where natural hair is less accepted – such as entertainment, beauty and fashion – black women who are in front of the camera wear their hair relaxed or in weaves, but black women who work behind the scenes, including in senior management, are often natural. It’s definitely true at Estee Lauder. But at the same time, my friends and family in my hometown of Detroit tell me that natural hair is not as accepted there, and I suspect that’s true in other parts of the country as well.

I’ve also learned that this isn’t just a black woman’s issue. Just the other day, a white co-worker said she always thought her curly hair was “unprofessional” but she had chosen to wear her natural curls to work because of the heat. Curly-haired women of all races and cultures feel pressured to wear their hair straight and think of their own natural hair as “unmanageable.” I think all women would benefit if acceptance of our hair’s natural texture became a cross-cultural or multi-cultural conversation.


Are there any particular natural hairstyles they feel are no-no’s for the workforce or a particular style that is “safer” or more accepted than others, based on your experiences?

I’ve seen women of color in the workplace in New York City wearing just about every natural hairstyle that exists, but I do feel men are more restricted in their options. For instance, I think locs are more readily accepted on women than men. A young black man who works in my building, but not for my company, told me recently that his manager made him cut off his locs. The manager, a white woman, was in the elevator when we were having this conversation. She said to me, “He’s more handsome this way.” I was angry for a minute, but had to let it go. I couldn’t jeopardize that young man’s job by going off on his boss. So I just said to her, “He was handsome before, too.”

How do you or have you handled any questions or issues you’ve faced regarding your hair?

I feel like there are no dumb questions. White people don’t have to learn about black hair in the same way that we learn about white hair. Many people, regardless of race, don’t understand locs and think they’re unwashed and dirty. Some of the most negative comments I’ve heard about my hair, in fact, have come from black people. My mom, who passed two years ago, called my locs “a waste of long hair” because to get rid of them, most people just cut them off. I’d rather answer and provide information, than ridicule or make someone feel badly for what they don’t know.

Your job is an interesting mix of both beauty and the legal world. Does that make for a more creative working environment? Do you think your natural hair and style would be more or less welcome in an alternative legal career?

The Legal Department is comprised of lawyers who specialize in different areas. Some of our lawyers interface regularly with the beauty side of the business. Others – like myself – have less direct involvement with the beauty side, and more involvement with operations or corporate governance. The work done by the lawyers who handle our contracts with our models, for example, certainly appears glamorous from the outside. At the heart of it all, though, we provide legal advice to our clients to help them manage risk and make better business decisions, and it almost doesn’t matter whether the business is beauty or widgets. But the fact that we are a global prestige beauty company permits us, as employees, a wider degree of flexibility in self-expression than I think would be present in many other corporate settings. Some of our lawyers are very fashionable, others dress more conservatively, and the rest of us are in the middle. When I was in private practice, I wore a business suit every day. Today, I own two suits, and I almost never wear them to the office. I favor slacks with blouses or fitted tees, or dresses. I think if I were in an alternative legal career, such as working for a non-profit, I would dress pretty much the way I do now. I do wear more makeup than I used to before I joined the Company. I was a consumer of our brands’ products before I became an employee, and I love the fact that I get to experiment with our different products and brands.

There is always discussion and sometimes concern about wearing your hair natural and working, as well as succeeding, in the corporate workforce. What strategies can you offer other women who wear their hair natural on handling issues they may face in the workplace regarding their hair choice?

I think it is important to understand the environment you are about to enter before you begin working for a particular employer. A headhunter or recruiter can help you suss this out, and if they can’t, you are working with the wrong placement team. There is a lot you can assess about a place as you walk around meeting people on interviews. In most companies, “fit” is as important as skills and experience – even more so in this competitive environment. So you have to determine whether or not you are a good fit for the workplace you are contemplating, and whether they are a good fit for you. If wearing your hair naturally is something you value, you should work in an environment where your hair will not be a limiting factor in your ability to perform, achieve and succeed.

As a leader what insight can you offer women in general, natural or not, on succeeding as African American women? What are the top 3-5 tips to success you can offer?

1. Manage your own career. Know what it is you want, and find out what you have to do to get it. People are willing to help you, but you have to let them know what you want.

2. Be confident. If you wishy-washy in conveying your opinions, people will stop asking you for them. If you are apologetic when you ask someone who works for you to do something, they won’t take you seriously. If you say you are going to do something, do it; and if you figure out you can’t do it, own up to it.You don’t have to be perfect, or in possession of perfect information, to express yourself with confidence. Our CEO, Fabrizio Freda, encourages Estee Lauder employees to “lead from every chair.” That phrase means a lot to me, because it recognizes that even if you aren’t the person whose name is at the top of the org chart, you can demonstrate leadership within your sphere of influence. The more you step up and demonstrate leadership, the more people will recognize you as a leader.

3. Be helpful, but prioritize. Learn when to say yes and when and how to say no. You don’t have to say yes to everything you are asked to do, but there is an art to saying no. Make sure your priorities are in line with your management’s priorities and your company’s priorities, and hopefully those two things don’t conflict.

4. Be yourself, but be your best self. One mistake people often make is in thinking they need to fit into a mold to succeed. “Fit” means making sure your values and priorities, as well as your style of working, are aligned with the organization that you work for. It does not mean twisting yourself to fit into a box that does not suit you. We spend too much time at work to be uncomfortable there. Bring your whole self, but your best self, to the workplace.

Carolyn is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter, and you can read her eloquent and wise blog here.

Thanks for sharing your story, Carolyn!


Are you Naturally Professional? Do you know someone who fits the description? Then please send an e mail to [email protected] or to [email protected] using “Naturally Professional,”as the subject line. Please include the nominee’s name, photos, and a reliable email address.

Naturally Professional – Tonya Mosley

Naturally Professional – Tonya Mosley, TV News Reporter


When we first came up with the idea of the Naturally Professional series, the goal was to find a few good natural haired women who were willing to share their experiences on Afrobella.com and CurlyNikki.com. The intent was to prove that despite what has been said – and unfortunately what is still sometimes believed – women with locs, sisterlocs, and loose natural hair are present in professional industries. The intent is to prove that natural hair IS in fact, professional, well taken care of, and welcome in any kind of workplace.

The response has been overwhelmingly supportive. And so, with great pride we present our first Naturally Professional woman.

Name: Tonya Mosley

Age: 33

Title: Television News Reporter

Tell me about your natural journey. How long have you been natural? What led you to wear your hair in a natural style?

Two years ago I began noticing how fascinated my 2 year old daughter had become with my long straight hair. At the time I was having frequent conversations with her about how beautiful her natural curls were. This whole “dance” felt wrong, painful even – so in September of 2009 after receiving a blessing from my bosses I chopped off my relaxed hair.

Have you ever faced any undue scrutiny and/or adversity in your career because of wearing their hair natural?

I live and work in a city (Seattle) where my natural hairstyle is embraced and accepted.
I don’t believe I’ve received push back although recently I had an agent mention that my hair may not fly in other places.

Do you think there is an issue today with acceptance overall in the corporate workforce for women who choose to wear natural hair?

I’m not sure. I do believe there is a lot of ignorance about our hair, how it grows and what it really looks and feels like in its natural state. We as a community of black women still struggle with loving and accepting our natural hair so I think it would only be natural that corporate America might take issue with it.



Are there any particular natural hairstyles they feel are no-no’s for the workforce or a particular style that is “safer” or more accepted than others, based on your experiences?

I think many of us get confused about natural hair and professionalism. If you’re working in corporate America a Mohawk – whether relaxed or natural is probably not a good idea.
In my profession I don’t want my hair to be a distraction, it should complement my look not overtake it. I’ve only been natural for a year and half, as it grows I’m learning what works and what doesn’t.

How do you or have you handled any questions or issues you’ve faced regarding your hair?

Initially after getting the “big chop” I expected to get a lot of questions or confusion about my hair but I haven’t. I do however receive lots of compliments and emails! My hair has become my signature in many ways – the other day I had a woman stop traffic during a live shot to tell me how much of an inspiration I’ve been to her. I’ve had mothers tell me they record my stories for their children to watch. These messages are powerful to me, I’m reminded of when I was little and we’d crowd around the TV to watch the Cosby show – people are thirsty to see a reflection of themselves on screen and I’m humbled and honored to be a part of offering that.

There is always discussion and sometimes concern about wearing your hair natural and working, as well as succeeding, in the corporate workforce. What strategies can you offer other women who wear their hair natural on handling issues they may face in the workplace regarding their hair choice?

I’ve been hearing the word “authentic” a lot lately. I guess it’s another way of saying “keeping it real.” The broadcast journalism world is extremely competitive and now more than ever news bosses are looking for people who are authentic, different – someone who isn’t a carbon copy of everyone else.



As a leader what insight can they offer women in general, natural or not, on succeeding as African American women? What are the top 3 tips to success you can offer?

Never leave work early, people notice. How far you go in your career depends on how hard you are willing to work. But also note working harder is not always enough, you also have to work smarter.

In addition to being a hardworking TV reporter, Tonya also has a natural hair blog -check her out at New Naturalista, and follow her on Facebook!



Are you Naturally Professional? Do you know someone who fits the description? Then please send an email to [email protected] or [email protected] using the subject like “Natural Professional. Please include the nominee’s name, photos, and a reliable email address.

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