Lori P asks Jamila of College Curlies:

Still being somewhat newly natural, I constantly struggle with looking professional while rocking my natural hair- which can get pretty big and wild quickly! I find myself always wearing a headband or smooshing my hair so it’s not so big…any advice hairstyles etc? I just hate feeling like I’m ‘selling out’. Any thoughts would be great!

Jamila responds:

I think a lot of naturals can definitely relate to this. I have been to few interviews and formal events in which I felt obligated to make my hair as small as possible. However, I think that as long as your hair looks as if it’s been styled/that you didn’t just roll out of bed, then you can really have a lot of fun!

Check out some styles that I do that I would consider acceptable for a more professional setting (click on the link above the photo for a tutorial):

1940s Inspired Updo
Tailored Puff with Pompadour

Low Puff Redone

Twist out w/ sides pinned back & pompadour

There’s a lot of discussion about whether natural hair is professional. My opinion is that natural hair is part of the package– an extension of who you are. It’s unfortunate that people can’t understand that. If a company told you that you had to lighten your skin to look more “professional,” [I hope to God] you wouldn’t even entertain the thought of working there. I feel the same way about my hair. This is who I am. It’s not like people with natural hair roll out of bed in the morning and walk out the door looking like Buckwheat. That’s ridiculous. Professional hair is that which is styled and maintained, natural or not.

What “professional” styles do you have? Share!