Google Header -->
Skip to main content
Curly Nikki

Curly Hair is SO… Distracting?

By January 27th, 202129 Comments

Kamille writes;

Hi Nikki and fam! I found this article a while back and finally decided to send it in.

Wondering if anyone agrees with what the author is saying. Is she right? I think that sometimes our natural waves, kinks, coils, and curls can be distracting for people who just can’t seem to be able to focus on anything but our hair. And if it’s that much of a problem, we can always tuck it back so everyone can feel “relaxed” and “focused”. I just don’t like the overall tone of this article. I want to hear from the CN community!

Excerpts from The Daily Beast below, full article HERE.

“There’s a time when a wild mane of wavy auburn hair sends just the right message of breezy nonconformity and proud individuality, but when you’re trying to convince the world that you’re an aboveboard, by-the-rules, straitlaced sort of manager—who’s done nothing illegal—boho hair plays to your disadvantage.”

“It’s always risky to attach politics, social status, or cultural affinity to a hairstyle—to endow it with too much meaning. Surely the many debates and lawsuits stemming from disagreements over cornrows, Afros, and dreadlocks have driven home this lesson. Still, in such a serious situation as an interrogation by Parliament, why risk being misread, mischaracterized, or misunderstood?

Brooks wasn’t technically on trial, but this was one of those fateful moments in the unfolding of a drama when public opinion will become official historical record. And while her clothes said serious business, her hair said, “I’m here for the Tuck & Patti concert.”

CN says;

SMDH. Really Robin? Really?
Natural lawyers, what say you?


  • anonymous says:

    Wow! Her hair is gorgeous…its intense color, its kinetic energy, its abundance. I would wish for hair like that even if nobody else does. All you naturals…keep your head held up high!

  • Anonymous says:

    And they had to pick a picture that makes her look like that witch from TRUE BLOOD,smh. I'm not a fan of hers because of the scandal but I think her hair -in its natural state- is gorgeous. While the article is insulting, I will say though, that it does look a bit unkempt, like she hasn't washed it in a while or she just rolled out of bed. I don't know if that's what the article is alluding to. As a previous poster mentioned, you want to put on your Casey Anthony look if you are about to be judged in court. All she needs is a bit of Jessicurl Rocking Ringlets and she'll be straight, lol. I wondered if the writer of the article was black, because i sensed this weird underlying tone which is the elite black's disdain for natural hair-can we say Nivea Ad.

  • gs says:

    Ok first… I had to look up "Tuck & Patti" to get the full effect of what she was saying, even though I knew it to be off-putting. After having a chuckle at the sheer audacity of her comment, I have to say that "hair-ism", just like "colorism" is a subversive form of bigotry. Asking this woman to change her hair is like asking someone to change their religion. Yes it may be easier for some than others but her hair looks REALLY curly. And changing your hair is easier said than done for some.

  • Anonymous says:

    Kurlee Belle had an article on this as well. I think its really ignorant for the writer to focus so much on Rebekah Brooks' hair and not the issue at hand.

  • OrganicBloom says:

    @ Tai. I'm in total agreement! (I dunno, maybe too soon LMBO!)

    This article and the opinion are about PR. Looking polished and pulled together is often equated with being highly trustworthy and capable. That is, of course, not to say that hair in it's natural state makes us untrustworthy.

    Remember Ally McBeal? Portia DeRossi's character had long blonds curls that she let down after hours but by day she was bunned up in a no nonsense, "pay attention to my brilliance not my looks" kind of way.

    If I were looking for an attorney (I'll use men in the example for sake of argument) to represent me and I had only two options 1.) man who hadn't shaved in a day or so and had visible stubble and under eye circles or the 2.) clean-shaven man who looks well rested I'd go with the latter assuming all else was equal.

    PS Her hair IS lovely!

  • Renise B says:

    "It is really tiresome since it's only the newbies who think hair has these magical powers"

    severe #sideeye to anon who post this. newly natural women are not the only ones who have issues with this type of thing. To belittle an entire group of pple based on a "fact" that has absolutely no merit is ridiculous. The general theme here is fighting discrimination based on gender or physical attributes. Instead of seeing the argument for what it is, you choose to discriminate against another group of pple in an effort to prove your "point."

  • Anonymous says:

    "When your hair is relaxed, White people are relaxed". – Paul Mooney

  • Anonymous says:

    If everyone wore their natural, curly/kinky/coily hair, then it wouldn't be so distracting. It would just be normal!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have had no problems professionally w/courts, other attorneys and clients regarding my hair. In fact, I've had a number of compliments and once I open my mouth, they forget about my hair. We even has a natural judge. The only person who hates it is my mother who lives in the next state over. She can't believe I go to court "looking like that" and being nappy just puts us in a bad light. But I'm happy, mynhusband finds it sexy, my baby likes to play w/my fro and my employer doesn't care; therefore, I shall keep my natural head held high.

  • Anonymous says:

    While I didn't read the entire article, first of all, I was shocked that the reporter was black, and second of all, I'm shocked that the woman with the hair is white. I can only imagine what she says about us "natural African queens". She should be ashamed of herself for this article!

  • Tiffany says:

    booooo – that article was wack.

  • Anonymous says:

    It's funny to me, because it looks like her hair is perfectly presentable to me. She has very long, thick hair, and we all know it must take a long time just to wash and condition all of that. Expecting her to straighten it would be outrageous, especially considering the fact that it would probably take hours to do so. Shoot, even just expecting her to put it in a ponytail or in a bun might be a little too much (I don't know about you guys, but a bun is one of the most difficult hairstyles to do on my BSL hair…it's just too thick, and it won't stay in a bun unless I use a large amount of gel and bobby pins, lol).

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't think this woman should change anything about her hair. I remember when this story first hit CNN news, and I saw her hair. To me….it's gorgeous, and I loved it. Boho-ism and all. Too bad others make a huge deal about the way someone else looks. She chooses NOT to blow-fry her hair to please popular standards. So be it. Kudos to all kinkies and curlies!!

  • Tai says:

    You know I didn't think this article was ridiculous at all. The author wasn't saying that her hair was ugly or even unprofessional. She mentioned how dangerous it is to put too much importance on the way somebody's hair looks BUT this was a special circumstance. A court case, where like it or not playing up to the image a judge or jury associates with brazen guilt or humility can make or break your case. And this applies to every one straight hair and curly hair vixens. I think the author nods at the hypocrisy of it but at the same time notes that this may not be the ideal venue to fight people's preconceived notions. How many times have we seen murder trials where the defendant suddenly comes out with demure french braids and coke bottle glasses that seem to say 'Who me? I couldn't pull the wings off of a fly!' when they were just rocking club wear and wild free tresses.

    I don't even think the author is saying she should change her natural hair. I think she's just suggesting that maybe pulling it back into a bun or ponytail might help out your plea. I might be able to be all brave online or out in society when I haven't done anything wrong and I can afford to act proud and free but I'll tell you what- if I was on trial with jail time at stake? I would be getting my Casey Anthony wardrobe on.

    Too soon?

  • Anonymous says:

    This article reeks of jealousy and ignorance. Clearly, the author has hair envy, and I can see why. Look at her boring, flat hair that she removes her natural curl from only add in imiatation curls later. Grown up, catch a clue, and find something of real consequence to write about.

  • Anonymous says:

    Okay, I can see how it is important to look "put together" for the office, court, etc. However, you can wear your hair in its natural state and still look sharp! Maybe I need to pull out my glasses, but Rebekah Brooks looks just fine to me.

    As an aside, I am an attorney and am transitioning to my natural hair (4 months strong!). I have been trying out various hairstyles (i.e. braids, curlformers, flattwists) to figure out what works for me. I can 100% relate to Jax's comment above regarding people wanting to comment every time I change my hairstyle, haha. I think they are just envious of the versatility. 😉

  • Anonymous says:

    The author, Robin Givhan, is a fashion and style editor, so I supposed she's paid to write shallow, superficial drivel like this. Considering the seriousness of the alleged charges Rebekah Brooks is facing, I'm sure her hair is the least of her concerns at the moment.

  • Ashley Jane says:

    That sounds ridiculous. Her hair wasn't in a "style" it was in its natural state. I'm not saying it's ok for people to roll out of bed and not touch their hair, yes they should take steps to make sure their hair is neat and presentable in any form, as well as styled appropriately for an occasion but those excerpts just oozed ignorance.

  • Anonymous says:

    This must be the Robin Givhans piece I heard about. This is her writing, always reaching. As she is black woman with relaxed hair, I am SMDH.

    I love the color and puffiness of Rebecca Brooks hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    Every since I saw her beautiful hair I was awe. She has the bomb thickness and the color is on point! It's only distracting because it's absolutely GORGEOUS. Besides, she is a very powerful woman and I'm sure she did not get to where she is by hiding her thick curls to appease people that are afraid of anything with girth.

  • Anonymous says:

    Her hair is BEAUTIFUL! Curls on a such a rich and awesome color ever. I couldn't stop staring at her lovely red hair – AND THE CURLS!.

  • Anonymous says:

    It's so not that serious. Clearly this "author" was fresh out of ACTUAL important and thought provoking issues to write about and decided to write an entire article bashing someone because of her hair. She's not facing Parliament b/c of her hair. Get over yourself, Robin.

  • Onedayatattime says:

    Im glad this was brought up,living in the UK muself the press are quite mean when they want to and i believe women are more criticised for how they look no matter what.
    I personally like her hair as it is different from the norm and i love big hair!I totally disagree with the article, why should her hair have been trim or in a bun or made to look different? Why are people afraid of curly hair? It goes to show that the curly v staright debate doesn't just affect the black community but ALL races and cultures.

  • Alicia says:

    I think her hair could look cute if she got a good hair cut. Right now it looks a mess and is very distracting. I wouldn't go to court, a job interview, or anywhere where I want to be taken seriously with my head looking like that. Would it have been too much effort to put it in a ponytail or even use a headband to pull it back?

  • Anonymous says:

    Okay. This agrument has been used so many times again as a discourager to those who want to let their curls shine. I've been natural for over 9 years and sported a TWA, 2 strand twists, flat twitsts and even sisterlocs in the business world. I've interviewed for jobs with this hair and never has it been an issue. BTW did I say I got the jobs after those interviews too:-)

    Anyway my point is that our hair will be a distractor only if we allow it to be. There is a time and place for everything. Just like I wouldn't wear my favorite halter dress or top to work, so too would I not wear a fauhawk or wild afro. I'll save those styles for the weekend and my personal time. When it's work time, I wear my work hair, mostly protected styles, and updos.

    As we know we can rock our natural hair in a professional setting with the right styling. Then as we carry ourselves into the courtroom, boardroom, or office people will just say "She looks sharp and is ready for business!"

  • Jax says:

    That's just a silly premise. However distracting an audience may find a woman's hair style to be, once she opens her mouth, her gravitas and intelligence ought to re-focus things. That said, as a black Caribbean woman, who happens to be an in house attorney at a multi-national company, I have grown weary of all the comments my hair changes generate at meetings with (white) executives and senior management /corporate/my boss – they are usually positive, but folks often feel the need to say that everytime they see me, my hair has changed, and then they go on to say that they like it.

    I do tend to go for what I consider to be more 'mainstream' styles for important meetings – my staple is the twist-out puff, which I perceive as fairly restrained 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh, same poster as before. British news is vicious and they always mock people. Again, nothing really to see here but goodness black women want to get riled about anything having to do hair. It is really tiresome since it's only the newbies who think hair has these magical powers. Loads of women have always been natural and done just fine b/c of what they have in their heads.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't think this is about hair. Women's appearances are always seen as a valid point of criticism. Seriously, and where have you been that you've never heard white women complain that they sometimes worry about big hair and how it is viewed.
    But so much of this is about her gender and not her hair. Women are always criticized for how they look even when how they look has nothing to do with what they do.
    And considering that she was an executive for Rupert Murdoch without so much as a college degree and is one of his favorites, you could hardly say she's been held back by her hair, which she has always worn like.
    So where is the discrimination?

  • Anonymous says:

    What the Bunk??? Wow, so we're not the only one's discriminated against because of our hair. SMH.

Leave a Reply