Fired for Natural Hair!!!

I’m outraged. A good friend of mine’s job is in jeopardy because she chose to BC and grow out her natural hair.  No, this picture isn’t my friend I’m respecting her privacy (well…a lil bit) but she has short hair like this, except more curly.  Anyway, my friend’s–I’ll call her KC– boss is saying that it violates company policy because her hair is not “well groomed” and that patients (she works in a Dr. office) have been complaining.  Her boss has been more than outrageous in her response to KC’s hair from the very beginning being vocally unsupportive, derogatory, and snide.  Not that KC necessarily needed support from her boss, but who would have thought that such discrimination would come as the result of going natural.

Who doesn't love a TWA?

I wonder how many of my other naturals have faced harsh reception in their place of work over their choice to go natural?  I know in my place of employment, my coworkers, supervisors and really everybody in my building that has seen me has been fascinated by my curly journey.  They touch my hair, question my process, and ask me tons of styling question.  One coworker even started wearing her hair naturally as well, and now we often get mixed up.

In the black community, I’m constantly surprised at how we discriminate against one another.  Now, with KC’s boss, she actually  suggested (publicly, in front of patients and staff) that KC get a perm, put in weave, braids, etc and even offered to “find her a stylist” to which KC declined.  I just would not know how to act if my boss was so actively concerned with my hair!!!  Her boss is black, and I guess reading so many natural hair blogs I forget that not everyone is supportive or even tolerant of the natural hair movement.  Being the psychotherapist (in training) that I am, I have to wonder what kind of self-hate this boss has going on that spurs her to act so cruelly.

It is a hard enough journey to learn to love your TWA, get used to the BC, and begin loving how you look without blow-in-the-wind relaxed hair.  Then add on top of that someone in your life at least 40 hours a week telling you that you don’t look good or professional, telling you that there’s something wrong with your hair…its just discouraging and arouses all sorts of emotion in me.  Have you guys had to deal with this sort of thing at work??  What did you do??

P.S. if you have been harassed at work because of your hair, check out the EEOC‘s discrimination complaint form.  Natural community this is NOT okay, so speak up!!

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7 thoughts on “Fired for Natural Hair!!!

  1. OMG!!!! That is RIDIC! I don’t know how I would respond to such blatant disrespect! Its 10x worse because this is coming from someone black .. I mean sometimes, we expect yt people to not be completely understanding of the natural process and ask questions .. or disagree … wow

  2. It really is worse coming from someone Black. My company is one of the top consulting firms in the country, our clients are mostly the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, and I actually RARELY encounter another Black woman with RELAXED hair!

    I guess I’m blessed to work for such a diverse company where seeing a dude with dreads, or even a 2520 male with a long to the middle of his back ponytail isn’t out of the ordinary.

    I would even say the only people that have a problem with the “professionalism” of natural hair are other Black people. Like you said, the white people think it’s “cool” or “ethnic” want to touch it, ask questions, etc.

    I’d file a complaint to HR for discrimination or something of the like.

    Blow the whistle!

  3. Wow, I agree that this is even crazier coming from another black woman. I, too question what’s going on with this woman that she would behave this way. I hope that your friend does report this harassmant because that’s exactly what it is.

  4. Maybe she’s jealous. Clearly she can’t handle authority either b/c I see no reason for her to attack her publicly and so viciously (or at all) and be so rude in front of patients I guess trying to embarrass her like that. Idiot. She’s the one being unprofessional and ignorant. Probably lying about the patients complaing too. Who really complains about somebody elses hair IN A DOCTORS OFFICE? Are you serious? Maybe I’m naive, but at any rate, this is stupid ridiculous.

  5. I’m not surprised at all;I agree with KaNisa that more black people (and older people in general) trip over the professionalism of natural than whites.

  6. Usually I would say I need to see a picture, but if it’s a short, curly, TWA, I’m not sure how that can end up looking unkempt, and I agree with those that pointed out the fact that it would be totally ridiculous for the patients to be complaining about her hair. That’s just an excuse. Make sure your friend is recording everything that her boss says, and notes when she is reprimanded and what it’s for. If she hasn’t been messing up on the job there is no reason to fire her unless there is a strange work policy that says she needs straight hair. If she doesn’t want to deal with the drama, it would be easy for her to get a straight wig (which is super easy to put on with a TWA), and wear that during the day at work. I know it’s “conforming for the man,” but I wouldn’t want her to get fired and spend a year in court, especially because these kind of cases are pretty difficult to prove.

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