Erica Barton

Erica Barton is a 33-year-old mother of three, a freelance writer, and a natural hair enthusiast. As a young woman, Erica has had long, straight, pretty hair for as long as she can remember. This, she achieved through flat irons, pressing combs, and other methods that she later realized were only damaging her hair. She had to make a drastic decision – letting go of the heat. Erica did her BiG Chop in the year 2015 and has been enjoying her healthier, thicker, natural, and unadulterated hair for three years now. Erica enjoys the versatility of natural hair, and the fact that she can wear different looks on a daily basis makes her free to enjoy life and celebrate both her inner and outer beauty. She, however, warns that going natural is not a walk in the park. There are days you will feel frustrated and even wish to give up. That’s why she has taken it upon herself to help people who wish to go down this road by sharing her personal journey, challenges, and offering tips where necessary. According to Erica, every woman has a right to wear their hair on their own terms and not as dictated by society.

Top Tips for Dealing with Black Hair Discrimination

Several young black girls in the United States grow up having a love-hate relationship with their natural hair. That’s because they are subjected to subliminal messaging that teach them to envy their white counterparts with their silky straight locks. As a result, black girls are accustomed to having their thick locks straightened at a young age. The emergence of the Natural Hair Movement in the 2000s steered a transition in the black community.

Hair Discrimination at Work

The Natural Hair Movement encourages women of the African decent to wear natural hair, but the movement is all about the freedom of choice. A lot of black women started to don their hair naturally as a sign of identity. As a result, many black women are constantly finding themselves in trouble with employers and school administrators who believe that natural black hair is unappealing, inappropriate, and unprofessional.

How to Avoid Natural Hair Discrimination

Wearing natural hair is a growing phenomenon for black women, and it’s exciting. But sometimes our employers and co-workers don’t share the excitement. Perhaps one of the best ways to deal with employers who discriminate against natural hair at the workplace is to call them out, but that doesn’t always work. If it comes down to a situation where you have to make a choice and you have to make a living, there can be a compromise.

There are several temporary solutions to consider. For instance, you can wear a wig at work and embracing your natural hair when you get out of the office. If you are not comfortable wearing a wig or simply don’t want to, you can straighten your hair with heat. That way, you can go back and forth between straightened and natural kinky hair. Too much heat can permanently straighten your hair – use low-heat temperatures.

Alternatively, a low bun or ponytail could work if you have short hair or if you want to wear it in a more conservative style. It’s sad that disdain for black hair persists in today’s workplace. Black people shouldn’t be penalized for how they wear their hair. It’s not fair, no and one should have to cut their hair to be accepted in the corporate boardroom, football field, schoolhouse, or even the white house.

Author: Erica Barton



Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. 

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