Majoring in Curls
Email your questions to Aimee.

Happy Birthday to me! Halfway through the lovely month of August, I will officially leave my days as a teenagers and become a semi-adult. It’s a fairly scary, and slightly daunting, time for me. Turning 20 rings in the era of living on my own, doing my own grocery shopping, and starting a career.


Beginning a career usually coincides amassing a career-appropriate wardrobe. I’ve been working on gathering “work-worthy” outfits all summer long -- clothes that aren’t too revealing, sexy, or inappropriate for the workplace. After all, I want to project the right image to my supervisor.

Along with projecting the right image is knowing what’s appropriate in terms of my curly hair.

I’ve heard rumors about attitudes about curly versus straight hair in the workplace, so I decided to look into it a little. I found many pages online saying that curly-haired employees have traditionally been stereotyped as “wild” and “uncontrollable.” Well, yes, there are curly girls who have a wilder personality, but it's a broad generalization. It’s an unfair assumption that women with curly hair are more unprofessional that those with straight locks.

In order to change the "anti-curly" attitude in the workplace, we simply need to have work-appropriate hair, just as we have work-appropriate clothes. It’s all about working with what you have to project a more professional image.

First of all, everyone needs a really good cut. Many people think that their hair is simply unmanageable no matter what they do or what products they use. The truth is, they probably don’t have a good cut as a foundation. It’s really okay to spend a lot on a good cut at a reputable salon -- especially if you have curly hair.

Use common sense when choosing what cut you want. Make sure it fits in with your lifestyle as a whole, but also the type of job you want to have. Very long hair that’s difficult to manage -- hair that tends to go wild -- might not be your best bet if you work in a corporate environment. On the other hand, if you spend your working hours in a fashion house or equally creative office, you probably have a little more leeway in terms of hair fashion.

After securing a good cut, it’s all about style. The main focus for all workplace hair should be eliminating frizz. Everyone hates the frizz and the pouf of curly hair, especially the owner of the hair. Hair without frizz instantly looks more put together and more polished. A good cut will eliminate some frizz, believe it or not.

Once you have that, .moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Always use conditioner, and some leave-in if you need it. And try to avoid products with alcohol because that will just exaggerate the frizz.

Once you have a good base, work with your hair type and go with it! If you have tight corkscrew curls (like Yours Truly), you might work in some cream or mousse and let them go. The same goes for looser waves or curls. For any type of curly hair, diffusing might be a more reliable option because wet hair is not professional. You also don't want to worry about what your hair will look like when it dries.

There’s nothing that pains me more than when I see women at work with curly hair pulled back into a ponytail or braid. That’s the only way they know to deal with it. Not that there’s anything wrong with a ponytail, but when it’s made with the intent of getting hair out of the way, it’s just wrong. Hopefully all those with their hair slicked back and fastened into a tight bun (unless they’re ballerinas) will come to see the light and embrace the curl!