Professional curly-haired woman

The choice to remain or go natural is a truly liberating experience for many people, though lots of curly, coily and thick-haired curly folks still know all too well about the pressure to keep their hair styled in ways that are considered fashionable and neat in our society. Whether it’s another ad in the media with rude undertones, a commercial condemning that full head of hair, or snarky comments from a friend or family member, the prejudice against natural hair in a casual social setting is still being felt by many. While that can be frustrating enough, the tension of your hair complicating your career prospects can be downright maddening.

Curls at Work

In a recent "Vice Magazine" article, men and women with Afros were asked if their choice to wear their hair natural has negatively impacted them professionally. The answers varied from person to person. One young man encountered problems at school, while another person dealt with indirect but insinuating remarks at a career event. Still others found that their careers weren’t stunted as a consequence of wearing their hair natural.

In some opinions the long sleek look is the only look appropriate in the workplace, leaving hairstyles like big curls, locs, braids, twists, Afros and all the variations in between in an undesirable category. If those opinions were taken to heart, many unwilling candidates would be forced into wigs and weaves, chemically treating or spending hours to straighten their hair just for the sake of gaining or maintaining a career.

Thankfully, men and women around the world who wear these styles aren’t deterred from embracing their own natural hair texture and continue to forge forward in environments that may not necessarily be welcoming them with open arms.

MORE: Top 10 Professional Curly Hairstyles

Has your natural hair ever impacted your career negatively? Do you think natural hair is appropriate in a professional setting?