Your Hair Has A Role In Your Career Success

April 10, 2012  |  



Much ado is made about Black hair. Black women are known to be audacious when it comes to our manes. A billion dollar business has been spawned from our need to color, straighten, curl, braid, and coif. Hair means a lot to Black women, but it can mean even more to our career.

Your appearance does not affect your ability to do a job, but it does impact your success. Keeping it cute can influence your salary as much as your work experience. Research shows that attractive people earn an average of 3% to 4% more than a person with below average looks – that comes out to about $230,000 over a lifetime. Even an average-looking worker is likely to make $140,000 more over a lifetime than an ugly worker.

Hair goes beyond aesthetics. It is personal and public: visible to everyone while also being an intrinsic part of our body. Black women carry a great deal of culture in their hair. Since that culture is not a mainstream one, appropriating hair to the workplace can be a tricky process.

For some time, many – including Black women – considered anything outside of straightened hair to be unprofessional. However, as more women go natural, that notion is changing. Professional hair isn’t about texture. For most employers, particularly conservative ones, a professional hairstyle is considered neat, clean, and out of the face. Texture alone is not a deciding factor.

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