Employment and natural hair
Question: If your natural hair is frizzy, tightly curled or coarse, would you go to a job interview with your hair a lo natural — unrelaxed, without blow-dry or un-ironed?
Most likely not. Latinas and African-American women are often faced with tremendous bias and prejudice against wearing their hair naturally. There is a subtle but powerful perception that curly, wavy and nappy hair is unprofessional, ugly and unkept-looking. These biases against naturaly curly or Afro-textured hair has penetrated all spheres of our lives — work, our community, our families and even ourselves. As young as 2 years old, girls and boys begin to receive negative messages about their natural hair — a socialization process that culminates in a multi-billion dollar hair relaxing industry in the United States, the Caribbean and Latina/Central America. A trip to the hair salon every 8-12 weeks to relax the new natural hair growth is a normal part of many Latina women, of all ages. The pressure to give in to soft, controlled and straightened hair is often stronger than the will to embrace your natural hair.
Una Lección en la Calle (A Lesson on the Streets) – Natural Hair Challenges
Faced with these experiences, Carolina Contreras, a young Dominican American currently living in the Dominican Republic and working on HIV prevention, decided to bring this conversation to the streets of Dominican Republic. She recently collaborated with Paloma Valenzuela (La Gringa Loca Productions) and created two videos in Spanish, one is about the negatives things that people say to women and men who wear their hair natural, and the other is why they went natural. We thought this was a conversation we wanted to have here on New Latina, and on the blogosphere.
CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO: Una Lección en la Calle
To watch the second video, click HERE.
Carolina Contreras, is the creator of MissRizos.com a place where women who are natural, thinking about it, or who are going through the intense process can find a support group.