Natural Hair is Unprofessional?!

Ever sat down and wondered what’s wrong with morning people? What kind of magic alarm wakes them up? The moment my alarm goes off I get into a foul mood. I am not kidding. I know! I KNOW! It’s a brand new day and I am grateful but am I mandated to smile? I am pissed that I haven’t had enough sleep and the only good thing going for me is fantasizing about eliminating the ever happy morning people. My face screams BACK OFF!!I want to shoot anyone who tries to smile at me in the morning. Who are you? What kind of sorcery are you practicing? Why are you not grumpy?  Sometimes I wonder if there is enough coffee in Kiambu to make me a morning person.

Imagine this fine morning I wake up and after taking a shower, I unravel twist outs I had done the previous night. I fluff the twists and after looking at my afro in the mirror, I smile. I am almost sure that the afro has somehow managed to transform me into a morning person. Right before I leave the house, my mom feels pressured to ask “Are you really going to work like that?” I think about the struggle I went through during the twisting process and I almost say out loud, “Mom…do you know I have gained muscles from achieving this look?”

I will have you know that 4C hair is a boot camp for my arms. You know this DIY life (do it yourself) is not a piece of cake for some of us. Wait till I start flexing my biceps. Anyway I decide to ignore her and whisper to myself “positive vibes! Positive vibes only”

I get to the office all excited then my boss asks with a concerned look, almost a grin actually “what hairstyle is that?” That is when my self esteem shoots from 100 to Zero real quick. This twist out life can be unfair to some of us. Worry not though, practice makes perfect.

Then there are those random fellows who do not want you to rock your bomb afro in peace, please raise your hand if the following comments sound familiar.

      “Kairetu aki mbona huchanangi nywele?” (Miss, why don’t you comb your hair?)

       “Niaje rasta?” (What’s up rasta?)

       “Na hii nywele mbona inakaa msitu?” (So why does your hair look like a forest?)

        Unaeza kaa poa na chem. (I think you would look better in relaxed hair)

        Na hii hairstyle ni gani mrembo? Inaitwa aje? (What hairstyle is that? What do you call it?)

       “You go to work like that? It does not look professional”

      “I prefer my women in neat straight hair”

 It is comments like these that make me give people the “not today Satan look.


 Not today Satan. Not Today!!  

Remember when it was said natural hair is a journey? I would like to say it is a marathon.

Speaking of marathons, I have been on a marathon catching up on some TV series and movies. Anyone here watches Scandal? Man! Shonda Rhimes’ work is absolutely impeccable. Agree or agree! Anyway I digress. Recall that time when Olivia Pope rocked this bomb afro when she went on vacation? Needless to say later when she went back to work she ditched the afro for straight hair. What about Viola Davis of How to get away with murder? Has anyone noticed she only reveals her natural hair when she is at home? Now do not get me wrong. Everyone has a right to wear their hair the way they want to. It’s just hair right? However, it brings the question that has been around for some time now. Is kinky hair deemed unprofessional?


The High Puff is a to go look for most naturals especially in formal settings

There has been a heated debate about whether type 4 hair is professional. In fact, there have been court cases in regards to whether black women should wear their natural hair to work and school. Women have been dismissed from work and school kids sent home because their hair is not “proper” or “formal” for school. Do not get me started on dreadlocks. I hold this issue to heart because there is no way you are telling me my God given features are “Unprofessional” What? So God made a mistake?


Play with the puff to achieve a slightly different look 

 Let me point out that whether your hair is natural or relaxed, there are hairstyles that are generally considered unprofessional: For instance, you cannot be in a banking hall serving clients with hair that has colors echoing the rainbow. It also true that depending on where one works, afros may not always be considered appropriate though some employers do not mind them. Do not fight with your boss just because they have a problem with your afro while there are so many natural hair styles to maintain the peace. Besides, you can always rock your unruly afro over the weekends.


Front View of the high puff

Ultimately, depending on our profession, it is our hair, our choice…or is it our employer’s choice? However, if you are struggling with whether you should wear your natural hair to work, try the above looks.

Feel free to post pictures of yourselves in the comment section with other “formal” natural hairstyles and protective styles.

Before I conclude, I’d like to tell you about something I picked from someone whose work i discovered a few weeks ago; the brilliant Nikita Gill. “My soul is a river anyone?’’ I adore Nikita Gill. That Lady can write. So she shared a little fun fact about Sanskrit, one of the world’s oldest languages. In Sanskrit people do not say “Good Morning” Instead they say “Shubh arambh” which means “good beginnings”

2017 is almost here you guys! I cannot account for the first half of 2016. Yaani I am ashamed of this fact. However, I can account for every single day since July 2016. The second half of this year has surprisingly been my best yet. For instance, it’s when I finally commenced working on this platform. July 2016 marks my “Shubh arambh”. I have learnt that cooperating with the inevitable makes life peaceful!

I hope you have had a great year. Not to worry if 2016 has not gone exactly the way you want, if things always went the way we want, life would be super boring. However, do not despair if things have been horrible, I believe good beginnings will be here and I do pray we all have a million good beginnings.

Have a 2017 full of Shubh Arambh!!!


Comments (34)

  1. Paula December 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Good read. True some professions restrict the general look of an individual but heck! As you said, we have the weekends to rock whatever. Good work mami.

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you Paula.
      I feel you.
      Weekends are for stunting☺

  2. Marie Saru December 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I remember when I first went natural, everyone at work looked at me like whoa girl, what’s happening here? My immediate supervisor hated it. I remember everytime I’d PS I’d be given the approval that I’m neat and that the “look suited me”. Well until I met someone who told me that I wear my natural hair well, then I never looked back.

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience Marie.
      Keep rocking☺

  3. Chep December 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Love, love love this?
    It’s true that rocking the ‘fro was/is deemed as such an unprofessional look,but with this ever changing society of ours, sooner or later they’ll have to accept our God given beauty.
    To Shubh Arambh!!! 2017 is our year. Love and light lass?

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      We will force them to. Lol. And thank you for passing by.
      Love and light to you too mami!

  4. Pamela Chemelil December 28, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Good job Ri?
    It’s our job to challenge and change this view of natural hair as unkempt by rocking it unashamedly everyday. Good job?

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Aww. Far too kind pam. Shukran!

  5. Velma Akinyi Delila December 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Love it, love the look… I should probably try this on weekends, haha… Clearly boses are similar 😉

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Please do. You would totally rock it!
      And thanks!

  6. Nyarangi December 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    I love that you decided to spend your time talking about hair. God knows how much negativity one has to endure when wearing an afro to work! Aki your hair is too much work kinda comments are quite annoying SMH. looking forward to more of your posts ??

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      I am not even shocked that you get that. Keep rocking your natural hair lakini.

      Don’t forget to subscribe so that you don’t miss my next post.
      And thank you☺

  7. Shiko December 28, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    haha not today satan!!not day!!. hehe and those aunties that offer to pay for your hair “to get done” because it doesnt look good like that! SMH. Awesome read rih.

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Some chic mentioned that her mom mpesad her cash ati aende salon. LOL.
      struggles tu. Wah!
      Thank you Shiko!

  8. Shiko December 28, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    plus your hair is goals!!!!!

  9. Min Jowi December 28, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Good beginnings will be here!!!! ????
    you have actually motivated me hiyo part ya mwisho….???
    the part for natural hair being unprofessional lol i always rocked the high puff to maintain peace with my boss lolz!!!

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      You are welcome.
      To a million good beginnings☺☺

  10. Ess December 28, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Your hair is goals!!! Let’s nature my fur to get to hair then I shall join this table of team naturals.
    Meanwhile, let’s cheer to new beginnings. Well done gal

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      Aaww. Thank you Ess.

      Welcome to team natural.. you will love it!

  11. Judith December 28, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I love the post. In my opinion, natural hair can be very formal if styled in the right way.
    I love how you play around with the puff to achieve a different look

    • Miss Rioba December 28, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks Judith.
      Truth is the trick is in the styling ☺

  12. Your name December 29, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Shubh arambh

    • Miss Rioba December 30, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      To you too!

  13. Vivi C. December 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

    “I have learnt that cooperating with the inevitable makes life peaceful!” Ain’t this the truth!
    Shubh arambh. 🙂

    • Miss Rioba December 30, 2016 at 2:57 pm


      Shubh arambh to you and yours!

  14. Ruth Kanyua December 30, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I love this post!!
    Good work Right!
    Good beginnings ahead!

    • Miss Rioba December 30, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      Ah..thank you Ruth.

  15. Margaret Mose January 6, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Cheers to good beginnings this New Year. I tend to understand your predicament. Speaking from a point where i cut my relaxed hair and began to grow my dreadlocks. Hair is normally a self realisation journey, mirror of growth and so to speak a journey of healing in various aspects of life. Natural is good, and i have never regretted, major considered unprofessional but various professions including the legal profession i pursue have embraced these changes women implement in terms of looks and hair. So keep on girl,rock your crown!

    • Miss Rioba January 6, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      Well done Margaret.
      Keep rocking your too.
      And yes to new beginnings ☺

  16. Selah ogora January 8, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Miss great piece of team natural hair keep it up girl.

    • Miss Rioba January 25, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      I’ll try. thank you

  17. WILMAH January 8, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    I passed by and yes i am gonna style it and flaunt it ,proffessional or not thats my hair.

  18. Mango January 12, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Awesome look RIRI…

    • Miss Rioba January 25, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you for passing by

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