Will my natural hair prevent me from getting a job in the future?

  1. I'm currently a nursing student, but I've been thinking about the future and my prospects. Right now, I have a naturally curly afro. I love it! I refuse to add extensions, flat-iron, or perm again. Of course I may place it in low buns for work and interviews or twist it into styles. In most jobs people appreciate it because they like the "ethnic" look (yes, people have told me that).

    However, I come from a family of nurses and they maintain that I won't be able to get a job unless I straighten my hair. My curls are getting to be a bit too much work, too. I thought about getting dreads. I personally think they'd be beautiful and cost effective in my hair. I don't think they're unprofessional either, but I understand that I still live in white-collar America. It's honestly either that, or cutting my hair off completely.

    What do you all think? Should I keep my natural hair, dread it, or cut it all off? Is natural hair a huge factor in job seeking?
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    About cinderfloof

    Joined: Feb '17; Posts: 3; Likes: 2

    26 Comments

  3. by   ~♪♫ in my ♥~
    As with all things, it really depends where you're trying to get hired.

    At my employer, your hairstyle would not be an issue as long as it's clean and tidy.
  4. by   Wiggly Litchi
    I live in Memphis, TN and we have a HUGE African American population. I have seen nurses with all kinds of natural hairstyles and honestly, you're fine as long as 1) your hair doesn't get in the way of pt care, and 2) it looks tidy. That doesn't mean that you have to straighten it or anything, but as long as it's neat and out of your face, you should be fine

    Rock your natural hair!

    Edit: Is braiding your natural hair an option? There's tons of nurses near me that love to add braids (without extensions) - it keeps their natural hair looking awesome, and also means that it's out of the way during pt care. Dreads would definitely be an option too if they're kept clean and tidy - you can throw 'em into a ponytail or something during work to keep them out of the way.

    Employers don't mind much about hairstyles (as long as you're not rocking a fluorescent pink mohawk) as long as your hair is tidy and you look professional. (Professional doesn't only mean straightened natural hair! )
  5. by   BeccaLove0
    I don't think employers can discriminate against your curly hair! Omg I love afros if I could I would have one too. I'm a hairstylist going to school for nursing and I have a client who has an afro and she's a social worker that goes into all the major hospitals. I think as long as you keep your hair clean you will be good. I'm not sure about dread locks but if they're cleaned and pulled back I think you will be good. I'm not a nurse though so hopefully that helped lol
  6. by   ProperlySeasoned
    I am a non African American director/manager. Having an afro would not impact my hiring decision.
  7. by   FNP2019
    Rock your look whatever you go with, but certainly don't straighten it unless you want to! Certain jobs may require that you pull your hair back (or you might just realize that it is better to keep your hair away from patients who will tug at it if it is in reach- like kiddos!). Just practice styles that can work on a daily basis that aren't too much work, but still look neat, and you are good to go.
  8. by   dlzk123
    I don't think it is going to be a problem to get a job.That is your hair and that's the way God created you .How can someone not to hire you based on your your hair??Just keep tidy and be proud about your hair.Good luck!
  9. by   Gem13
    Girl, wear your natural hair !
    I also have natural hair, I've worn it to work many times with no complaints. In fact my managers/ patients/ families always comment on how beautiful my hair type is.
    For interviews maybe do it in a bun. But other than that, embrace you!
  10. by   featherzRN
    Non AA here but I have long hair and have seen tons of natural hairstyles that are gorgeous - the only thing I would add is that it's just like any other hairstyle - needs to be neat and not down enough to get into anything when you bend over. I usually wear my long hair in a braid. I highly doubt it would affect hiring - and if it did it might not be a place you wanted to work anyways.
  11. by   GaICUNurse1
    Rock your natural hair! Some hospitals have rules about colors and crazy styles but anything natural shouldn't be discriminated against! I work with a few ladies who keep their hair natural and it has always been well received! Good luck.
  12. by   vintagemother
    I was a flat iron person for most of my life. Through nursing school and my interviews for jobs and even for a few months as a new grad RN. I stopped flat ironing my hair after a few months as a night shift nurse. I've been natural for over 18 months, now.

    There are only 2 of us African American RNs on my current floor. It helps that we both rock natural hair. She has type 4 hair and I have type 3.

    Hope this helps!
  13. by   Kratoswife
    Most of the people are really nice in these comments. But it all depends.

    I'm in Los Angeles and was just rejected from a job because I was Black. However, it was from a Laser nursing position. And every worker had blonde hair blue eyes.

    It depends where you want to work.

    And what kind of nursing you want to do.

    If you're in a racist city or state. I say put your hair in braids and put a wig on for the interview.

    If you're applying for a regular hospital job. You should be fine! They are desperate for workers if you're in a state that has a shortage. Just go for interviews with your natural hair. Be positive and upbeat. I'm sure you will get the job. Congrats on the future job!
  14. by   jujubee318
    I am LPN in Mississippi. I graduated from a program in La. In school my natural hair was and is dyed blonde and it was a problem for my teacher to the point where I had to file suit against the school for discrimination. From being told I would not be allowed at clinical with my blonde hair. There were no rules on AA having blonde hair. And she was also AA.
    I now reside in Mississippi, I have witness DNP,RN, APRN with hair color, styles that were natural and unnatural colors(reds,Burgundy, etc).
    Here, no one cares about your hair color or style,as long as its clean,doesn't interfere with your work. And that isn't just nursing homes, its hospitals and all.
    So I guess unfortunately, from MY OWN personal experience, its where you live and work.
    20 years ago, when my mom became a RN, braids were considered to "ethnic" at the hospital she worked at in North La where we are from. Now, its perfectly fine.

    Rock your fro, Mine was TWA then,now its a real fro, and I love it. Also, crochets styles are in and a very good protective, quick and inexpensive styles to maintain.

    Best of luck in school!

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