Olivia – Hair is a Part of You
I had interviewed for a receptionist position–one that didn’t require any administrative experience except familiarity using Word, Excel, etc. The phone interview went extremely well and I was then moved on to the in-person interview process.
I had attended the interview wearing a protective style of braids that were in a half-up, half-down style. The interview went well, I thanked the hiring manager for her time and she proceeded to ask me “Is that your real hair?”. I told her it wasn’t, that it was a protective styling for my natural hair using synthetic braiding hair. She asked me if I would be able to remove the braids prior to commencing work if I were to be offered the position.
I was completely shook and enraged by this question, and embarrassed. But I wasn’t embarrassed for myself, I was more so embarrassed for her because I had read about employers requesting that Black employees do not wear extensions in the workplace that don’t “look natural”. This was a loss on her because I did a great job during my interview and my hairstyle shouldn’t have been a problem.