Searching for “unprofessional hairstyles” and “professional hairstyles” on Google Images exposes a stark racial divide in what’s assumed appropriate for business settings. Google’s algorithm is a trade secret; so it’s hard to tell where the bias lays between engineering, traditional SEO efforts, link tracking, etc. The top “professional” headshots link to pinterest boards and inane listicles, whereas the “unprofessional” head shots are mostly to serious, aware discussions of ethnicity, hair, and professional environments. The question still remains, are professional and unprofessional hairstyles as different as black and white?
Professional Natural Hairstylist/ Coach, and owner of one of north Florida’s premiere Natural hair salon Loving My Hair Natural Hair Studio Marcina Dowdell- Williams, has been consulting and educating women of all ages for more than 25 years. Marcina says her mission is to educate, support and motivate anyone who chooses to go natural, stay natural, or preserve the healthiness of their hair by understanding proper care, and maintenance for any and all hair types.
“ Unfortunately we can not choose the hair we are born with, but we can learn to love the hair we are living with. When there is love there is understanding.”
After the opening of Loving My Hair Natural Hair Studio in 2001, Marcina learned that her passion for creating might not have been as great as her passion for teaching and sharing that creativity. She then left the hair business and returned to college at Florida A&M University to complete her Bachelors degree. One thing that I learned from Marcina that stood out was her saying that
“What we are purposed to do will not subside because we want to pursue what is easy.”
My purpose is to share my creativity, and teach what God has given to me naturally.” Upon returning to the hair business, Marcina hosted St. Petersburg, Florida’s first Natural Hair Health and Beauty Expo in March of 2014 that provided free educational workshops, a vendor fair, health screenings, live performances and so much more.
So lets talk hair, When asked her opinion on the views of natural hair and how it’s perceived by society, and showing her Google’s Image search results of unprofessional hairstyles, vs. professional hairstyles. Here’s what she had to say.
“Even in a Google search society’s misguided and obvious racist views are what our young people are looking to for examples, from skin color to the size of butts and lips, now hair texture the struggle is real there is no gray area it is black or white!”