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A couple weeks ago I walked into my boss’ office and uttered words I never imagined myself asking:

“Do you care if I wear my hair curly?”

natural-hair-news

I thought I was pretty much hanging up my blazers when I resigned from my weekend anchor position. I also figured being on TV less would be a great opportunity for me to embrace my naturally curly hair while reporting. Then when they asked me if I could fill-in anchor, I wondered if that meant I need to go back to my straight “Barbie” look.

His reaction surprised me nearly as much as my own question…

“Are you kidding, why would I care?”

It may sound like a superficial question but trust me, some news directors in this business would most definitely care. My first boss asked me to change my name to Keisha for Heaven’s sake. So you know looks and public perception come with the territory.

He told me he thought my hair looked great, and to wear it however I liked.

natural hair news casterTo be safe I checked with my other boss, and she was also extremely supportive. So there I was, planning to debut something so natural and simple. Yet it felt like I was knocking down some kind of barrier; an unspoken rule that said I had to stay within the cookie cutter lines of an appearance.

On one hand I felt extremely proud. Thinking: Yes, this is a proud moment I’ll share with my daughter some day! And on the other hand it felt like no freakin big deal. “It’s just hair!” As my boss put it.

But then again this is the same head I covered up years before with a short wig after repeated requests to cut my hair from multiple people.

I twisted my hair the night before my anchor shift then took it out the morning of. I thought I’d be overly self-conscious or maybe even dislike the change, but the opposite was true. I felt confidant, like I was channeling my inner Oprah.

The reaction to my hair has been all over the map. When I first started wearing my natural curls co-workers didn’t immediately recognize me. Responses ranged from “YIKES!” (luckily this only happened once) to “I love it!” naturally curly anchorMy station even got a viewer response that directly complimented me on my new do, and praised me for showing off my natural curls. Granted, the subject line was mistakenly addressed to the other black anchor in Austin, but close enough right?

Since changing up my hair, another naturally curly anchor in town has decided to rock her waves as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if more are on their way. I’m obviously not the first new anchor to wear her natural curls on TV, and I definitely won’t be the last, but as for my experience all I can say is… It’s nice to let my hair down.


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Kennie says:

That’s awesome that your bosses were supportive, and your hair looks gorgeous! After a long transition, I still switch up from natural styles to straight. I like having the versatility. A very good resource for different natural styles is Mahogany Curls. She does video tutorials for various natural styles, and she also explains what products are used.

Looks great. And it seems you are inspiring others. I’ll let you know if it hits the Philly area.

Grace says:

I can understand being nervous, but it looks great. And you’re sending a great message to the public and your daughter.

Faith says:

LOVED this post! So glad to read that you did it 🙂

Now…you already know how I feel about this!!!

WOOOOOT WOOOOOOOOOT!!!! Go girl! Rock them curls!!!

::dancin::

Cathy says:

My mom permed my super straight hair often while I was growing up. It usually lasted a week…at the longest. Now, I am in my forties and the only hair that wants to be curly are the new gray hairs that seem determined to stand out and be seen! Nice!!
I love your hair! Your curls are beautiful!

Tiffiany says:

I started my career as a news writer and went on to work for ultra-conservative law firms. After taking two years off with my daughter, I returned to work with an accounting firm. For the first 2 months, I pulled my hair into a bun. Then, I let the curls fly. The comments were all over the place. They got used to it. 🙂

Angela says:

I just happened upon your blog, and I’m glad I did! Thanks for sharing this!

I was a reporter for a short time and assumed my hair needed to be straight based on what I saw/read, and I kept it that way. When I left reporting I finally started embracing my curls, so when I ended up being on camera for another job I said (nervously and defiantly in my mind!), “I’m not straightening my hair for this..” The look on the video production guy’s face was priceless. He looked so confused and simply said, “Ok. That’s fine.” For the first time it hit me that I could be judging myself more than others!

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