Blonde isn’t my natural hair color but I could never imagine having dark brown hair ever again. The bold, edgy hairstyle that I created, with the help of my colorist Akilah Abrams, has quickly become my signature look. And I’d want it no other way.
The process of going blonde didn’t happen overnight. It was a slow progression from dyed brown hair to brown hair with golden highlights to golden hair to now, an almost platinum bob. Now, that I’m a platinum blonde bombshell, the change feels as natural as the idea of being born with blonde hair.
Even though I am complimented endlessly for my bold look, I was concerned that my hair wasn’t going to be accepted professionally in an already cutthroat and somewhat segregated industry.
Still, that didn’t deter from taking the plunge and going platinum blonde. My style felt like I was finally emancipating myself, not limiting my idea of beauty to fulfill others’ standards and expectations.
I had let go of my cookie cutter perception of beauty and finally embraced my edginess. I was always known to be a tad uptight and an over thinker so by simply coloring my hair, I’d given myself permission to live freely.
The decision to define my true style and learn more about me couldn’t have come at a better time. I changed the direction of my career to Communications and needed to set myself apart from the competition. In my opinion, my look did just that: made a lasting impression and gave a peek at my colorful personality.
In an interview for a marketing firm, I was asked to darken my hair because the brown-haired, bobbed hiring manager thought my bright color might offend some of their more conservative clients. Excusing her brashness, she also added that her decision to hire me wasn’t contingent upon a new hair color, presumably to avoid being accused of discrimination. We both knew the reality was my hair color had affected my chances of getting the job.
I nervously laughed and pretended I wasn’t offended by her request. Inside, I was shocked that she found it appropriate to ask me to change my look to appease her or her clients.
I told her that because I had just touched my roots up days before the interview, I wouldn’t darken my hair. My hair color had become such a defining part of my look and my personal growth that changing it would be compromising who I am.
For the record, I ended up not getting the final offer for the job but was later asked to consult on future projects. Instead, I accepted another position that in turn accepted me as I am, blonde hair and all.
Would you change your look for a job offer? Have you ever been asked to? How did you react?