How Remote Work Benefits Afro Hair

4 Reasons Why Natural Hair Will Thrive During Lockdown

It’s almost mid-2021 and the pandemic is still affecting our (corporate) lives significantly. Even the people who have always dreamed of working from home more, now often wish for just a few days at the office. After all, the work place is also a social space full of exchange and inspiration. But did you know that remote work benefits afro hair? Yes, there are actually several ways in which natural hair can thrive during lockdown!

So, if you’re an afro-haired womxn – and even if you aren’t and just want to learn more about hair struggles – let me give you four reasons why natural hair will benefit from working remotely:

1. Deep conditioning

Deep conditioning is usually an integral part of the afro hair care routine. And yes, you will notice a difference  between having conditioner in your hair for 8 minutes vs. 8 hours! Smoothness, manageability and the overall health of your hair will thank you for it!

When working from home, you can easily wash your hair during showering in the morning. Then deep condition until lunch break or even longer all the while continuing to work! As I said, in this previous post about the benefits of everything switching online: make the most of the time you gain!

Photo by Matheus Natan on Pexels.com
How Remote Work Benefits Afro Hair
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

2. No blow drying

I know it’s not good for afro hair and yes, I do it. For time reasons, I wash my hair in the evening and put it in a protective style overnight. When I go to work the next day, my hair is still wet. During summer time, that’s not much of an issue. However, when it gets cold outside, that’s a problem. I would either need to use a blow dryer or risk catching a cold. And I really don’t want to get sick just to protect my hair from heat damage. 

So, by staying at home this whole issue can be avoided: No stepping outside, no cold, no heat damage. Win win all around!

And just in case you’re a non-‘froer’ wondering: yes, heat damage is a big issue. Spilt ends and dry hair make managing afro hair even more difficult. And though we mostly love our hair regardless – trust me, nobody really needs that.

3. Bad hair day

Everyone can have a bad hair day – true. Everyone can feel like not wanting o step outside because of the way their hair looks a particular day – true. However, with afro hair, there comes a certain point where the only solution to a bad hair day is to wash it again. After trying x hairstyles that don’t work, afro hair will become tangled and really difficult to manage. In its dry stage, you often have to wash and condition again. This can easily take an hour or more.

So, especially in the morning when you have to rush to work, this is seldom an option. Then you either have to find a semi-ok solution or walk around the office all day feeling really uncomfortable. No, ‘wearing a hat’ or “simply putting the hair in the bun” is usually not an option either. 

If you work from home and only have video calls during the day, no one will see your hair if you don’t want to! When you turn your video camera on, just position yourself in such a way that your hair isn’t visible. Then later in the day, you can follow tip #1 or just have a remote bad hair week! 🙂

4 Reasons Why Natural Hair Will Thrive During Lockdown.
4 Reasons Why Natural Hair Will Thrive During Lockdown.
Photo by Natalie Rehberger, Model: Miriam Ivo

4. Hairstyles

When we do manage to get a good hairstyle, we want to keep it for some time. After all, repeatability is not always guaranteed  with afro hair! One thing that prevents us from arriving at work with the same hairstyle we left the house with is the weather. If it’s rainy, windy or damp outside, afro hair tends to become frizzy really fast. And while frizz is totally ok, it may not be the look you wanted after spending a significant amount of time on getting the hair style right in the first place.

Remote work alleviates this problem because there is simply no need to step outside and brace the elements. If it rains, work from home. If it’s windy, work from home. If it’s sunny… Well then it would probably be nice to go to work. 🙂 But right now just stay at home, deep condition and do your part to prevent the spread of the virus! 

Of course, there will be some people who will view this whole hair care thing negatively. “But you shouldn’t spend that much time and thought on your hair anyway…”. Well, I must say, I disagree. The only thing I shouldn’t spend time on, is being stressed and feeling limited by trying to get my hair to look the way I want it to. Because if it doesn’t, those very same people voicing concern about how you spend your time, will most likely be the ones commenting on a hairstyle that isn’t to their liking. 

Side note for non-‘fro readers: afro hair and its styling also has an immense cultural significance related to belonging and identity. So please, do not make any of the above comments, related to an issue that you have not personally experienced. If you want to inform yourself, check out this article.

How Remote Work Benefits Afro Hair
Photo by Yukio Tee, Model: Miriam Ivo
How Remote Work Benefits Afro Hair
Photo by Natalie Rehberger, Model: Miriam Ivo

So back to the topic at hand

Here’s to celebrating afro hair having a will of its own! Did you already know about these four great ways in which working remotely benefits natural hair? If you have to add more to the list, leave a comment below!

If you struggle with the new online environment, read this post on meaningful ways to stay in touch with your network in 2021. And don’t miss this post detailing 9 easy steps to online interview success.

If you want to learn more about natural hair, read this article from Shape explaining more about the significance of afro hair and the negative experiences many womxn have had due to wearing their natural hair. Don’t know about the CROWN act yet? Well, time to get reading then! 😉

See you next time!

Hannah 

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