3 Natural Hairstyles Inspiration & More, for the Corporate Chic

6.6.24 Lagos, Nigeria

Beauty they say, lies in the eyes of the beholder. But, one needs to give the beholder something to see right?

The same is true of the workplace. There is a code of conduct and an acceptable way of behaviour but for natural hair girlies, the sleek hairstyles that this code of conduct permits can be burdensome and make it harder than we would like, to wear our hair comfortably to work. 

Having worn my natural hair for going on 10 years while building my career in the process, here are 5 trusted and tried natural hairstyles I've worn over the years that are very acceptable in the workplace - whether it is an informal environment like an ad Agency or a stiff one like a Bank.

1. The Sleek Bun

This is my absolute favourite hairstyle to work. One of the reasons this is my number 1 go-to style is how easy it is to transform a bad hair day into a perfect one with this style. All you need is water, a hair tie, a hairbrush and either gel or edge control cream. 

Here is a video that shows one of the many ways I create a sleek hair bun

With longer hair and more ways to create a sleek bun now, there are over 10 different ways I have learned to style my sleek bun to work and they are all acceptable in all workplaces. Here are some of them

2. Braids/Cornrows

Braids/Cornrows are a fantastic option for professional women. For one, they help you regain more time in the morning as you don't have to think about what to do to your hair. Secondly, they can be styled in so many different ways. They also last very long when maintained properly, just moisturise them daily and cover them when you sleep so they don't become frizzy.

Both braids and cornrows can be done with extensions. I've mostly only ever done braids (the individual braids) with extensions. They are often called box braids but twist braids also exist and are my preference as they are easier to take down. See below some pictures of me in knotless braids

While I do cornrows (which are continous plaits that start at a point and finish at another point) with my natural hair, they are my absolute favourite protective style.

3. Updos

Simply put, these are styles where the hair is up on the scalp as opposed to falling down the back of the head, covering the neck. I know that with this definition, a bun can be a kind of updo, the main difference is that updos are mainly done with hair pins while a puff is done with a kind of rope or hair scrunchie into one piece. 

Updos can be technical and are mainly done for formal occassions. However, the workplace is formal so updos are a good option for the office environment too. 

I don't wear as much updos as I would like due to scalp sensitivity but it is a style i absolutely love as it enlongates the face and gives one a whole new look entirely. 

4. Bantu Knots/Afro/Twistout/Flat Twists e.t.c.

There are a ton of other hairstyles that can be worn to the workplace especially when one has the right carriage and courage. Natural hair and the styles that accompany it can be daunting but endearing. Try them out next week when going to work and look forward to a lot of oohss and aahhs.

Natural hair needs a lot of patience and understanding and experimentation...but you already knew that. Once you get a hang of it, you'll find the ideal style that you have the confidence to wear to work in a sea of weaves and wigs and straight hair. 

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