Are Braids Professional For An Interview?

The short answer? YES. In my opinion, there are no hairstyles that should be considered “unprofessional”. This is simply because the term “professional” and the connotation behind it, is so white-washed it’s painful. 

We’re going to dig a little deeper into this in this blog post. But before we continue on, I would like to state that I am a white woman who is a professional braider by trade. I think it is important to have context behind who is giving their opinion and please know I have only ever witnessed hair discrimination and have no personal experience. 

I do however, share in the rage behind such “controversies” and felt the need to chime in on it.

What type of braid is professional for an interview?

ALL OF THEM. But, again, let’s talk about it. 

As a hair professional who specializes in braids (mostly mens braids, but only because I am originally a barber) I have done countless braids for interviews, weddings, graduations etc. Through all of this, I do have an opinion on “unprofessional” (I want to use that term loosely, and I hope you read it as “too loud/distracting”). 

In my opinion, style doesn’t matter. You can wear whatever braids or designs as you want and still be professional. I do however suggest less jewelry when it comes to corporate or “office type” job interviews. There’s countless types of interviews where the louder your hair the better- but in corporate settings, I feel less is more. 

What I mean by this: I include gold/silver pieces in my braiding services free of charge. I love them for photos too because they are so eye-catching and draw attention to the braids. 

This is kind of the exact reason why I suggest less or no jewelry for job interviews- because the interview should be about you and what you can bring to the job, not what your hair looks like.

Cleanliness matters to me as well. In the sense of, are the braids nicely done and stitched and taken care of? The reason is- i’ll never forget what an old boss told me. After interviews, they would walk people to their car to get a sneak peak if their car was clean on the inside. If it was, nine times out of ten, they were clean at work as well. Similar to the phrase, “how you do one thing is how you do all things”. 

So, are they professional? Yes. And in my opinion, anyone who says otherwise can f*ck off.

Tips to Keep Braids Clean and Neat

My number one piece of advice is: Do not underestimate the difference braid maintenance makes! Wearing durags at night (or bandanas or bonnets) and using setting mousse or setting foam every couple days (usually once a week or every 4 days depending on humidity level) are both absolute game changers for keeping braids neat, stitches intact and prolonging the wear of the style you just got. 

I have never had a client wear their style for less than four weeks. That’s a lie- I do have one client that goes nuts the second they feel an itch they can’t scratch on their head and they take their braids out after a weekend. Makes me laugh every time.

If you believe “professional” braids, are styles that are clean and well kept, then these two braid maintenance tips will keep you going. If I had a number one suggestion, it would be a silk durag or silk bonnet on your head at night. Silk is best for keeping hair moisturized and has the least amount of friction against your braids. Friction is one of the things that will make your braids get frizzier quicker (and potentially cause some breakage) so we want to eliminate as much as we can. Silk between your braids and pillow at night while you sleep will help immensely.

Next is water. Water will cause hair to frizz quicker and also, over time, can create a build up of moisture against the scalp causing dandruff and other scalp irritation. So we want to avoid getting braids wet. There are ways to wash your hair while having braids, but I am not an expert on the process and would suggest another google search for that. 

Last tip coming at ya- ORS setting mousse or Shine n Jam setting foam. GET SOME. I love both brands and use them interchangeably, but foam under a durag, then followed by blow drying on top of the durag, almost gives the braids a clear coat of shine and relaxes any frizz that may be happening. Absolute game changer- especially for those of you in humid climates like Florida or Hawaii. 

These three tips will keep your hair fresh longer. 12/10 recommend.

Need more help?

DM me. I’m happy to answer questions. 

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