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?

-Tunisia Wilson

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  • Alana

    OMG! Really??? Are you going to let your “hair” be the cause of you losing a job? How childish and immature. You know what…you are an employee, not an owner. The company has a responsiblity to the stockholders, not you and your personal statement that can change on a whim. If you like who you are, and how you look… fine! But don’t get upset if I – a recruiter and business owner – don’t hire you. I get a lot of people in my office each day that I cannot send out to jobs because of their personal appearence. I can’t understand this feeling of entitlement that people (young and old) have. I hear “this is America I should be able to be who I am!” “See me – love me!” “A “GOOD” company won’t judge me by the outside, but for who I am on the inside”. Two words for that… bull “ISH”! A word to the young and / or not so wise… you are representing an industry or company when you walk into the professional work world. If you happen to find an organization that doesn’t care how you look…I am glad for you. But with unemployement rates sky high – don’t let your personal style ruin your future opportunities.

  • lartiste

    This is why i work in fashion…no rules baby!

  • TR

    I believe you should ALWAYS stay true to yourself, change your look as YOU see fit. Thats what being a girl is all about!