#WorkCrushWednesday - Danielle

Meet Danielle, the first feature in my Career and Hair Series! 

Danielle_Bun

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Alma Mater: Georgetown University

Tells us about yourself. How would you describe yourself? What are your interests?

I am an ambitious, loving and hard working business professional. I was born in Jamaica, grew up in Florida, went to school in DC now live in NY, and have hopes of continuing that trend of expanding my horizons and experiences. I believe personal relationships and experiences are much more important than material things and I am constantly working to become my ideal self personally and professionally. My interests are being with those closest to me, listening to music, watching TV, reading, and exploring/trying new cultures (through food, travel, etc).

Where do you work and what do you do at your job?

Scratch (Viacom) -I manage the internal logistics for my firm. On any day this can include budgeting, vendor and employee payment, collaboration with Viacom's legal, financial and HR departments, employee event planning & execution, strategizing, recruitment, onboarding, and anything else that may come up!

What do you see yourself doing in 5-10 years? What are your career goals and aspirations?

In 5-10 years I see myself running a startup while continuing to climb up the corporate ladder (dependent upon the success of the startup *crosses fingers*). My aspiration is to be a very successful figure in the world of business strategy/development.

What's your go to hair style for work?

I have 2 - either a flat twist twist out (my current technique) or a bun for the days when I don't have time to re-twist (that technique usually lasts me 2-3 days max).

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What is the reception to your natural hair at work? If applicable, how do you deal with any negativity? Do you get a different reception to different styles? Is there any pressure to straighten your hair or wear it in tamer styles?

The reception is definitely positive when I wear my hair natural, but they also like how much I switch it up and how versatile my hair is. When I sensed negativity at my prior job I just laughed it off since it was never outright offensive. I do get a different reception because different people like certain styles I've noticed. Some people may not compliment one style but then they will compliment another.

If you've worked at more than one company, has the reception differed based on office culture or across different industries? How so?

My previous office was mainly filled with white women, so I found they just weren't as accepting to diversity but my current company is very diverse and open-minded by culture so it is woven into their responses/reception to my hair. I also think the media industry is more open and casual than the fashion/retail industry in general which lends itself well to big and curly hair.

How has your career hairstyle evolved throughout your career?

I used to straighten and wear weaves more often but that happens very rarely now. I also think that I've found my home in a twist out technique that's easy enough and works for my hair which makes it easier. In defense of my previous job, I was going through a trial and error phase, so my hair came out how I like it less consistently.

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Any funny or embarrassing stories about your hair or hair in general in the workplace?

Once I got a weave with highlights and one of my coworkers said "I love your hair! And there are fun colors in it!" the highlights were brown and my hair is black -_- . 

Any funny or embarrassing stories about your hair or hair in general in the workplace?

After 2 years, I think I have finally managed to establish a routine. Twisting my hair takes about an hour and a half, so I can only do it on nights I get home at a reasonable time and don't have other things to attend to, which is usually once a week. That twist out lasts about 2 days (I might redo the front twists again since the ends don't hold the twist as well as the back), then I wear it in a high curly pony for a day, and the rest of the week it is in a bun. This has become my routine since these are all styles that require little effort in the mornings and I am not a morning person.

What's your current regimen? Include techniques and products. How do you wear your hair for bed?

I try to deep condition my hair every other week on Sunday and I take biotin pills at least weekly. The products I use for my flat twist out are SheaMoisture coconut & hibiscus co-wash conditioning cleanser or style milk, ecostyler gel with olive oil, and coconut oil (lately have been doing it without coco oil and it still comes out nicely). When I wash my hair I use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (3 parts water, 1 part ACV), SheaMoisture Raw Shea Conditioner, and deep condition with SheaMoisture Raw Shea Deep Condition Masque (I guess I'm a creature of habit haha). I then put in leave in - my favorite is Taliah Waajid The Great Detangler - and coconut oil and let it air dry for an hour then twist it. I also use perm rods for my first couple of twists in the front since the ends are heat damaged. I also self trim every time I wash to get rid of the heat damaged ends. For bed I either wear it twisted with a scarf around my edges of in a Pineapple if it's curly.

Who is your career inspiration and why?

Oprah. Because Oprah. (Except I keep hearing stories of her being difficult to work with and cutthroat which seems to be a requirement for that level of success, so I will take a bit less success in exchange for being able to treat people well and have a family).

Who is your curl inspiration and why?

Hmm I can't pick just one. I am inspired by a lot of the usual suspect i.e. Tracee Ellis Ross, Naptural85 and Mahogany Curls but I also draw inspiration from my friends (h/t Alicia) and I will see random pictures of other Naturalistas and use that as inspiration for styles, length, shape, color, etc. It is also difficult because I try to be realistic about my own hair and what it's capable of, so some that I like don't necessarily inspire me.

What advice do you have to offer other Cubicles & Curls girls?

I know figuring out what works for your hair and your schedule can be frustrating and take some time to get the hang of, but keep at it - it's so worth it! Depending on your office culture, the reaction can differ and only you know what is best for your workplace and you personally, so however you decide to wear your hair is your decision! I am definitely pro getting to know and loving your curls and fitting that into your lifestyle, but I also understand choosing to wear weaves, braids, straightening, etc. as I've done it all (just beware of heat damage!)! I've also found that the city, industry and even climate/humidity of where you work can determine how you wear your hair, so take all of that into consideration. However, I don't think you should only focus on how your hair is received in the office especially if you like it because that may be indicative that it is not the place for you (as was the case with me). Also trial and error is all too real and everyone whose hair you admire has probably been through an awkward phase, so don't give up on your hair if you can help it! Just like all aspects of life you should keep learning and growing with your hair as well!

What do you want to see more of in the workplace?

Curls on curls on curls! I love to see the women of color in my workplace rocking natural styles and I know the more others see it the less anomalous it becomes, thus the better received it will be! You will also be surprised by some of the reactions you receive because a lot of White and Asian women who I don't even know have come up to me saying they love my hair and how versatile it is!