Why The #ProfessionalLocs Hashtag Still Matters

We're still trying to wrap our heads around last month's federal court appeal that says choosing not to hire someone because they wear locs isn't a form of racial discrimination. This is especially disheartening news to accept when you consider the never-ending instances of black women's hair being policed at work and in schools. At first glance, this seems like the type of situation that leaves our collective hands tied. Au contraire; the power of social media has ensured that we'll never stop fighting against such an unfair court ruling. In an effort to keep the conversation going and promote conversation around such an important topic, we're highlighting beautiful black men and women who have taken a stand with the #professionallocs hashtag. See what some of them told us about why they choose to wear their locs with pride. 

Nikki Brown Oct, 25, 2016

1 of 10 @omonoire/Instagram

"Sometime ago, I was fired from a job because of my afro. I felt like it was an attack on my identity. Many years later, when I was ready to change my hairstyle for myself, I knew that I wanted to wear my hair that showcased my pride in my African roots...so I opted for locs. I decided I would never alter the texture of my hair for anyone." 

2 of 10 @dcolonsuarez/Instagram

"My loc journey, 20 months almost to this day, was initiated for many reasons. Spirituality, individuality, self-expression, rebellion, becoming one with nature and also joining a community that embraces diversity. Conforming to society's standard and social structure is against my spirit and through my hair, I can express many diverse aspects of self!"

3 of 10 @nationsfilm/Instagram

"I've worn my hair natural, relaxed and in braids. But the locs feel the most like me. I love the ease of care and I love that I no longer have to fight with my hair to get it to grow. I also love the community I find with other folks who wear locs."

4 of 10 @jahsmindgarden/Instagram

Whether they're shoulder length or waist length, locs should be an acceptable hairstyle for the workplace and beyond. 

5 of 10 @goldee_locz/Instagram

"Three years with my Sisterlocz and I'm a news producer for FOX," says this beautiful black woman. She's absolutely slaying in her locs! 

6 of 10 @lovethelocksyourock/Instagram

"So disappointed in today's federal appeals court ruling. I'm so tired of the disenfranchisement my communities faces," wrote this librarian. "Honestly, the same reason the police will shoot a black person on sight for ‘looking bad’ is the same reason loc’ed styles are ruled “messy” and unprofessional. Why this society hates our blackness; yet loves to steal our braided hairstyles, our fun dances like the whip and nae nae, our slang words that you love to use #onfleek. You'll Juju to the beat without a problem, and celebrate us as long as we're catching/slam dunking a ball but anything else is a threat to you. This is truly beyond me. I don't see how I choose to wear my natural hair has any bearing on my professionalism at work."

7 of 10 @iamvonnieb/Instagram

"I'm a Student Affairs Officer in higher education and I've had my locs since January 2010," writes this lady with locs. "I am proud to be a professional with locs."

8 of 10 @msmalus/Instagram

"I am a teacher," reads the caption under this selfie. "My main job is to inspire my students to learn and, in that process, become some amazing individuals. I love my kids and my hair, at no point, takes away from any of that. Whoever feels that locs are messy and unprofessional, can kick big rocks, barefoot, down a long and dusty road."

9 of 10 @kynnab/Instagram

This beautiful brown beauty flaunts her short locs before taking on another work day. 

10 of 10 @kdanielle85/Instagram

As you can see, even a simple selfie lends itself to the #professionallocs cause. We love seeing beautiful black women embrace their hairstyle on social media!