Celeb stylist Vernon François has become a formidable powerhouse when it comes to all things natural hair. For starters, we have seen him create mane magic on such divas as Lupita Nyong’o, Tracee Ellis Ross, Solange Knowles and Ava DuVernay, helping to elevate how we see natural hair in magazine covers and on the red carpet. He also launched his own luxury hair care line catering specifically to the needs of texture hair.
Now, the stylist is taking his celebration of natural hair even further by working to break stereotypes surrounding hair and identity. Vernon recently hit the streets of New York City armed with two images of a beautiful woman – one with sleek, blown own tresses and the other with naturally curly coils. While pounding the pavement, he asked passersby “which one do you believe is more professional?”
The responses were both disheartening and inspiring. Many chose the straight hair or pondered whether it was a trick question. The question did, however, inspire conversation around societal views and what we, ourselves, would do to fit in. “There’s a stigma with what’s socially acceptable for the professional working environment because of the appropriation of what [is] deemed to be professional or not,” explained Vernon in the video. “Your ability to do your job should never be defined by your hair texture.”
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Which hairstyle do you think is more professional?