Hair – Much to do About something.
While presenting about being presentable at last month’s Women Who Count Conference, I was approached by an impeccably dressed woman with an equally
impressive head of long hair. Her name is Nicole and she is in business development for Polston Tax. She asked me, “What do you think about long hair?” I spat out some statistics to her 84% of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women have short hair, while being mesmerized by her perfectly coifed long locks. I believe I also mentioned that excessively curly hair or long hair gives the impression of being high maintenance. Protocol says to keep it above shoulder length or tied back. Please mind that I deal in the business of perception, not actuality.
Nicole really had me thinking though, and as I went back through my mental digest of
people I knew with long-hair or big-haired professionals, one woman came to mind, Natasha Cary. Natasha speaks her mind and when she’s not busy telling you how it is, she’s telling someone else how it is. She’s a recovering chef/event planner that is now running a marketing business, FlavorEXP. Natasha has long curly hair, and the bigger it gets, the more confident she becomes. I told her about Nicole when I came back from the conference, and she said, “You know, I used to hate my hair growing up, but now it’s really my brand and I love it.”
She’s right, it really is her brand. So much her brand that while attending a charity event of culinary professionals that Natasha helped organized, the hair took front and center on the stage. Natasha is a part of a global organization of baller culinary women, Les Dames d’Escoffier International. The Atlanta chapter of 130 women hosted an amazing event, An Afternoon in the Country, for 1200 people last Sunday. Natasha, along with the Les Dames International President, the Atlanta Chapter President, and two other women, who all had short and tidy doo’s, took to the stage for a check presentation. As they were lining up, The President blurted over the microphone to 1200 people, “man, we sure got a lot of hair going on up here.” Natasha’s hair took center stage and she was owning it!
This event draws a good deal of culinary fans all for the betterment of women in the culinary industry. They provide educational scholarships for women. Because Les Dames is internationally known for throwing the best parties on the planet, it has a regional draw. I ran into some friends from another social circle and they asked who I was there with for the event. I said, “Natasha”, and they looked blankly at me and then I followed while motioning my arms around my head, “you know my friend with the hair”, and then it clicked. They knew who Natasha was immediately by the description of her notorious brand, her hair.
Nicole and Natasha represent the 16% that Fortune magazine long hair category. They own it and it’s part of their identity. As a short and tidy bob woman, I have absolute hair envy, but know that it could never work for me and would not work for most. Unless you are naturally gifted with awesome hair, tie it up or cut it off. And if you see a woman rocking the flowing long locks or curly kinky hair and still calling the shots, give her a high-five and maybe a bourbon on the rocks.
Cheers to Nicole and Natasha!
Style notes: Everything I wore to Afternoon in the Country minus the boots and handbag were under $40 for each piece. Skirt is Zara, Top is Banana Republic, Jacket is two seasons old from H&M, Hat is Nordstrom Rack (best hats in the world there).