DEAR HARRIETTE: I have fairly unruly hair, and I don't like to style it. I like how it looks when it's left natural. I have gotten comments about how it's not "professional," or I've been asked why I didn't put my hair into a more appropriate hairstyle. Is hair really that important? I don't want to fry my hair just to look sleek and stylish. -- Hair-Do, Indianapolis
DEAR HAIR-DO: Yes, hair matters a lot, as it helps to define your appearance. It is important for you to pay attention to your hair and develop an appropriate hairstyle for where you work. The good news is that there are so many different jobs and working environments that you don't have to choose one particular look in order to be considered professional. It sounds like the place where you do work, however, has issues with your hairstyle.
Look around and notice how other people in your company present themselves. This includes looking carefully at the range of hairstyles. If most people look conservative, you should figure out how to tame your unruly hair. Does this mean you have to fry it? Absolutely not! There are so many hair products out there that are designed to manage natural hair that may require extra styling. You may want to consider getting a consultation from a hair salon that specializes in natural hair.