Norwegian Cruise Lines doesn’t accept Dreadlocks. Yes, I didn’t miss type a word, Norwegian Cruise Lines doesn’t accept dreadlocks, however they do encourage and accept braids. One of my Nomad dream jobs was to work on a cruise ship and cruise the ocean while capturing amazing shots and writing about my journey across the seas. I was so excited to see a Craigslist ad soliciting for cruise ship employment, I dropped everything and jumped to the opportunity.
I got all dolled up and caught the train from Los Angeles to Long Beach and entered the Marriot ready to go on a life changing adventure. The ad stated to arrive for check-in an hour prior, which I did. Filled out the application, then went in to the informational meeting regarding cruise ship employment with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Halfway through the meeting we were informed dreadlocks were not an approved hairstyle, in fact dreadlocks were definitely not allowed. He quickly stated following the no dreadlock statement that braids were acceptable. Yes, braids are accepted as an approved hairstyle, however dreadlocks are not.
My thoughts went back in time when I was dreading my hair and thinking my dreadlocks are going to give me the freedom to travel the world because my hair will take less time daily to maintain and it will be in its natural state.
I raised my hand and audibly and asked if dreadlocks were okay because I was confused by the statement that braids were okay and dreadlocks were not. He nicely confirmed that dreadlocks are not allowed, however if I were to braid my hair it would be okay and I would be considered for employment.
I walked out. Myself and another beautifully dreadlocked Queen walked out. There is no way possible that I will remove my natural dreadlocks and braid my hair. We walked out together wondering how Norwegian Cruise Lines would encourage braids over dreadlocks when dreadlocks is our hairs natural state. Were all entitled to our own opinions. Is black hair not considered beautiful by Norwegian Cruise Lines? Do you not like our hair in its natural state? Why do you encourage a hairstyle that when worn most women of African Heritage apply fake hair to? That baffles me. Please explain to myself and the rest of the black community why you encourage braids and dreadlocks are not acceptable. It makes me wonder how many beings of African descent are employed in high up decision making positions with Norwegian Cruise Lines. If there are any, please speak up for the black community and let us know why Norwegian Cruise Lines doesn’t accept natural black hair and encourage a style most apply fake hair to. Please enlighten us, because I’m personally very much offended.
I’ve worn braids in the past before and during my natural hair journey. In fact braids helped me to grow my hair, so they were definitely a part of my natural hair journey, however fake hair was added to the braids every time. Whether my hair was in corn rows or individuals, fake hair was added every time. I stress fake hair as opposed to stating synthetic hair because I want to strongly imply that synthetic hair added to braids is fake. Fake as in, it’s not real, it’s not black hair in its natural state.
Norwegian Cruise Lines, wearing my hair in its natural state of dreadlocks has been the best and healthiest hairstyle I’ve ever had in my life. My hair is stronger, healthier, I can get it wet without it drawing up, I can work out and not have to worry about straightening my hair or what sweat will do to my hair. I can go on a cruise and not have to worry about a protective hair style. I don’t have to worry about fake hair with braids thinning my hairline nor do I have to worry about my hair not being fully washed because of the buildup of gunk forming between my hair and the fake hair with braids. My hair grows thicker and can withstand the natural elements of earth with dreadlocks.
Norwegian Cruise Lines and whoever else doesn’t view dreadlocks as an acceptable nor professional hairstyle please do the black community a favor and reconsider your hair policy and whether or not dreadlocks should be an acceptable style. By your take on dreadlocks not being acceptable you are discouraging all who are considering wearing their hair naturally because they will be afraid they will not get the employment they desire and instead conform to societal pressures of black hair in its natural state as not accepted nor professional.