College Guide


August 28, 2012 10:00 AM MBA Hair

By Daniel Luzer

Students in five-year undergraduate/M.B.A. program at Hampton University are not allowed to wear dreadlocks or cornrows. Many students at the historically black school object to the rule because it’s, you know, none of the school’s damn business what you do with your hair. The dean apparently believes that the ban on such hair helps his students get good jobs.

According to a story at WVEC 13 News:

Business School Dean Sid Credle believes the ban has been effective in helping his students land corporate jobs.
“We’ve been very successful. We’ve placed more than 99 percent of the students who have graduated from this school, this program,” said Credle.

Oh come on. You run an MBA program here; you know this isn’t a valid argument. Do business programs with no grooming rules have lower job placement rates? Are students in schools with stringent hairstyle rules getting better jobs?

Credle also maintains, astoundingly, that such hairstyles are not an important part of black culture. “I said when was it that cornrows and dreadlocks were a part of African American history?” Credle said to WVEC 13. “I mean Charles Drew didn’t wear, Muhammad Ali didn’t wear it. Martin Luther King didn’t wear it.”

Well yes, but all of those people achieved professional acclaim many years ago.

Also we do realize Charles Drew looked like this, right?


Dreadlocks weren’t really going to happen here without a lot of effort.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer


  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on August 29, 2012 12:15 PM:

    Oh, please! I've see at least one white guy with male-pattern baldness who rocked locks. No, it wasn't the most aesthetically pleasing sight, but I guess that kinda sorta counts...

    Meh, why the devil should HBCU students where locks or rows anywho!!! They could easily go on well-maintained diet of creamy crack or just as easily buy 100% authentic hair weaves sacrificed from the head of some Indian Buddhist. I mean, seriously, look at James Brown! Look at Al Sharpton! Look at Michael Jackson!!! They never had dreads or locks and look how well they turned out...

    And it's disingenuous for the Dean to claim that the policy has aided in job placement for graduates. Honestly what he can require students to do has no hold if he can't require graduates to adhere to the same policy. For all he knows they could have started braiding or locking their hair as soon as the ink on their diploma dried. Look at men who were in the military, which is as conservative as it gets when it comes to grooming. But I'd be blind as a bat if I said I had never seen a tatted-up and pierced, long-hair ex-military man.

    But at least the military is upfront about the grooming policy: It's not about what's personally "best" for them; it's because they're representing the US Military and not their individual selves. So why doesn't the Dean just cut the bull and say that he wants his MBA students to be clean-cut little gerbils ready to claim a cubicle in Corporate-dom?