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Chit Chat >> Hair and Society >> Long hair in a professional environment
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Message started by robin on Jan 29th, 2003 at 11:28am

Title: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by robin on Jan 29th, 2003 at 11:28am
What are your opinions on long/extra long hair on men/women in professional positions?  

Do you feel it should be worn up or tied back, or would wearing it down/loose be acceptable?  

Do you feel the person's age is a factor in the hairstyle a person should wear?

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by leia on Jan 29th, 2003 at 11:35am
It depends on what the job is, but I think it's more professional to wear your hair up, it also keeps it away from your face when you're working. I don't think that a person's age matters at all! If you have beautiful hair show it off but remember, a lot of updos can only be done on long hair ...

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by Rapunzel on Jan 29th, 2003 at 11:43am
I say this solely from a "what would be acceptable to general society" point of view, it is *not* how I think the world *should* function.

Just like clothing I think it depends on the situation.  If a woman is working in a professional, structured environment (like a bank for instance), I don't necessarily think that a mohawk would be a good idea, just like I don't think that shorts would be a good idea.  However, if they have casual day on Fridays, something a bit more "loose" than a French twist would certainly be doable.  

I by no means feel that women with long hair need to hide it if they have a career in a professional work environment.  Hair that is styled in a manner that is appropriate to a given situation is much more important than length.  Personally, if it were *my* bank, I wouldn't even care about the mohawk.  I'm all for freedom of self-expression as long as it doesn't intrude on anyone else.

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by AmandaPanda on Jan 29th, 2003 at 2:07pm
I feel the same way.
I was watching something on TV, and it was about someone going on trial. There was a lawyer who had tailbone length hair, she was wearing it half up...in court. I don't think there is anything wrong with that

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by ginny on Jan 30th, 2003 at 1:24am
I wish I could wear my hair down to work....I'm an interior designer and by the nature of what I do and the machinery I am around I am better off with it up or atleast tied back in a braid...I think that as long as it doesn't put you in danger and you act and look professional go for it the longer the better!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by KASiss on Jan 31st, 2003 at 4:41pm
I believe that the appearance of one's hair length should not make any difference in the performance/professionality of an employee.  

However, depending on the situation, and who you're trying to impress, you might want to re-consider.  What I mean is, if you are interested in making a good first impression on someone from the "old school"  you should try to create a conservative updo.  Once that first impression is made, they will tend to "overlook" any subsequent styles (usually)  I like to choose a half-way mark (pulling back the top and leaving the back down.) if I am unsure which way to go.   :D  

My opinion is, as long as you look like you care about your appearance, anything goes!  (A lot of professional training courses will also teach you to appear well-groomed-like clean, un-scuffed shoes, pressed clothes,
nice hair do, etc.  If you appear to care for yourself, you'll care about your customers as well.. ::)...)

Hope this makes sense!!!

 

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by robin on Jan 31st, 2003 at 8:01pm
I asked the questions just see what other's opinions were.  Fortunately for me, I work in an environment that lets me wear my hair however I want most of the time.  However, when I am training customers that I have not previously met, I will have my hair in more conservative styles (bun or french braid with braid doubled).  My own experience has been that the corporate world in general is not as accepting of hair longer than BSL on "older" women (over 35?). I personnally feel that if a person is neat and clean, their style of hair, clothing or makeup should not matter.

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by E. on Jan 31st, 2003 at 10:21pm
I made the experience that with long and open hair one will not be taken seriously  ??? I have to struggle a lot against prejudices like "young, female, pretty = not doing a good job" that I prefer to wear more conservative hairstyles prevent.

.

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by LadyRachelle on Mar 14th, 2004 at 3:30pm
I work for an orthodontist and my hair cannot be left down on any day since no one wants hair in their mouth when they go to the dentist/orthodontist.  I try to change my hair on a daily basis so that I'm not consistantly pulling on the same hair day.  For that profession, it's required of me, and understandably so.

My second job is appraising. Well I have found as others have that people never take me seriously if my hair is completely down. In fact, I was trying to get a new apprenticeship supervisor and I had to wear my hair in a bun for the first month because if I looked "too pretty" the guy's wife wouldn't let me get the job.  Now that I have the job, I wear it down again.    :P


Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by drummergirl08 on Mar 14th, 2004 at 4:32pm
how awful someone would discriminate because of ones looks, sadly, we live in such a world. as i read these posts i become more and more appalled

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by bikerbraid on Mar 14th, 2004 at 9:21pm

wrote on Mar 14th, 2004 at 4:32pm:
how awful someone would discriminate because of ones looks, sadly, we live in such a world. as i read these posts i become more and more appalled


It is appalling that so many people in the world have such biased opinions of a person based on sometimes a single appearance factor.

We can all work to change those biases.  We can grow our hair and show people that we can be professionals with longer hair.  If there are more men and women out there with long hair, we will be more accepted.

Just a few weeks ago, a co-worker of mine, who previously felt BSL was as long as an "older" woman's hair should be, commented on how pretty the waist length hair was on a woman who was at least 60 years old with beautiful salt&pepper hair.  I feel I am doing my part to show my little part of the world, that a professional woman can have long hair.

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by Lady_Godiva on Apr 21st, 2004 at 10:12pm
Take this with a bit o' salt, though I actually do tend to agree with myself here:

I think that in the business world, you should dress to emphasize your talents and skills, meaning to de-emphasize your appearance to the degree that it's not overpowering those other, more important aspects.  After all, you're there to work, not look pretty, right?  My hair would definitely cause a double-take in an interview, and it's actually a hazard even just sitting at desk and computer, 'cuz I would roll over it or accidentally run it thru the paper shredder or fax machine, if I leaned the wrong way at the wrong time.  I think generally conservative hair and aparrel are the best for most jobs, especially in office settings or fomal/semiformal situations.  Retail sales are slightly more casual, and construction is entirely casual.  Basically, the job directs the garb and hair.

I guess it's situational.  For work, generally be a little more conservative.  I don't wear party clothing to work anymore than I wear work clothes on a date with my husband or when partying with friends.  Right?  The same goes for my hair -- as if I'm going to wear a bun to go to a club or to some fancy schmancy restaurant.  Those are the times to let my hair be free!

Jennifer Eve

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by Rapunzel on Apr 22nd, 2004 at 5:02am
Excellent advice Jennifer Eve, and I agree with you entirely.  I see no reason why women nor men need to cut their hair to work in a corporate environment, but it's just as important for them to look professional as it is for anyone else.  That often means extra attention to hair that is unusually long.

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by Finchquilts on Jun 14th, 2004 at 11:42pm
This is one of the problems that I have with work.  I work as a secretary in a hospital and it is very difficult to keep my hair very neat.  I usually wear it braided, braided and pulled through for a twisted look, or I buy these very long elastic/fabric headbands and do an elongated wrap to give it a fake braided look.  I feel uncomfortable with my hair up because it is heavy.  I would love to find a snood that would look good, but so far it is just too heavy.  I need help!  Of course, my boss has very very short hair.
Linda

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by bikerbraid on Jun 14th, 2004 at 11:56pm
Have you considered doing a wrapped braid? I've found this a great way to keep my hair contained.

When I do this, I do 2 french braids, then wrap them around my head. I secure them with U shaped hair pins.

You end up with a sort of crown braid without having to be able to do the complicated crown braiding.

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by eKatherine on Jun 15th, 2004 at 1:31am

wrote on Jun 14th, 2004 at 11:42pm:
I would love to find a snood that would look good, but so far it is just too heavy.  I need help!  Of course, my boss has very very short hair.

These people have some interesting snoods and headscarves.
http://www.tznius.com/cgi-bin/group.pl?id=30

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by Finchquilts on Jun 26th, 2004 at 11:13am
I'm afraid that my braiding skills are still limited. ::)  I would like to try adding a ribbon with the braid.  Any time I try to put my hair up in any way, it feels too heavy.

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by bikerbraid on Jun 26th, 2004 at 2:35pm
Braiding takes a bit of practice.  I learned to French braid my hair, by trying to braid my hair each day.  Most days I would remove the braid immediately because it would be too messy.  With practice I finally got the technique down and can now quickly and easily braid my hair.

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by leia on Jun 26th, 2004 at 2:41pm
I agree with bikerbraid  ;)

Title: Re: Long hair in a professional environment
Post by ellasongbird on Aug 10th, 2004 at 1:07pm
Oooooooooh I just read this! I think that long hair in a professional environment makes someone look distinctive. My music theory professor last year was approaching 40 (I believe, maybe a bit younger) and had stick-straight hair down to her knees, and she wore it down every single day of the year. She was also one of the best, most competent teachers I have ever had, and everyone loved her.

But then, I am a long hair admirer, obviously, so I think long-haired people look distinctive and wonderful in ANY situation...

Ella

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