View Full Version : Should I cut or layer my hair? & Ideas on professional ways to wear long hair

June 20th, 2015, 07:11 PM
I just started a new job a few weeks ago. I've re-entered the workforce after quite a few years of being at home. I work with 12 women in my office and have by far the longest hair (it's around hip length currently). I've started sort of wanting to change up my hair, but of course I wonder whether I'll regret it if I do. I have had two people recently suggest I should keep my length but get layers, which I've never had, and am sort of intrigued by the idea and nervous about it at the same time.

I'm debating on the layers, and also wondering if I just want to go shorter (to me shorter is maybe slightly past shoulder length). I also have been wondering how to best style my hair for work. Yesterday I was getting annoyed with my hair (which I'd worn down) and quickly braided it in a side braid (fishtail) during lunch. I thought of it as probably being less than professional, but just something quick to contain my hair on a Friday afternoon. I was surprised to get several compliments when I returned from lunch with my hair braided. I ordinarily wouldn't have opted to wear my hair that way for work. This got me to thinking maybe I just need to come up with better ideas on how best to wear my hair.

Any thoughts or suggestions, both as to cutting my hair (layering or just going shorter) or ways to wear long hair professionally?

June 20th, 2015, 07:33 PM
Simple updos (especially buns) work very well for this.

Other styles... well, it really depends on how relaxed or conservative that environment is but also your own comfort.
I think wearing a ponytail, maybe even a simple half-up is likely to still be considered professional at the length that your avatar shows, as long as the job doesn't require hair to be up. I think it's more about your own level of comfort with it.

If you go for layers, it's important to be aware that they can visually thin out braids and make updos a bit more difficult to stay neatly in place. Other than that, it's totally up to how you like your hair to look when it's down. :) Layers tend to encourage more waves on textured hair.

June 20th, 2015, 07:53 PM
Long, soft and well blended layers can make wavy hair very Victoria Secret esque, looks really beautiful but I dont know if its a good idea for work. Any other layered sytle would be very messy because it does encourage texture.

If you are allowed to wear your hair down and go for soft layers a regular half up works just fine, but making a really deep side part with a bobby pin or a decorative pin with a really flat crown is pretty stylish bit vintage and yet perfect for work.

And yes, regular or any type of bun is a fanastic option too. If you like sides braids and playing with a neutral headband its a nice look as well. These two options already said are better without any layers, (ends stick out depending on how dramatic are the layers) :cool:

June 20th, 2015, 09:21 PM
Considering I spent 5 years growing out the worst layers ever imagined, I would highly recommend against getting layers. If you like wearing your hair up, in a braid, or really in any style without a ton of bobby pins, layers are not for you!

That being said, does your new workplace have a dress code you need to adhere to? Some companies have strict standards on hairstyles, but most seem to be pretty lenient nowadays. Buns, chignons, and french twists are all very classic "work appropriate" 'dos, so you can give those a try. If you aren't as keen about the more traditional styles, try to mix it up a bit. I used to wear a bun with several interlacing braids wrapped around my head and always received compliments on how pretty and professional it was - plus, it kept my hair out of the way all day.

Since a haircut is a drastic change, I suggest giving some new hairstyles a try first. Worst thing you want to do is regret a cut! Best of luck!

June 21st, 2015, 05:26 AM
I think I'd keep my hair long and one-length, if I were you. Longer hair is easier to style professionally because "professional" so often just means "keep every hair contained" rather than a specific style. With hair just past shoulder length, your options for work hairstyles would be extremely limited, and layers (I speak from experience) poke out of every twist of a bun or braid after a few minutes unless you pin the suckers into submission.

Instead of cutting your hair, try out some of the many hair tutorials on youtube, especially low-damage styles like new ways to wear braids and new buns. At your length and thickness, the world is pretty much your oyster.

June 21st, 2015, 05:38 AM
I work in a professional environment with women as well. I have the longest hair (above hip length below waist length) in the office. When I first started I wondered if longer hair would be viewed as less professional but I have never received any such feedback. I have worn my hair down at work many times and people seem to appreciate it. I would do what makes you happy and not change your hair according to your environment as I don't think this will make you happy in the long run. On the topic of layers, layers will take more time getting ready in the morning. I vote for all length because I think it will cut down on morning prep time. If you are in a rush you can put your hair up in a nice nautilus bun in less than 5 minutes. Playing around with layers (which don't always behave in buns) and styling will most likely add more prep time in the morning. I don't know about you but I would rather spend that time sleeping :)

June 21st, 2015, 06:23 AM
i think layers give the hair a nicer look, and gives it movement. and in my opinion layered hair looks even better in updos and buns,when it doesn't all fit in. perfection does not always equall beauty. and anyway your hair condition and health is beautiful, and it wouldn't suddenly fry your hair if you shaked it up a bit, if anything it would make your hair even more astonoshing than it all ready is. i had hair all one length and long, but it didn't do anything for me. so i said to myself i'm either going to wear it always up as i usually did and forget about it, or layer it. i layered it myself and it came out pretty good considering it was my first time. but now i like wearing it down because it has movement and i like how it looks when i look at my hair's reflection when out and about. but next time i cut it i'm going to use the ponytail method.

June 21st, 2015, 07:23 AM
I have short layers. I'm almost classic, and my shortest layer is almost waist now. When I had them cut in I was waist, and my shortest layer was APL, then TBL and my shortest layer was BSL.

It is a home-cut called "compact cut" and it's been well-documented on this site already.

You basically make a ponytail and cut a chunk of it off.

How you make the ponytail decides on what layers you'll get. If you want layers like mine, you'll have to make the ponytail at your hairline, right on your forehead. If you want longer layers, then you make the ponytail on the top of your head.

If your arms can't reach the end of the ponytail, elastic band it as you go, and you'll be fine.

June 21st, 2015, 09:21 AM
I got layers a couple of years ago and was really happy with them, thought I'd never want to go back to no layers. Lately I'm missing my thick ends. If I were you, I'd figure out 2 or 3 work styles to vary your look rather than try a new cut. If you decide you do need to change it up, try a little layering around the face first. I think that works really well to soften up a bunned style.

June 21st, 2015, 09:22 AM
I think layers are OK for thick hair, but for a lot of us with medium thickness, it can just make things look thin if not done well. :| Layers are also fantastic for hair that is going to be worn loose, but they pop out of updos and braids. I suppose sproinging layers popping out looks cute on other people, but on me it looks like I've given up all attempts at personal care.

So I'm better off with all one length (and someday my bangs will grow out enough to achieve that!) that I can tuck up into a neat and secure bun that won't tumble into a pathogenic petri dish. :)

June 21st, 2015, 10:02 AM
Thank you all so much for the feedback. I think as endlessly and several others suggested it's probably wiser to experiment more with new styles first rather than take the more drastic option of a cut. I don't want to regret cutting my hair, and Jeleah has a good point too about not changing my hair due to my environment but doing what I truly want.

Spidermom - love your idea about perhaps cutting just a few layers around the face only. I've never been really into buns, although they are very comfortable to wear and quick, simply because I feel they look too severe (on me) and I have often thought that maybe having either bangs or layers around the face would make buns look more feminine.

This would also avoid the issue so many of you spoke to as far as layers making updos and buns more difficult. I think after experimenting first with styles (looking at YouTube right now) if I do opt for layers I'll only do a few to frame my face before even considering anything more drastic.

Knew I could count on you all for some good advise. Thank you, thank you, thank you :)