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heidihug
March 24th, 2008, 04:29 PM
I have to confess this to my new friends here...

I was becoming desperate for support, so I was searching the internet and was lucky enough to have found LHC. At the time I began my search, I was very close to lopping off a foot (or probably more) of my hair. The reason? I was thinking it might be easier to get ahead at work that way. Seriously. Everyone I work with is very trendy, with the short, layered and streaked hair that's so ubiquitous. There's not a woman in my department who does NOT have that hairstyle, other than me, of course. (FWIW, I work in the marketing department of a company in a high-tech industry.)

I'm not at all vain, but my husband and people I know outside of work have assured me that my hair looks so nice when I style it up. Anyway, do you think a single person at work would say anything complimentary about it when I do something fun or different with my hair? Not a whisper. But when someone at work chops their hair off - AGAIN - and streaks it three different shades of blonde - AGAIN - everyone gushes over it. It's kind of demoralizing and makes me sad for some reason that I can't quite pinpoint.

I have been told (at another place, not where I work now) that I should try a more "professional" hairstyle. When I asked the person to explain, they said that short hair is more professional looking. I pointed out that I never wear my hair down at work, so what is the difference, and the conversation kind of was dropped at that point, but it niggles at me. Would it make a difference for me professionally if I cut my hair? I mean, it's great to know that there are others who understand (group hug to all), and I have resolved not to cut my hair until I get a mental handle on this.

I guess what I would appreciate is a some thoughts on how others may have grappled with this issue...?

florenonite
March 24th, 2008, 04:43 PM
Unfortunately, I can't help you as the only job I've ever held is as a lifeguard (where wearing clothes is dressed up ^_^) and I've had a phone interview for a job as a summer camp counsellor (where something other than sweats is dressed up). However, I do offer sympathy, because it's never fun when your interests conflict with those of those who are in power over you (I'm a student ... we rebel against everything, for instance hall food, allowing locals into gigs at the union, etc.). A French twist looks nice and polished, perhaps you could find styles like this that conceal your length to a degree (as your hair, at 48", is very long by society's standards) and look elegant and timeless to wear in your hair. Don't sacrifice what you want to conform to standards set by others, though, as that always ends in tears.

prosperina
March 24th, 2008, 04:50 PM
The log roll is a good style for hair too long for a French twist, and it can look really elegant. I believe the instructions are found under the articles section.

The tyranny of the trendy is infuriating and just kind of depressing. :( I'm sorry you work with dumb people who can't think outside the box. Keep wearing your hair the way you want to. I can't imagine discrimination against someone's hairdo is legal anyway....but I'm not a lawyer....

FrannyG
March 24th, 2008, 05:22 PM
Whether in the corporate world or in the real world you will always find that the trendy hairstyle gets the compliment, I'm afraid. For years I went with whatever the trendy style was, and yes, I would get many compliments. Were they really the best looks for me? No. However, they did conform with people's notion of what was fashionable or "new".

We with long hair will rarely come up with a look that has never been seen before. That's just a fact. Yes, it can make you feel overlooked at times, but in the grand scheme, you know as well as I do that it's really not important.

Although I am not in the corporate world myself, I know several women who are in very high-level positions who have long hair. The generally wear it in a French Twist or in a low nape bun. They are very well-respected women and very powerful in their professions.

You may not be the one to get the hair compliments, but if you wear your hair and dress in a professional manner, no matter how long it is, it really shouldn't affect your career. :flowers:

backtolonghair
March 24th, 2008, 05:30 PM
I think having long beautiful hair is awesome and is very trendy and timeless in itself. I myself am one of those people with short layered hair and streaks, but now I am starting to want to grow my hair long and just let it be the way that it was supposed to. Be a trendsetter at work by not giving into the current popular hairtrends and by showing others that having long hair can not only be very stylish but also beautiful and one of women's best assets. You can still look professional and have long hair.. there are many ways, like those above stated. And truth be known, most men prefer longer hair to the shorter haircuts of today anyways. Ask any of them. They will all tell you.
Hope this encourages you. Have a blessed day!:)

royalscorpio
March 24th, 2008, 05:34 PM
Personally, I don't understand why long hair down can't be professional too. I have hip length hair and I wear it down some at work. I've never been accused of being unprofessional. I also wear it up too, and I get compliments on the intricate styles I put it into. Look around at the styles that folks have posted here, and the tools with which people use to secure them. Sometimes people like the hair sticks, clips, etc, almost as much as the long hair. I would try it one day... wear your hair down, make it extra soft, put some wave into it, or something, and let everyone be secretly envious of your gorgeous hair!

Ohio Sky
March 24th, 2008, 05:35 PM
I have said this before and I will say it again- Where did these hair Nazis come from??

I personally think that bleached-to-death, layered, streaked, short hair is a bad look on (almost) everyone, and the kind of hairdos that you can do with hair like that, just dont look good. I dont see how its more professional, especially considering that this type of hair usually has at least one layer thats so short that you constantly have to play with it because its in your face.

I love the look of a single long braid, and I think its extremely work friendly, professional, and just looks good.

Having long beautiful hair adds so much to a persons appearance, and having healthy hair as opposed to a fried mess not only looks better, but adds to ones personality, I think. Its shows that you care about your appearance and take care of yourself. Theres nothing more professional than that.

I dont care about the girls you work with, Im sure you have beautiful hair. Wear it with pride :)

slynn41202
March 24th, 2008, 05:45 PM
Heidihug, I've actually wondered several times if my long hair was keeping me from getting jobs I know I'm qualified for.

Unfortunately, there's no way that we can ever really know how cutting our hair will affect the way other people view us.

I do know that I cut a foot of hair a month ago, from mid-thigh to the just above my behind and no one noticed until Saturday - so even if you do chop a foot off your hair it's likely that no one will notice, and you don't want to be disappointed if you cut your hair for your coworkers and they don't even care.

DecafJane
March 24th, 2008, 06:16 PM
I am so sick of followers - they only say what they think other people will agree with or find impressive, they have no idea what they themselves like because they are so busy conforming with what their "betters" like, they NEVER think outside of the box and do anything new, impressive or world-changing, they just stumble along in their little packs, following each other and trying not to stand out too much! :soapbox:

Of course, I can't say that I have never been guilty of doing it a little myself. :o

Heidihug, don't cut your hair unless you actually want to do it for yourself. Even then, have a good, long think about it. Have a look at my album or any of the other albums of people who are desperately trying to grow our hair back. It takes a LONG time, is very hard to do because it goes through lots of horrible stages, and if you are doing it for your job you would hate it and want to cry every time you looked in the mirror.

Everybody else here has given excellent advice about how long hair CAN look fantastic and professional. Good luck with your job!

Kirin
March 24th, 2008, 06:17 PM
I cant really speak for a job representation, i'm an artist so long beautiful hair would be a PLUS! But I can tell you, my daughter in junior high, has long bra strap length hair, a real rarity around here, and normally wears a pony every single day.

The last few days of school, she's decided to leave it down, and all the girls who said "you should do something with your hair"....... shut UP. completely, and now cant keep their hands off her hair.

doodlesmart
March 24th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Short choppy and 8 different colors is trendy and so NOT professional in my opinion. It's high school and a sign of immaturity to me. A sleek, elegant updo is very professional and down to business to me. If someone is trying to sell me something with red and white hair sticking out in all directions it had better be a children's toy or jeans with holes in them, because I am probably not going to buy any sort of professional service from someone who maintains their appearance like they are 15.

I will say that I am lucky in that I work in a field which is typically very accepting of personal appearance choices, but nonetheless, when I see weird funky hair (meaning what you described) I think burger flipper or gas station attendant.

I like professional who I am going to work with to show signs of commitment, maturity and responsibility. To me, styling hair like a high schooler and spending god knows how much on a hair style each month is neither mature nor responsible. Long, well kept, and put away hair however shows commitment, shows maturity (old lady bun look does have advantages, how many non-LHC high schoolers do you see walking around with buns?) and shows an ability to manage and care for something in a responsible way.

Delila
March 24th, 2008, 06:44 PM
I think another factor at work in such situations is the group dynamic thing.

People who work together may or may not have anything else meaningful in common, so I think it's not uncommon for such groups to wind up echoing/mirroring each other's clothing and hairstyle choices. It seems to reinforce a sense of belonging (or exclusivity).

It isn't personal, strictly speaking, however intimate and inclusive it may seem.

Just remember that the people at work would be total strangers if you didn't work together, and that it's really kind of odd to share such personal information with people you hardly know in other situations.

Editing to add that I wish the nurses at the clinic my dad visits would find a better look. Dark hair with huge chunky stripes of uber-bleached blond. It looks harsh and fake and overly fussy, not the least bit 'professional.'

Sarahmoon
March 24th, 2008, 06:50 PM
I once saw a business woman walking around with knee length hair, down (now I must admit I consider nice updos or braids better suitable for being at work, but that's just my opinion).

Please don't cut your hair only because others like it better. People like to see someone doing with their appearance what they did to it themselves. Maybe it feels like some kind of confirmation that they're looking good?

Who knows, they might be jealous. Maybe not of your hair style, but because you dare to look like you want to look and are not influenced by fashion and what other people do or say.

Please don't cut your hair unless you really want it yourself. Never change your hair for the likings of someone else.

Curlsgirl
March 24th, 2008, 06:50 PM
Just wanted to say welcome! I work with a lot of "followers" too BUT I do get compliments from even business women about my hair. I do almost always wear it up when I have a business meeting where I need to look professional, usually a figure 8 or infinity or braided updo. I am NOT cutting for my job!

florenonite
March 24th, 2008, 06:52 PM
Short choppy and 8 different colors is trendy and so NOT professional in my opinion. It's high school and a sign of immaturity to me. A sleek, elegant updo is very professional and down to business to me. If someone is trying to sell me something with red and white hair sticking out in all directions it had better be a children's toy or jeans with holes in them, because I am probably not going to buy any sort of professional service from someone who maintains their appearance like they are 15.

I will say that I am lucky in that I work in a field which is typically very accepting of personal appearance choices, but nonetheless, when I see weird funky hair (meaning what you described) I think burger flipper or gas station attendant.

I like professional who I am going to work with to show signs of commitment, maturity and responsibility. To me, styling hair like a high schooler and spending god knows how much on a hair style each month is neither mature nor responsible. Long, well kept, and put away hair however shows commitment, shows maturity (old lady bun look does have advantages, how many non-LHC high schoolers do you see walking around with buns?) and shows an ability to manage and care for something in a responsible way.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. Classic, elegant styles are much more professional than the sort of things I saw on girls at high school.

prosperina
March 24th, 2008, 07:30 PM
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Classic, elegant styles are much more professional than the sort of things I saw on girls at high school.

I too totally agree with doodlesmart. However, layered multi-colored dos have entered into the professional form of acceptable. Green and purple aren't okay, but a short bob with a three color weave is considered attractive, well-groomed and professional by many. Personally, I find it a really artificial high maintenance look on most people. :shrug: It's a bit like newscaster hair...with more color. Although I don't see how the chunky weaves could possible look professional; I'm referring to the thinner streaks. And, don't forget it's also the money factor that impresses many people. A weave can cost beaucoup bucks...I think that's why some people like it.

intothemist1999
March 24th, 2008, 09:26 PM
I have been told (at another place, not where I work now) that I should try a more "professional" hairstyle. When I asked the person to explain, they said that short hair is more professional looking. I pointed out that I never wear my hair down at work, so what is the difference, and the conversation kind of was dropped at that point, but it niggles at me. Would it make a difference for me professionally if I cut my hair?


*sigh* I hate to even verbalize this, because it doesn't apply to any of the men I know, and I expect not to the long-haired men here, either. However....

The first thought that came to my head was that long hair represents women, and by extension, the POWER of women. That is not well accepted in many circles, and especially not in the "halls of power".

Back in the 70's, with the women's lib movement alot of women started wearing almost man-like haircuts as well as power suits! I guess the disguise helped them move into the corporate world, and although the demographics have changed SO much since then, it's still an "old boy's" game.

Methinks that if an overly-testosteroned CEO was getting competition from a lady with gorgeous Rapunzel hair (or Lady Godiva?) the incongruity might be too much for his mind.

Just speculating....

PS: no surprise the conversation fizzled after your VERY perceptive question...the other person had just no sensible reply for it.

tiny_teesha
March 24th, 2008, 09:42 PM
That is descrimination. You are entitled to who you want to be, I say don't give them the satisfaction and if your career gets worse just because you choose not to conform to the "said" hairstyle, sue them! :)

Lixie
March 24th, 2008, 10:31 PM
Long, well kept, and put away hair however shows commitment, shows maturity (old lady bun look does have advantages, how many non-LHC high schoolers do you see walking around with buns?) and shows an ability to manage and care for something in a responsible way.

I very much agree with doodlesmart's post, it was very well put.

heidihug, I really hope you don't sacrifice any length because other people tell you you should. You're the one who has to live with your hair, it should make you happy. :flower:

Lisa-Maria
March 25th, 2008, 01:25 AM
It is always the women with the really short, coloured, "I blowdry my hair everyday" who makes those comments. Men usually just have a hard time keeping their hands off longer hair. Even now, I'm 24, my male friends enjoy snatching my hairsticks out of my hair too see it tumble down.. just as the guys in high school did and those in junior high ;) Make the other girls envy you and the men facinated... life is more fun with long hair :)

sapphire-o
March 25th, 2008, 03:59 AM
I just watched Star Wars (original) again recently and kept staring at Princess Leia's hair. She nearly always looked serious and professional, with her hair neatly braided and put up. Of course it's beautiful, too. Yet nobody under-estimated her abilities and authority. If you put your hair up all the time I really don't think it's a "professional image" issue. Probably more like a "fitting in like every other girl" issue.

I'm a stay at home mom right now, and my long hair doesn't exactly fit in with other moms' either. Sometimes I even wonder if I'd have more friends if I cut my hair. Then I remembered I'm actually weird inside, too and wouldn't fit in anyway. :D

heidihug
March 25th, 2008, 09:16 AM
Thanks! everyone for the insightful replies. You've given me a lot to think about, and some great advice. I thought some people here have probably encountered the same kind of discomfiture I have had at work - and I was right!

I suspect that the women I work with would be aghast if someone suggested to them that they are followers, as so many of them are in creative jobs. Lots of them consider themselves quite avant-garde, I think. But, I agree with most people here - that streaky layered look is tired and artificial, and pretty conformist when it comes right down to it. I am willing to cut them a bit of slack, though, as most of them have very small children (all are in their 30's and are women who put their careers first after college, and waited to have kids), and longer hair can be a pain to have around little ones. I didn't start growing my hair out until my kids were in school, as it's hard to get food and spit-up out of hair!

I always wear my hair up at work, and have tons of hair toys, sticks, forks, scrunchies, etc. Most of the time it's in a bun, with the occasional twist or braid or loops, especially on Friday, as that's casual day. I'm always glad that it takes me just a few minutes to do my hair in the morning instead of having to fuss with blow drying, curling, etc.

I don't plan on cutting my hair - other than a trim next month. I think my husband would be very unhappy about it if I did, as he loves my hair. And his opinion does matter much more than anyone else's - well, other than my own!

intothemist1999
March 25th, 2008, 09:22 AM
I suspect that the women I work with would be aghast if someone suggested to them that they are followers, as so many of them are in creative jobs. Lots of them consider themselves quite avant-garde, I think.



One thing I've always noticed about "the cool people" -- they look like all the other "cool people".

The irony seems lost on them.


.

Caldonia Sun
March 25th, 2008, 09:40 AM
All of the posters are correct in that long hair is timeless, beautiful, and if styled appropriately, perfectly suitable for any position ... in a perfect world! Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. I don't have really long hair, but I have had comments made to me - not nasty comments per se, but letting it be known that the person making them did not think it was the most attractive style for me. At this point, I basically work alone, so it doesn't matter how I wear my hair.

But consider this: marketing is about promotion, being trendy, having 'cutting edge' ideas to catch someone's attention. So, you would most likely see women in that field who do the trendier looks in order to project that image. And sometimes, image is everything. It's what people see, remember and judge by. It may not be right, but it is life in the real world. You can bend to it or march to the beat of your own drum and enjoy your hair.

Katze
March 25th, 2008, 10:01 AM
I think being confident, healthy, and well-groomed (whatever that means for you) makes you attractive. If those women feel and look good with their multicolored layered 'dos...then hooray for them.

It sounds like you don't. So you have to find ways to enjoy your hair at the length it's at AND to feel good about yourself at work.

French twists are great - they are my #1 "help I have to look professional" 'do. As a university lecturer, I can (and do) wear whatever I want, within reason - no holes, offensive slogans, cleavage, or short-shorts (these are MY rules). Still, I am trying to cultivate a more "professional" look which includes getting my hair to lay smooth. This is really hard. Even the most slicked-back, brushed-flat, oiled-up 'do will get fuzzy within a couple of hours - my hair has too many wisps, baby hairs, layers, frizzy bits to lie flat.

I often envy the women whose hair looks like it's all one length, where it moves with weight and swing or looks thick even though it's bleached. Mine doesn't, isn't, can't. So at work I save the "hair down" days for really good hair days, and either do "deliberately messy" updos, or something "interesting" like coronet braids or two side braids, or, for desperate days, brush it as flat as I can and use a ton of bobby pins to get it to stay that way.

Personally I think the streaked, layered, bobbed, shagged, etc looks look like clone 'dos - I don't notice the people wearing them, which, IMO, makes them less interesting and thus less attractive. But I've always been a weirdo.

At any rate you shouldn't cut just because you are feeling peer pressure. If you WANT to cut, that's a different story!

emeraldjoy
March 25th, 2008, 10:16 AM
I am in the middle of nursing school and I am taking a class on professional nursing. Among more valuable topics, the prof likes to discuss the image of nursing. She wants to move the image away from matronly and angelic to highly educated, powerful professionals who base there practice on scientific evidence. She then likes to discuss the image we project individually. Of course our appearance is addressed. She considers very few hairstyles I do to be professional. Only the most severe and I think unflattering ones are appropriate.

Fortunately, when I am finished with school I can do what I please. I know several nurses with very long hair. As long as it is kept out of the way, they say no one bothers them about it.

atlantaz3
March 25th, 2008, 10:16 AM
I'm struggling with this very question right now. When I try new updos (just reached BSL) I get funny looks from the boss. Our office does not have a lot of foot traffic, but they expect a professional image. I should be in a suit every day - but just can't make my self do it! All their non working wives have short (above the ears) hair and the one other female in my office has shoulder length very highlighted hair - which does look nice if perhaps not the healthiest. Even my french twist with a ficcare was glanced at and I thought I did a very nice twist that day. Maybe I'm being too sensitive to this issue though. I'll keep trying the french braids, gibson pony and french twists - too stubborn to cut to conform.

Lady Godiva
March 25th, 2008, 10:24 AM
One thing I've always noticed about "the cool people" -- they look like all the other "cool people".

The irony seems lost on them.Yeah, they don't realize that it's just another uniform. ;)

Heidihug, I've observed and experienced this kind of thing a lot. What I've come to realize is that while the concept of "tolerance" is bandied about left, right, up and down in western society, it falls apart at certain points, usually where people stop thinking for themselves. If they're forced into awareness of some intolerances (racism, ethnocentrism, sexism, religious intolerance, etc.), they'll become aware of those, but many people often don't notice things on their own. They have to be lectured at in order to notice what's going on around them.

Hence people can suddenly display tremendous conformity on some subjects. Fashion and hairstyling trends nearly top the list of seemingly sacrosanct areas that we are just not supposed to mess with. These subjects can make some people really uncomfortable, if they see someone differ too much from the norm. I think this is because when we get down to it, these are personal preferences and express individuality, so if an observer doesn't feel quite comfortable with his/her own preferences, then those get challenged anytime another person seems comfortable being very different. Up go the defense mechanisms when all that's occurred is that the nonconformist has entered the room or stepped into the line of sight. It's a striking and strange thing that happens. People's hackles get raised because their own preferences are being challenged, they think - they *misinterpret* - and they can launch an offensive with no sound reason.

Since hair usually does not get covered in western society, long hair becomes a marker for nonconformity, as its place in recent history is well known and documented. Long hair doesn't have to do anything to challenge those who have chosen to cut their hair short. Instinctively, people know that they could choose to grow theirs long, but because they choose to cut, they feel a strange need to defend their choice. The irony is that of all things, a personal preference requires the least amount of defense. No one has to justify their preferences. With opinions, often we're called to justify and back-up them, but preferences don't need it. Simply stating, "Because I like it this way," really isn't up for debate.

In summary, it helps to realize that by having long hair, we unknowingly and inadvertently can challenge and sometimes even threaten those around us who are insecure and misinterpret us. In other words, it's about them and their misconceptions and problems, not about us. Yeah, it can be alienating, too.

lora410
March 25th, 2008, 10:27 AM
I have to confess this to my new friends here...

I was becoming desperate for support, so I was searching the internet and was lucky enough to have found LHC. At the time I began my search, I was very close to lopping off a foot (or probably more) of my hair. The reason? I was thinking it might be easier to get ahead at work that way. Seriously. Everyone I work with is very trendy, with the short, layered and streaked hair that's so ubiquitous. There's not a woman in my department who does NOT have that hairstyle, other than me, of course. (FWIW, I work in the marketing department of a company in a high-tech industry.)

I'm not at all vain, but my husband and people I know outside of work have assured me that my hair looks so nice when I style it up. Anyway, do you think a single person at work would say anything complimentary about it when I do something fun or different with my hair? Not a whisper. But when someone at work chops their hair off - AGAIN - and streaks it three different shades of blonde - AGAIN - everyone gushes over it. It's kind of demoralizing and makes me sad for some reason that I can't quite pinpoint.

I have been told (at another place, not where I work now) that I should try a more "professional" hairstyle. When I asked the person to explain, they said that short hair is more professional looking. I pointed out that I never wear my hair down at work, so what is the difference, and the conversation kind of was dropped at that point, but it niggles at me. Would it make a difference for me professionally if I cut my hair? I mean, it's great to know that there are others who understand (group hug to all), and I have resolved not to cut my hair until I get a mental handle on this.

I guess what I would appreciate is a some thoughts on how others may have grappled with this issue...?

In todays society its all about cutting, dying,and perming to help build their own self esteem through change. They are prob not secure with the way they look as you are,and don't need to constantly change you hair length and style to make yourself feel better.

Elfling
March 25th, 2008, 10:50 AM
I just have to laugh at the kind of people who think an updo is "unprofessional". The world is full of so many narrow-minded people.

Wanita
March 25th, 2008, 10:51 AM
I'm fortunate in the fact that where I work, there is a lot of variety hairwise. From support staff to professional staff, there is long, short and everything inbetween. What surprised me at first was that the professionals, even though they wear suits, do not conform to what we consider professional hairdos. I am probably the only long-haired person here that does anything past a headband, half-up, or ponytail, and I definitely am the only one using hairsticks or Ficcares.

IMHO, there is no need to have a 'cookie cutter' look to be successful in any business. Aren't we supposed to appreciate the person who has his or her own ideas?

Morag
March 25th, 2008, 10:51 AM
Heidihug, to my mind, there is nothing more professional and just plain elegant than a nicely done nape bun. Trendy cuts and multicolors are a current fad, and (again, in my opinion) fads are most commonly embraced by people who are not sure of who they are, which does not make me tend to view them as responsible professionals.

I'm curious as to whether it is someone in management who is suggesting that you cut your hair, or people working at your own level. That might tell you something about whether the perception that hair needs to be cut a certain way in your corporate culture is a reality, or just speculation.

If you do your work consistently well over time, I would think that would be appreciated far more than a haircut by most employers.

spidermom
March 25th, 2008, 10:55 AM
Lucky me; I'm a medical transcriptionist with my work station at home, so as long as my hair doesn't prevent my fingers from reaching the keyboard, I'm good to go. I'm also office manager for my husband's plumbing company, and the same applies.

However, every company has the right to choose the image it wants employees to project. In our case, no matter how qualified, we wouldn't hire anybody with facial piercings, mohawks, visible inflammatory tattoos (such as swastikas), and so forth. We aren't against self-expression at all, but when we send a crew out on a job, we want the homeowner or contractor to see "responsible and cooperative," not "irresponsible and rebellious."

If your company wants its clients to see "up to the minute on the latest trends," and you want to advance, you may have to conform. Otherwise you risk being passed over for promotions and so forth. If that is the case, you might consider trying a wig. Or resolve yourself to being kept in the background.

heidihug
March 25th, 2008, 11:23 AM
In other words, it's about them and their misconceptions and problems, not about us. Yeah, it can be alienating, too.
Lady Godiva, I think that's why I sometimes get sad - because I perhaps I perceive that am not considered one of the "cool kids". I don't really WANT to be one of them, never have. But to have it reinforced five days a week by being ignored/not complimented/subtly criticized chips away at a person's confidence.

This is one tack I have decided to take. I am working on making my wardrobe as professional as possible. I recently cleaned out my closet, got rid of about 60% of my clothes, and just left the basics when it comes to work-wear. I think, just as much as hairstyle, what you wear reflects who you think you are. I enjoy dressing up, and wearing high-quality clothes, and am working on building my wardrobe to the point where everything I wear to work will be flattering and professional. I can buy the occasional trendy blouse if I want (probably not!), but classic suits are really the way to go for me. I think this will help with my self-image and give me more confidence, too.

WritingPrincess
April 7th, 2008, 03:21 AM
If your company wants its clients to see "up to the minute on the latest trends," and you want to advance, you may have to conform. Otherwise you risk being passed over for promotions and so forth. If that is the case, you might consider trying a wig. Or resolve yourself to being kept in the background.
Or you could try Cuddledumplin's false bob, which can look quite cute. It took me a few trys, but I can do it now on myself.

minkstole
April 7th, 2008, 07:20 AM
Lots of psychoanalyzing in this thread. Who knows why people wear their hair in a certain way? Maybe there is no underlying reason. Maybe they just like their hair this or that way. Doesn´t have to do with herd-behaviour at all IMO.

If you want to make your mark in the workplace: you show up on time, you have few or no sick days, you do your tasks on time, etc. Prove that you can be counted on. If the job you are gunning for requires you to have a special skill (language, economical) go to nightschool.
If the job requires you to wear your hair up, so be it.

Gothic Lolita
April 7th, 2008, 07:30 AM
heidihug: Please don't cut your hair, because others might say, that it would look more trendy or professional! Your hair is part of yourself and I think you wouldn't be happy anymore, if you'd cut it for these reasons. If you feel like it is time for the big trim, do it, but I don't think this time is already there for you.

Also, I just don't understand these "more professional " thing. In my opinion a log roll, french twist or figure 8 bun look far more professional than really short, bleached-to-death hair which is styled with tons of gel. A nice conservative bun is so much more professional than these women who alwaqys look like they want to be young again with their bleached/layered hair!

Suldrun
April 7th, 2008, 09:02 AM
minkstole I have to agree with you. I used to have my hair lightened and short it had nothing to do with what was trendy. I wanted something dramaticaly different then my BSL brown hair. I loved it and thought it was very cute.

I don't want to inflame however I do notice what seems to be judgement against people with short, dyed hair ? While at the same time saying how they should not judge long hair? Just something to think about. We all do it.

I have a business and work from home most if the time however when meeting clients I do like to look proffesional as people judge on apperances even though I wish they did not. I wear a nice suit a touch of make-up and my hair in a bun or twist.

If you wear certain accessories I believe you can look classic and trendy ( does that make any sense? :) ) I also have worn a pony tail that was braided after I clipped the front of my hair in a little pouf thing thats in now. I looked very put together and kind of trendy even thought that was not my intent. I got complements on my hair but I was also wearing a nice clothes.

On a side note I do believe that confidance and body language is actually most important.

Phalaenopsis
April 7th, 2008, 09:31 AM
It's so familiar. When I used to cut my hair in layers, everytime one of the neighbours said: "oh, I like your hair, it's so beautiful, very young and trendy"
I have never gotten a compliment of that neighbour when I had an updo.
At school I get lots of compliments, so it's the environment of people I guess.

heidihug
April 7th, 2008, 11:07 AM
judgement against people with short, dyed hair

Perhaps that might be true here in our forum to some extent, but in the business world? I've never seen any sort of negativity towards women with short dyed hair. When it comes to discrimination in the workplace regarding appearance, I've witnessed much more vs. people who chose to go against the norm (say, women with quite long hair, men with hair past their collar, women with very short hair, women who wear no makeup or a lot of makeup, etc.).

It's kind of funny that this thread got revived today, as my boss came in this morning with a new cut and color. She's a brunette and had hair about 5 inches from the nape of her neck last year. She's been gradually getting her hair lightened and cut shorter each time she's gone to the stylist over the past several months. It is now? All about three inches long and it is streaked white, blonde and medium blonde. My jaw almost dropped, it was such a difference from the last time, when it was a dark blonde with some light brunette still in it. I sat next to her at a staff meeting this morning, and it's very dry and crunchy looking. Of course, all the other women in my department gushed about how much they liked it.

But, even knowing what I know, there's no way I'm going to cut my hair now, as I have this great, thoughbeit online, support system. Plus my DH, who's always wonderful.

Melisande
April 27th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Don't forget another important aspect: by making a long hair statement in a short hair environment, you are a trail blazer. In your microcosm. But this is important.

The first generations of feminists thought they had to mimic men, men's attire, men's hairstyles (also for men, short hair is a recent style, but let's not get into it). The long haired female symbolizes power in a traditional environment: Queen Victoria, the head of a large household, the lady - they have long hair. For centuries, long hair in a woman was the power look and also the no power look.

All this changed when around the time of the First World War women entered professions and situations that had been male prerogatives before. What did they do? They cut their hair and began to wear pants. They became more masculine.

(For some aspects of this develpment, I found Anne Hollander's book (http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Suits-Evolution-Modern-Kodansha/dp/1568361017)Se*x and Suits very enlightenting)

By restricting the accepted look to one model, we actually say that this environment is restrictive, ex-clusive. By subtly going against the uniform grain you do a service to later generations who will hopefully feel less pressured to waste their time with trendy haircuts and styling.

Humans come in different shapes, sizes and tastes. It's about time that work places began to reflect this....

Tangles
April 27th, 2008, 07:22 PM
My aunt is a prestigious businesswoman and has never worn her hair other than long. She doesn't even blow dry it! She wears her hair up and half-up mostly, but has been known to wear it down also (it's a bit longer than waist length). And she gets away with it because it matches her spunky, independent personality. Unprofessional? Maybe, but who cares?

Tangles
April 27th, 2008, 07:23 PM
Well said. Long hair is feminine, and femininity is, inherently, a powerful thing. It's only in recent decades that it's been scorned. Another good example is the showing of cleavage. In centuries past, showing small amounts of cleavage was a normal thing and not really that sexual. But these days, breasts have become so sexualized that showing even a small amount of cleavage is seen, somehow, as "wanting to be objectified." Its very sad.

Riot Crrl
April 27th, 2008, 07:46 PM
Maybe I'm living under a rock but I always thought "bun" was the universal symbol for professional, lol! I was just sad because I couldn't do any decent looking ones, but that's improving since I got here.


how many non-LHC high schoolers do you see walking around with buns

The ones who are in ballet. :)

Shanarana
April 27th, 2008, 07:58 PM
I actually think that having long hair gives us the advantage over a short one style hair do. We can do so much. Also, our life encompasses so much more than just our jobs and we are free to express our self any way we want.