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ItalianFlower
April 19th, 2008, 10:33 PM
I have a professional "thing" to attend for the next four days, and I assume that having wild, curly hair is not exactly "professional". However, my face looks weird when I have my hair pulled back into, say, a ponytail. Any suggestions? Am I wrong about curly hair being unprofessional?

misspriss
April 19th, 2008, 10:43 PM
Technically speaking, there should be nothing unprofessional about curly hair. But that is not how things really are. You may have heard that loose curls are unprofessional, so the other people at che function have probably heard it too. I don't think people would think you were that bad for wearing your hair curly, it depends on the need to impress these people. Like say, I'm a college student. When I graduate, I want to do everything I can to impress the people I interview with, because I am working only with education and not experience and I have to win them over every way I can. This includes catering to their misconceptions about what should be professional and what shouldn't. However, if I worked somewhere already and I was just going to a professional event, or there was no reason to establish a relationship with those people or anything, I would go as myself, curly hair and all. Does that make any sense? I hope it does...

doodlesmart
April 19th, 2008, 10:49 PM
I don't think curly hair is inherently unprofessional. To me, appearing professional is all about showing respect for the people you are interacting with. This means being clean and having clothing that is clean. It means meeting an accepted dress code, and as far as hair and make-up go, I think the key is that neither should distract from your abilities. In most professional situations, they are primarily interested in your intellectual/tactile/interpersonal etc abilities, and not in your appearance. So I think the general rule of thumb is that no part of your appearance should be distracting from you presenting yourself as a calm, confident and competent individual. This goes to both extremes, as in you would not show up in dirty yard work clothes, but you would also not show up in an evening gown. Professional attire is based around being functional yet showing respect for your coworkers by being a mode of dress that takes some effort. Like any sort of etiquette, it's all about showing consideration for the person you are interacting with, and our society does that by adhering to a loose code of mutually accepted rules. :soapbox:

All that said, no type of hair is inherently unprofessional or professional. Long, short, curly, straight, sleek, or poofy can all be either depending on how the individual presents themselves with their hair. So, if your hair is going to fall in your coffee or someone else's, then it would need to be restrained. If it is going to fall in your face and make eye contact hard, or have you be constantly pushing it out of the way or fussing with it, then it should also be put away. In this case, it sounds like a nice half up should do the trick. Then it's out of your face, but avoids the fully pulled back look. You don't want your peers to remember your hair (though here at LHC we like that too) you want them to remember your charming personality and outstanding skills. IMO, the best way to do that is to make your appearance about what you have to offer to the professional environment and nothing else.

Riot Crrl
April 19th, 2008, 11:02 PM
I am going to try and tread as lightly here as I can, but I'm bound to offend someone.

I think it's horse poo that naturally curly hair is somehow seen as less "perfeshunull" than naturally straight hair. That said, I've found it to be the case at times. Just like any item of clothing, jewelry, etc. It sucks, but I have found it to be true.

I have 3a too, and at first I always wear it pulled back into a straight-looking bun. It does not flatter my face nearly as much as my curls do when they are worn down, but I trade that off for what others will perceive as professional.

I really apologize for not offering a more curl-affirming reply. I would really like to, but I would rather say what I have found to be truth.

Of course it doesn't help that my hair is now almost the color of a freaking fire engine. I can't afford to rock anything but the most conservative of librarian dos at this point, lol.

intothemist1999
April 19th, 2008, 11:11 PM
I have a professional "thing" to attend for the next four days, and I assume that having wild, curly hair is not exactly "professional". However, my face looks weird when I have my hair pulled back into, say, a ponytail. Any suggestions? Am I wrong about curly hair being unprofessional?


What about a loose pontail? I've seen those look very nice on curly hair, and avoids the pulled back look.


.

rubyredslippers
April 19th, 2008, 11:24 PM
How about a half-up with a bun or slide? That looks more "professional" than fully loose curls, but also flatters your face. You can play around with it beforehand to see what works best.

French twists look really professional too but I don't know if you have the length to pull this off quite yet.

Another option if you feel your hair looks too severe in a ponytail or bun you can leave a few tendrils loose around your face.

Hope that helps!

meichigo
April 19th, 2008, 11:38 PM
I wouldn't perceive curly hair as unprofessional, but then again I am neither a businesswoman nor a possessor of even the slightest natural wave.



Another option if you feel your hair looks too severe in a ponytail or bun you can leave a few tendrils loose around your face.

I would second rubyredslippers' comment about loose tendrils; I am always a fan of strands that frame one's face.

I wouldn't have recommended a ponytail as being very professional anyway; to me it is very "sporty"; all function, very little form (unless of course you're using a nice hair toy to hold it up), so I would go with... well, pretty much any other updo. Of all the updos, I can't think of anything that requires less effort than a ponytail, and I doubt anyone wants to give the impression of minimum effort.

So browse around, try out a bunch of updos, and just make sure to leave some hair around your face (whether you leave out strands or only do a half-up as others suggested). Take pictures of yourself so you can compare the different styles and then decide which one best projects your desired image.

misspriss
April 19th, 2008, 11:39 PM
Riot Crrl captured what I was thinking. No, there is nothing technically unprofessional about curly hair, but people sure do think that. Same with long hair in general. You read it in magazines, you see it on tv, it is used in advertizing. Society feeds us subconcious messages all the time about what should be percieved one way or another. You see a 'professoinal' woman on a commerical. What does she have? Short, straight hair, probably glasses, wearing a suit. What do magazines say about short hair? they say it looks more professional and makes you look older. What do they say about straight hair? that looks more polished and neat. So they are inadvertantly saying that long hair is unprofessional. Curly hair is messy and not neat. Employers read magazines. Employers watch tv. Employers grew up reading magazines and watching tv. It is so very ingrained into our society that short, straight hair is professional, long hair is for the young, curly hair is messy, and old ladies have gray haired perms (aka Q-tip hairdos).
There is nothing right about this, but it IS the way things are. There is nothing a small group of LHCers can do to change the years and years and tons and tons of saying otherwise. I for one, plan to have LONG, CURLY, beautiful hair, and excel in a highly professional environment.

ETA: I am going to school to be an accountant, I am interning at the largest CPA firm in our state next spring, and I'm going to have my hair as long as I can get it and wear it curly and proud.

coppercurls
April 19th, 2008, 11:50 PM
I think as long as your hair is not a distraction to you or others it will be fine. I hate all that crap about curls not being professional! Thankfully, the field I work in is fairly hair friendly
:luke:

That being said, I would not wear my hair the same way for a night out the town as I would to a work related event. I would wear my hair however you feel most comfortable & confident with. If you are comfortable with yourself, that is what will shine through. HTH

eadwine
April 20th, 2008, 02:38 AM
A peacock twist done with curly hair.. it will look stunning and yet at the same time it has the professional pulled back look :)

I have straight hair.. well, wavy, but when I want to go for the professional look I also pull it back and don't let it hang loose. To me hanging loose is not professional, no matter what kind of hair it is. :)

aney
April 20th, 2008, 04:18 AM
I agree with the most! If it's business event you should wear your hair up! Unfortunately curly and long hair are viewed as unprofessional!

jojo
April 20th, 2008, 08:00 AM
A peacock twist done with curly hair.. it will look stunning and yet at the same time it has the professional pulled back look :)
. :) you took the words right out of my mouth!

khyricat
April 21st, 2008, 06:44 AM
up/half up is a requirement of looking professional, for me it has to be fully up in my new field because that is food related, especially during my internships... but here I wear it all up all the time too- this AM it is down, but my shift doesn't start yet and I WO'ed in the shower this AM, so its still damp... I'll leave it down till my first break, my manager starts around that time and I'll want it up before I see her...

Amie

Riot Crrl
April 21st, 2008, 03:37 PM
A peacock twist done with curly hair..

Yeah, that is a good compromise. I can get some little curly ends coming out the top that way :)