important is hair color in the office place? Especially for men
and women that are going gray. Does it make any difference in
terms of career advancement? Also, how do you feel about the
latest trends with woman dying their hair deep red and orange.
Do those colors improve career status?
matters, according to a recent study by a Yale psychology
professor, Dr. Marianne La France. Dr. LaFrance claims
that people make broad judgments about one another based
on hairstyle and hair color. Because human beings are
highly visual, it is natural for people to “assume” certain
things about a person based upon how they wear their
hair, how they take care of it, etc.
Hair color in the workplace is significant
for several reasons. Whatever your job, your hair tells
a lot about your attention to detail and your overall
professionalism. Color can also signal particular personality
traits and/or life-stance persuasions, such as conservative
or liberal. Red heads are perceived to be temperamental
and opinionated, whether or not this is accurate on an
individual basis. When you see someone with purple streaks
or heavily spiked hair, what do you think of them? Most
people read those hair clues as meaning that person is
not conservative, but instead someone who is perhaps
rebellious (stuck in adolescence), or likes to be different,
or even on the cutting edge, or someone who works in
the entertainment industry, such as a musician or an
It all boils down to these questions: what
statement do you want to make? What are your goals? What
industry do you work in? Within the context of those
answers, then decide what hairstyle and hair color flatter
you (your face shape and body type) and most support
your professional goals.
As I say in my book, Casual Power, gray
hair can be empowering or it can totally disempower an
individual. If gray hair suits your coloring and if it
has a bright sheen to it, rather than a dull, tired tone,
it can work well for you. However, for this to be true,
the cut and style of gray hair must reflect an updated
look. If the style is freeze-dried somewhere in the past,
gray hair contributes even more to a not-living-in-present-time
statement. The problem with that, especially in the workplace,
is that your hair can send the message that “you” are
tired or that your ideas and work methods are not up
to date either. On the other hand, stylish gray hair
(in good condition) can convey that you have years of
experience and possibly, wisdom, which can contribute
to an authoritative air.
It’s important to consider what industry
you are working in. The high technology, fashion, and
advertising industries thrive on change and the latest
information. In those industries, stylish updated hair
is more important than say the banking industry. However,
I know of no career path where unkempt hair (poorly colored,
poorly cut, split ends and a general unhealthy condition)
and outdated styles help anyone to get ahead.
For the past two years, streaked and highlighted
hair has been considered “in” and fashionable.
It is truly a personal choice. I have observed many women
who have actually increased their beauty with these looks;
and I have seen others who only succeeded in looking
cheap. Dark hair does not often take well to the streaking
When I say that it is important to have
an updated hairstyle, I do not mean following every fad.
Orange hair and the obvious “I’ve-come-out-of-a-bottle” purplish-red
tones, do nothing for your career status, unless you
work in the beauty or hair industry and even then, there
are the credibility factors to consider.
“ Power Up” your hair in a
way that’s right for you and your goals! Remember
this: your hair is one of the strongest communicative
elements of your image.