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Does hair color interfere with getting hired? I have colored my
hair blonde. I have been out of job market for several years.

Yes, hair color is a strong aspect of your professional image and your perceived hire-ability. Blonde hair is not considered unprofessional as long as it is not the ultra bleached look, not brassy, has no dark roots showing, and is not ultra long.

Although you have been out of the job market for several years, you may be interested in these recent survey results. According to Job Outlook 2002, an annual survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a job candidate’s appearance does influence employers’ opinions and hiring decisions. The NACE study reported that 92% of this year’s survey respondents said that a job candidate’s overall appearance definitely affected their opinion about that candidate. They also said that attributes, such as the following, influenced their opinion:

  • Nontraditional interview attire (82 percent)
  • Handshake (74 percent)
  • Unusual hair color (73 percent) or style (64 percent)
  • Body piercing (72 percent), and
  • Obvious tattoos (69 percent)

Yale psychologist, Dr. Marianne La France, conducted a study on “Hair” just last year. Her findings also said “Hair Matters,” greatly impacting how others perceive you. Hair color and style is one of the first details people notice about a person. Your hair, it’s color, cut, style, and overall condition, communicates a lot about you, particularly your attention to detail.

When job hunting, blonde could work in your favor or it could work against you, depending upon the interviewer’s biases, which you cannot control. Do not make yourself crazy with that and disregard the implications of all “blonde” jokes; they’re just jokes. Before going to an interview, your three main hair concerns should be these:

  1. Is your blonde color believable?…look somewhat natural?
  2. Does it flatter your skin tone and eye color?
  3. Is your hairstyle considered professional and is the cut flattering on you?

Whatever the color, never allow your hair to hang into your eyes or drape across your face when going on a job interview. It’s distracting and that look inspires distrust.



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