Professional Hairstyles: Do Ponytails Count?

Professional Hairstyles - Ponytails at Work | CorporetteDo ponytails count as professional hairstyles? Which are the best ponytails for the office?  Do you think 50s/cheerleader ponytails are no-gos for the office, or is any neat, easy hairstyle inherently professional? 

Have you guys been watching AMC’s Better Call Saul? It’s the prequel story to Breaking Bad, chronicling the path that small-time con-man/lawyer Jimmy McGill took to become everyone’s favorite drug lawyer (later known as Saul Goodman). One of the story lines involves Jimmy working at his brother’s BigLaw-esque law firm, and one of his main friends is Kim Wexler, played by Rhea Seehorn. Kim’s story is similar to Jimmy’s — she started in the mailroom, went through law school later in life, and is now working as an associate — but unlike Jimmy she’s squeaky clean. Without giving away too many spoilers, it’s so inspiring to see her efforts to make partner, including a long montage where she calls every single person she knows to try to bring on her own client. In another scene, she does so well on her first court appearance that the opposing counsel tries to hire her. In general, she’s a rockstar lawyer. She dresses professionally, too — but something I’ve been pondering is her hair: her most frequent look is a ponytail. Not just the low, harried ponytail many of us throw our hair into when we’re working in our office and want to keep our hair out of our faces — hers is curled, and part of her all-day look.  And while it isn’t super-high, it isn’t super-low, either. (In general, I think a lower ponytail is vastly better for being taken seriously.) Part of her character is that she’s earnest and kind of new to this world of BigLaw — so is her hair supposed to convey that as well? (Ah, here’s a picture of her ponytail from the back, below. And apparently the same actress wore the same hairstyle on another show where she also played a lawyer, but I’m not familiar with that show.) Maybe I’m biased against ponytails that feel too pageant/cheerleader as professional hairstyles? 

professional hairstyles ponytails

In the past, we’ve collected easy office updos (which included some ponytail looks), as well as discussed how to style long hair for interviews, but let’s discuss ponytails, ladies — what makes them appropriate (or inappropriate?) for the office or other big meetings? Are there different rules for women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s? 

Some thoughts from poking around the Internet: The Muse gives ponytails an enthusiastic thumbs up for professional hairstyles, and Buzzfeed has this niceish twisted ponytail for work, which I like so much I’m adding it to our Work-Appropriate Hair board on Pinterest. [Read more…]

Beauty Wednesday: 12 Easy Updos for the Office

easy office updosMaybe it’s just me, but summertime frequently means bun time. My hair is almost always up, either because it’s more comfortable when it’s hot out, because my hair is frizzy, or just because it’s the easiest way to get my hair to look neat and tidy. So: for today’s Beauty Wednesday I thought I’d round up a few easy updos for work — you don’t have to master all of them, but hopefully one or two of them will appeal to you and will suit your hair.

Office-Appropriate Buns (and Variations)

Jean at ExtraPetite had a great tutorial a while ago about how to get a “voluminous puffy bun” if you feel like your head shape isn’t quite right for updos. (We’ve talked before about the sock bun, as well as the trick to making an updo more comfortable.)

voluminous puffy bun

[Read more…]

Sponsored: Save Time and Sanity with Sassoon’s New Blow and Style Menu

Blow & Style_MR_10Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sassoon, but written by your friendly local blogger, Kat Griffin.

I’ve written before about my love of blow-outs (including how to make a blow-out last for multiple days!), but here’s what I don’t love about blow-outs: the Question.  You know the one: “How do you want your hair blown out?”

“Um…. the normal way.  With a brush and blowdryer and stuff.”  (I say this because I once asked for a blowout and got a flat-iron instead because that was all they offered, and I was too crunched for time to go elsewhere.)

“Yes, but straight?  Wavy? Glamorous?”

“Ummmm… straight, I guess.”

I always feel a bit dumb for not knowing the answer to this question, and I suppose if I started a Pinterest board, or ripped magazine pages out, I could go to the salon and confidently say, “Give me X.”  But I somehow always forget that this is an issue until I’m in the seat.

So I was THRILLED when I heard about Sassoon’s new service: a blow and style menu that not only names popular styles and makes it easier to differentiate among them, it puts even more options right in my hands, right when I need them: when I’m at the salon.

blow-and-style-menu

[Read more…]

How to Style Long Hair for Job Interviews

long-hair-interviewWhat’s the best way to style your long hair for a job interview if you’re a woman in your early 20s? Could wearing it down make you look too young? Reader D wonders:

How should a 20-year-old style her long, straight hair for the interview process for a management consulting job? Is wearing it down and straight too young/collegiate? Is styling it with a curling iron too beauty-pageant/date-y? Just how conservative is the corporate culture of the big three consulting firms? Must hair be pulled back? Interview wardrobe all taken care of, and nails are neat and well-groomed, but what about long hair?

We’ve frequently discussed workplace hair, from whether long hair makes you look young, to whether ponytails at the office are acceptable, to what easy, maintainable hair looks like, to work-appropriate up-dos. We’ve also talked about what your hair says about you at work.

For this post I was going to find a bunch of YouTube tutorials and pictures of women with interview-appropriate updos, half-updos, and long hair. But… here’s the thing: so many of those look totally pageant-y, and on a young woman it’s going to look even more like you’re playing dress up. So here’s my answer:  for an interview, your hair should be neat, recently trimmed, and not something you play with. Ultimately, the hairstyle should be forgettable. I mean that in two ways: first, it should be forgettable for you —  once you do your hair and leave your house, you should be able to forget your hair and focus 100% on the interview(s). No touching, no smoothing, no combing — no thoughts of “ow, these bobbypins are sucking my will to live and when.can.I.get.them.out.please.God.is.it.now.” (Ahem. Personally I hate bobbypins.) Secondly, though, your hair should really be forgettable for your interviewer as well, because you want them to notice your resume and your qualifications and your smarts — not your hair. [Read more…]

Growing Out a Pixie Cut — and Looking Professional

growing out pixie cutHow can you grow out a pixie cut — without looking unprofessional?  Reader L wonders:

Last fall I cut my hair in a pixie cut and although I love the low maintenance cut I’d like to have longer hair again. As you know growing out this cut can be painful. Do you have any suggestions for keeping hair professional during a grow out? Are hair scarves ever Ok? Is it acceptable to get extensions?

This is a really interesting question, and one I don’t have a lot of experience with — the shortest my hair ever was was after I did the post-wedding chop and donated to Locks of Love.  I can see how growing out a pixie would be a challenge in a professional setting, though.  I poked around Google a bit and found some great tutorials from the bloggers at at Unspeakable Visions, Maybe Matilda, and Hair Romance (studying Carey Mulligan’s pixie cut growout)– these ladies did it right and looked great while growing out their pixie cuts! That said, here’s my $.02 for a corporate setting or other conservative office: [Read more…]

Beauty Wednesday: Hair Masks

The Best Hair Masks | CorporetteAs the weather is getting cooler and the air is getting dryer, I thought now might be a great time to talk about hair masks. I really got into them while pregnant with Harry — my skin was super dry, and my hair seemed to be too — so these are all ones that I’ve bought and tried myself.  (In case it matters, I tend to have fairly fine hair, but a ton of it — and it’s getting curlier each year.  It also gets more dry each year, also — handy for making a blowout last for days.)

[Read more…]