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Is There a “Best” Shade of Blonde for Being Taken Seriously at Work?

the best shade of blonde hair for being taken seriously at workDoes the shade of your hair color really matter at work — is there a certain best shade of blonde for being taken seriously at work? We’ve talked about rocking long platinum blonde hair at work before, but not in a while — and  reader A, a law student, has a question about whether golden shades of blonde, bright blonde hair, or dirty blonde hair is best for being taken seriously at work. Here’s the question:

I have naturally dirty blonde hair, but highlight it a light golden shade. I’m a young 1L with a young face and frequently get mistaken for an undergrad and occasionally a high school student. Last time I went to get my roots touched up, my stylist turned my hair ashy blonde w/ dark lowlights at the ends. My friend said I should keep it because it was more “professional.” But golden blonde feels more “me.” Am I hurting my reputation and job prospects by keeping my hair bright blonde?

Well. We haven’t done a hair-for-work question like this in a while, and I’m curious to hear what readers say.  For my $.02, I think any shade of blonde hair is professional so long as you, yourself, are a professional and act like one. (I’m reminding myself of that “how to get a bikini body” joke that was circulating a year or two ago.)  In general, I think that acting older is better than looking older — and as long as you aren’t twirling your hair, playing with it, and keep it well-maintained (roots and ends) there’s no problem. Of course, there’s a heavy component here to knowing your office once you start work, particularly the personalities in your office — if you suspect a senior colleague wouldn’t give you work or take you to client meetings or the like because he or she objects to your appearance, then you may want to consider changing your hair to fit in better at work.  This may be perfecting an updo for work or, yes, dying your hair a different shade. I will also note that once you start work you may find that you need to factor in the time needed to maintain your hair — spending hours at the salon on a monthly basis may be prohibitive for your work/life balance.

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Beauty Wednesday: Natural Beauty Products for Winter

We’ve talked a lot about drugstore beauty items and how your beauty routine changes in the winter, but more and more my winter beauty routine is involving “natural” beauty things — supermarket, even! — and so I thought I’d round up a few I like to kick off the discussion. Find out below how I’m using apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and castor oil in my beauty routine. Ladies, have you experimented with natural beauty things? How did you like them compared to fancier beauty products — is anything a definite in your routine? 

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Coffee Break: Hair Tie Bracelet Combo Set of 3 Bracelets

hair-tie-braceletsI noticed readers discussing hair tie bracelets the other day — and yes, they are a thing. You can find them all over the place (huh, including Amazon!), but Etsy seller MyHairTieBracelets certainly has a ton. I like that this three pack comes with gold, silver, and rose gold; for work I’d probably stick with clear, black, or hair-colored elastics and leave the pink/blue/orange for the gym. The set of three is $32.50. Hair Tie Bracelet Combo Set

(L-all)

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Beauty Wednesday: Dry Shampoo

dry shampooLadies, what is your favorite dry shampoo? What’s the top quality you look for — and what turns you off about other dry shampoos?

As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite dry shampoo (after trying a few) has remained Psssst!, the super cheap, super old-school-looking dry shampoo. Here’s how I apply it before bedtime: I pick up the top two inches of my hair (like where bangs would be if I had them) and spray the dry shampoo at the sections from the front and the back). Even though I have dark brown hair and the spray is stark white, it all absorbs overnight. After that, my hair is kind of a non-issue. It doesn’t smell like anything; it doesn’t look oily; it doesn’t feel overly textured or cornstarchy — it just is. That’s kind of what I’m looking for in a dry shampoo, to be honest — to be able to spray it on and forget about it. (I wish there were a name for this, but I’d say the “ability to forget about it after I’ve made the decision to wear it” is increasingly something I’m looking for in beauty and fashion.)

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The Best Beauty Advice You’ve Ever Heard

The Best Beauty Advice You've Ever HeardLadies — what’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever heard? What advice has changed your routine, and what tips do you always follow? For my $.02, here’s the beauty advice that I think of most often:

  • Put real sunscreen on your face, neck, clavicle/chest, and hands as often as possible. The skin there is far thinner than the skin elsewhere on your body. (By “real sunscreen” I mean like SPF 50 — not the “moisturizer-with-SPF-15-added” stuff I used for years!)
  • Visine gets the red out — whether your face is blotchy from crying at a inopportune time, or you’ve got a pimple that’s bumming you out.
  • Some products are best applied at night — from skin products to dry shampoo to deodorants, and more!
  • Don’t wash your hair too often. Maybe your hair only needs conditioner rather than shampoo. Maybe you only need to wash the front of your hair or your bangs. (This is also handy if you’re trying to fit in a lunch workout!)
  • If you always wear your hair curly, go all in and get a “curly cut” — this often means getting tons of short little layers so your curls can do what they want. (There are tons of posts on this around the web — here are a few.) The con that I learned the hard way: It’s often difficult to get a blowout if you have a curly cut, and possibly even to pull your hair back if you’re going for a run or something. So if you’re like me and you have curly hair but get blowouts for anything important, just stick with a “straight hair” cut. (Here’s our older post on how to make a blowout last for days.) (Just to be 100% clear, there’s nothing unprofessional about curly hair or anything wrong with it, and that goes for natural hair too; my own curl pattern is just really uneven, and there’s a straight bottom layer for some reason, so my personal preference is to wear my hair straight.)

Pictured: Pixabay

Best Beauty Advice for busy women

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…]