Guest Post: What Your Hair Says About You

professional hairWe’ve talked a lot about professional hairstyles, from long hair for older women, to maintainable hair, to gray hair, to work-appropriate up-dos and braids.  To continue the conversation, I’m thrilled to introduce you to today’s guest poster, Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., giving you five quick tips to ensure that your hair makes a good impression at work. Dr. Frankel is the author of Corporette-reader favorite Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, and was nice enough to let us her excerpt her most recent book a few years ago, Nice Girls Just Don’t Get ItNGDGtCO was just updated and revised for its 10th anniversary edition. Welcome, Dr. Frankel!Nice Girls Still_3D book and spine

From Cleopatra to Farrah Fawcett, Sinead O’Connor, and Lady Gaga, women make statements about themselves through their choice of hairstyle. Depending on your workplace, expressing your individualism through your hair can be tricky. And not paying attention to it all is an even bigger mistake. When one executive referred a manager to me for coaching he asked, “While you’re at it, can you do something about her hair?” He wasn’t being sexist. When I met her it was clear she did need to do something about it if she was going to be seen as professional and influential.

When Hillary Clinton decided to let her hair grow longer in 2012 – 2013 she created quite a buzz. Even those of us who are not particularly “looks-ist” wondered what she was thinking. And if you notice, as she gets closer to making a decision about running for president, the hair has changed – significantly. [Read more...]

Beauty Wednesday: Quick, Easy Hairstyles How-To

Easy Hairstyles How-To | CorporetteNeed some easy hairstyles for those crazy mornings before work? Today’s guest poster, Lindsey A. Frederick, gives a tutorial on five different quick styles that take only 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Lindsey, a communications manager and freelance writer in the D.C. metro area (who loves to look great with minimal effort), blogs about lifestyle, career, and communication at lindseyfrederick.wordpress.com, and you can follow her @la_Frederick or on Facebook. Thanks for the tips, Lindsey, and welcome to Corporette!

I am an overachieving chick, who for the most part, likes to maintain a polished look at work. But I have a few things going against me: mornings are not my friend and I have the kind of wavy hair that’s not cute — just poufy — so drying and styling my hair is the most time-consuming part of my morning routine.

Between exercising, packing a lunch, and making sure my daily schedule is in order (OK, and probably hitting snooze a few too many times), some days it’s all can do to get out the door on time. For the days I’m low on time but still want to be high on fashion, I use these 5-minute hair cheats: [Read more...]

Professional, Maintainable Hair

What is the Best Professional Hairstyle? | CorporetteWhich are the best professional hairstyles or cuts?  How should you upgrade your hair as you climb the corporate ladder?  Reader M wonders:

After a lifetime of basically ignoring my hair (I’ve either kept it quite short or in a ponytail), my career is really taking off and I need to have a more ‘corporate’ look. (I work in technology, almost entirely with men, but am moving into a position where I need to represent our team to C-levels.) Unfortunately, I have no idea where to start, or how to find a cut/style that will be professional but not require oodles of time. Any tips would be much appreciated.

Great question! If you’re comfortable with short hair, you may want to keep it there — it’s hard for me to think of a short haircut that would be unprofessional, so long as it’s maintained well and styled neatly.  That said, here are a few more tips:

- Work with what your hair wants to do if at all possible — for example, get a cut especially for curly hair.

[Read more...]

How to Schedule Appointments When You’re Very Busy

how to make appointmentsHow do you stay on top of hair cuts and other personal care appointments when you’re a busy professional? Reader S, who is about to start as a summer associate, wonders…

I’m in law school, about to start as a summer associate at a firm in NYC, and I was wondering if you had any advice on scheduling appointments while working at a firm. I know that as a summer, I probably won’t have the same workload as I would as a junior associate, so this is mostly a question for the future. When you were in BigLaw, how did you stay on top of things like hair cuts and waxing appointments? It just seem like the hours you need to be working and in the office would make it really hard to schedule things in advance or take the time off to get in with your favorite person.

Great question, S — for my $.02, the answer is to make friends with your calendar system. Let me explain:

- Schedule appointments at the first or last appointment of the day. Doctors, hairstylists, it doesn’t matter — everyone who is appointment-based falls behind. Another option: take advantage of weekend appointments where offered.

- Schedule WELL in advance. The first or last appointment of the day (or the weekend appointment) can be really hard to get, which is why you should try to schedule everything ahead of time, when you can afford to wait a few weeks or months. [Read more...]

Work-Appropriate Braids

braids-for-workYes, yes, the braids trend has been around for-ever now… and I’ve been meaning to write a post forever!  It shows no sign of stopping, I think in large part because braided looks are easy and fun hair styles that can be adapted for fancy looks (weddings, galas) to every day looks (like work) — and because they’re just braids they’re pretty weather-proof as well.  I thought I’d round up a few of my favorite braid tutorials for you guys, and start the discussion — do you like to change up your hairstyle for work?  Do you think braids are professional enough to wear to work often?

For my $.02, I think some kinds of braids are a hard sell after you reach a certain age (e.g., milkmaid braids, the braided-halo look, etc), which means that in general those looks should probably stay away from the office.  Either you’re too old to wear them, or you’re emphasizing that you are young enough to wear them.  That said, my favorite grown-up way to do braids is to do a few braided strands as part of an otherwise normal look for you, whether it’s down, a bun, a ponytail, or a half-updo.  I’m putting Maria Menounos’s look front and center because a) I think she normally has a good professional hairstyle, and b) the YouTube video actually does a good job of showing you where to take bigger sections of hair and so forth.  I think she looks “new and now” (as they joke at the end of the video), but that she doesn’t lose any credibility points in doing so.  I can see this also being a nice update to a pulled-back look such as a messy bun or a low ponytail.  Here’s a similar take from Real Simple.  I actually always think of this as being a Lauren Conrad braid but could not for the life of me find a tutorial on her site, The Beauty Department — maybe it’s just too simple. [Read more...]

Is Ombre Hair Professional?

ombre-hair-for-workIs ombre hair appropriate for the office? When does any hair color become “unprofessional”? Reader P wrote in with a great question, and perhaps might lead us to an interesting discussion of when hair dyes and colors cross the line:

I was wondering if you could do a post on whether ombre hair is professional. I graduated from law school last May and am currently interviewing for positions. I have this “fellowship” through my school for now (used for rankings), but am looking for a full time real job. I have long black hair and am thinking about getting the ombre look with either medium to dark brown on the ends or perhaps auburn. What do you think of this look? Is it acceptable in the professional setting or does it seem to casual? Here are some images of what I’m thinking of: here and here.

Every time I think we’ve covered hair as completely as it can be covered, another question comes up.  We’ve talked about platinum blond hair at the office, as well as gray hair at the office, but not other hair dyes and colors.  So let’s discuss. [Read more...]