Everything You Need to Know About Office Hairstyles, Work-Appropriate Up-Dos, and More

Finding easy office hairstyles and work-appropriate but simple updos can feel really hard, and is an ongoing discussion here at Corporette®. These are some of our favorite stories about hair for work, including:

14 Great YouTube Tutorials for Updos

great youtube tutorials for updos for work and beyond!Do you have an upcoming job interview or important meeting, or just want to look a little more polished at the office day-to-day? An updo is one way to keep your hair up and out of your face when you’re tired of always pulling it back into a ponytail or messy bun. While there’s no shortage of hair tutorials on YouTube, including hairstyles and updos for the office — low buns, side buns, curly hair, straight hair, long hair, medium hair — we’ve selected some of the easy-to-follow YouTube updo tutorials for a variety of styles and hair types.

If you’re looking for more talk about office hairstyles, we’ve discussed how long do you spend on your hair for work, how to make a blowout last for days, your favorite dry shampoo, easy office updos, how to style long hair for job interviews, and lots more about office hairstyles in general — but we wanted to feature some easy-to-follow YouTube tutorials that make it even easier to get that polished look.

So gather up some bobby pins, a few hair elastics of various sizes, and maybe a hair donut or other hair accessories, and see if any of these will work with your busy routine.

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How to Go Gray… Intentionally

how to go gray intentionallyLadies, have you ever considered going gray intentionally? I’ve known a lot of darker-haired women who went blonde when their grays started to bother them, but recently I noticed one of my Facebook friends consciously deciding to go gray, despite only being around age 40. I totally understand it, don’t get me wrong — gray hairs can be a pain if you want to cover them up. (Right now I’m not doing anything with my gray hair, which I’ve had since I was 26 — I used to pluck them but then I read that this was a Very Bad Idea, and noticed that yes, tiny new growth (wispies) of gray hair ARE a lot more noticeable than long gray hairs, so… now I do nothing. I think they bug me less since I started getting keratin treatments, though.) Back to my friend, though — I’ve been amazed by what a process it’s been over the months to intentionally go gray! First she added gray highlights so her grays looked intentional — then finally it all got dyed a dark gray (with a brief stop in “blue hair” territory) — I’m assuming she’ll end up with a silvery gray.

Stock photo image: Deposit Photos / photography 33

(Just to be totally clear — one of my favorite bosses had beautiful salt and pepper hair that looked fabulous on her — so I’m not saying gray hair is unprofessional or you have to choose to have colored or gray hair — I’m just saying it was an interesting move by my FB friend.)

How about you, ladies — have you considered helping yourself go gray, either by dying your hair gray or blonde? If your gray hairs bug you, when did you start to really get bugged by the hair, and what (if anything) do you do about your gray hairs? If you’ve gone gray intentionally, do you have any tips for women who want to make as smooth a transition as possible — what are your best tips on how to go gray intentionally? Do you think gray hair has more gravitas than other colors of hair?

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How to Care for Curly Hair in Winter

how to care for curly hair in winterHere’s a question for all the curly girls out there: what are your best tips for taking care of your curly hair in the winter? What are your best tips for controlling frizz, moisturizing your hair, caring for your scalp, and so forth? We had a great discussion about curly and wavy hair in the winter a loooong time ago, and I thought we’d have an updated discussion.how to care for curly hair in winter

Here are the major questions for curly hair in the winter: when do you shower? Do you wet your full head every day — or just attack it with a spray bottle in the morning? How do you avoid wet hair on your commute (does anyone do the spray/rejuvenate curls step at the office?) What hats, headbands, or other types of things do you like best to preserve your curls? Do you find that you need to cleanse your hair MORE–or less in the winter — and if it’s less does your scalp need extra TLC? What curly hair products do you like best for winter? (Does anyone prefer to just wear updos in the winter?)

As I’ve noted before, my hair always had a wave to it, but as I get older it gets curlier and curlier. There are huge differences in my curl pattern, though — the back of my head is super kinky, while the pieces in the front are looser, almost wavyish — and although I would say I’m getting more in control of when it looks “good” (maybe 80% of the time now versus 40% of the time in previous years), I still get a blowout for major events.  So: I consider myself to be a “part-time curly” in that I only wear it curly some of the time. Accordingly, I get “straight” cuts, not curly cuts, because the few times I’ve had curly cuts (years ago now) I hated getting blowouts because there were so many odd, choppy layers. (When my curly cut was blown straight, my hair definitely had that “toddler attacked my hair with scissors” (or, hey, “I got drunk and tried to cut my hair”) kind of look to it — and that’s from the Mothership of curly cuts, the Devachon salon in SoHo.) Last year I also started getting keratin treatments based on the recommendation of another curly friend — it’s made blowouts easier and faster, and it’s made my regular curls less frizzy and slightly looser. Expensive and time-consuming (the keratin appointment is 3-4 hours), but I kind of like it.

Curly Hair Products I use and like:

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How Long Do You Spend On Your Hair for Work?

Here’s a question I don’t think we’ve talked about before: How long do you spend on your hair for work? Did you choose your cut in order to spend less time on your hair? Do you prefer to spend a lot of time in one chunk (such as going to get a blowout once a week (or give yourself one) and then just brush-and-go your hair the rest of the week? Do you do your hair the same way every day, or do you have a “third-day hair” look (or, hey, a fourth- or fifth-day hair look)? There’s no right answer here, obviously — I’m just curious!

For my $.02, when I was younger I probably spent about 30–40 minutes a day on my wavyish hair — washing it daily, blowdrying it as well as possible. There were years where I spent time with a roundbrush and the blowdryer on a daily basis trying to flatten the coarser waves on the back of my head! (I even had a weird headband technique that I thought saved me time — I would take a hard plastic headband with teeth and, after blowdrying, wear it on top of my hair, around my neck, for about 15 minutes while I finished getting ready.) I definitely tried and discarded some hairstyles because they just required too much upkeep on my hair — for example, I loved the look of an asymmetrical bob but it only looked good if my hair was stick straight and freshly cut.

As I’ve gotten older the waves have become curls (I’m probably around 2C/3A for most of my head, with some annoying underlayers that are still more like 2A wavy) and my hair has gotten drier, so I wash it much less frequently, let it air dry at night, and am more likely to throw it up in a bun or other updo (or half-updo) for daily wear, with a commitment to getting a proper blowout when I’ve got any major meetings to attend. (I’ve always just popped in my local salon for a blowout, but I was blown away with how quickly the woman at Drybar did my hair — I swear she had it done in 30 minutes when it can sometimes take as long as 60–70 minutes elsewhere.) This week I’m going for another keratin appointment, which will ultimately reduce styling/drying time — but spending three hours on my hair at once seems like a huge time suck!

How about you guys: How much time do you spend on your hair for work? How much time you spend on a daily, weekly, monthly basis? What tips and tricks have you found to help you spend less time on your hair for work?

Psst: we’ve talked about how to make a blowout last for days, your favorite dry shampoo, easy office updos, and lots more about office hairstyles in general.

Pictured at top (ooh, and eligible for GWP!). This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!
Social media picture via Stencil.how long do you spend on your hair for work
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Coffee Break: Natural Silk Pillowcase

As I mentioned in our post on the best beauty treatments to save time, I just got my first keratin treatment for my hair earlier this summer, so I’ve been on the “take good care of your hair treatment” train, using only sulfate-free shampoos and other things that are often recommended for people who color their hair. (Here are two affordable sulfate-free shampoos if you’re hunting.) One tip my hairdresser gave me was to try to sleep on a silk pillowcase, which I’d read before as generally being good for curly hair — so I got this $20 one at Amazon (in a briiiiight royal blue, one of the 30+ colors this thing comes in). For a $20 pillowcase, I like it! Will it be as sumptuous as the $300 silk pillowcase I was drooling over at ABC Carpet & Home the other week? Nooooo… no it will not.  Will you notice a $280 difference? Eh.  ALASKA BEAR – Natural Silk Pillowcase

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

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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