Hair Accessories for Grown Women: What’s Appropriate for Work, Play, and Beyond?

hair accessories for grown women

Because everything old is new again, scrunchies, headbands, and claws are back in style and being offered as hair accessories for grown women, and I can’t wait to hear readers’ thoughts on them. I know some people have always been Team Scrunchie; I myself have always been Team Claw (and of course, the old black Ouchless elastic I wear on my wrist pretty much every waking hour). But there are strong opinions about this! Are you going to give headbands a whirl in 2018? Are some of the more decorative options (like the goldish star claw) just not appropriate for most women over a certain age (like 16)? For those of you who have strong opinions FOR hair accessories, which stores make the best hair accessories in terms of comfort, durability, price, look, etc?

Psst: our last poll on what kind of hair accessories are appropriate for the office … in 2009!

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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…]

Coffee Break: “Wicked” Head Wrap

Sweaty Bands | CorporetteThese highly-rated headbands are apparently perfect for a workout — I could see them being particularly great when you’re working out at a company gym or a gym near the office and actually care what you look like. They come in a zillion colors and are marked $15 (2 for $25). Sweaty Bands “Wicked” Head Wrap

(L-3)

When Do Girly Clothes Become Unprofessional?

dressing-too-girly

2017 Update: We still stand by our advice on when girly clothes become unprofessional, but you may also want to check out The Ultimate Guide to Business Casual for Women.

If you wear girly clothes, will you be seen as less of a professional? Reader A wonders…

I recently parted ways with a company where I was being micromanaged, like my boss didn’t trust me to do anything without his help and supervision. He never said why, but he kept treating me like some incompetent child. At the same time, I’m really into mid-century fashion, and I would wear really girly things that wouldn’t really been seen in most traditional offices – polka dots, shades of pink, lacy headbands, and even bows. I knew it was unorthodox and I may get some weird looks, but in hindsight I’m wondering if my clothing made my manager see me as a little girl, and maybe that’s why he wasn’t taking me seriously as a young professional. Do you think there was any connection between my fashion choices and my boss’s micromanagement?

Yowza. Ok. We’ve talked before about being feminine, as well as wearing vintage to the office, but we haven’t really discussed how going Extremely Girly affects how colleagues perceive you.  I do think  A few thoughts:

  • In general, wearing the occasional girly item is OK.  For example, something pink or polka-dotted will not make you seem like less of a professional, particularly if you otherwise act like a grown-up. Similarly, a bow here or there is fine, provided you don’t look like a present waiting to be unwrapped.  Personally I’m not a huge fan of headbands, but I think that sedate ones (solid ones, if not ones that match your hair color) are occasionally OK at work.
  • That said, it’s a bad idea to wear very girly things exclusively — Elle Woods was comical because she wore pink ALL THE TIME.  [Read more…]

Beauty Wednesday: What Do You Keep Trying?

Japonesque Lash Placement KitI thought today we would talk about the beauty and hair things that we want to like and adopt into our repertoire — but that, despite multiple tries, you still don’t quite “get”.  Weird question, I know, but for me I can list a few things that are in this category:

– False eyelashes — I think I’ve gotten them to stick approximately ONCE — for a random friend’s party sometime in 2001.  I feel like they’re so much more popular than they used to be (at least, I can’t think of a single show I watch on television where the actresses aren’t all wearing them, even for the “natural” faces) that I want to keep trying them, at least for nights on the town.  Still: every time I get them out they end up not sticking or not sticking in a symmetrical way — and the glue inevitably screws up the rest of my eye makeup.  (My latest thought: that I need to try one of the new “false eyelash applicator” things, such as Japonesque Lash Placement Kit, available at Beauty.com for $12 — any thoughts, ladies?) [Read more…]

Can Older Women Have Long Hair and Still Be Professional?

Glasses and long hair, originally uploaded to Flickr by Carutapera | PixelAlibi.

2018 Update: We still think this is a great discussion on whether older women can have long hair and still be professional — but you may also want to check out some of our more recent discussions on aging gracefully, including how to go gray intentionally.

Long hair on older women: the perennial question.  Despite our extensive oeuvre of hair-related questions here, I don’t think we’ve done this one* (and it was hotly protested among commenters in response to The Careerist’s recent diatribe against Hillary Clinton’s long hair, as well as among her own readers.  (Although looking back, we have done the “should I cut my hair for my first job” variation on the question.)

Let me begin by saying I’m biased: at 35, I have probably the longest hair I’ve had in a long time.  This is for a few reasons, I suppose:  first, the last time I did a major cut (donating 9″ to charity after my wedding), it kind of grew into a triangle shape, and now both my husband and my hairdresser protest heartily whenever I try to cut it anywhere near the top of my shoulders.  Second, it’s growing like a weed right now (which will probably change when we finish weaning). Furthermore, I look back on pictures from my early 20s to mid 20s, when my hair was at its all time shortest, and feel a sense of disconnect with that person.  So I think I’m kind of solidly in the camp of “I’m going to wear my hair long until I can’t.” (Pictured above: Glasses and long hair, originally uploaded to Flickr by Carutapera | PixelAlibi.)   [Read more…]