Our hairstyle is a powerful non-verbal communication cue that affects others' impression about us - despite the fact that is it not an effective indicator of our character, professionalism and capability. After all, who is to judge that a woman with pink hair is less capable compared to a woman with black hair? Here are 7 common stereotypes that in our opinion, should not have existed, but unfortunately still do in today's workplace…
#1: Women with Side Swept or Airy Fringe are Less Confrontational?
We have no idea why women with centre-parted hair are being perceived as firm, strict and serious. That said, a stern image can be a 2-edged sword. On one hand, you may come across as someone who takes your job seriously. On the other hand, you may come across as confrontational. Normally, for job interviews and 1st year at work, we will suggest for you to go with a side part or airy-fringe as it frames one's face in a softer way, without taking away the emphasis on what you actually can bring to the table.
#2: Women with Curls seem more Approachable?
Unfortunately, some of us might have a resting-bitch-face even though we can possibly be the friendliest people on the planet. If you're one of them and your job needs you to look welcoming and sociable, avoid stick-straight long hair. Surprisingly, curls tend to project an image that's friendlier, approachable and bubbly – which can give you an edge when applying for a job in the service trade.
#3: Women with Short Hair Are More Empowered?
Women with short hairstyles are perceived to be self-assured and confident. Could this be due to the fact that women with shorter hair length are judged as more masculine, and the world is still crazy enough to think that masculinity is correlated to someone's capability? We are not sure. But one thing we're certain of is that the length of a woman's hair has nothing to do with her talent, leadership skill and professionalism!
#4: Women with Wavy Hair are more Mature and Sensible?
Sometimes, being blessed with a young look might not always be a good thing. The most common complaint that some of our customers (who look like they're forever 18) share with us is that their superiors are not taking them seriously. Our advice to them is try sporting a Wob (a.k.a. Wavy Bob). Well-coiffed mid-length textured hair can add years to your look while still looking sophisticated and chic.
#5: Women with Centre-Parted Hair Look like They Meant Business?
Who would ever thought that our hair parting can make such a huge impact on how people perceive us? Centre-parted hair tends to make one look stronger, bolder and more ascertain, whereas side-parted hair is usually associated with preppy and more approachable look. Depending on the job's nature you're applying for, make your parting works for you!
#6: Women with Well-coiffed Hair are More Organised?
Having frizzy, unruly and damaged-looking hair might create the perception of an unkempt and disorganised personality, marring your credibility. Whatever you do, always ensure that your hair is well-coiffed and healthy-looking during your job interview or first month at work.
#7: Women with Shorter Hair Length are seen to be more Ready and Up-For-The-Challenge?
It's simply crazy to know that one's long hair length can hinder their career progression. #SadTruth. Disproportionately long hair can "drag" your face and energy level down - making you look tired and burnt-out - an image you definitely won't want to portray in front of your bosses. A shorter length can make your look energised and fresher even if you had a late night out before the day at work. Ok, maybe not to that extent.
Have you watched the Korean drama, "She Was Pretty"? There's a scene where the hiring manager employed the "ugly" lead actress with messy, unkempt and curly hair over other "pretty" interviewees with well-coiffed hair. Because, he felt that women with such hair are more dedicated at work as chances of them dating is extremely low. (What a prick!)
It's the 21st Century, and it's unfortunate that a woman's hairstyle is still being used as indicators of her personality, character, professionalism and capability… whether we like it or not. Will this change in years to come? Maybe? But for now, it's still best for us to balance between a hairstyle that suits our workplace environment without overly compromising our personal aesthetic. After all, it is not worth it to let our hairstyle hold us back in our career.
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