CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 08, 2013
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Can Your Hair Colour Affect Your Job?

It is a fact that first impressions play a big part on being hired. Studies surprisingly show how much someone is paid can sometimes be affected by how they look, and stereotypes can be hard to forget.

More times than I can count I've heard the words "blonde bimbo", but in a 2010 study by Queensland University of Technology it shows blondes earn up to seven percent more than other hair colours. Not so much blonde bimbo, but more blonde goddess. Oh yes, it appears us blondes do have more fun. Research also shows being blonde as a male has no impact on wage rates compared to brunette males, highly educated or not.

A survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers compiled annually shows opinions are based highly on a candidates appearance. The important attributes that affected employers' opinions included:

  1. Non-traditional interview outfit - 82%
  2. Handshake - 74%
  3. Unusual hair color - 73%
  4. Unusual hair style - 64%
  5. Body piercing - 72%
  6. Obvious tattoos - 69%

These statistics show just how effective your appearance can be, and with unusual hair colour at 73% the hair colour you choose could have a negative effect on your success at job interview stage.

What effect can having brightly coloured hair have on job opportunities?

Well, it can be argued that the colour of your hair does not interfere with how good or bad a job is done. Although maintaining a professional image can be difficult with neon hair. When it comes to interviews, less is often more. Keeping hair and make up simple is key to making a great first impression.

Having extremely bright hair or an unusual shade when attending a job interview can give your potential employer certain opinions about you instantly. You could be presented as a rebel, unprofessional or even wanting attention to stand out. Gauging the workplace you want to work in is therefore important to go far in your job.

If your workplace is more laid back, funky streaks of colour can brighten up someone's day without you even realising it. In a creative field, a strikingly bold platinum blonde or a super dark brunette can demand attention and lets people know you are an asset. Neutral tones give off a neutral message, so bare this in mind in regards to your work environment and the next time you pop into the hair salon.

Knowing the industry is essential when understanding boundaries and rules for the company. Having blue hair can be the kiss of death for some employers, whereas other employers might not care in the slightest.

Hair colour and style does not necessarily reflect our personalities. Whether you insist on bright or natural shades, be sure to find out company rules, or you may just lose out on that dream job!

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