Hair is actually an essential part of our look! So it comes as no surprise that some hairstyles for men might be a little bit unprofessional in professional work environments.
While we do believe that the most important thing is always confidence, it might be a little hard to be super confident with an unprofessional hairstyle. This is why we have curated a list of 12 hairstyles for men that might be a little unprofessional in a very professional work environment.
At the end of the day, we do not want to tell you what to do with your hair or what you should not do with your hair. That decision is purely yours. However, especially when starting in a new industry, it is true that the first moment you meet someone does count for a lot.
And if they are super distracted by your unprofessional hairstyle, they might only remember that tiny detail about you. We would love to help you prevent an experience like that!
Unprofessional Hair Styles For Men:
1. Long hair
Wait before you start shouting at us! If you decide to have long hair, you can still look professional. However, it would help if you tamed it. If your hair looks greasy (and this goes for long and short hair), you will look unprofessional. The same goes for knots in your and things like this. A man bun or a ponytail can still look professional!
So you can absolutely have long hair and look professional as a man. You have to take good care of it and make sure that it looks professional in your work environment. A man bun with a nice suit will actually look super nice and professional as well. Also, it is crucial to keep in mind that this is all about the industry you are in. If you are a drummer in a metal band, your hair can probably look a little wilder than when you are working in a law firm. Just try to fit into your environment a little.
2. Asymmetrical hair
While this can definitely be a cool and fun hairstyle for men, this will definitely not be an accepted hairstyle in the corporate world. Basically, anything that distracts too much will probably not be appreciated or even accepted in the office world. While that seems a little bit boring, you can always choose a fun tie or wear fun clothes during the week!
While bold is usually a great thing to be, it is not when it comes to your hair. And if an asymmetrical hairstyle is anything, it is bold in big letters for sure! So better stay away from a hairstyle like that or find a career that allows a unique hairstyle like this. Maybe as a hairdresser or artist?
3. Colored hair – in unnatural colors
While we totally think bleached hair can look super cool, it probably will not look so cool at the office anymore. Punk rock hair in pink, neon, blue, or a crazy blonde is probably not the way to go at an office space.
That does not mean that you cannot show your individual self at the office. You should not express yourself at an office space through your hair, you know? We should always try to keep it appropriate. If you really do feel like you need a fun and crazy hair color, why not just buy a wig and go crazy on weekends? This might be your only option if you want to keep your job.
This one actually makes us sad, to be quite honest! Cornrows are culturally significant. Sadly, in conservative work environments, they are deemed unprofessional. They were developed for Afro-textured hair – and no, you should not have them as a caucasian person because that is called cultural appropriation.
So cornrows date back to 3000 B.C! How crazy is that? And now, some corporate environment has decided that they do not look professional enough. While we do not think that this is fair or even okay, we would advise you against having them if you do work in a job that has conservative people deciding if you get to keep the job or not.
5. Hair design
Did you know that hairdressers can basically get any design in your hair? While this sounds cool for sure, it is not the way to go if you want to keep working in the corporate world. A head that looks like an art museum is definitely not appreciated in the office space, sorry!
We are sure that you can find other ways to show and express your creativity, right? And also having hearts or something as your hairstyle is a little childish anyway. So while we do want you to have a hair design, it should not be a crazy pattern but just something you feel comfortable with!
6. Two-sided braids
If you do have long hair, you probably should not braid it into two tails if you are a man. While we think that you could totally rock that hairstyle, it might be a little too distracting for the office space and a little too much for the pretty conservative corporate world.
The good news is: If you do like this hairstyle, you can braid your hair on the weekends or on your days off since you can braid them whenever you want when you have long hair or access to extensions. And you know what? Maybe the time where everyone can express themselves however they want at work is not as far away as it seems sometimes. As long as your hair is clean, you should be able to style it however you want, without being judged for it.
7. Man braids
There are many different braiding styles for men. Some of them have cultural relevance, and some look pretty. And while we are sure that you look stunning with your braids, we would recommend not braiding your hair.
It is a shame but depending on the office you work in, this might not be considered a professional hairstyle. But feel free to express yourself with braids as much as you want after work, on the weekends, and on your days off. Maybe there will come a day where you can do whatever you want with your hair. We honestly hope that day arrives sooner rather than later.
But until then: Keep your braids for your free time, and keep your hair professional at work. Whatever that means.
Do you have an inner punk? Is your inner punk screaming for a Mohawk hairstyle? Well, sadly, this is not an appropriate hairstyle for the office. It might be too distracting for your co-workers.
We personally think a Mohawk is such a unique and cool hairstyle, and everyone should wear whatever they want and feel good and comfortable with it, but unfortunately, our personal opinion does not matter. If you really do like this hairstyle, you might be able to talk to your boss and get their opinion on it. Who knows, your office world might be more open than we think! Let us hope so.
When we think of a mullet, we immediately think of the Tiger King, and who says that the Tiger King cannot work in a corporate space? Well, we think the Tiger King and you can do whatever you set your mind to. However, without a mullet, achieving your goals in a corporate space might be a little bit easier because people take you more seriously and will not be distracted by your hair.
If you do really want a mullet anyway, we hope you can pull it off without making your boss angry or irritated. We think at the end of the day, a lot of things are ultimately about confidence, and if you can look confident with your mullet, why not just go for it?
A shag is a hairstyle that was super popular in the 70s. It looks really cool and unique, but since it is kind of messy, it might not be the hairstyle that you want to have when you have a job in the corporate world.
This hairstyle definitely is a statement. And if you are ready to make a statement, you could keep it and go to the office with it. But you have to be prepared for some judgy looks and in the worst case a talk to your boss that will be uncomfortable for sure! But maybe it is worth it.
Even we have to say that a skullet might be a little bit wild for the corporate workspace. It basically is a mix between being bald and having a mullet. Some people even get a tattoo on their bald skull to make a statement.
When we think about how little tattoos on your hand or behind your ear were not acceptable for the workplace just a couple of years ago, it might be a little too soon to show up to work with a skull tattoo! But that is just our opinion; you do you! You definitely have to be super confident even to consider a hairstyle like that, and we congratulate you for that confidence!
12. Frosted tips
Frosted tips definitely had their time on earth, but that time is over, primarily if you work in an office space! However, if this is the hairstyle of your dreams, we do not think that there has ever been someone fired for having frosted tips.
Maybe just by Miranda Priestly on The Devil Wears Prada, but if that is not how you set your standards and if you do feel confident with your frosted tips, there is absolutely no reason not to get them. Just be prepared for some dirty looks by your coworkers (who are probably just jealous because you are just doing whatever you want!)
7 tips to have professional looking hair at work
Last but not least, we would like to give you some tips on how to have professional-looking hair at work.
1. The complete look
It is all about your complete look. If you have a mullet and show up in a jogging suit smelling like the bar that you went to the night before, you will probably have to go to the office of your boss and have a serious talk with them. However, if you have a mullet but come to the office in a suit, well prepared for your work, confident, and with a bright smile, the mullet might not be a big deal, after all. Your hair is literally not the only thing that makes you look professional or the only important thing about you. Do not let your hair define you!
2. Clean hair
Also very important is to have clean hair that does not look greasy or smells weird. If your hair looks clean and groomed, that might eventually be more important than the length or the style of it. If people at your office see that you have put in an effort, that might be all that matters in the end.
3. You do you
If you feel like you have to compromise yourself just to be accepted at the office, have you ever considered that you are not in the right work environment? You should never hide, and if you feel like you need a wild hairstyle to express yourself, you should be allowed to do that without having to fear losing your job. It is 2021, people!
4. Compromise what you can
The compromises you make for work should be ones that you can make without breaking yourself. Do you want long hair? Maybe do not braid it at work. Then you still have long hair and the option to braid it after work. Unless you feel like that would be compromising yourself. Compromise what you can but never compromise yourself.
5. Be confident
If you go for a bold hairstyle, you have to be confident. If your boss wants to talk about your hair, you have to be confident enough to tell them that this hairstyle represents who you are and will not compromise your performance at work. It might even strengthen your abilities at work because you can be true to yourself and do not have to hide.
6. Believe in yourself
Things are constantly changing. There was a time in which women were not allowed to wear jeans. There will be a time when men can wear braids to work without being judged, or at least that is what we are hoping for. You can be part of that change if you believe in yourself and in what you want to express.
If you feel the need to drastically change your hair to a hairstyle that might not be accepted in the corporate world, ask your boss for five minutes of their time. Explain to them why you need that change. Sometimes simply talking can make the biggest difference of them all.
So, what hairstyle is unprofessional?
I think we all agree that a messy, dirty, unclean hairstyle is not appropriate for work. Maybe pink hair, dreads, or men with braids are not accepted just yet in the corporate space.
But if you feel that hairstyle would really express who you are, then be part of the change—the change which allows people to express themselves without being judged as being unprofessional or crazy. You can be brilliant and have pink hair. You can be a man with braids and still be the best lawyer in the whole entire city. Just be you, be confident. Do what you really want to do and express yourself as well as you can.
Who knows how many people will be glad you did and will follow your example?