Fifty-seven percent of managers believe an unattractive (but qualified) job candidate will have a harder time getting a new job, and 68 percent feel that looks will continue to affect their job-performance rating once they’re hired, according to a 2010 Newsweek poll. One simple way to look ultraprofessional: having the right hair.
Go Sleek and Straight
Unless you’re going for a creative job, Olsen-twin hair won’t earn you any points. Wash your hair, apply a shine-enhancing volumizing spray to the roots and blow-dry carefully with a large, round brush from roots to ends. (For the best results, get a trim the week before to clean up any raggedy ends.)
Wear It Loose and Wavy
The trick here is to look effortless. It shouldn’t look like red-carpet hair with sausage curls from hours with a small curling iron. A large-barrel iron will give you soft, easy waves. If your hair is frizzy, condition it well and use an anti-frizz product like Kerastase Nutritive Oleo Relax before drying. Wild hair can give the impression that you are unpredictable.
Try a Professional Ponytail
Run a flatiron over your hair. The ponytail should be smooth—not a mix of curly and straight hair. Gather it at the nape of the neck and use a tortoise clip to secure it, or wrap a half-inch-wide section of hair around the elastic. Don’t curl the ends, or you’ll look like a cheerleader.
Bring on the Bun
A bun can make you look powerful, positive, and proud—plus it’s great for frizzy or fine hair. Brush front sections back to cover your part and fasten hair in a low ponytail. Twist it around the elastic and use bobby pins to anchor the knot. Finish with a mist of soft-hold hair spray.
Trim Your Bangs
If you have bangs, definitely get them trimmed within a week before a big meeting so you’re not constantly pushing them out of your eyes. Don’t have them cut straight across your forehead—they can look thick and heavy, like a paintbrush. Instead, ask your stylist for a piecy, face-framing look. We like a technique called point cutting, which is basically snipping little sections off the straight edge of the line.
Consider Camouflaging Grays
We would never tell anyone with gray hair to color it or not—it’s their choice. But gray hair does have certain negative connotations—people may see a woman with grays and think, Wow, she let herself go. Visit the salon three to five days before an interview.
Gleaming hair is a sign of youth and vitality. To keep your hair healthy-looking, avoid styling products that ruffle the cuticle and rob hair of shine; volumizers, texturizing sprays, and salt sprays are the biggest culprits.Instead, look for a silicone serum or spray, which keeps hair sleek while it controls flyaways.