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Hairstyles successful women wear

In today’s competitive work world, you have to look and act the part. Thus, for the woman who wants it all, a hairstyle that says “I’m the boss” isn’t the worse thing to have (though it definitely takes a back seat to your skill set — don’t forget that).

We reached out to renowned hairstylists and beauty experts to learn how your mane can either help your career or hurt it.

Keep it simple

“As women, we’re [unfortunately] not just recognized for our work and how well we can write a report or complete a balance sheet, but we’re viewed, and often even judged, by our looks. Don’t stand out for them, other than to appear professional, clean, neat and well put together. Your hair shouldn’t be too short, funky, spiky or excessively long and filled with extensions, especially as you get older. Clearly, rock stars and celebrities can have some leeway on the latter rules, but in general, simple is best.” — Lucy Segal, health, beauty and lifestyle expert

Rock a classic bob

Anna Wintour

Image: Lia Toby/

“Powerful women in the workplace are also typically very busy women, multi-tasking many duties at once. This, however, is no excuse for not taking the time to look professional. Having a neat and well-coiffed appearance will exude confidence and importance on the job. Classic bob shapes are excellent for all ages and frame the face while simultaneously coming off as polished and professional.” — Sherri Jessee, seasoned hair and makeup artist

Try a French twist

Gwen Stefani French twist

Image: Wenn

“Shiny, controlled hair denotes success. If you want to pull it back, do a traditional French twist or a chignon, but be cognizant that there are no flyaways or frizz. It’s imperative to keep texture to a minimum. Hair should be smooth and soft. To create this look, you can use a flatiron to get rid of unwanted volume, and apply Wella SP Satin Polish Cream or Halo Mist by Sebastian — both will leave your hair with a reflective sheen.” — Claudio Lazo, celebrity hairstylist and owner of C The Salon in Studio City

Tailor it

Hair inspiration: Check out our photo galleryof work appropriate hairstyles!

“In my opinion, successful women always exude confidence. And with that being said, most females with very well-defined, tailored, structured and serious hairstyles (think Victoria Beckham and Anna Wintour) excel at what they do.” — DaRico Jackson, celebrity hairstylist

Get noticed with a new ‘do

“Most people attempt to fit into the basic culture that has already been established when they take a job, and to some extent, your hairstyle can either work for or against you in that regard. I do think it’s important to feel authentic, and not phony though. How you wear your hair can be a liberating way to express yourself. Usually, it’s the execution of your cut that counts. Keep your hair clean and healthy, get regular trims and stay current! If you haven’t expressed your personality through your hair in a new style for years on end, consider shaking things up a bit.” — Andre Walker, Creative Director of Andre Walker Hair, LLC, and seven-time Emmy-Award winning stylist to Oprah Winfrey

What does your hairstyle say about your personality?

We asked Scott Fontana, expert stylist and owner of Cristophe Salon Newport Beach, to share his thoughts:

Short hair (chin length and up)

Short hair

Image: Daniel Lee/Flickr

Short hair (chin length and up) says you are a very strong personality. You’re a go-getter, you don’t fool around and you get the job done.

Long hair (below the shoulders or longer) worn wavy/curly

long curly hair

Image: Daniel Ingold/Cultura/Getty Images

Long hair (below the shoulders or longer) worn wavy/curly says you are a very fun person who likes to go out for a drink after work.

Long, straight hair

Long, straight hair

Image: Ashley Webb/Flickr

Long, straight hair says you’re serious, but you still like to have a good time.

Flawless Hair

Flawless hair

Image: Image Source/Getty Images

Flawless hair, meaning every single strand is in place, says you’re a perfectionist — everything has to be just right.

What does your hair color say about your personality?

Nicole Hartman, hairstylist and colorist at Prive Salon in Los Angeles, says that while your hair isn’t a correct indicator of your personality, society has stereotyped certain shades. Here’s her take on blondes, brunettes and redheads:


Hillary Clinton

Image: FayesVision/

Blondes clearly have more fun! I actually believe that blondes are getting a more serious rep. Hillary Clinton is a blonde in a position of power. The super model Agyness Deyn couldn’t book a single job when she went dark for a short period of time.


Brunette woman

image: Astronaut Images/Caiaimage/Getty Images

Brunettes are usually viewed as more conservative and introverted, but they are getting the job done.


Redhead woman

Image: Musketeer/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Redheads are seen as strong, passionate and goal oriented. Most women actually say that if they could change their hair color for one day, it would be red. I believe that most women look great in red hair. The trick is just to choose the right shade that complements your skin color.

Hairstyles you should never rock to work

Do ditch these ‘dos for the office, says Hartman!

  • Super styled hair
  • The “Bump It”
  • Bad extensions to hide short hair, or extensions that show. If your hair is too short to put in extensions, listen to your hairdresser and don’t do it. Rock short hair — it shows confidence!
  • Crimped hair
  • Unwashed, don’t-care kind of hair
  • Grown out hair color

Discover more beauty advice

Can your makeup look influence people’s perception of you?
Fun bun hairstyles
Get beautiful hair from the inside out

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