63 Hairstyle for Women in the Workplace
In general, workplaces are a lot more open-minded about appearance today than they were a couple of decades ago.
It is no longer an uncommon sight to see a checkout cashier with blue hair, for example.
But depending on your work environment, there may still be some rules (spoken or otherwise) governing your hairstyle.
Some of these may be social in nature, while others may be practical.
So what are the best hairstyles for the workplace? In this article, we’ll go over some ideas for short, long and medium hairstyles for your day job.
Specifically, we’ll be focusing on professional hairstyles for women.
Why Does it Matter? What Is Important in a Hairstyle for Work?
What you need to think about when it comes to choosing a hairstyle for the workplace will depend on your company and your job position. But here are some common considerations:
- Conformity: If your workplace is conservative/traditional, conformity might still be important when choosing your work hairstyle. That means avoiding anything that could be perceived of as being “extreme” or too far off the middle of the bell curve in any way.
- Speed and convenience: Pretty much regardless of where you work, you probably want to choose haircuts and styles which are fast and easy to manage when you wake up in the morning. That way you can get right to your workplace with your hair looking great
- Easy to fix: Try and pick a low-maintenance hairstyle which not only is fast and easy in the morning, but which you can also make quick corrections to throughout the day as needed.
- Keeping hair out of your way: You don’t want your hair getting in the way of your work. Good work hairstyles prevent your hair from falling in front of your eyes or hanging down over a task you are performing.
- Age considerations: In some workplaces, you might be expected to show up with a look which is “age appropriate.” In others, it might play to your advantage to pick a hairstyle which makes you look younger, since ageism in the workplace is rampant.
- A clean, polished look: Pretty much regardless of your industry, you want to come across as “polished” to be seen as a professional. Neat, tidy haircuts can help with this.
- Trendiness: While work hairstyles that emphasize conformity can be good in some workplaces, in others, you might need the opposite. If you work in a field like beauty, fashion or art, a trendy, unusual hairstyle may actually be preferred.
Best Short Hairstyles for Work
Short hairstyles can be a great option for a professional. Short hair generally can come across as conservative when needed, or it can be styled to be trendy and eye-catching. It is easy to make short hair look neat and polished. It also stays out of the way pretty much by itself, and is usually very fast and easy to maintain.
The A-line bob is a classic look. This particular version of it has a dramatic angle which gives it a modern twist. Since it straddles modern and traditional so well, it should be a good fit for a variety of workplaces.
Bob With a Curl
Here is a variant on the style above. The angle is less dramatic, so it has a more classic appearance. Notice the cute curl backwards by the front.
This short style features beautiful layers, and is ideal if you have thick hair and want to make sure that it falls with an appealing shape.
Short Bob with Wispy Bangs
Bangs or no bangs? It can be a hard question to answer. On one hand, bangs can frame your face nicely. On the other, thick, blunt bangs can be tough to manage, and the last thing you need is your bangs being uncooperative at work.
A perfect solution is a hairstyle which incorporates thin, wispy bangs. Bangs like these tend to be more manageable and less likely to become greasy throughout the day. The short bob style you see here is also appealing for work overall, keeping hair out of the face and offering a tidy appearance.
Perfect Razor Cut Straightened Bob
If you’re looking for a short or medium hairstyles which has a very clean look for the workplace, you cannot go wrong with this short bob. It has a couple of things going for it with regard to neatness.
First of all, the hair has been straightened. Even though beachy waves are more “in” right now, there’s no denying that this is a sleek and classy look for professional environment.
Secondly, the look is high-maintenance, but simple. It does require you to trim your hair on a fairly continuous basis to maintain the razor-sharp edge. But if you excel at this, nobody can overlook that you put ongoing time and dedication into your appearance.
Thick Layered Bob
This is a look which is similar to the layered bob we showed earlier, and likewise is a style recommended for thick hair. Technically, it is more of a medium-length cut at the back of the neck, but it is short on the sides.
Sleek, Simple Short Bob
This bob is simple and straightforward, without a lot of complicated lengths or angling at the base. The layers all angle toward the back from the front, and though you cannot see it, there are no bangs with this haircut.
Classic Pixie Cut With Choppy Bangs
A pixie cut is perfect for ensuring your hair is never in your face, and aside from keeping it trimmed, it requires next to no daily maintenance. If you have a hard time getting your bangs to behave in a perfectly neat and orderly fashion—and especially if yours tend to separate—choppy bangs are a good solution.
A-Line Bob With Beachy Waves
Beachy waves are everywhere right now! If you want to try this fun, carefree look for work, it looks great on an A-line bob. It also is an excellent choice if your hair is naturally wavy.
Short and Simple
This simple, clean look would fit well into any workplace, and would be incredibly low-maintenance. A bit of highlighting can help add an impression of depth to the hair.
Simple Bob to the Chin
The chin is a good length for hair in the workplace, and a convenient length in general. Your hair stays above your collar, but there is a lot you can do to style it if you want to jazz it up a bit. Styled simply as it is in this photograph, it doesn’t shout out for attention, but makes a nice impression on anyone who sees it.
Side-Angled Asymmetric Bob
If you want a look which is sleek and contemporary, but which would still fit fine into a conservative work atmosphere, this side-angled bob is edgy enough to stand out, but not in any way extreme.
Have wavy or curly hair? You might be able to pull off this look which seems to be almost—but not quite—a bob. This hair looks like it has some natural volume, but the waves give it a textural boost.
Straight-Across Chin Bob
This is a look which would be easy to trim and keep up on your own if need be. Cutting an angled bob is also pretty simple once you learn the basics, but even as a complete beginner, cutting straight across the bottom should not be too difficult. The straight-across look also helps balance out the disorderly aspects of the waves so that you get a very neat and professional appearance to your hair.
Voluminous A-Line Bob
Whether you have thick or thin hair, you can give it a huge volume boost by getting a heavily layered and angled short bob which allows for some “poof” in the back.
Bob Above the Chin
While the chin is a popular length for a bob, a cut that ends just above your chin can also make a great look for the workplace.
Curly Pixie Cut
Have curly hair? Cutting it into a short pixie allows the volume to pile on the top, framing your face for a classic effect.
Think about going super short with your pixie haircut. This look is literally maintenance-free. Just freshen it up with some clippers every few weeks. No brushing or styling is required.
This is a look I would characterize as being “slightly messy,” but not too messy for the workplace. The soft, loose twists in the front and side make it undeniably classy and also keep the hair out of the face.
Soft, Side-Parted Pixie
This pixie cut is short at the neck but long on top with the hair swept to the side. It is a flexible haircut which can be styled in many ways which can be neat, messy, or anything in between.
Middle Part Bob
This bob is as simple as it gets, parted directly in the middle and down to either side, falling to the chin.
If you want a sexy short haircut which is heavy on texture but still great for the office, you cannot go wrong with this pixie cut.
Short Natural Pixie Cut
This short hairstyle shows off the graceful lines of your neck and head and ensures that your hair will never get in your way at work.
Tall on Top, Short on the Sides
This haircut is almost a fade. It elegantly frames the face, and keeps hair out of the way.
Long Bob With Minimal Bangs
This long bob has just a bit of bang swept to the side, with the rest of the hair pushed back out of the face.
Short and Tapered
Another gorgeous hairstyle for work is this one, tapered on the sides and heavy on volume on top.
Best Medium Hairstyles for Work
If you work in a traditional environment where conformity matters, medium hairstyles are usually the safest option. In terms of length, they are right in the middle of the bell curve.
They also are a “best of both worlds” option in general, maximizing flexibility and allowing you to try out a wide variety of hairstyles both at work and at home.
The French Twist is elegant, sophisticated, and very tidy. It looks fancy, but it is surprisingly fast and easy to do. While pulling upward on your hair in the back, you twist it. Then, you take the extra bit of hair at the top of the twist and tuck it down inside and secure it with some bobby pins.
This hairstyle is better for medium-length hair than long hair, because long hair tends to be too voluminous and heavy to wear this style comfortably and effectively.
Easy Waves Long Bob
The waves in this long bob look like they were probably made using a straight iron, which is pretty easy to do. In fact, it takes just a couple of minutes, and then you are ready for work.
- Loose Chignon
If you have medium hair, you can probably get away with a chignon at the base of your skull (longer hair may be too heavy to wear this look comfortably). There are many different ways to style a chignon. Here we see a loose chignon with the hair in a gentle arc in front of the ear.
If the look above seems too elaborate and/or you don’t have enough hair for it, try this simpler version, which also looks beautiful and work-appropriate.
Low, Classic Bun
One look you absolutely cannot go wrong with in practically any work environment is a low bun. This style of bun ensures that your appearance is very tidy, and it is comfortable to wear since you don’t have the weight of the bun too high on your head. As it is a longstanding professional favorite, it may also be a suitable choice for an interview.
Clip Half Your Hair Back
Whether you have medium or long hair, you cannot go wrong with a half down look. You’ll have the majority of your hair pulled back and away from your face, but you’ll have enough hanging down to half frame it. This is among the most versatile of easy hairstyles.
Loose Shoulder-Length Waves or Curls
Shoulder-length is ideal for the workplace, and loose waves or curls can bring texture and body to your hair while remaining classy and conservative.
Straightened Layered Hair Just Past the Shoulders
There are no bangs to worry about with this haircut, just straightened hair that reaches a bit past the shoulders with a couple shorter layers around the shoulders. It is a hairstyle which is easy to manage and clean-cut.
Medium Un-Straightened Layers
A hairstyle which is similar to the one above is this one. This is what you would get with a bit more length and body and minus the application of the flat iron.
This long bob falls to around shoulder length. It is hard to tell from this photo if it is a symmetrical cut or not, but either way, it’d look great in the workplace.
Medium-Length Natural Curls
This hairstyle perfectly frames the face, layered on the sides and longer toward the back, falling just above the shoulders.
Simple, Sleek Long Bob
This long bob consists of long, smooth layers with side-swept bangs. It falls right to around the collar.
Center Part With Medium Layers
Parted in the middle, this hairstyle falls to either side with distinct layers. The longest layers rest just on top of the shoulders.
Long Bob With Curled Ends
The hair is parted just slightly left of center, and looks like it may have been blown out just slightly with a hair dryer before being curled up and inward toward the chin at the ends.
You probably don’t want too dramatic a blow-out at work, but something like this which has body but also restraint might work nicely.
This hair is cut and styled in such a way that the deepest layers of the hair are quite long, falling all the way to the shoulders, but the shortest layers end just around the ears so that the top is like a bob. The face and neck are both framed beautifully.
Natural Curls With Lots of Body
For a look with a ton of body, these voluminous curls are both eye-catching and professional.
Side-Swept Long Bob
This long bob is parted on the side with loose curls falling mostly to the left, elegantly framing the face.
The messy up-do is a timeless classic which will never go out of style. It is fast, easy, and despite its somewhat lazy appearance, almost expected to show up at the office.
Loose Twists or Curls in Straight Hair
Here is an intriguing hairstyle. The hair looks like it is naturally straight, but a flat iron or curling iron has been used to put some loose curls and twists in the middle of the strands, with the straight ends intact. It is an unusual combination of textures, but it makes for a lovely and subtle effect.
Crimped and Glossy Hair
It is easy to think of hair crimping as something that went out decades ago, but it can still be a very stylish look, and a professional one too. This crimping could be achieved using a flat iron. The oil over the waves makes them stand out.
Loosely Braided Top Bun
The braiding in this top bun saves it from looking too messy, though being as it is at the top of the head where messy hairstyles are typical, you could probably get away with it even without the braid.
Best Long Hairstyles for Work
Long hair can be problematic in some workplaces. In certain environments, it can pose a safety hazard or simply be inconvenient if it is not tied back or up. In workplaces with strict appearance codes, it may also be too bold a choice if not contained.
Thankfully, there are plenty of great work hairstyles even for the longest tresses. Here are a few ideas to try.
Ponytail in a Knot
Also a good look for medium-length hair, this style keeps your hair out of your face. It is also handy for when you need to pull your hair back during the workday, but don’t have a hair tie on you. No matter where you are, you can always tie your hair in a knot. This can also be a quick trick to “save” your hair if another hairstyle has fallen apart!
If your hair is super long, it is almost impossible to comfortably wear a full, classic bun at any location on your head. It is simply too heavy. But you can do a half-bun as an alternative. It removes a lot of your hair from your face, and gives you a beautiful look for the office.
Both long and medium hair can look great with an inverted ponytail in place.
The classic ponytail is a can’t-go-wrong look which is perfect for long or medium hair. While high ponytails can work too, a low ponytail is more conservative in appearance and also a bit easier to keep neat. It is more comfortable as well, since it does not position weight at the top of the head.
Who says your ponytail needs to be in the back? In some cases, it might actually be easier to have it on the side, especially if you get stuck redoing your hair in the middle of the day without a way to check the back of your head for centering and neatness.
Plus, what if you need something to fiddle with during a boring stretch of the day? For those that like to stim by twisting their hair, keeping the ponytail on the side just makes sense.
Loose Side Braid
Whether you try it with a French braid, fishtail, or regular braid, this is a fast, easy, and professional look which keeps long hair in its place at the office.
If you have curly hair and want to keep it contained at work, you might want to try a ponytail like this one. It is a great way to keep and show off your long, beautiful curls, but also have your hair well under control.
Create Your Own Curls
Even if you have naturally straight or wavy hair, you might consider putting some curls in it before tying back your hair. These curls are very neat and elegant and provide for a refined appearance.
Cut Straight Across the Bottom
If you have long hair and you never trim the bottom, it will gradually take on a tapering effect, whether you want it to or not. An easy “neatness” shortcut with long hair is simply to grab a pair of scissors and cut straight across the bottom so that all your hair is the same length. Look how neat it makes it look.
Long Thin Cornrows
Long cornrows are breathtakingly graceful, and can look stunning at the workplace. Medium and short cornrow styles are also worth considering.
Long Thick Cornrows
Here is another cornrow look to consider with thicker braids.
General Tips for Beautiful, Professional Hair for Work
- Keep your hair and scalp healthy for full, vibrant hair growth. One great way to do this is to eat a balanced diet and take a multivitamin for hair.
- Don’t let split ends take over your hair. If you notice them forming, it is time for a trim.
- Do what you can to tame flyaway hairs and to give your hair a smooth, silky shine. One tip for this is not to shampoo your hair everyday and dry it out. Another is to use a hair oil such as coconut oil regularly. Doing so will hydrate your locks and also help keep flyaway hairs in place.
- Keep a few basic hair tools at work like a comb, a set of bobby pins, and a few hair ties. That way you have them if you need them. If you do not own a fine-tooth comb, consider getting one, especially if you have bangs. It will help you to avoid your bangs separating.
- Don’t make assumptions about what is and isn’t okay regarding the appearance code. Ask before doing anything dramatic with your hair.
- Be aware that the rules that apply to you may not be the same as those that apply to another employee. A night auditor at a hotel, for instance, will probably have a looser appearance code than a daytime front desk clerk.
- Conservative workplace appearance code cramping your style? Consider wearing a wig with a conservative hairstyle and color to work, and doing whatever you want with your real hair outside of the office. You can always do the reverse as well.
- Dry shampoo is your friend. If you’ve never used it, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Work just a bit through your hair and you can make 4-day-old hair look closer to 2-day-old hair. It also is great for a quick save if you wake up and your hair is just extra greasy for no obvious reason and you don’t have time to wash it before work.
Questions to Ask a New Boss About Hairstyles at Work
If you are just starting a new job, here are some recommended questions to ask after you accept the offer:
- Are there any requirements regarding the length of my hair? (This is more likely to be an issue for men than women, though there may be a prohibition on very long hair if you are female).
- What hair colors are acceptable? Are unnatural hair colors allowed?
- Does my hair need to be tied back or up in a bun?
- Does my hair need to be contained in a net?
- Are there any other things I should know about hairstyles which are and are not allowed? What about “extreme” hairstyles?
Do not ask these questions during an interview. Wear a conservative hairstyle during your interview if you are in any doubt about the company’s appearance policies. Inquire only after accepting employment, and make it clear that you want to conform to the company’s preferences.
Conclusion: The Perfect Work Hairstyle Awaits You
No matter what business you work in and what your workplace culture and environment are like, there are many suitable and beautiful hairstyles which should be a fit both for your hair length and type and for your workplace. Try some of the styles we have shared above. Have fun, and look forward to some awesome compliments from co-workers!