Do you enjoy expressing your individuality through your hair? In our research, we found that, in general, you shouldn’t have a problem maintaining your unique hairstyle at the following jobs: barista, bartender, call center employee, cosmetologist, hairdresser/salon assistant, personal trainer, photographer, retail, tattoo artist, vintage/thrift store employee, and writer. Jobs that allow colored hair, jobs that allow dreadlocks, and other alternative hairstyles are out there.
Jobs That Allow Alternative Hairstyles
If you have dreadlocks, blue hair, or another alternative hairstyle, these are the jobs for you. Keep in mind, there are many others jobs that will hire you no matter what your current hairdo looks like — but your best bets are listed below, along with most creative-type positions. Each establishment will also vary on other dress code policies, such as tattoos and piercings.
- Call center employee
- Hairdresser/salon assistant
- Music/Video game store employee
- Personal trainer
- Retail (specifically at alternative clothing stores or as a stocker)
- Tattoo artist
- Vintage/thrift store employee
While most companies do not have official policies online, the following businesses have been cited as open to hiring individuals with alternative hairstyles:
Jobs That Don’t Allow Alternative Hairstyles
On the other hand, the following jobs are known for stricter workplace policies that may not allow for an alternative hairstyle. Keep in mind, if you have an alternative hairstyle that can be styled to look neat, clean, and generally more mainstream, you may not have a problem. For example, if you have dreadlocks, you may want to pull your hair back for an interview. Or, if you have an undercut you could wear it down for work. Each establishment will vary on its dress code policies, so this list shouldn’t keep you from applying for one of these jobs if you want to.
- Administrative assistant
- Flight attendant
- Government employee
- Health care professional
- Law enforcement officer
- Store manager (exceptions may be at alternative clothing stores or one of the companies listed above)
- Hotel employee
Are Dress Code Policies a Form of Discrimination?
You may be wondering if companies can, in fact, deny employment based on your personal appearance. According to Goldman & Ehrlich, a Chicago-based employment law firm,
“Employers are legally allowed to create and enforce grooming and appearance codes of conduct. However, these must not specifically target a protected class and the rules must relate directly to the job.”
The firm also wrote: “Technically, an employer can deny you a job because of your tattoos or hair color. However, this must be a standard that is universally applied across the company.”
It’s important to note that some restrictions are not put in place due to the company’s choice, but due to sanitary regulations. For instance, in kitchens or factories where food is made and packaged, employees with long or large hair must often wear hairnets.
If your company enforces a stricter dress code that discourages alternative hairstyles, you may want to consider a more office-appropriate style or color, such as one of the hairstyles suggested by Women’s Weekly.
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Fancy an alternative hairstyle? We have the list of jobs that allow dreadlocks, blue hair, and other alternative styles. Keep in mind, no matter the occupation, each establishment’s dress code policy and company culture will vary. And, employers legally have the right to create and enforce dress code policies that may discourage alternative hairstyles.