Being a female in a business environment is no easy task. One wrong move and everybody assumes you have “female problems”. It’s absolutely unfair and infuriating, but it is a fact of life.  While there isn’t much you can do about stereotypes in the workplace, you CAN control what kind of message your appearance is sending.  Now, it seems silly to be discussing hair when talking about professional work environment (well, it would be if this weren’t a hair blog), but it plays a huge factor in how you are perceived.  While a great hairstyle probably won’t get you a promotion, you may be unintentionally giving off a vibe of unprofessionalism without even realizing it.  Here are some of the best ways to make sure your hair isn’t getting in the way of your career:

1. Keep it clean
Now this is not meant to be taken literally, since (I hope) it goes without saying that having clean hair is a plus in any situation. I’m talking more in the neat sense.  Messy hair is super cute, don’t get me wrong, but you probably aren’t going to see a female CEO with a messy bun on top of her head. There’s no need to rock a slicked chignon every day, but it helps not to have hair hanging in your face or sticking out all over the place.

2. Subdue, not overdue.
Who doesn’t love rocking a great color? Unforrtunately, that great color may be distracting people from noticing your awesome workplace skills.  No one is saying you have to go back to your natural mousy brown, but keep your hair color somewhere in the spectrum of possible for a person to grow themselves, even if that person isn’t you.

3. Tame that mane
Curly hair is the toughest hair texture to keep under control. The easiest way to do this is to put it up, whether it be ponytail, low bun or even half up. If you prefer to leave it down, make sure to use a product meant to eliminate frizz and define curl. It’s also important to have a diffuser attachment for your hair dryer, as wet hair is an absolute no-no (true for any kind of hair).

4. Know your message
Slicked back, unmoving styles can indicate inflexibility, overly styled can make you look high maintenance and pigtails…frankly have no place in any indoor work environment. Think about the message you want your hair to convey in the same way you would think about what message you want your clothes to convey. It’s one of the first things people will notice about you. Make it count.