(Closed) Can employers dictate hair color?

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 31
4843 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Yes they can… that being said I’m shocked that they’re allowing nail polish which is actually a problem in a health care setting  but upset about hair colour. 

Post # 32
2563 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Ok. I’m in Healthcare management. The reason that this comes into play is two-fold. First- professionalism. Second- the customer base (i.e. patients) in hospitals are typically older people. You are there to bring comfort & care to them. If my 85 year old granny goes into the hospital after a fall, she’s likely to be scared & confused. Many older patients experience profound confusion & disorientation while in the hosoital and away from familiar surroundings. In the middle of the night, granny is going to want a nurse who looks competent & “normal” to care for her. She may be scared of the “strange” looking person taking care of her if they’re sporting unnatural colored hair. Management makes the call on the side of the patient & for consistency sake makes the rule for all employees.

Post # 33
1757 posts
Buzzing bee

I had an employer try to micromanage my hair and the contract I signed had vague wording of course *sigh* so first he made me take the blue streaks out- then he said my french braids were “unprofessional”. I was the only person getting reprimanded for my hair- why were ugly messy buns ok?! So then I started wearing a scarf/hijab and he made snarky comments but I never caught them well enough on hidden camera to sue. I would have loved a lawsuit against that bigot! But I couldn’t prove the real reason he fired me was my hair,

Post # 34
7887 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Unfortunately, healthcare is a business. If people are complaining about the crazy hair colors, the administration will want to get rid of that issue. Such a rule wouldn’t bother me since I don’t dye my hair at all, but I can see how it’s within the employer’s right to have that rule as long as it’s a consistent rule. If the employees really don’t like it, they can always find another job. 

Post # 37
3232 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

View original reply
jannigirl :  I was thinking that actually,  what you said.  I can see how an unusual color hair or facial piercings/tatoos could frighten the old people, especially if they’re not well.

Op, I’m all for freedom of personal expression tats/piercings/neon hair, but in certain professions it’s  not gonna fly… and for good reason.


Post # 38
7801 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I have to agree that this is all about the patients. Patients have complained, and I think it is fair for the company to want to allay those fears. Either way, this is something that companies have the right to do; the Supreme Court has ruled in their favour. Rather like a company that requires a drug test, you can disagree with the policy and choose to work elsewhere, but you cannot force the company to change their policy when the courts are on their side. 

Post # 39
44 posts

I’m also an RN. We had the same policy (and no visible tattoos) which was entirely ignored. However, I am a stickler for no nail polish in the hospital– the whole point is being able to really scrub your hands and under your nails, and no one with a perfect manicure is doing that.

Post # 40
594 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I’ve never heard of a health care job allowing nail polish. 

Plenty of employers don’t allow natural hair colours and have a dress code, if you don’t agree with it you don’t have to work their.  I think that it’s fair for a company to be able to control their image. 

Post # 41
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

When I worked at McDonalds in highschool it was in our policy that hair must be of a natural colour. One girl got her hair put into dreds and was sent home and told she had to remove them before returning to work as it was “unclean” looking. This was the same policy for facial hair on men. 

Post # 42
486 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

They can and it sucks.  I’m lucky that my company allows us to dress as we wish (we’re a tech company that makes apps and facebook games.)  Some of the most brilliant people I know have crazy hair colours, off beat clothing or loads of tattoos.  It sucks that other industries aren’t as representative of the way society is now.

Post # 43
4371 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I mean…I understand why people would immediately say it’s not ok. But the fact that this was brought about because of complaints from patients is, to me, a point that shouldn’t be ignored.

It kinda sounds like it’s the name of the game in this field, so while employees don’t have to love it, it strikes me as one of those “if you don’t like it, go find someone who will let you” things.

Post # 44
9561 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

Can employers dictate hair color? YES

if you don’t like it, you don’t have to work for that company.

You have freedom of expression but they also have a right to dictate the image that they want to project.


Post # 45
1299 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2021 - City, State

I work in a hospital for university and have unnatural hair colour, I’ve never had any management, staff or patients complain about my hair colour.

ive had more complaints about my hair in my other job as security, my hair colour and tattoos don’t make any difference to my ability to do the job.

however I have applied for jobs where they have a policy on it and have had to cover them and have a normal hair colour.

while I don’t agree that it effects people’s ability to do the job, you have to go with the policy 

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