Can employers dictate hair color?

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 46
9494 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

This is very typicall for a professional company in my experience.

Many companies also have rules about showing tattoos, piercings etc as well.

If you don’t like it, don’t work for that company. Too bad so sad.

And add me to the list of people that think nurses and such shouldn’t be wearing nail polish. How do you scrub under your nails without chipping the crap out of it? Blech.

Post # 47
140 posts
Blushing bee

Generally, from my mother’s job in that field, I can understand not allowing jewerly and nails/nail polish. Its mostly for those involved with surgery and to avoid things falling into people during surgery (yes even with gloves). So most likely they try to make this across the board for everyone on campus. 

As for hair, I could careless about hair colors. But from my everyday experience, most people, whether wild colors or natural, do not really maintain their hair color. I feel like the wild colors are really the hardest to manage. There are people at my job that look like a hot mess with rainbow hair with 3 inch roots. But my job allows it, and tattoos. And its international level and a huge company. They, in my opinion, cannot afford to be that strict. Equal hair opportunity, yo! 

Post # 48
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’ve never worked a job that allowed “unnatural” hair colors, so I guess I’m used to a policy like this. As far as “should” they be allowed to do this? I guess I feel a little bit like how I feel about wedding planning. Whoever pays get to say. Obviously, that saying doesn’t apply to things that are a violation of someone’s basic rights, but as far as dress codes, if someone is paying me for a job that I have accepted, then I will wear what I’m told to and have my hair, etc look how they want it to look. 

Post # 49
7811 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

If personal expression is important to you then you should find a job in a field or with a company that encourages that. I can’t fathom why people think an employer should bend to the employee’s whim. But I am one of those crusty old Gen-X-ers, so my option may be out of date.

Post # 50
1184 posts
Bumble bee

I think you would be hard pressed to prove that this was “discrimination” under any jurisdiction.  So yes, I think they can do this legally.

Its annoying though, reminds me of my schooldays with no hair colour and no makeup allowed.


Post # 51
733 posts
Busy bee

craigslistgirl :  You tried to wear a fake hijab because your employer asked you to look professional, and then brought in a hidden camera to prove you were being discriminated against for wearing your fake hijab? 

Um… wow.

Post # 52
5708 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

yupmarried :  But I couldn’t prove the real reason he fired me was my hair.

The real reason you were fired wasn’t your hair but your constant disregard for the company dress code which obviously you agreed to when you signed your job contract. 

Post # 53
757 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I live in the Netherlands and my company requires a certain dress code but I don’t think they are allowed to make policies on hair colour and tattoos, it’s a very free country. I did recently do a visible tattoo and I don’t think anyone really cares. 

ETA I am an investment banker 

Post # 54
5109 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

Patients and/or their families have complained. That’s the most important thing here, IMO. Obviously, the wild hair colors are affecting the image of the hospital and I think that they have every right to address that by implementing a policy about hair color. In fact, I think it’s their duty to listen to patient feedback and adjust their policies accordingly. 

If you all worked in an office and never had any interaction with customers and clients, then I might say that it was unfair, though they’d still have the right to do it. 

Post # 55
756 posts
Busy bee

redmango :  I don’t think that employers should dictate specific hair color (i.e. everyone needs to dye their hair blonde), but I do think that they can have a say as to whether they accept natural-looking hair colors or unnatural-looking hair colors.

I can definitely understand why any place that wants to consider themselves a professional work enviornment would have a rule that employees should stick to hair color that occur in nature. I don’t have a problem with that.

Now, if the hospital put in place a policy that resulted in some individuals’ natural hair texture or natural/protective hairstyle being deemed a problem, I would have a huge issue with that. That isn’t something that people can choose in the first place, and they should not be asked to change their natural hair texture.

Post # 56
6792 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I don’t buy the patients have complained bit. My grandmother was in hospital/hospice care until she passed away last year. She complained about the coloured nurses looking after her. Just because someone complains doesnt mean its a) even right to act on it or b) effecting the care. And if they’d had coloured hair or tattoos I’d have said the same thing. Just because my granny was a racist doesn’t mean those werent the best nurses in the city.

I’ve worked at places with and without the ‘natural’ coloured hair clause. I much prefer the places without. They are more relaxed and welcoming of various indivduals. I’m behind a computer 98% of my job. My hair colour or piercings have no effect on my typing or phone skills. So while they might be able to, I think its bull.

Post # 57
1796 posts
Buzzing bee

zzar45 :  are you illiterate or just trolling? I dyed my hair back to normal, then my boss had a problem with my hair being braided. Why are braids “unprofessional” but roll-out -of-bed messy buns not? There was nothing in the contract about braids. The contract was so vague it basically said “must maintain professional appearance at all times”. I conformed to my boss’s complaints again and again, finally covering my hair completely which was legally acceptable (religious discrimination) and he still made snarky comments on how I looked. We wore uniforms, he was only complaining about my head. I just couldn’t win with him., all the other managers gave me rave reviews when I applied for new jobs elsewhere.

Post # 58
5708 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

yupmarried :  you can’t just throw around phrases like “religious discrimination” if you weren’t wearing a headscarf for religious reasons then it isn’t discrimination, clearly.


Post # 59
1119 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

redmango :  they can, don’t agree but I’m a teacher and I can see why we are not allowed to have unnatural hair colors as our students are not allowed to per dress code. 

Post # 60
1548 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m ok with this but if it’s a new policy I believe they should reimburse the people who need to have their hair dyed back to a natural color or they should have to wait until that employee’s hair grows out, which would take forever. I’m in the hair industry and see a lot of colors, 99% of the fashion colors look cheap and scummy after about two weeks, I wouldn’t want my employees looking like that.

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors