So, you’re a guy with long hair, you’re out looking for a job—maybe your first job?—and you’re wondering, “Do I need to cut my hair?”
Maybe some other people—your dad, your girlfriend, your roommate—are wondering on your behalf: “Hmm, I *wonder* why you can’t get a job… is it because of your *HAIR*?!”
Allow me to join the fray and provide 9 quick thoughts on the question,”Should you cut your hair?”
1. If you are looking for a job as a cast member at a Disney theme park, the answer is yes, cut it.
2. If you are looking for a job as a cast member of the Broadway play “Hair,” the answer is no, do not cut it (Yes, that’s Treat Williams in there.)
3. If you grew your hair out in college because you could, because you wanted to know what it was like to be That Guy for awhile, because you wanted to stick it to your old man for being too strict with you growing up, because you always wanted long hair but your basketball coach wouldn’t let you do it, or because that really hot girl you were after said she liked long hair and you thought, “Hey, man, whatever it takes,” then yes, you’ve had your fun, now cut it.
4. If you grew your hair out because it’s who you are, if you wear it with confidence, and if the only reason you’re considering cutting now is to conform to the HR policies of a company you might not work for or because you’re trying to please someone else, or because your confidence is shot and you don’t know what else to do, then no, Samson, don’t cut it, you’ll regret it later, as you’ll be needlessly cutting away part of what makes you you. (Though if you would be willing to cut it later, do let the interviewer know.)
5. If you want a job on wall street, then forget your hair, get your head checked.
6. If you want a job at Ye Olde Renaissance Faire, then no, don’t cut it.
7. If you find yourself going to sites like this one to keep your hair styled properly, then I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sort of old school when it comes to guys and flat irons… I might not say anything to your face, but I will wonder silently why you would want to look like Victoria Beckham, and why, given all the talk about how beauty magazines are damaging to women’s self-esteem, you’d want to head down a similar path. I’d say cut it, but that’s just me showing my age. No offense, Pete.
8. If you are not a musician but you look like you could lead a cover band from a different decade, such as Skid Row or Nirvana or the Wailers, then—and I say this with all due respect to Sebastian and Kurt and Bob—then yes, cut it.
9. Finally, if you are really good at what you do, then leave it, cut it—it doesn’t matter. Focus on being great at what you do, and draw people’s attention to that. Right, Mr. Agassi?
Jason Seiden is CEO of Ajax Workforce Marketing. Ajax amplifies brands by aligning employees' online messaging.