RE: Gray hair and first impressions

Subject: RE: Gray hair and first impressions
From: "Hannah Bissell" <to -dot- hannah -at- usa -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 12:05:29 -0500

I first wanted to stress what a couple other people mentioned: this
obviously is a concern to you. If this concern makes you unsure in any way,
or uncomfortable, an interviewer will pick up on it. The interviewer will
not know the source of your nervousness. Just avoid the whole thing and do
whatever makes you most sure and confident.

Regardless of a PC society and all of the laws against descrimination, the
fact is it exists. And it's not just ageism. I've read so many reports and
experienced circumstances first hand that show that looks, sex, and age do
matter. Even interviewers that work to avoid it cannot control subconsious
influences. It's been shown time and again that people in general respond
more favorably to a person who is young, attractive, and not overweight. And
that's in everyday life. It is more so in interviews. Interviewers have a
preconceived notion of the "type"of person for each job. Most people do.
Think of an accountant. Your first though was probably of a man in a suit
wearing glasses. The longer you think about it the longer an image comes
into your mind (the rumbled slightly overweight accountant whose starting to
lose his hair or perhaps the uptight, neat as a pin accountant with polished
shoes). The point is, you conjured up an image of who an accountant is. If
you then interview applicants, each one will be compared against that image.

Someone suggested that you not give in to this ageism. That you wouldn't
want to work for people like that. Often, the HR person does the
interviews - not the people you'd be working with. That's the first thing.
The second is that by getting the job and letting your hair go back to gray
will produce one result: The HR people will have a working example that a TW
(or editor) is someone with gray hair. I see that as the best way to fight

If it were me, I'd color my hair. When I go on interviews I do many things I
don't do every day. I wear more makeup than normal. I wear a skirt suit. I
wear hose and heels. I even paint my nails with a very pale color. I choose
jewelry that shows class without trying to look too flashy or expensive. I
try to pay attention to every detail possible to look my best and come
across as a secure, confident applicant. And yes, I've colored my hair for
interviews. At one point I had decided to go back to natural. Some months
later I was interviewing and my roots were growing out. Even though I knew
I'd have to start all over, I touched up the roots and blended the color so
any interviewer wouldn't be distracted thinking about how weird my hair
color looked and would be able to focus on my skills.

One other suggestion. Don't do it yourself. With a one-time application like
this, if you're able to find the money have a salon do it. They will be able
to blend it and leave some gray if you want. If not, they will be able to
cover it better than any store products do. Gray hair can be pretty tough to
color well because it doesn't absorb the dyes as well. That's probably part
of why your hair dries out from it. To get the color to stay on the gray you
have to expose your hair to the chemicals much stronger and longer than you
would for normal hair. Your non-gray hairs probably get dried out the worst
because of the overexposure. A salon can adjust for this much better and has
better quality coloring treatments and techniques. They will also be able to
do a nice blend if you ask so that as it grows out you won't have those
weird looking roots I had. :-)

> -----Original Message-----
> While one would hope that qualifications count more than appearance
> or
> age when interviewing for a job, I know that a first impression is
> important. I would like to ask you women out there if you've run into bias
> because of age or the fact that your hair is gray. I would also like to
> ask
> any men on the list who are in hiring positions to weigh in on the matter.
> One might make the case that if you can look younger by coloring your hair
> you should do it; however, I don't like the drying effect it has on my
> hair.
> Funny how something that seems so trivial can have an effect on whether or
> not you get a job!
> I've enjoyed reading all the discussion threads, and I'm envious of the
> great quotes some of you have added to your posts. : ) By the way, I'm a
> sci-fi freak too--anyone else into The Wheel of Time series?

Attention ForeHelp and Doc-to-Help Users! Upgrade your existing product to
RoboHelp for only $299, through January 31st. RoboHelp can import your
existing Help projects! Learn how else RoboHelp can benefit you.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: Word styles, resumes, and being pragmatic
Next by Author: RE: Wardrobe/shoe choice for Interviews: is height an issue for women?
Previous by Thread: Re: Gray hair and first impressions
Next by Thread: RE: Gray hair and first impressions

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads