Photo: PR TIMES
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'Which hairstyle makes a woman look good at her job?' asks Japanese survey

18 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

In Japan, your college years are a rare stint of almost entirely unbound personal freedom regarding your appearance. After years of following the strict dress codes of Japanese high schools, college kids get four years to do whatever they want…until they graduate and have to follow the strict dress codes of Japanese companies.

But while most companies do have specific regulations regarding clothing, hair tends to be more of a gray area, often with loose, unspoken guidelines. So to get a better idea of what Japanese businesses expect from their employees hairstyling, Tokyo-based AB&C Company, which manages the Agu hair salon chain, asked 200 Japanese human resource managers for their opinions.

To start with, the majority, 63 percent, said they’ve been bothered by the hairstyles of new employees (who generally start working in April under Japanese hiring practices). However, only about half of the personnel managers, 52 percent, said they’ve actually cautioned an employee over their hairstyle’s appropriateness for a workplace environment.

That implies a lot of silent disapproval, and to get a better handle on that, the researchers next presented the human resource managers with photos of 11 women, all with different hairstyles, and asked “Which of them looks like she’d be good at her job?”

The respondents’ answers showed they’d place the most faith in the women who had neat, smoothly combed, but not heavily styled hair.

▼ The top three picks

hs-2-1.png

Meanwhile, permed, loose-hanging, and obviously dyed hair inspired the least confidence, with the following three women receiving the fewest votes.

hs-3-1.png

In fact, dyed hair was the subject of its own separate question, in which a male and female model were shown with the same hairstyles in various gradients from black to light brown. The human resource managers were asked to pick the lightest shade they believed was acceptable (i.e. each vote translates to “hair should be this color or darker”), and there was a pretty clear drop-off point where respondents felt the model’s desire to be fashionable and get attention overtook their professionalism.

hs-4.png

Getting back to the question of which women’s hairstyles make them look like capable employees, you could argue that the deck was stacked against the styles that received the least support. Let’s take another look at the top and bottom three.

styles.png

The number-one pick has an unmistakably confident expression, and the others in the top three convey a sense of energy or friendliness (which could be considered a sign of strong communication skills or a commitment to teamwork). On the other hand, the bottom three seem to be sad, annoyed, or otherwise unhappy to be wherever they are. If you saw those expressions on a coworker’s face in the office, you might not immediately jump to the conclusion that she’s bad at her job, but you probably wouldn’t think that she’s thriving in her true calling.

With all the variables aside from hairstyle, it’s hard to draw the sort of distinct line that was evident in the question that only dealt with hair color. Still, it’s a reminder that the Japanese business world almost always prizes a neat and groomed look.

Source: PR Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Pantene ad asks why people in Japan are forced to look the same when job hunting

-- “They’re an army of clones!” This year’s Japanese new hires shock internet with their sameness

-- Japanese high school teachers forcibly cut off hair that was “too long” from 44 students

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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Wow!

Stereo-typing, sexist, discriminatory practices on open display.

Corporate Man Inc still has such a long way to go in Japan, in order to acquire the equitable social standards of a 21stC modern country.

In Japan the slogan "All women can shine" obviously refers to their demure but cute smiles and glossy hair.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I thought I’d was more important to be good at your job than “look good” at your job?

As long as you’re skillful, friendly and professional, I don’t care what your hair looks like.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The number-one pick has an unmistakably confident expression, and the others in the top three convey a sense of energy or friendliness (which could be considered a sign of strong communication skills or a commitment to teamwork). On the other hand, the bottom three seem to be sad, annoyed, or otherwise unhappy to be wherever they are. If you saw those expressions on a coworker’s face in the office, you might not immediately jump to the conclusion that she’s bad at her job, but you probably wouldn’t think that she’s thriving in her true calling.

In other words, women are to look cute, submissive, docile, mindlessly positive and of course extremely conservative. Reminds me of the wide-eyed girls I see nightly on the telly, paying rapt attn. to some older male expert who's explaining something complex as she nods her head and says hai in a hushed voice x 100. I'm sure the local hostess bar, while being fine with different hairstyles, expects the same "sense of energy and friendliness," that none of the girls reveal any "unhappiness to be wherever they are." This place is wacked.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

One's hairstyle does not correlate with one's job performance. If this is how HR make their decisions there is something terribly wrong. I expect the same idiots also base their decisions on blood type.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

LOL, Hey Japan, 1952 called; they want their survey back!

No wonder so many companies have middle management filled with incompetent people.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I'm a big believer in that, "No matter how good looking you are, if your personality is bad, then you're ugly."

7 ( +7 / -0 )

So what next?

If the employee has naturally wavy/ curly/light hair, will the HR ask them to straighten the hair or dye it black?? Or do they get de-rated appraisals coz their 'looks' don't make a good impression???

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan, where appearances count for 99% of your worth.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Shows how stupid narrow mindedness can be. And hold up...Japan doesnt need to worry about ladies hair...we can barely bring ourselves to admit women deserve to be treater fairly.

The same guys get to have opinions about hair?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree with the #1 pick. But #8 should have come in second.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What nonsense of a article. The only really important thing is how well they can serve tea.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Looking at the selection, you have to wonder what kind of job. Husband/sugar daddy hunting?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It would be more beneficial to the company who's hiring the lady or man to make sure that they have the right qualification to do the job rather than having the correct shade and length of hair? that are not qualified or suitable, but have the correct hair style? that's where Ive been going wrong with my staff, darn, I've been employing highly trained staff, next time ill have to employ a total air head bimbo!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And if number 5 can't get a job, well I would love to employ her she's gorgeous

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What does a woman's hairstyle got to do with her competence?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I found the section about dyed hair to be very concerning as I am Scottish with natural red hair that when I studied abroad people kept asking why I had dyed it when I’ve never dyed my hair in my life. Do they disapprove of dyed hair or just light hair colors? If I want to have an easier time getting a job should I dye my hair black or would they really care? What about half Japanese who also have naturally lighter hair colors, are they required to dye their hair in order to respect a company’s no hair dye policy (ironically so I might add)?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ordo177

Don't worry. they just don't like it when people CHANGE their hair colors.

If your color is naturally red, you're good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is so stupid and wrong!

Why do people in Japan care so much about hairs?

Let people dye his own hair, let people grow out his own hair, it's one's freedom..

Japan just pretend to be a high-tech country meanwhile there are still this kind of abominable practices..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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