by Lexi Novak
photo: Horst P. Horst When it comes to office dress codes, I'm totally on board with no midriffs, sweat pants, or micro-minis (which should probably be barred in every other public space, too, but that's a different discussion). But after purchasing Newsweek last month, it seems IBT Media has made a few excessively strict modifications to the company's "International Business Times Employee Handbook," specifically about hair.
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According to excerpts from the handbook published on Politico, "hair should be clean, combed and neatly trimmed or arranged. Shaggy, messy, and neglected hair is not permissible regardless of length. Also, well-groomed, business style hair of natural color is required."
I get it, you want your employees to have access to a shower and use it regularly, but let's not get all haterade and incidentally discriminate against certain types of hair. Based on these guidelines, it looks like shaggy bobs, or shags "regardless of length," are a no. Anyone with curly hair is out of luck--my ringlets are definitely not "neatly arranged," and there's no way I'm getting a comb through them unless I want a bushy, frizzy mess. And what does "clean" hair mean exactly? Most women I know wash their hair three times a week, sometimes less thanks to dry shampoo. But the most ridiculous rule, of course, is "natural color." Does that exclude caramel highlights? A gold gloss? Ombré? You certainly can't find my auburn shade anywhere in nature.
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Maybe I'm just nit-picking and getting lost in handbook jargon, but I think if you're going to dictate how employees wear their hair, the guidelines should be a bit more sensitive to a diverse spectrum of colors, textures, and styles.
What do you think about the dress code rules?
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by Lexi Novak