Am I Hurting My Professional Image By Coming to Work With Wet Hair in the Morning?

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Mornings are tough. And for those who have some combination of a morning exercise routine, a long commute, and family members or roommates to share a bathroom with, getting to work in a presentable state can feel especially tricky.

That’s what Stephanie Nieves (full disclosure: she’s an editorial associate at FGB!) was thinking when she posted in the FGB Feed about a  concern having to do with morning routines and hair styling. 

“What do you think about wearing wet hair to work… is it unprofessional, or is it something that can be looked past?” she asked. 

The number of women who weighed in on Nieves’ post shows that she isn’t alone in having grappled with this question. Here’s what others in the FGB Community had to say.

1. Wet hair at work isn’t something to feel self-conscious of.

One FGB’er, engineer Gail_M, explained that in order to show up for work with clean hair that’s already dry, she’d have to wake up at 3:30 a.m. And we can’t blame her lack of interest in that! 

2. It’s fine on occasion, but better not to make a regular habit of it.

After clarifying that it “honestly doesn’t bother,” as she herself has long hair which “takes hours to dry,” FGB’er aclaire6713 added that she doesn’t think “wet hair is a great 24/7 look,” however.

3. Don’t sweat it — your hair should be the least of your work-day worries! 

FGB’er Shay00 explained that if she tries to dry her hair in the morning, that end result isn’t great for her hair. Regardless, she doesn’t see it as something to worry over.

4. Conversely, you may run the risk of looking “sloppy.” 

In contrast, others felt that wet hair at work can send out a less-than-professional message, particularly to those in leadership.

5. Whether it’s OK depends on your specific role. 

As FGB’er LadyPele pointed out, for those who work in customer-facing roles, arriving to work with wet hair may have a bigger impact on your professional image than it does for others.

6. If you wouldn’t arrive to an interview with wet hair, should you have a different standard for work?

Referencing studies around professional image and the way people perceive you during interviews, FGB’er Gillian Hanson wondered whether it made sense to look at these two scenarios as separate.

7. Ultimately, if you do arrive at work with wet hair, just make sure it isn’t dripping. 

One easy way to ensure a lack of dripping, noted FGB’er KatieM45, is to pull your hair into a bun: “It looks professional enough and can dry in the bun.”

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