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Think twice before rushing off to work with unwashed hair in a messy bun, because a bad hair day can affect much more than you may realize. A recent study by psychologists at Yale University found a direct link between hair and confidence, self-esteem and -- as a result -- job performance.
Hair cut, color and style express personality and make a huge impact on people's perceptions of you. When you look good, you feel good. The positive energy of a great hair day can help you nail that presentation, win over a new client or boss, and confidently tackle whatever challenge comes your way.
Sometimes that challenge is finding a job -- especially in this tough economy.
Bestselling author and savvy career expert Nicole Williams says hair confidence is one of the most important factors in acing an interview. Your job skills are only one part of the picture. If you’re looking to land a new gig, polish up your resume and your 'do.
"Hair is critical because it's a reflection of your brand," Williams says. So maintain the shape of your cut with regular visits to the salon and avoid common haircut mistakes. If you have curly hair, be sure to tame unruly ringlets by keeping hair conditioned and styled with anti-frizzing techniques and products.
Williams suggests styling hair for the company's culture to show you’re the perfect fit for the organization. Help your interviewer picture you in the position. If the company is conservative, try a sleek ponytail; if you’re in a creative field, a fashion-forward cut is ideal. "It’s important to differentiate yourself from the sea of applicants," Williams advises. "Put the odds in your favor by whatever means possible -- including by making a great impression with your hair."
Whatever your hairstyle, Williams recommends investing in a pre-interview salon styling. "Professional styling, like a great blowout, before a big day can really boost your confidence and give you a pulled-together look," she says. Plus, she adds, "Time in a salon chair is very calming, and can put you in the right headspace for a winning interview."
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