IWD colorful hair FI

Women Hair Colors: How 4 Women Are Breaking the Bias with with Vibrant Colored Hair in the Workplace

International Women's Day is all about supporting women, and allowing them to express themselves freely.

Going against the norm is thrilling and exciting. When it comes to being creative with beauty standards, who doesn’t like to push the boundaries? This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias. #BreakTheBias is all about a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. The goal is to celebrate the achievements of women, raise awareness about bias, and take action for equality. We’re breaking the bias by celebrating women’s hair colors in the workplace. Whether you love having hot pink strands or opt for an electric blue, there’s no reason for there to be discrimination against vibrant hair colors.

We spoke with four women who choose to #BreakTheBias by sporting beautiful, vibrant hair colors at their workplace. While some of these women have dealt with backlash about their brightly colored hair, they’ve all demonstrated how to express yourself through your colorful strands and go against what is traditionally acceptable in society.

Keep scrolling to learn more about their story and hair journey.

Breaking the Bias with Women Hair Colors

There’s no reason to be judged or stereotyped based on your hair color. One thing all four women have in common is using their hair as a form of self-expression. In a recent survey we conducted, we found that 65% of participants use their hair color as a form of self-expression. This shows how important it is to be accepting of all hair colors.

hair color IWD survey
A majority of women use their hair color as a form of self-expression.

Learn about these four women’s experiences with vibrant hair color and how they’re #BreakingTheBias.

Making Life a Little Brighter

girl with long purple hair
Opt for a balayage look to show off a vibrant color. Photo Credit: Emily Garcia

Emily Garcia is a Veterinarian Assistant and proudly shows off color in her hair at the workplace. She started dyeing her hair vibrant hues 8 years ago as a way to feel happier. “I was very self-conscious and my hair was one of the only things I felt confident about so I was happy to have more attention on my hair rather than any other part of myself,” shares Garcia. Over time, Garcia became more comfortable with herself and started not to care what people think. Now, she believes life is too short to not have fun with your strands, “It’s better to have fun with it now while I have the chance with healthy hair and not regret it.”

I feel happy that I’m bringing a little bit of color with me into a room. It’s a way of making life brighter, literally.”
Emily Garcia

Garcia likes to look at her hair as a way to brighten her day and those around her. “At work, people compliment my hair and it’s a nice feeling. It can make a bad day better, and it feels good that people notice it’s a little bit of brightness in their day. We can all agree that seeing a pretty shade of pink. in someone’s hair makes you smile. I feel happy that I’m bringing a little bit of color with me into a room and it brightens up people’s moods. It’s a way of making life brighter, literally,” explains Garcia.

Beating the Backlash

Unfortunately, not everybody is accepting of vibrant hair colors which is slowly changing. “When I first told my mom I wanted to dye my hair purple, I was 17 and she was under the impression it was a teenage phase. As I’ve gotten older and continued to keep my hair vibrant colors, I’ve gotten comments from family wondering when I’ll get rid of the crazy hair and how I can get a good job with such unprofessional hair. When I worked at a retail pharmacy, pharmacists would say people wouldn’t take me seriously with my hair color,” Garcia shares.

While some workplaces have become more accepting of vibrant hair colors, there’s still a ways to go. Garcia told us how her current workplace allows her to play around with color in her hair, which she’s grateful to be able to express herself that way. However, she explained how it makes her sad that many people still let such a surface-level feature affect their opinion about someone and determine how competent they are to do a job.

Vibrant Hair Colors in the Workplace

girl with medium length hot pink hair
Hot pink hair. Photo Credit: Franceca Aloe

Francesca Aloe is a TV and Film Production Assistant who is fortunate enough to work in an environment where vibrant women’s hair colors are encouraged and celebrated. “I feel very fortunate that I get to work in such a creative industry where things like having tattoos and insane hair colors on display are kind of encouraged in a way. I feel very fortunate that I showed up to work one day with pink hair, and people were like, wow that’s amazing, your hair looks great,” explains Aloe. While Aloe received many compliments on her pink hue at work, she hopes to see a shift in the corporate world. “I don’t think that it affects your work ethic in any way and I don’t think having a certain hair color should hinder you from getting whatever kind of job you want,” shares Aloe.

Women Hair Colors as an Accessory

If you’re anything like us, then you also see your hair as the finishing touch to your look. Whether you’re going to a formal event, planning a costume for Halloween, or just want to feel put together while getting ready for the day, your hairstyle and color really tie everything together.

My hair is an extension of the clothes I wear. It’s pretty much an extra accessory to me.”
Francesca Aloe

Aloe could not agree more with this and uses her hair as a form of self-expression. “My hair is an extension of the clothes I wear. It’s pretty much an extra accessory to me. If I can match it to my mood or outfit in any way, then I try to do that,” explains Aloe.

When originally dyeing her hair hot pink, Aloe explained how she felt a sense of empowerment once her hairdresser took off the towel and began blow-drying her strands. Since the vibrant color was such a difference compared to how she normally wore her hair, she felt like it was a new step in becoming a more confident person. “I felt like a new person, but in a good way,” says Aloe. There truly is no better feeling than the first reveal of a new hairstyle or color.

For anyone who is wanting to try a vibrant women’s hair like Aloe, but is scared to do so, she recommends opting for a semi-permanent dye first. This will allow you to try out the fun, bright color you’re dying for without making any major commitments. Hey, if you end up loving it, you can go for a permanent dye next time around or just have fun trying an array of hues.

Journey to Vibrant Women Hair Colors

If you want colorful hair, go for it! Photo Credit: Victoria Ancone and @hairby_candance

Victoria Ancone is a Graphic Designer. When it comes to dyeing your hair vibrant colors, she’s practically a seasoned pro. Along with her sister, Ancone has been experimenting with bright hues since the age of 13 and has been steadily dyeing her hair vibrant shades for the past six years. “I started by doing red streaks in my hair and putting purple on the ends. I found it so fun and freeing. My older sister is a professional hairstylist whose specialty is vivid hair colors,” explains Ancone. From an early age, Ancone found a passion she was able to be creative in and express herself with. Luckily, she hasn’t faced backlash in the workplace around her vibrant hair either.

Ancone works in a creative field where she receives many compliments on her vibrantly colored hair. “It’s pretty trendy to have colorful hair, especially in a place like New York. I work with a lot of women, so I think they’re more understanding of that. Being a creative, there’s a certain expectation to have tattoos or piercings, or something different,” shares Ancone. She’s even been complimented on her vibrant hair in job interviews, which shows it’s becoming more widely accepted in the workplace. However, due to the bias that still lingers, she waited to sport a vibrant hair color after college until she was secure in her first job out of school.

Feeling Empowered With Colorful Hair

Over the past couple of years, we’ve all been hit with changes out of our control. Whether we’re happy about it or not, it can be a struggle to deal with. However, Ancone uses hair coloring as a way to cope with this. She reveals, “I love the feeling of trying something new. It’s a big change I can control as opposed to a lot of other things in life that you can’t. You can change your clothes, but there’s instant gratification in changing your hair color.” If something makes you happy and you enjoy doing it, there’s no reason for you to be limited on doing so.

The great thing about hair is that it’ll grow back. Almost anything you do will be reversible.”
Victoria Ancone

It’s important to have the ability to express yourself creatively. “I definitely feel empowered with colorful hair. I’m not super colorful in the clothing I wear, so it’s fun to add something different. It really can change your face and appearance,” says Ancone. If you’re eager to try out a vibrant shade yourself Ancone says to just go for it. “The great thing about hair is that it’ll grow back. Almost anything you do will be reversible. If you want to start small, try the money pieces that are popular now.” It’s best though to always go to a professional to avoid any major damage to your hair.

iWD infographic
A majority of women consider their hair to be a strong part of their identity.

Just like Ancone, many women consider their hair a strong part of who they are. In a recent survey we conducted, we found that 65% of women consider their hair to be a strong part of their identity and 35% of women do not.

Being Fearless With Her Hair

girl with bright red shoulder length hair
Have fun with vibrant hair color. Photo Credit: Jacqueline Thomas

Jacqueline Thomas is a high school teacher who doesn’t shy away from sporting a vibrant hair color. Growing up, she has always been known for her waist-length hair. While she loved her long strands, she’s always wanted red hair so she began experimenting with various box dyes and henna. Early on in 2021, her friend Victoria bleached the ends of her hair and dyed it purple. “I bleached the ends of my hair, dyed it purple, and nothing happened. Life was fine and my long hair still looked beautiful and healthy,” shares Thomas. Later on in the year, Thomas wanted to go for a big change in her hair and ended up back at the salon with fully bleached strands. Victoria worked her magic and gave Thomas a gorgeous, vibrant red hue.

Throughout the process of dyeing her strands, Thomas learned that life goes on and it isn’t very serious, your hair will always grow back. She’s also seen a shift in the workplace and schools as they become more progressive. “I work in a pretty progressive school. I have tattoos too and haven’t received any backlash. It’s pretty common for people to have fun hair,” says Thomas. As industries become more accepting of vibrant hair colors, it’s exciting to see how more and more people are able to express themselves freely through their hair.

Empowering Other Women With Her Hair

I loved that my hair was helping girls who were battling cancer or had alopecia”
Jacqueline Thomas

Thomas has very long, thick hair that grows fast. When she got it cut during the summer, she learned her strands could empower women. “When I wanted to cut my hair off, I donated it. Two ponytails of my hair could make two short wigs for girls or one very long wig. So, I started growing my hair out to cut it off and donate it. I loved that my hair was helping girls who were battling cancer or had alopecia,” explains Thomas.

Not only is Thomas empowering girls who struggle with hair loss and making them feel more confident, she likes to think she’s played a small role with her students, showing them you can express yourself through your hair color. “I teach ninth grade. A lot of my ninth graders came in with bleached hair with some red action. I don’t know that it’s directly related to me, but I noticed a lot of girls who dyed their hair chose bright reds,” shares Thomas.

Seeing a Shift in Acceptance of Women Hair Colors

Thomas also expressed how she’s so happy that there’s been a shift in society to not comment on women’s bodies and hair, especially women with natural hair. “You don’t touch that because it’s a point of pride,” says Thomas. She also noticed how the compliments differ between men and women. “Women have all said they love my hair color and say my hair matches my personality now. Men tend to make jokes about it and say, oh you didn’t see my hair when I dyed it green, and make it about them. They use my hair to tell a story about themselves versus women who say I look great,” explains Thomas. In general, Thomas has noticed a positive shift in the acceptance of vibrant hair colors in the workplace, with people realizing your hair color doesn’t define who you are.

How to Care for Colored Hair

When taking care of vibrantly colored hair, your strands will need a little extra TLC as opposed to your natural hair. Specifically formulated shampoo and conditioner sets and moisture hair masks will be a lifesaver. Check out our top picks below.

Shampoo and Conditioner

When you’re sporting a vibrant hair color, we can’t stress how important it is to use a shampoo and conditioner set that is created for colored hair. One of our favorite sets is Suave Vivid Color Shampoo and Conditioner. We love this set because it helps keep your color vibrant for up to 40 washes. Plus, it even has an amino acid complex which helps strengthen your strands.

Hair Mask

After dyeing your hair, especially if it’s bleached, it’s very important to use extra moisture on your hair. We recommend using a hair mask one to two times per week depending on how much moisture your hair needs. One of our favorites is, TRESemmé Botanique Color Vibrance & Shine Intensive Mask. We love this mask because it gives powerful nourishment to your strands while adding shine. It also helps to keep your hair color vibrant for eight weeks.

Women’s hair colors shouldn’t shy away from vibrant hues. It’s important to be able to express yourself and feel comfortable through your hair. Do you love sporting bright-colored strands? Share your hair with us on Instagram @AllThingsHairUS.

All Things Hair would like to thank Emily, Francesca, Victoria, and Jacqueline for sharing their stories in honor of International Women’s Day.

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