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10 jobs that let you have weird hair

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(CareerBuilder.com) -- Whether it's the Flock of Seagulls 'do you've sported since the '80s or the cotton candy pink Manic Panic hair color that you've only worn since last night, there's just something about you and it goes right to your head.

Unfortunately, the working world isn't always sympathetic to individual expression. In a conservative work environment, shocking blue locks may not only turn a few heads, they can also be grounds for termination -- regardless of what else you have to offer.

Like a bad bleach job, you want to avoid drawing a negative reaction.

While the company you choose to work for definitely plays a role, there's a little more to highlight -- where you live, what you do and the responsibilities of your position are all going to make a difference in what's acceptable.

Are you going to be behind-the-scenes or is your job customer-centered?

How far do you go with your look?

Will your bright red strands pass for "natural-looking?"

While workers in technology, science and creative fields tend to get away with more independent styles because of their lines of work and client interaction, the root of the issue comes down to what your employers are like. Small businesses may be more likely to applaud your look than a corporation, but that's only a general rule. It's the opinions of the people with whom you work the closest on a daily basis that are deciding the issue for you, so learn a little more about the employer and the environment before you reach for the dye or get a mohawk.

Here's a list of some job titles that offer more hairstyle leniency:

Baristaexternal link

What they do: Prepare espresso drinks and other beverages as a full-time job. Why the job allows it: Although baristas work directly with the customer, coffee shop management tends to be laxed about the dress code with corporate chains being the usual exception.

Cosmetologistexternal link

What they do: Expertly enhance the appearance of hair, nails and skin through different treatments.
Why the job allows it: As a cosmetologist, your individual style is what lets people know a little bit about you. You become your own walking and talking advertisement.

Massage Therapistexternal link

What they do: Manipulate the skin tissue by rubbing it into relaxation.
Why the job allows it: Massage therapists administer rubdowns for relaxation and their clients often have their backs to the masseur.

Serverexternal link

What they do: Take food and drink orders, run food and bus tables.
Why the job allows it: It all really depends on the establishment. If the theme is edgy or individual, expressing yourself becomes part of the atmosphere.

Copy Editorexternal link

What they do: Edit written work to prepare it for publication.
Why the job allows it: While copy editors may do reporting, a lot of their time is spent with a guide book in one hand and a red pen in the other. If their hair is red too, it just makes them a little more distinguishable.

Theater Workerexternal link

What they do: Assist in ushering, box-office sales and set construction.
Why the job allows it: In a line of work where most people are wearing costumes, your hair simply becomes a working prop.

Software Development Engineerexternal link

What they do: Create and maintain software applications.
Why the job allows it: The job tends to be more behind-the-scenes so less restrictions may apply.

Web Designerexternal link

What they do: Use graphic design, HTML and other coding elements to create Internet sites.
Why the job allows it: It combines technology and creativity, so a little self-expression is expected.

Instructor (at an art college)external link

What they do: Educate students on subjects related to their expertise.
Why the job allows it: The environment is creative and your hair is free to follow.

Photographerexternal link

What they do: Take photos professionally.
Why the job allows it: Whether you're behind the camera or developing film in a dark room, the focus is on what your camera is aimed at, not how you wear your hair.

Chemistexternal link

What they do: Prepare, test and dispense drugs.
Why the job allows it: The bulk of the work is done in a lab or back room of sorts. So long as it's not in the way of anything flammable, you'll be OK.

Mascot (pro sports or theme parks)

What they do: Dress up and represent a team or company.
Why the job allows it: If your uniform involves dressing up in a fully covered chicken suit or something like it, no one is going to see it anyways.


© Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2007. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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