A professional hairstyle completes a business-appropriate appearance and adds a certain crispness to an overall clean-cut, finished appearance. Women, as a rule, have more hair than their male counterparts and must strive to keep it neat and orderly. Traditional business-appropriate hairstyles include ponytails, braids, chignons and bobs.
Ponytails come in all shapes and sizes. For a professional look, sleek ponytails are best. High ponytails are very complimentary and are the easiest to do. Low ponytails that are clasped at the neck are very acceptable in professional settings as long as they are tidy and secure. All ponytail styles for the office should not look rumpled or messy, but should have the proper amount of gel, mousse or hairspray to keep them in place.
Braids are a versatile way of taming hair while providing different outlets of creativity, yet keeping your appearance professional. Braids can be soft or severe, depending on the wearer's preference. Professional braids include soft waterfall braids, in which hair is braided from the temples, then cascades along the back. French braids are very recognizable in professional circles, as are side braids and traditional straight braids. As long as the braids are tight, without fly-away hairs escaping, then almost any braid is office-appropriate.
Chignons, or buns, can be worn high, low or anywhere in between. Many women prefer a loose chignon at the base of the neck to maintain an approachable professional look. Softer chignons give the impression of friendliness, while avoiding the tension emitted by severe buns. Like other hairstyles, it is important to secure the buns with discreet fastenings in subdued colors that match clothing colors. Avoid garish and over-size clips.
Bobs and pixies are short, often trendy cuts that can be left in their natural state. Generally, bobs and pixies do not require the use of clips or fasteners to secure in a neat fashion. Short hairstyles like these are usually conservative and are easy "wash and wear" styles needing little effort to present a clean look. Bobs and pixies are commonly minimalistic, but can be dressed up to accommodate the necessity of interacting at meetings, with large volumes of people or whatever circumstance the situation demands. These are the most versatile of all hairstyles for professionals.