wildatheart

Would you hire a designer with crazy colorful hair?

wildatheart
24 de Noviembre de 2014
Hi there!
So, this may be a strange one!
I'm fresh out of school and working on my first real project, and then venturing out into the design world. And I also have pink hair!
I've had all sorts of unnatural colors for a decade and now that it's time to go out on my own, I'm trying to figure out if this hair will cost me clients.
So as people who deal with designers, or as former or future clients, what do you think?
Would you be put off by a designer with quirky (clean and maintained) hair color if you loved her portfolio, or do you consider it a plus, like a calling card for a style?
I see a lot more people with colorful hair these days, between designers, models, celebrities, so I think it's more accepted than when I started, but I have to make a choice since I want to start my own agency.
I could get better suited clients because of it, but lose a lot more regular clients.
So in your opinion or experience, let me know what you think ,I'd love to hear from everyone.
Thanks!

Comentarios (104)

  • Natalie
    Interesting---I just asked my son who's 13 this question, his response, " no I wouldn't hire her because I'd think she was irresponsible."
  • zazfuzzroc
    My opinion .....you'll get lots of opinions. If your client is going to judge you because of your hair and not your work...... then they're probably going to be a "pita" client to work with. I find it ridiculous to judge someone for their hair??? What about the guys with half a head of it??? Should they have to get plugs??? I think being clean and professional matters, not hair. It would make me feel that you were creative and not afraid to try new things. "Subway Tiles Anyone?" LOL :D Really, everyone will give their own opinion, but I don't like to be judged, so I try not to judge other people! I wish you much success, no matter what you choose. :)
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Bottom line, a good lesson to learn about the service business (and you are in the service business) is that you are there to put the focus on the client, not yourself.

    I spent ten years in the Human Resources end of a hospitality company, before design. Guests in hospitality are not unlike clients in design: they like people who focus on them......their likes, wants and needs. That is why they hire you.....not to look at your wardrobe. That is why so many service companies have uniforms and dress codes. Yes, you can have your own personality, but you never know what form of dress or jewelry is going to turn someone off.

    A portfolio that shows creativity is valuable to clients. Pink hair, I would say is not on most client's lists of desirable attributes.

    You might want to think of how to present yourself as how you would dress if you went to a design job interview. If you asked me how to dress, I would say to dress conservatively for the first interview. (doesn't mean you have to look drab and you can certainly wear something that is "fun" but appropriate.

    This will send a message that you are not going to be pushing your lifestyle, but listening intently to theirs.

    Oh, and......once you have been in the business for years and you have clients clamoring for your business, you can become a "creative genius" and wear whatever you want.
  • bluenan
    I find the "no one should be judged" contingent very naive. Judging is what you do when you hire a professional. You judge not only their work, but their appearance, their ability to speak well, get their ideas across, listen and interact. Those who have the means to pay someone to do what most others do themselves are a select group and the design field is especially difficult to break into, I know, my daughter has a degree in interior design. Most clients hire well known or recommended designers, good luck on getting enough clients to actually showcase your work. In addition, you only learn so much in design school, hence my above comment about thinking less about the color you want your hair to be and more about the real world.
  • whynottryit
    I agree that professionals are judged and should be. First impressions do matter. I think the OP has gotten a variety of answers to the question she posed. For me, the bottom line is it's now her decision. Hair color is easily changed. Attitude, knowledge, creativity, and dedication are harder to come by. Success takes hard work in any industry and, obviously, hair color is not going to be the sole component or even one of the most important parts of that formula. Most successful people find a way to stay true to themselves while making their product or service important to their clients.
  • amyfamyf
    I'm in my thirties and I and many of my friends are at the point that our families have grown and we have moved out of our starter homes and moved into new large homes that we have dreamed of and worked hard and saved up for our whole lives so far. I would want to hire a serious, professional, confident designer. One who knows their work speaks for itself. Pink hair would shout immature, insecure, and impulsive to me. That is not the type of designer I would want to put my new home into the hands of. I would look for someone who dresses classy and beautiful. Someone who is confident with their natural beauty and who is more interested in their work than their self image. I hope this helps. I was not trying to be unkind only honest to help you see what others might be looking for. I bet you are beautiful with your natural hair.
  • whynottryit
    You did your momma proud just now amyfamyf. What a gracious way to express your opinion!
  • nixzimmy
    I have three plastic storage containers that I have to put in my room, as I don't have space elsewhere to put them. How can I hide them in the room?
  • whynottryit
    There you go wildatheart, your first client. :)
  • bluenan
    lol....
  • Jessica
    I don't think pink hair screams immature or anything like that, although I might wonder if the person does Anime cosplay for a hobby in their downtime.
  • hollybar
    Part of what any professional sells is their confidence,that bedrock & comforting certainty that they can help. (not talking about arrogance) If,as you state above,not having your hair colored makes you feel unhappy or somehow inauthentic,potential clients may well sense that and be turned off. Another point to consider is that you are moving from Paris to NYC. Few would find colorful hair particularly outre.
    I wish you well in starting your business. It is an exciting experience and you will likely evolve and grow in all sorts of directions. Maybe your personal style will change,maybe not.
    And fwiw,I'm in my 50's and I've been fortunate to have worked with a few designers who helped me achieve way more than I could have on my own. I picked them for various reasons ....heck,I even overlooked a particularly dire pair of ugly shoes one of them wore to our first meeting!
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    nixzimmy, it looks like you might be new. to Houzz. You would have better results starting your own discussion. Go to your home page and click on "Advice". There you will see you can start your own discussion. Thanks.
  • wildatheart
    I'm very surprised that so many people responded, thank you so much. Sorry I haven't had the time to answer everyone today, like I said, two jobs + school, so not a lot of free time! But I'm very grateful for all your opinions, I think I got a good sense of both sides of the coin, and a lot of great advice. I think the best for now is to do what I did before and "cheat", I would dye half my hair, like a ombré from blonde to pink for example, and when at my serious job I would put it in a bun and put a bun wig on top of the colored part, that way I get to choose which image to project and it's better than nothing for my moral! I'll work with that for a while and maybe wait to develop my brand. Like all the rest, the company name, designing a website, finding a business model that works for me, it'll take time to find my footing, and it's always harder to try to plan any of these things until you're really confronted with the reality of the day to day. And thank you all so much for being courteous, which is not always expected of internet discussions :)
    Also just a head's up I asked the same question on Apartment Therapy at the same time, since I didn't know if I'd get any answers, so if you see both, sorry for the overload!
    I've been a lurker for quite a while but I can't wait to finally join your wonderful community and show you guys what I can do!
    And ps to Jessica, I don't cosplay :)
  • PRO
    Select Hardwood Floor Co.
    WOW!
    I'm pleasantly surprised to see that "many" have finally moved beyond the "gotta stay politically correct" stage, and aren't afraid to openly express their honest viewpoints.
    It was getting lonely out there.
    It's not a matter of anyone trying to willfully offend... but when you feel as though one's not entitled to have, much less display, their perceptions... they are essentially offended as well.
    Welcome to mature adulthood.
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    Love the hair...go for it. I think your portfolio will speak to your talent but I do suggest that you dress the part of a serious professional who has great taste when you go to a job.

    When I meet a client (and I wish I still had the youth to go pink), i dress my best, I am 70 and I do not expect you to wear my style, ( although today I had on tights and a long quilted vest and my tall riding boots. LOL)
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    Hey, look at Helen Mirren. If she can do it I can do it!

    http://starcrush.com/helen-mirren-pink-hair-baftas/
  • bluenan
    Helen already made an appearance above, when you're a Dame and an icon you can get away with a lot. The pink hair above doesn't compliment the gal's skin tone, I would need someone with a better sense of color....ear gauges would be an immediate No, as well.
  • Jessica
    Well cosplay can be good experience but I won't hold it against you if you don't. I reenact the Civil War and learn new stuff every time I put my uniform on.
  • Liza Hausman
    Can you post a picture of yourself? It's all in the execution - if done well, could reflect well on your design sense, if done poorly, well. . .
  • PRO
    Combs Roofing & Design
    I say be exactly who and what you are. My "theory" is that others expect designers and artists of any kind to have a different look or style of their own. We all want to be known, set apart from the competition. Keep it professional, but never lose the real you in the process. You will soon find that dressing "the part" and your public image from the past and present will be notices as you get more clients. I struggled myself with my "Public Image", unsure of HOW I wanted to be perceived and remembered as. I met someone who help me let go and just be THE REAL ME.
  • PRO
    River Valley Cabinet Works
    C'mon, Zazzy, that comment about bald/balding guys is like comparing apples and Swiss steak. Ask almost any bald guy and I can about guarantee he wishes he had his hair back. True, there are dudes who like to go with the shaved monkey look, but that's kind of a fad right now.

    If somebody wants pink hair, somebody has to reach for the chemicals. That means a choice, for whatever reason-wild child, pushing the envelope, chemical imbalance, rebellion, using body as a canvas, creative license, wanting to be different. There will be those who are good with it and others who aren't. Just look around Houzz; people's tastes run the gammut.
  • zazfuzzroc
    Okay River, who's apples and who's steak? lol :) I think the Rock (WWE) looks d@mn good, and he's shaved. :) My point is......the nasty people of the world will judge people regardless of the reason for their "look" whether it's by choice or not. So be who you are and avoid the azzez of the world......because you probably would not enjoy working with them anyway! I've always been who I want and did what I want regardless of opinions on what I should or should not wear, hair and the rest! Be true to you. Otherwise it's fake! I'm REAL. What you see and hear is true and me! Take it or leave it. Guess what?.....most have been takers...LOL :D Oh, and I don't dye my hair......I pull it out. LOL :) Smile River...Happy Thanksgiving's Day! :)
  • PRO
    River Valley Cabinet Works
    Whoa! Now THAT post is dripping with judgement! ..."the nasty people of the world will judge people regardless of the reason of their "look" whether it's by choice or not. So be who you are and avoid the azzez of the world....
  • zazfuzzroc
    @River, thanks for the quotes...I'm famous...I'm in quotes! LOL :D I do not want to fight/argue with you. That wasn't meant as judgement.....just observation and life experience.... Just meaning this person should feel comfortable being who and what they want. Many women dye their hair. Lots of colors...to rid themselves of grey. ;) I never get a break.....out of all the comments.....you had to pick me.....NOW that is My life experience.....never any slack for me. Give me a break, it's been a long day, please?Still....have a nice day/night. :)
  • zazfuzzroc
    I guess if my judgment should be on a designer's appearance....then I should not have come on Houzz to get opinions.....Some pros don't have pictures.....so does that mean I shouldn't trust their opinions until I request a picture??? Now...I'm beginning to wonder? This has me rethinking the whole thing? :)
  • PRO
    River Valley Cabinet Works
    Congratulations, Zazzy! You've just been twitted. (Don't take it too personally...I do it to @Margo all the time!)
    P.S.-I am still smiling, BTW...had some guy threaten me with a butt-kicking one time.
    Maybe some of us don't use pictures because we aren't...ah...photogenic.
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    WILDATHEART,

    Forgot to congratulate you on your graduation. What was your major and did you do a portfolio while in school? My friend's daughter went to RISD and the portfolio she had to present just for her application process was astounding. I could not believe the amount of work it took her, at that age, 17, without any experience. True talent.
  • PRO
    Monica Nordquist Design
    Great job on your career choice! It really depends upon the clientele you expect to attract. Wealthy business men who need to take you seriously? Then no. Unfortunately, people do judge by our exteriors and a designers' physical presentation of themselves is a 3D business card.
  • zazfuzzroc
    @River, there are many things I'd like to be and "twitted" is not one of them. lol :) The smile....was meant in a sincere way, not sarcastic. Sorry if you took it that way. I'm also not angry, so there's no butt-kicking going on. And when I said about a photo.....I really never looked to see if you had a picture or not. Basically......I think I shouldn't comment on these type of things...because I think people should be free to be themselves and feel comfortable doing so. And as far as judgement.......I've been judged way more by women than men. Even bosses.....the females have complained....the men don't??? If some one says something in a nasty way about someones appearance.......then, yes I don't think too highly of them. Not judgement from looking, observation from hearing/seeing. Now please River....truly....have a great Thanksgiving's Day! Smile on! :)
  • PRO
    Drea Custom Designs
    Your portfolio and personality would be my top decision makers in hiring you. Your hair is just an added plus because to me it shows you are not afraid to be different and stand out! Independent, free spirit!
  • PRO
    The QM Team
    I didn't read all the comments so this is probably the same advice but here we go. Build your brand base on who you are. First thing you have to take out of your head in being self-employed is the employee thinking. Your clients aren't your bosses. They are your partners on projects. You have a choice to work with the right partners. The market is so big on this industry that we can all market to our own little niche of people. Don't believe that rich people are the only ones that will hire you. Think on the people you want to work with and just market to them. On your case they probably like people with bright hair.
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    I know a designer who has one heck of a portfolio. I cannot count how many times her rooms have been included in national design magazines.

    She is a mess. Her clothes are mismatched; her hair is a nest; never considers makeup; drives an old, old Mercedes and the ashtray is full of butts.

    She can put together a house so perfectly it would make you cry with joy.

    It is the talent we want; who cares about the package in which it comes.
  • pcmom1
    To be truthful, I would probably think, "too far out for me". Same goes for any piercings, large ear holes, etc.

    But hair, if just a touch of pink, might be ok. Depends on the outfit, etc.
  • Lynnie
    Let's be realistic. Yes, it could cause you to not gain the masses. We all judge in one way or the other. We also all want to hire a person that is serious about their work. Not to say that you are not, but it might appear that way at the onset.

    Of course, if you have some great ideas, a wonderful portolio and winning personality, that will take over. Just a few things that you might want to think about. I try to give both sides. :)
  • maddiehelvs
    If I saw your portfolio before I saw you, I don't think I would mind, but if I saw your hair first I would be a little cautious. It may seem unprofessional, no matter how well you maintain it.
  • elsieadams
    I have nothing against colored hair or tattoos but when you are starting out your own business it is much better to dress sharply ie a pant suit or blazer and pants, nice shoes, be well manicured and sharp hair style in suitable color for you. Clients like most people will judge you by first impressions. It is unfortunate but I have experienced this and los a few regular clients but gradually built a great clientele who were very respectful of my choices and really took me a lot more serious. This type of relations will soon spread to a better choice of people to create with.
  • Darzy
    I'm of the "be yourself" crowd. If you're good, you're good.
  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    First things first. And the hair is the least important part of it. Moving to NY to start your own business requires a substantial capital investment. What's your business plan for that? What about student debt? Paying that off and putting food on the table etc. You plan to pay 5K of rent a month on a shoebox residence by taking on low budget customers? How many hours in the day do you have to work? Do you have any business education at all? Do you have a partner who will be paying the bills in the meantine?

    There's an old saying adapted here. ''You know the best way to create a small fortune in design? Start with a large one.''
  • wildatheart
    A lot of people are referencing the clothing and just because I mentionned pink hair doesn't mean I wear rags hehe, my business style is very serious, I wear blazers and they look fantastic with the hair let me tell you :)
    Sophie Wheeler, wooh you asked a lot of questions. Well I have no student debt and like I mentionned in the beginning I currently have two jobs outside of design, one of them freelance. I plan on working to pay my rent and hopefully slowly grow my design business on the side until I can support myself. I'm not sure where you got 5K a month but I definitely will not be looking for a "residence". I have a few friends over there with a 1500 or less rent which seems very doable, and as far as the shoebox aspect is concerned, I live in central Paris where it's pretty much the same deal so I don't mind it at all, I love cramped city life. I'm starting business and marketing classes soon, while I'll start working on my online approach, as well as logo and website design and branding (which is why I was asking the question in the first place). I'm not dropping everything tomorrow to become a design star, I just hope someday I get to do what I love full time, even if it doesn't make me rich, but in the meantime I'm just taking it slow and trying to do things right. A girl can dream :)
  • PRO
    RugKnots | Area Rugs
    I would hire based on the portfolio and personality. I have designers who work under me with trendy haircut and fashion. My artisans in Pakistan that make my hand knot rugs are simple but their talent, developed through time, shines in the beautiful rugs I produce. I love them! Good luck with your career!
  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    Sure you can dream. Dreams without preparation to ensure that they come true don't do you any favors in the long term. Take as many business classes as you possibly can. Not marketing. Marketing and branding are buzzwords for schlumps without talent. Being successful in design also has nothing to do with talent. A lot of talented people are horrible businesspersons, and so they now sell furniture at Ethan Allen or are only hobbyists.

    Understand the true costs of running a business that makes a profit----which is not a dirty word. It's why plumbers cost $100 for a 30 minute service call. They aren't making $400,000 a year, despite what the trades haters blast them as doing. Understand what goes into that net of maybe 70K from the gross of maybe 200K. Which won't even pay the expenses on a brownstone in Park Slope.
  • pcmom1
    Have a separate charge card only for the business. Bank account also. Simple file to save bills, receipts in. I'm an accountant also.

    Starting by working as an employee in design would teach you a lot of "the ropes". Just be very honorable when you go off on your own. No stealing clients, etc.

    Doing the work is the easy part of having your own business. Getting the work is hard. Getting paid for the work, even harder!

    Don't want to squash your dreams, but seen folk spend their entire lives attempting to get a business off the ground. Nothing put away for retirement, having to work into their late sixties...

    You are young and need to aim high, just keep the old feet on the ground at the same time. Never forget to add in the "opportunity cost" of having your own business: what could you make as a employee elsewhere?
  • PRO
    River Valley Cabinet Works
    Ooohhh. preach on @Sophie! Finally someone says it!
  • whynottryit
    Wow guys! All she asked was about her hair! From the answers to all your questions about everything else, it appears she's not jumping off the deep end without knowing how to swim. I realize you're trying to give a lot of business advice here and I've been there and know how hard you have to work to build one, but seriously, she didn't ask for a treatise on how to build an empire.
  • PRO
    VizX Design Studios, LLC
    lol! I was wonder what was going on. I get the email updates about the conversation and I saw banking information and everything. I need to start asking for more business advise. Wow! This is amazing, it shows our online community is ready to help.
  • pcmom1
    Yeah, that's right. Probably shouldn't have jumped in with all that.

    Just wanted to pass on about keeping all $$ separate for accounting ease. Our poster is just starting out and all that. But I say to go for it!
  • pcmom1
    Maybe there are doctors out there and we can get free medical advice?
  • whynottryit
    LOL....love that pcmom1!
  • PRO
    River Valley Cabinet Works
    I think the answer is slightly past the "GO!" space....if she can't glean enough client base who don't care about unusual hair color, this business is going nowhere.
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