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Ask Belle: Office Appropriate Hair Accessories

Hi Belle, 

I’m in the process of transitioning my hair, so I currently have two textures (straight ends and curly roots) that I usually tame/camouflage by wearing a bun with a headband. Obviously, my athletic headbands will not do for an interview or the office atmosphere that I am seeking. Do you have ideas for hair accessories such as headbands and clips that would be appropriate? I can straighten my hair but I’d like to use as little heat as possible right now. 

– Robin

I thought about your question for a while because I know how important first impressions are.  While I don’t recommend wearing a headband (it seems a bit juvenile to me), if you must wear one, stick to a simple, thin one.  This black band or this tortoise one will both work.

If you’re looking for a barrette, I would stick to a tortoise one or a simple gold one.  I also really like this open-barrette from Nordstrom; it’s totally chic.  I also recommend this hair elastic with a metallic cover.

The bottom line is that your hair needs to clean and styled.  If you’re prone to fidgeting, I would pull it back.  If you have any doubts about whether the style you’ve chosen is professional enough, ask a friend or a family member for their opinion.

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    3 comments

  1. Q says:

    Question asker should start experimenting with some no-heat transitioning styles like Bantu knot-outs, flexirod sets, twist outs, etc. Pulling the hair back will just emphasize the demarcation line between the natural and permed hair. And if you do it all the time, it will cause breakage! I know transitioning is a pain in the ass, but the sooner the OP starts using curly styles, the easier life will be!

    If you have really long hair, and you MUST pull it back, a French roll was the style I used that looked the best with 1-2 inches of natural growth.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=transitioning+styles&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&ie=&oe=&gws_rd=ssl#rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&q=transitioning+inspiration+pinterest

    December 8, 2014/Reply
  2. Elyse A. says:

    I transitioned and I currently have a TWA. I did a big chop before starting law school. Before that I had two textures. I wear a plain colored one inch wide head band most days in the style Belle recommended, not the elastic athletic type. I usually just go with a plain Afro for interviews but if I had my hair in a bun and we’re trying to obscure the line between relaxed and natural texture I would totally use a wider headband over the line. You might also want to try Bantu knots to modify the texture of your hair without heat.

    December 8, 2014/Reply
  3. Juana says:

    I’m currently in the same spot — flexi rod twists have been saving. my. life. Less maintenance, keeps me from using heat on my hair every single day and a good way to blend the two textures until my hair grows a bit more and can chop off the ends.

    Pinterest has kind of been a godsend for me as I’ve been navigating this pretty much on my own. Definitely worth checking for new, creative ideas.

    Also um, I am so excited that this is a question on this blog. FWIW, I don’t think we talk about this type of stuff often enough!

    December 8, 2014/Reply