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Is long hair on a guy too unprofessional?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Swiperfox, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Swiperfox

    Swiperfox 2+ Year Member

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    On a whim, I started growing my hair out ~ two years ago. I've always believed that when interviews rolled around I would have to cut it off, but unfortunately I've grown rather fond of it. So, essentially my questions are thus. 1) do you think it plausible to still interview well without cutting it and 2) if I do have to get rid of it, how short is short? Right now it's about 1/3 the way down my back.


    Stupid question I know, but it never hurts to get another opinion.
     
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  3. Sparkler

    Sparkler 2+ Year Member

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    Yes, cut it.
     
  4. DeadCactus

    DeadCactus SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    It'll hurt you.

    The only real question is deciding whether the cost/benefit ratio makes it acceptable to keep the hair.
     
  5. Mayday

    Mayday 5+ Year Member

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    Unfortunately I think you'll need to cut it for interviews. However, once you are accepted then you can re-grow it. I'm having to go through something similar - my hair is blue, but I have to get rid of my blue hair for now.
     
  6. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

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    We have a guy who interviewed and was admitted with hair about 6" below shoulder length. He does keep it pulled back & neatly groomed, but it still makes him stand out in what I'm not sure is always for the best. Some of our professors seem to talk down to him like he's an idiot or something ... he's fairly reserved, but definitely one of the smarter guys in our class.

    I think in your case it would probably be fine to keep it, but if med school is really important to you, why take the chance that you draw some interviewer who has a mistaken and antiquated view of long-haired men as pot smoking hippies or some such thing? IMO it's just not worth it. Once you're in, grow it as long as you want (until residency interviews, of course;) ).
     
  7. variablistic

    variablistic 5+ Year Member

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    I had long hair all through high school and through my freshman year of undergrad. I eventually cut it, but while it was long, I was getting negative comments about it at speech and debate meets, even losing rounds because of it. If a judge in a high school debate meet is going to pick your opponent over you because you have long hair. Do you really want to risk an ADCOM doing the same?
     
  8. Wanna_B_Scutty

    Wanna_B_Scutty MS1 2+ Year Member

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    I agree with the other posters that, to be on the safe side, you might do well to cut it.


    That said, perhaps cutting it would be easier if you knew you could do a little good for the world at the same time? It sounds to me as though your hair might be long enough to donate to Locks of Love. :love: My friends have done this (I can't because I dye my hair) and they've all felt great afterward.
    http://www.locksoflove.org/donate_hair.php
     
  9. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm... 7+ Year Member

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    The Preppy shaggy look is one thing, but if you can pull it into to a pony-tail, it's too long and kind of gross looking. The only thing worse would be if it were accented by a molestor moustache...
     
  10. degoo_

    degoo_ 2+ Year Member

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    lol. When he described himself I took this for granted in my mental picture.
     
  11. MattD

    MattD Curmudgeon 7+ Year Member

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    From the Locks of Love website:

    We accept 10" minimum hair length (tip to tip). We cannot accept wigs, falls, or synthetic hair.
    Please bundle hair in ponytail or braid.
    Hair needs to be clean, dry, placed in a plastic bag, then padded envelope.
    We need hair from men and women, young and old, all colors and races.
    [BOLD]Hair may be colored or permed, but not bleached or chemically damaged (if unsure, ask your stylist). [/BOLD]
    Hair swept off the floor is not usable.
    Hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid.
    Hair that is short, gray, or unsuitable for children will be separated from the ponytails and sold at fair market value to offset the cost of manufacturing.
    You may pull curly hair straight to measure the minimum 10".
    The majority of all hair donated comes from children who wish to help other children.
    Layered hair may be divided into multiple ponytails for donation.
    Please note: Anyone can cut your hair as long as the above guidelines are followed.


    Ready to put your money where your mouth is?? LOL
     
  12. apnea

    apnea Forgot the safe word... 2+ Year Member

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    Cut it :( Hair grows back.
    i've got to contend with the "conservative image" too...this was taken last week:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat 7+ Year Member

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    keep it.
     
  14. Pixelthecat

    Pixelthecat Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    It is possible to get admitted with long hair. I've done it twice this year.. :)

    Yes, it's a calculated risk. I haven't had any interviewers mention anything about it, although that only about.. hmm.. 10 or so data points.

    I did get about 4 inches chopped to tidy things up, and I had it pulled back for during the interviews (actually, I pull it back for all activities medical to reduce the chance of accidentally dipping the ends in some ick).
     
  15. Wanna_B_Scutty

    Wanna_B_Scutty MS1 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you, Matt! Last time there was a L.o.L. drive at my school, they told me "no dye jobs" (and I even got a private haircut in the same week)-- but I guess they've changed their policy. :)

    In any case, my hair is starting to get overly long and I'd planned to cut it before med school. But sure, I'll take on your challenge.:D I'll go ahead and grow it a little longer so that I can donate, too!
     
  16. cubbbie

    cubbbie Member 5+ Year Member

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    FWIW -- the Case admissions material features a med student picking a book off the shelf in the library, and this dude has long hair in a pony tail. Oddly enough, the only other male med student I know who has long hair also went to Case. (Not the same guy in the admissions brochure.)

    Bottom line, if you want to keep your long hair, Case is the option for you.
     
  17. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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  18. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    there's a guy in my class who has pretty dang long hair (and it was like that right at orientation), so it must have been kinda long for his interview. So, you can take your chances.
     
  19. Mayday

    Mayday 5+ Year Member

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    Locks of love isn't as good of an orginization as people think. It sells some of the hair rather than using it in wigs as the donors expect. According to a 2003 report by the Better Business BureauÂ’s Wise Giving Alliance, in 2002 alone Locks of Love had raised over $150,000 by selling donated hair and had received another $213,000 in charitable contributions and grants, but provided only 113 human-hair and 39 synthetic wigs. Locks of Love does not provide all hairpieces free of charge. According to its website, prices for human-hair wigs are set on a sliding scale based on the recipient's family income.

    They do not provide wigs to children going through chemo.

    There are other orginizations who make better use of donated hair. Wigs for Kids accepts hair donations to create custom made, human hair replacements for children who have temporary or long term hair loss due to burns, chemotherapy, radiation, alopecia, or other medical circumstances. Pantene has a program where people can donate hair to go to women who are going through chemo.
    http://www.pantene.com/en_US/beautifullengths/participate.jsp
    http://www.wigsforkids.org/
     
  20. Wanna_B_Scutty

    Wanna_B_Scutty MS1 2+ Year Member

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    Hmmmm, thank you very much for the info, Mayday. But unfortunately, when I checked both of these sites, both said that they wouldn't take hair colored with permanent dye. :(

    Ah well, it'll be L.o.L. for me. I'm OK with them selling it, as long as the money goes eventually goes to the kids. :)
     
  21. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    This sort of thing always makes me wonder how much people make off of donated blood.
     
  22. degoo_

    degoo_ 2+ Year Member

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  23. apnea

    apnea Forgot the safe word... 2+ Year Member

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    If you figure out a way to make a mullet, you're required to post it.
     
  24. Guile

    Guile 1K Member 5+ Year Member

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    Exactly. Those organizations aren't saints. They make a KILLING. I'd love to see the numbers on how much Red Cross makes from blood.
     
  25. IWant2BeADoctor

    IWant2BeADoctor License to Matriculate 2+ Year Member

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    Cut it. Your hair will grow back after all.
     
  26. Guile

    Guile 1K Member 5+ Year Member

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    OP: To add to the consensus, definitely cut it. And by cut it, cut it short.

    This length is good. Professional is the key word here.

    [​IMG]

    But before you cut it, grow out a mustache and take pictures. Then bring a camera to the barber shop, have the man/woman cut a mullet, then take pictures before she cuts the rest. My friend did this. PRICELESS.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Zagaza

    Zagaza Exodontist 10+ Year Member

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    it will be wise to cut it, you can always grow it back or even have a chage of mind gdluck
     
  28. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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  29. 444

    444 2+ Year Member

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    I had long crazy hair but I got it cut right before my interviews. And I got waitlisted at my top two choices. So keep it and see what happens. No way you will regret it.
     
  30. I had hair down to my waist but cut it before interviews.

    I don't regret that decision.

    Yea, it sucks. But it's a small sacrifice in the larger scheme of things.

    Besides, once you're an attending you can grow it back out.
     
  31. Richard Kimble

    Richard Kimble A one arm man did it 2+ Year Member

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    Get the best of both worlds with the mullet.


    Business upfront, party in the back...
     
  32. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this 10+ Year Member

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    Eh, I cut it for job interviews a couple years ago, and I'm going to cut it again (cuz it's grown a little too long to be neat, but it's still short) before my final interview in 2 weeks, which means it'll take even longer to grow it back out.

    Truth be told though, you'll get over it. At first it'll be weird not having long hair, but soon you'll remember some of the joys of short hair, like the fact that it's way easier to wash, the fact that it doesn't get in your face, the fact that you don't have to worry about how you look with a ponytail when you're a guy, etc.

    You'll get over it, trust me.

    And if you still want long hair, you can always grow it back out post interviews.
     
  33. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    This topic comes up fairly often. I can understand that fashion and being expressive/stylish etc etc etc seems so important to some people, particularly if coming right out of college. But really, the bottom line is to just conform. Is it really that important to have expressive hair? The profession has a certain image, so just go with it. The focus here is to get accepted to medical school and become a good doctor, so if that means meeting certain appearance expections (either for the adcoms, attending, or even patients) then so be it. Heck, if the standard was for shaved heads or long green hair, then count me in for that as well. Whatever it takes. But or now, it is what it is ... short and conservative.
     
  34. Fzma

    Fzma Alopthy 5+ Year Member

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    This might be a little different, but I have a nose ring, and I left it in for all of my interviews--though some people told me to take it out. I've been accepted or waitlisted at all of the schools I've interviewed at, including acceptances to Yale, NYU, and Northwestern, WL at Cornell and Penn. So I think that these things don't really matter as much as people assume. Just my two cents.
     
  35. SpartanBlueJay2

    SpartanBlueJay2 5+ Year Member

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    OH
    It's so funny you mention that, because I did my undergrad at Case, and when I did my UG research project, my grad student mentor in lab was a male MSTP student with long hair. It wasn't even well-groomed, either. So, if you really want to hold on to your locks, Case really might be the place for you. But, personally, I'd say cut it.
     
  36. PepperMD

    PepperMD 2+ Year Member

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    You heard Haemulon, conform! CONFORM...CONFORM...CONFORM...
     
  37. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat 7+ Year Member

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    YES!
     
  38. Kfire326

    Kfire326 7+ Year Member

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    Just curious, are you South Asian? I ask because I think nose rings may be acceptable among members of that community, only because it's a common thing to see. People may just chalk it up to a being a cultural thing, and therefore not mind it.
     
  39. Fzma

    Fzma Alopthy 5+ Year Member

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    Nope, I'm white. And I honestly don't think anyone really cared or noticed.
     
  40. hayden

    hayden Member 5+ Year Member

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    is our society this superficial? oh wait, stupid question, of course it is.
     
  41. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    I concur.
     
  42. MtnGntx

    MtnGntx New Member 2+ Year Member

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    I had 3 interviews and at least 2 acceptances.... and I am a male WITH LONG HAIR... I breifly considered cutting it for interviews, but I am not one of those "Oh, he should REALLY cut his hair" guys. :cool:

    I decided that if I didnt make a big deal out of it, they wouldn't either. I am sure there will be those who question the wisdom of this because appearances really do leave psychological impressions that bubble up through one's self conscience to impart their unseen effects on decision making. :thumbdown:

    But I am used to dealing with this and I am a very self-confident, well-educated, and successful individual, so I rolled the dice...Nothing lost in this occassion. :thumbup: :thumbup:

    At this point, I may never get it cut short again... and now my mother would be rolling her eyes in distress.:laugh:
     
  43. Disinence2

    Disinence2 Emergency Medicine Physician 7+ Year Member

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    I know a guy with real long hair who will be going to Wash U next fall.

    I honestly don't think addmissions poeple care as long as u look presentable! Theres many other more valid reasons that will keep you from being a doctor besides your hair.

    Doctors can express themselves too!!! In fact. I even know a doctor with a tattoo! Gasp.
     
  44. Disinence2

    Disinence2 Emergency Medicine Physician 7+ Year Member

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    By the way, I had long hair in highschool and was told by my manager (at the MOVIE THEATER) to cut it or be fired...So I got fired. Poeple who judge you based on your looks are some of the worst kinds of poeple. Dont give them the satisfaction of winning.
     
  45. GoLAClippers

    GoLAClippers Banned Banned

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    Does this answer your Q? ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  46. mikkey

    mikkey 7+ Year Member

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    Hey
    At my school there is a guy with dreads all the way down to his waist and he is in first year med, so he went to the interview that way and actually got in. However, from what I have heard from admissions, it wasn't well looked at (plus how do you fit all that hair in the little surgical cap??). I guess it depends on how much risk you are willing to take and how badly you want in.
     
  47. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

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    I think a lot of the posters herein are trying to use anecdotal exceptions to support the 'don't cut it' viewpoint. Sure, there will always be long-haired/pierced/tattooed/whatever individuals who get into every school they apply to with no problem. In fact, most interviewers likely wouldn't have a problem with your hair. BUT, are you willing to take the risk of getting an interviewer who does view it in a negative light? IMO, just not worth it. You've likely made a lot of sacrifices to get to the point of applying to med school & it seems silly to even take a chance of not getting in over hair that grows back anyway.
     
  48. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm... 7+ Year Member

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    Agreed.
    For god's sake, cut it. If not for the medical school interviews, do it so people don't point and laugh behind your back (when, of course, they are in full view of your ponytail).
    Honestly, would you take this man seriously, or much less, trust him with your children?
    [​IMG]
    :jeer:
     
  49. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm... 7+ Year Member

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    Whoops. I really hope this wasn't a poster on this thread...
     
  50. Richard Kimble

    Richard Kimble A one arm man did it 2+ Year Member

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    Hey that's me...jk. Although, I bet he (it) lives in Ohio
     
  51. ICCONFETTI

    ICCONFETTI 7+ Year Member

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    cut it cut it cut it

    it's hair, it'll grow back
     

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