Do you think long hair (well-kept or held back in a ponytail) is ok for school?

  • Yes, long hair is fine

    Votes: 85 40.5%
  • No, you look unprofessional

    Votes: 46 21.9%
  • Maybe, but others may judge you poorly

    Votes: 73 34.8%
  • Other/I like cake/null

    Votes: 6 2.9%

  • Total voters
    210

SpookyDoc

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I'm an M1 (male) makin' my way through... well... M1, and everything is all fine except I have this slight dilemma, a hairy situation, one might say, if they were completely shameless.

After my interview last November, I stopped cutting my hair, deciding before I was accepted that I wouldn't cut my hair til I was in medical school. Long story short, my short hair got long and I found out my hair was VERY curly (never knew) and grew in nice ringlets that eventually found their way into my eyes. Lots of compliments, lots of "oh my god what is wrong with your hair," but generally got great reviews.

I cut it all off the Friday before M1.

My problem is this: I never felt like I gave really long hair a chance, and I have a desire to let it grow out again. What is your opinion? Is well-kept long hair acceptable in medical school? I'm an M1 so I really wont be interviewing for a few years, and I COULD cut it all off before evals in M3-4. I'm great with patients, and a well-kept guy so I wouldn't be the beast with long hair that ends up scaring people. So here it is.

I'm looking to grow it out over the rest of M1 and let it go nuts over the summer, hopefully ending up being able to ponytail it when I need to look professional.

Do you think its ok to have long hair in medical school? And if you have long hair in med school, how did you keep it out of your eyes/etc while growing it?
 

WellWornLad

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You can make long hair work if it's straight, but the thought of long curly hair kinda creeps me out. It makes me think of clowns.
 
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cpants

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The key to your questions is "well kept". That doesn't mean you just throw it in a ponytail and go to clinic. You will have to keep it clean, well-conditioned, brushed or else it will look terrible. As long as you have great grooming, there is no problem with long hair. You should be prepared for some comments/disapproving looks from old-timers--both patients and doctors.
 

edfig99

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The key to your questions is "well kept". That doesn't mean you just throw it in a ponytail and go to clinic. You will have to keep it clean, well-conditioned, brushed or else it will look terrible. As long as you have great grooming, there is no problem with long hair. You should be prepared for some comments/disapproving looks from old-timers--both patients and doctors.
+1

check to see if your school and/or hospitals include how hair is kept in their definitions of "professional attire" as well... my experience has been for preclinicals students will grow out their hair, but once clinicals start, it gets cut -- just one less thing to deal with in the morning.

i remember as a 3rd yr, one of my classmates got into an ugly one with a surgical chief resident who refused to allow him rotate with him until he cut his hair. the student ultimately got switched off to working with another team.
 

cpants

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ed has a good point. When on rotations or even in pre-clinical years your time is at a premium. Taking care of long hair is pretty time consuming, and it is not something you'll be able to skip if you want to stay professional.
 

Mobius1985

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One guy in my class has long ringlets, very well kept, and looking quite striking. We've been seeing patients for 1.5 years, and no one (administratively speaking) has made an issue of it. I expect that guidelines vary by school though.
 

Trismegistus4

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I'm looking to grow it out over the rest of M1 and let it go nuts over the summer, hopefully ending up being able to ponytail it when I need to look professional.[/B]
Ugh, anything but a ponytail. There's a doc on staff at my school who has a ponytail, and he looks like a tool. Worse, he sometimes wears a bow tie. I never trust men in bow ties. If I went to see a new doctor and he walked into the exam room wearing a ponytail and bow tie, I'd say "get me out of here; I want a different doctor."
 

cpants

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I do have to agree that the ponytail is not attractive, but that's just personal preference i guess. I think I prefer doctors with mullets and bolo ties.
 

218303

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I personally wouldn't care, but I think some older folks would not like it so much.
 

LadyWolverine

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Very few men can pull off long hair and still look good/professional. No man looks good with hair longer than just-past-chin-level (think Sawyer from Lost as a good cutoff for what is acceptable - and realize that there are few men who can pull that off and make it look attractive).

Wild, unkempt curly hair that falls in your eyes makes you look like you have a mop on your head. Long, straight hair that gets pulled back in a ponytail generally looks terrible on guys - people will think that you are either lazy or a musician. Fauxhawks are out and will make you look like a DB. It is my personal opinion that no man looks good with a ponytail, no matter what length.

In general, keep it short, keep it clean, keep the lines sharp in the back/sides (it looks really bad when it looks like fuzz is starting to track down your neck - get it cut/trimmed regularly). You don't have to spend a ton of money, either. Find a cheap salon or get a pair of scissors and a trimmer and have a friend/SO/classmate do it for you. It's not rocket science. If you're keeping it short, you should probably trim it every 3-4 weeks.

IMNSHO, there are few things that look as simultaneously professional and attractive as a freshly-barbered man in a shirt and tie. But then again, I think every man should look, dress, and talk like Daniel Craig or Hugh Jackman, so wtf do I know. Apparently I'm getting very judgmental in my old age.
 
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Tiger26

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The mullet can work really well given the right specialty. ER comes to mind right off the top of my head--business in the front, party in the back :)

Seriously, though, first impressions mean a lot when you're walking into someones room and asking them the most invasive questions you could imagine or gowning up to deliver their baby or something . . . .


 

number

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I was growing out my beard and hair earlier this year. I had a few inches of beard and almost six inches of hair. I wanted to look like this guy: http://entimg.msn.com/i/gal/KingArt/KA12_300x435.jpg

Can you picture the above guy in a white coat? Would you tell him that he looked unprofessional...?

I finally cut my hair and shaved a week before thanksgiving. Got tired of having to shampoo it in the morning. Now doing the shave once a week thing.
 

gujuDoc

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I'm an M1 (male) makin' my way through... well... M1, and everything is all fine except I have this slight dilemma, a hairy situation, one might say, if they were completely shameless.

After my interview last November, I stopped cutting my hair, deciding before I was accepted that I wouldn't cut my hair til I was in medical school. Long story short, my short hair got long and I found out my hair was VERY curly (never knew) and grew in nice ringlets that eventually found their way into my eyes. Lots of compliments, lots of "oh my god what is wrong with your hair," but generally got great reviews.

I cut it all off the Friday before M1.

My problem is this: I never felt like I gave really long hair a chance, and I have a desire to let it grow out again. What is your opinion? Is well-kept long hair acceptable in medical school? I'm an M1 so I really wont be interviewing for a few years, and I COULD cut it all off before evals in M3-4. I'm great with patients, and a well-kept guy so I wouldn't be the beast with long hair that ends up scaring people. So here it is.

I'm looking to grow it out over the rest of M1 and let it go nuts over the summer, hopefully ending up being able to ponytail it when I need to look professional.

Do you think its ok to have long hair in medical school? And if you have long hair in med school, how did you keep it out of your eyes/etc while growing it?
If you are male and not female, then long hair is def. not something I'd do.
 

badasshairday

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For preclinical years, I say go ahead and knock yourself out. Grow out your hair like crazy and sport a fro if that is what you want to do. It's not like you are seeing patients. This is probably the last time you'll be able to do it for the rest of your life because when your a doc you gotta be professional (plus you may go bald later on too).
 

badasshairday

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And you shouldn't care what other classmates think of you. They are probably a bunch of squares anyways if they are going to judge you for your hair during M1-M2 years when it doesn't even matter.
 

Excelsius

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The reason most males don't have long hair these days has to do with military structure of our civilization. It fell out of favor after all the world wars in the past century. Making a norm that every male has to have short hair basically goes back to the philosophy that all males are just sheep born to follow what once was a warring world. In military they cut your hair because they want to take away your identity. That's why I don't agree with blanket statements that all males must have short hair.

Now I think that style matters. If you groom well and if it looks good, then long hair should be fine. It also matters how long you're talking about. I almost never allow my hair to grow as long as to be able to make a pony tail. Longer than average hair is great because it allows for greater manageability. You can also comb your hair back and look like Heisenberg. But if your hair reaches all way to your shoulders, then it is much tougher to look like a professional. I know that also some hospitals require you to tie your hair if it is has a certain length. Unfortunately, you can't control what people may think about you if your hair really reaches your shoulders or if you have a pony tail. Even I don't like this. If I had to do a ponytail, I'd rather cut my hair.

Finally, I agree about maintenance. If you pay anything less than about $40 to cut your hair, it will look like crap. It does require a longer time to maintain your hair in terms of grooming and that's a major reason why it's not good to let it reach anywhere near your shoulders. What I do is cut my hair short 2-3 times a year. That way the hair is sometimes really short, other times long - 50/50. Problem solved.



 

sprinkibrio

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engineeredout

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Finally, I agree about maintenance. If you pay anything less than about $40 to cut your hair, it will look like crap. It does require a longer time to maintain your hair in terms of grooming and that's a major reason why it's not good to let it reach anywhere near your shoulders. What I do is cut my hair short 2-3 times a year. That way the hair is sometimes really short, other times long - 50/50. Problem solved.
Are you kidding? There is no difference between a 40$ haircut from a fruity guy in a salon and a 15$ cut from an old italian guy in a barber shop who knows what hes doing. For a guy getting his hair trimmed down, nothing elaborate, there is no difference or justification in spending that much money.


Oh, and one more thing:



Ftw.
 

DocPsychosis

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The reason most males don't have long hair these days has to do with military structure of our civilization. It fell out of favor after all the world wars in the past century. Making a norm that every male has to have short hair basically goes back to the philosophy that all males are just sheep born to follow what once was a warring world. In military they cut your hair because they want to take away your identity. That's why I don't agree with blanket statements that all males must have short hair.
What the hell are you talking about? Please tell me this is a fakepost.
 

psychforme

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mjl1717

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What about spiked hair in med school?
This thread and topic is pure comic relief..
I like your comment.
Its funny how some just dont get the professionalism involved in this arena ..And how older people and other maybe be offended with the long hair.. [Geez, want long hair, go to law school, become an entertainer,etc.

Personally, I do a straight up Osler style which includes the waxed moustache
plus 3 piece suit (in my avatar).. And nobody says a d--- thing.. They look at me in there peripheral vision since many are insecure..
 
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Depakote

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blanket statements about men's hair length = bad.

blanket statements about cost of a hair cut = good.

got it. :D:thumbup:
 

MrBurns10

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Why stop at one ponytail when you could have two? Especially on clinicals, where appearances say a lot.

Ponytail = What do you mean you haven't been compliant with your meds? I'll see you in the parking lot in 10 minutes and MAKE you compliant!

Pigtails = I understand your situation, and though I myself have never had diabetes, I realize how difficult it must be for you. Here's a tissue and a shoulder to cry on. And I would love to babysit for you next weekend.
 

silas2642

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I'm an M1 (male) makin' my way through... well... M1, and everything is all fine except I have this slight dilemma, a hairy situation, one might say, if they were completely shameless.

After my interview last November, I stopped cutting my hair, deciding before I was accepted that I wouldn't cut my hair til I was in medical school. Long story short, my short hair got long and I found out my hair was VERY curly (never knew) and grew in nice ringlets that eventually found their way into my eyes. Lots of compliments, lots of "oh my god what is wrong with your hair," but generally got great reviews.

I cut it all off the Friday before M1.

My problem is this: I never felt like I gave really long hair a chance, and I have a desire to let it grow out again. What is your opinion? Is well-kept long hair acceptable in medical school? I'm an M1 so I really wont be interviewing for a few years, and I COULD cut it all off before evals in M3-4. I'm great with patients, and a well-kept guy so I wouldn't be the beast with long hair that ends up scaring people. So here it is.

I'm looking to grow it out over the rest of M1 and let it go nuts over the summer, hopefully ending up being able to ponytail it when I need to look professional.

Do you think its ok to have long hair in medical school? And if you have long hair in med school, how did you keep it out of your eyes/etc while growing it?
I don't like long hair (I'm actually a woman)-- and if it's too long, it's just kind of creepy. Looks like you're kind of new-age and should be prescribing herbs.
 

vasca

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As long as the hair is well groomed and well kept (like Legolas well kept from Lord of the Rings), I have no probs with it.

But hey, I'm pretty liberal about those things. I think tattoos are awesome and don't mind them at all. I find the color coated sameness that society expects of doctors to look like is uninteresting. I have a lot of male classmates that have tongue rings, piercings on their ears and on their eyebrows and the only times they've been requested to remove them was from teachers (usually from my university who are uber meister conservatives aiming towards creepiness to begin with). Patients generaly don't find it to be an issue (but when you're in a public hopsital setting, patients are grateful they have a doctor to treat them to begin with).

I have long hair, was thinking of cutting it, but now I like it long. Don't have the cash now, but when my first paycheck comes in, I'm thinking of buying one of those machines that flatten your hair. I feel like Hermione Granger in the first HP movie without it and don't like to wear it pulled up all of the time. Since I'm female, nobody has told me to cut it except girlfriends who think I'd look cool if I had it cut.

As long as your university is tolerant of long hair, might as well do it. I told a friend who is going bald at an amazing speed to stop shaving his hair and enjoy his nice hair while he still can. A few months later he had pretty long hair. He has many years in the future to be shaving the non bald spots. Some rotations will have old hags that order you to shave your hair and stuff. I had a teacher who forced several classmates to shave themselves in the ER with these cheap shavers because they don't even tolerate moustaches (which I find to be beyond ridiculous). Once you become an intern though, you can grow your hair and dress sloppy and while you'll get nagged by people, they can't touch you. While you're still a med student, you have to suck it up though. Many male classmates at my campus have their hair at shoulder length and generally look good with it. Some of them do abuse hair gel (I had a classmate that looked like a Colombian mafioso because of how he gelled his hair).
 
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sprinkibrio

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One of our options for between 1st and 2nd year and for 4th year rotations is to go to a diabetes camp. The head doctor of the camp actually requires all of the medical student workers to be clean shaven. EWW, come ON, what if you have micrognathia. This is in Texas, though.
 

nope80

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I think its FINE! I mean who cares what other people think? I am really sick and tired of this argument that long hair or facial hair is unprofessional...how?!?! I mean yes we are doctors but we are human, first. And what that means is being able to make those cosmetic decisions ourselves without being judged. I mean if someone in the hospital or one of your patients is going to judge you by the length of your hair, um, let them. I just see that as a total impingement upon ones sense of self and while medicine has the tendency to invade all aspects of ones life, I think it needs to stop short of mandating hair length. Just my two cents.
 

Excelsius

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Are you kidding? There is no difference between a 40$ haircut from a fruity guy in a salon and a 15$ cut from an old italian guy in a barber shop who knows what hes doing. For a guy getting his hair trimmed down, nothing elaborate, there is no difference or justification in spending that much money.
...
Have you actually ever had long hair? You may be lucky to find someone to properly cut your hair under $20, but mostly you will not find anyone like that (such as at SuperCuts). The last time I tried to "save" money like that before an interview, I had to run immediately after that to a regular salon so they could repair the Van Gogh hairdo that I bought for $20. The girl didn't even know what cutting in layers was, yet she claimed she did. I felt that after she was through with me, I was good enough to stand in a display at the Museum of Contemporary Art. If you want to risk it, make sure you do it well before an important event you might have to attend.

What's weird is that we're spending so much time discussing hair. If you want long hair, just do it and make sure it looks professional. If you think your hair might jeopardize your career, then just cut it shorter. What's the big deal? It will grow back. If you keep your hair at moderate length (as some pics above), and if you have a good barber, you don't have to worry about looking unprofessional.
 

Excelsius

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I don't like long hair (I'm actually a woman)-- and if it's too long, it's just kind of creepy. Looks like you're kind of new-age and should be prescribing herbs.

Are you serious?

This can be creepy:



But would you really say this is creepy too?



If yes, then you might have some hair intolerance. Most of the women I know actually love moderately long hair (a little shorter than above pic). but then again it may be individual specific since for some people anything other than short looks bad (mostly males).
 

Jwax

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Do you think its ok to have long hair in medical school? And if you have long hair in med school, how did you keep it out of your eyes/etc while growing it?
I think it is okay to have long hair in med school, but in general, most guys with long hair do not look appealing. There are definite exceptions, and I agree that hair longer than Sawyer from Lost will almost always look bad. I think it is entirely possible that there will be physicians/patients who disapprove, but whether or not you care is the question. I got a tatoo on my ankle over the summer, and I am debating on how to get away with letting it be seen next year as an M3 (I have a few capri length pants & skirts that are business appropriate that I want to wear). It's pretty benign - a small sketch of an angel - but I have a feeling I will get a few dirty looks for it.

ed has a good point. When on rotations or even in pre-clinical years your time is at a premium. Taking care of long hair is pretty time consuming, and it is not something you'll be able to skip if you want to stay professional.
Opposite is true if you are female. I've been cutting it short for the pre-clinical years while I still have the time to make it look cute, but I will have to stop getting it cut around March so it will be long enough for a ponytail every day of M3. All that is required is waking up and putting it back. Viola.

Yum.

Some rotations will have old hags that order you to shave your hair and stuff. I had a teacher who forced several classmates to shave themselves in the ER with these cheap shavers because they don't even tolerate moustaches (which I find to be beyond ridiculous).
Are you kidding me?!? I don't think I could stand it and would have a hard time not telling them to f' off. Of course, being female and all, if I had a moustache I would most likely keep it shaved ;).
 

mjl1717

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Are you serious?

This can be creepy:



But would you really say this is creepy too?



If yes, then you might have some hair intolerance. Most of the women I know actually love moderately long hair (a little shorter than above pic). but then again it may be individual specific since for some people anything other than short looks bad (mostly males).
Geez, Yes the first guy with the blond hair is creepy...The undercurrent is "he's more worried about his hair then the patient" :rolleyes:
 

LadyWolverine

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For those of you who are posting pictures of male models with long hair, keep in mind that the reason these guys have such "fabulous"-looking hair is because they have had stylists working on them with top-of-the-line salon products. (I bet even Howard Stern has someone who does his hair for photos.) Unless you have your own personal stylist, I doubt your hair is going to look a fraction as good as the guys in these pictures, ESPECIALLY while you're in medical school. Most men I've encountered with long hair either pull it back into a ponytail and don't really maintain it (split ends, really coarse, dry hair, the whole nine yards) or let it go crazy until they resemble a shaggy wildebeast. SOOOOO grody.


Geez, Yes the first guy with the blond hair is creepy...The undercurrent is "he's more worried about his hair then the patient" :rolleyes:
Dude, I can't believe you just made fun of Fabio.

I can't believe it's not butter.
 

SpookyDoc

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Ok, OP here, some people said "depends on the hair," so....

Here's a heavily edited pic of me... this is what my hair is like when it gets longer. Notice I have a beard.




Does this change any perceptions? Long ringlets bad or good?
 

LadyWolverine

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For the love of Pete. Seriously dude. No offense, but it looks like a mop in this picture. Cut it, lose the beard, pluck the eyebrows. The ladies will go wild. :)

Oh, and while you're at it, invest in a face.
 

SpookyDoc

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For the love of Pete. Seriously dude. No offense, but it looks like a mop in this picture. Cut it, lose the beard, pluck the eyebrows. The ladies will go wild. :)

Oh, and while you're at it, invest in a face.
Eyebrows are well-plucked, that's just the hair overlapping it. Beard cannot go... too popular :D. And the ladies already go wild, so I'm not really looking for general fashion tips.

My hair is not that long ATM, but I'm MARGINALLY considering growing it to there and beyond. That's my only real concern, if that's acceptable in med school or not.
 

LadyWolverine

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Well, Mr. Modesty, I gave you my 2 cents. Which is, if I'm not mistaken, exactly what you asked for in your OP. I'm sure your hairstyle would be "acceptable" - but then again, I'm often amazed at what passes as "acceptable" in the workplace these days. Does it look good? Does it look professional? Will you draw funny looks/disdain/negative attention? Personally, I think it looks like a mop, and I'm sure you would get plenty of similar comments (or at least non-verbalized thoughts) from your superiors and patients, especially during your clinical years. But if you don't really care about what other people think, what does it matter? Go for the early-John Mayer-esque mop, I say - professionalism be damned!
 

MrBurns10

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Ok, OP here, some people said "depends on the hair," so....

Here's a heavily edited pic of me... this is what my hair is like when it gets longer. Notice I have a beard.

Does this change any perceptions? Long ringlets bad or good?
I think you have great hair, personally. I wouldn't go much longer than this, though, as far from a well-groomed/professional standpoint. But it's obviously up to you.
 
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