Nursing student hair color change for more respect



I am fixing to start nursing school and I didn't know if I should change my hair color or not. Currently, I have platinum blonde hair from the ears up, and chocolate brown underneath. I'm a little concerned about how blondes are stereotyped as "dumb" or "incompetent" and I don't want my peers or others thinking that I am less of an intelligent person just because of hair color. I am thinking about adding brown highlights or going all brunette. What are your suggestions? Should I keep my current hair color or change it? Also, did you or someone you know get treated differently based on their hair color, etc...?

Thank you for reviewing my post.


38 Posts

This cant be serious 😧

OrganizedChaos, LVN

1 Article; 6,883 Posts

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab. Has 10 years experience.

Is this real life?


2 Posts

Hey, you clicked on the thread so you must be interested. If you feel that this is something ridiculous to ask, please know that there are plenty of other people who share the same feelings and thoughts. Please respect my thoughts and keep your smart remarks to yourself.


1,763 Posts

I have blonde hair and I'm not having this problem in school. I *did* have this problem in high school, though, so I went back and forth between dying my hair brunette and red. Now I just stick with the blonde because it's easier. Grownups usually don't belittle people for their hair color. You stick with whatever hair color is your favorite.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Your thought process is unfounded. Blonde hair is not stereotyped as "dumb" "incapable" "ditzy"in nursing school or in healthcare as you are assuming. You will not necessarily be taken more seriously or presumed more competent as a brunette. Those are old disproven stereotypes

I honestly thought your hair was going to be neon pink, electric blue or other unnatural color. If that was the case it would likely not be acceptable by school or clinical site dress code and you would need to change to continue at nursing school.

Specializes in Neuroscience. Has 4 years experience.

I completely expected your hair to be a manic panic type of color. Here's how to judge if you need your hair color changed: Does it require maintenance that requires money? Yes? Change it. No? You're fine.

Money is scarce in nursing school. Just saying.


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

Well-kept hair that is not weird-looking is appropriate. What is weird-looking is something you ought to recognize in the region of the world, area of the country you are in. What is more acceptable in big cities might not be quite so great in rural settings. You know what is around you so you are the best judge of what will be considered "normal" and what "weird".

"Dumb blonde" is a sitcom stereotype and not one typically opined in nursing schools.

Respect is earned through not only personal appearance but attitude....make sure yours is in proper check.

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

humanly possible colors are acceptable; others aren't (in nursing schools, generally)

Specializes in ICU/ Surgery/ Nursing Education. Has 9 years experience.

I wish I could say that you would never be judged by your hair color but there will always be that someone that will insist on believing the stereotype. We had one such guy in our class that would say just that; "Blondes are dumb." The fact remains that this isn't true and he was somewhat of a pariah in nursing school because of his attitude and actions.

You will be judged by you creditability and your actions, not by your hair color. Be genuine, be honest, and be involved. Follow this and you will be okay.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Full disclosure - natural blonde here... tinged with silver at this stage, but whatever.

The issue is not hair color per se - it is the impression one gives if one makes deliberate choices in wardrobe, hair, body modifications, etc - that scream "look at me" rather than "take me seriously". It is human nature to judge based upon first impressions.


38,333 Posts

When in the Army, I was asked to counsel a younger soldier on her choice of a mild green tint to her hair. Can you imagine a soldier not being savvy enough to realize that her hair color was against policy? I could see that she was probably going to have a difficult time in the future. You seem to have a wiser outlook on the matter. Look around you, as previously advised. See what others are doing with their hair color and think about what you would like, that you believe might be more conservative, and easy to keep up, if you wish to change. I would go with highlights, tastefully done, before total brunette, just because I suspect it might be more attractive. But that is me. And maintaining highlights would be more expensive and more of a fuss than total brunette. You can do brunette yourself out of a box for less money. And then there is your natural color, grown out, until school is over. Lots of choices that would be acceptable.