I know it seems crazy to write a professional blog post about home staging, as it relates to the color of my hair, which is always changing. So let me say that the post is really about the lessons I’ve learned about being a professional, since I’ve had purple hair, including reactions from my customer base.
Does your hair color really matter if you want to be a professional?
Once, back when I had my home staging business in Charleston, SC, a competitor actually wrote a blog about things you should and should not do at a trade show. One of them was actually a crack at my then, very red, hair, and my high heels. Apparently I didn’t exude conservative values, which is one thing that Realtors are typically known for. My feelings on this have always been that I’m also in a creative industry, at least by most people’s evaluation, and that gives me a little more liberty with my appearance. I’ve always rocked some kind of bold hair choice, even when I was in “normal” colors.
What I’ve learned from having purple hair has been surprising, however.
First off, both men and women actually want to be far more adventurous with their appearance. Across the age spectrum, I’ve had so many men and women express to me that they wish they were daring, but they were afraid they “couldn’t pull it off”. I certainly can understand their feelings. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if I’ve gone too far when I do something new. The purple hair was one of those times. After a while, you kind of forget your hair is purple.
This leads me to wonder if these people are missing out on other adventures in life because they are afraid of what other people will think. Would they have left a job and started their own business, if only they had been more confident? What else did they eliminate from their life because they thought they “couldn’t pull it off”?
The next big lesson is that colorful hair takes care of a lot of social anxiety issues. It’s really strange, but despite the common professional law that says you must look, dress, and act like your customer to gain rapport and build a relationship, I actually found that more people listen when I make bold hair color choices. You see, the real me, is quite the introvert. I’m the person who likes to fade into the shadows. I don’t mind being on stage and speaking TO people, but I don’t like idle conversation and chit chat. Well, with purple hair, its really hard to just “blend in”.
Rather than potential customers, agents, or colleagues being afraid to talk to me, because I always have that “don’t bother me” look on my face, which is really out of uncomfortableness with my surroundings, not being anti-social, or snobbish, I found people started conversations with me more easily. After all, no one assumes the girl with purple hair doesn’t want to be the center of attention. The ice breaker is also pretty easy. It’s been about my hair color, and what a bold choice it was. lol.
Another lesson is that people equate having a bold hair color choice, as being a bold thinker, and doer. I found that when I would discuss my BIG plans for something, they actually listened more and offered more feedback. I think it’s because I was able to stand out from the crowd and already show that I’m someone different than everyone else.
I find it ironic that having nearly always making the choice for a hair color that wasn’t naturally my own, purple is the one that would make me learn the most about myself. Perhaps it was because it was the one that made me the least comfortable. In my attempt to be “myself” by pushing the envelope of “normal” and “professional” boundaries, I’ve also had the opportunity to learn more about myself.
Isn’t it always that way though? The more you push your boundaries, the more you learn about yourself.