Do Editors Gravitate Toward Certain Hairstyles?

Warning: This will be a more frivolous-than-newsworthy post, but I thought I would lighten the mood since it’s still summer and the fall colors haven’t quite crept in yet.  I managed to squeeze in a much-needed haircut today–my hair was getting a bit long and unruly and I wanted to shorten it.  I also noticed, while lunching with editors, and within the publishing world in general, that a lot of female editors have short to medium-length hair.  Is this because editors are overworked and need a quick and simple hair and makeup routine so they can spend more time where it really matters, on reading manuscripts and editing the next best-seller?  I’ve seen variations on the famous Anna Wintour power-bob that women in publishing seem so fond of, on several high-power executives.  Do high-powered women or executives have to have short hair to be taken seriously?

Channeling Anna Wintour, anyone?

I’ve also noticed that a lot of moms tend to have shorter hairstyles.  When you have a baby that hardly sleeps, beauty routines can sometimes go by the wayside.  Also the more practical moms realize that a shorter ‘do equals less time blow-drying or just drying in general.  I’ve yet to see many new moms go bald (except maybe in a show of solidarity for breast cancer survivors).  I think it could become a new thing though for those fashion-forward or courageous women.  When babies come into the world, many are bald or have very little hair, so let’s show our support of their situation by adopting a similar hairline!

All kidding aside, a hairstyle is a projection of an image and personality.  I tried a pixie cut once, shortly after college and realized with my large head, that it was not flattering.  That was the end of that experiment.  Do you think writers gravitate toward a certain hairstyle or look?  I find that writers, as creative individuals, can be very expressive with their hair, sometimes dying or coloring it extreme or non-natural colors, experimenting with length (or tending toward the other extreme of neglect, i.e. the mousy tousled I could care less about my hair look that is actually difficult to achieve). In crafting an image and memorable identity, I’ve also seen very stylized hair, a la Betty Page or a throw-back to retro ’50’s styles, replete with bangs and soft curls.  NB: This post may not apply to men as much (and I’m making gross generalizations here), especially those that suffer from hair loss or baldness.

A simple bob or hairstyle can be a powerful expression of who you are.  Just like the clothes you wear, the car you drive (or don’t drive, if you bike), expressing our appearance through clothes, fashion, etc. are all projections of our personality and how we see ourselves.  How do you express yourself outwardly and do you think that there is any correlation with what you do and what you wear (other than the obvious answer of uniforms for certain professions?).  How do you feel about Anna Wintour’s power-bob?  Did Anna Wintour make the bob seem more powerful because of the confidence she exudes, or does the bob make her seem more professional?  What would Anna Wintour look like with knee-length hair, would the editorial world have taken her as seriously if she had such a hairstyle?

Yes, this is what I thought about while I sat in the chair today while getting my hair cut.  I opted for a safe medium-length look, with subtle layers, slightly below my shoulders.  I’m not channeling Anna Wintour in terms of hair but I have to envy her impeccable taste and editing prowess.  Until then, I will have to settle with wearing my black hipster glasses when I’m feeling particularly literary.



    • Jamey, I’ll try to take a photo that’s worthy of posting, but I have a feeling I won’t look as cool as Anna Wintour. Can you please try to grow a power-bob, that would make my day! 🙂

      • Editors and literary agents shoudl have the hairstyles that make them happy. Hopefully you got my query about my China-America novel, and if you didn’t please let me know. Details in my blog. Thanks.

  1. Hi Jen, I wear long locs…below shoulder length in front and mid-way down my back. I’ve been sporting the “updo” this year and just talked with my stylist about cutting my locs into a bob next visit, so I belly laughed at this post! I have volumes of hair so it will be a layered bob so my hair doesn’t look like an opened golf umbrella on my head! Stay tuned!

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