Best haircuts and styles for a long shift


Image: Alma G

Let’s talk about one of the top pet peeves of a nurse’s style: After Work Hair. Many of you stuff it in and out of a cap throughout the day, you pull it back to get it out of your face, you clip it off your eyes, and then, at the end of your shift, you’re stuck with a ‘do you wouldn’t sport to a monster truck rally, let alone out on the town.

I understand that the Intensive Care floor isn’t a catwalk, but there are simple things you can do to manage your hair and keep it stylish, especially if you have after-work engagements.

While I’m sure many of you can’t bear to part with your long locks, there has never been a better time to go short. Victoria, Katie, Keira, Rihanna—they’re all rocking variations of the short look, and it’s sexier than ever.

If you’re brave enough to chop it off, I recommend a short to medium razor cut. A razor cut is one of the most effective modern methods to create texture and have a soft, deconstructed finish rather than the bluntness that’s caused by scissors.

This style is the easiest to maintain and can be worn in a variety of ways. However, it works best with fine to medium hair. At the end of the day, it will take about five seconds in front of the mirror to tousle it up, and you’re ready to go!

For thicker or curly hair, a shorter shag or pixie cut works best, with longer layers in the front, shorter in the back. It’s surprisingly easy to maintain with mousse or gel, and should be dried with a round brush.

Here are three great ways to keep your locks neat and stylish.

1. Play with parts: Whether you’re wearing your hair down or pulling it back into the quintessential bun, why not liven it up a bit? You can switch up your style simply by changing your part.

Part it down the middle on either side or create a zigzag. Run a quarter-size (or more, depending on texture) dollop of anti-frizz gel through hair. Use a small bobby pin to create a defined part.

If you’re creating a bun, sleek hair back into a ponytail. Twist the tail in one or two sections (depending on length/volume of hair). Guide the twist into a coil around the ponytail holder and secure with a bobby pin. If you have thicker hair, you may want to secure the tail at numerous points as you twist. Spritz with hairspray. At the end of your shift, you can easily transform this look into evening chic by lowering the ponytail to the nape of your neck and re-securing the bun.

2. Be a braided beauty: Run a curl-defining mousse through your hair. Separate hair into equal parts (the more parts, the tighter the wave), braid and secure with a ponytail holder. Gather braids into a long ponytail or bun. When you’re ready to head out, you can remove the braids for a natural-looking, sexy wave.

3. Go for the simple ponytail: Don’t underestimate the allure of a pretty ponytail. Keep it neat with a finishing cream for a no-fuss style.

No matter your hair texture or length, you can find your perfect cut and style, and have fun doing it. All of these looks take mere minutes to achieve and are as cute as they are practical.

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Alma G

As the owner of one of New York City’s top salons, Alma G. often shares her favorite beauty secrets with friends and clients including Rosario Dawson, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Rachel Roy and Keri Russell. Russell even coined the phrase “Alma-tized” when first describing Alma’s innovative approach to creating her new ’do. The Alma Salon is at 38 E. 21st Street, New York, (212) 353-0600,

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11 Responses to Best haircuts and styles for a long shift

  1. PeriAnesthesiaNurse

    Honestly, my hair is barely long enough for a ponytail, long enough for hot rollers. I roll my hair the night before, then I just don the good ol’ hand OR bouffant cap in the am and see how it turns out but the time i get back to my office to see my scheduled patients. Oh, yes, there are days, that the hat stays on!! :)

  2. Rose

    I have a round face and short hair tends to make it look rounder, I was woundering if some one knew a shorter cut that does not make a persons face look like a ball. I have shoulder length hair now and always have the “after shoft hair” Please help!!!!

  3. Tricia

    I have a round face to but I get the bob haircut..I like it.

  4. Rachel

    I love a sexy a-line with foe bangs. Super cute and sophisticated

  5. Fran Cawile

    As a labor nurse for 25 years I still remember being in Atlanta Ga. and seeing a Tshirt that said “I doan know nuthin bout birthin no babies Miz Scarlett! “. As a charge nurse I wish I had purchased these shirts for all of my wonderful dedicated nurses. Words of the time less movie ‘Gone With the Wind’.

  6. Nurseevick

    Round face, baby fine hair barely shoulder length hair and 40ish. I still find a high placed pony tail bun type with wispy straight pieces on framing face sides and a few straight center parted bangs get more “you look younger” comments not to mention much cooler for my approaching “pause” flashes. Works for me.

  7. aspensouth

    I miss nursing! Time to go back to school??!

  8. aspensouth

    I miss nursing! Time to go back to school??! Hair is still a bother !!

  9. ZenGirl926 LPN

    Love, love LOVE this site. Thank you!!

  10. Heartme5683 Student

    I def. love to see tips for hairstyles as far as the nursing field goes. I have been a CNA, now a pharmacy tech/nursing student and so I have to always have my hair up which is causing my hair some severe damage and falling out a little more than I think is normal! I can’t part with my long hair, but yet don’t really have a ton of options. I like the braid idea, I actually do that all the time! I love this site..I should totally be studying right now, but nah, this is more entertaining at the moment!