Hairstyles and Colors for Busy Nurses (and Busy Women in General)


Nurses are superheroes, plain and simple. So many of my clients are nurses, and I’m always totally blown away by the stories I hear. You’ve got the brains, the patience, and the charisma to handle just about every single worst-case scenario imaginable, and the world would simply not continue without you. How much you have to put up with in a day, and all the heart you have for the people you care for, is truly amazing. So, first and foremost, thank you for doing what you do! Now, when it comes to hairstyles and colors for nurses, I’ve grown very familiar with your daily hair needs. You want to look nice and polished, but there’s basically no time for mid-shift upkeep, so your look needs to be seriously low-maintenance. This is no problem and requires only a three-part approach: healthy hair, dimensional color, and gentle up-dos.

Healthy Hair
So the first thing I always say to the wonderful nurses who sit in my chair is to invest in the health of your hair. When it comes to choosing hairstyles and colors, healthy hair is always more manageable and requires less upkeep throughout the day. If your hair is brittle and/or heat damaged, here are a few ways you can get it back on track:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Wash your hair less often
  • Use lukewarm instead of hot water on your hair
  • Let your hair air dry as much as possible. If your frizzes easily, you can use a serum or finishing oil when you get out of the shower to help keep it smooth.
  • Use shampoos and conditioners that are the same line as the color your stylist uses or ask them what they recommend.
  • Sulfate and paraffin free are only necessary when there’s a
  • Keratin treatment on your hair.
  • Deep condition or use a hair mask once a week
  • Use a heat protectant and/or leave-in conditioner

If you feel like your hair has frizz or is difficult to manage without heat tools, I highly recommend getting a Brazilian blowout. Unlike flat irons and chemical relaxers, Brazilian blowouts make your hair softer and smoother while actually improving the overall health. Bonus: the effects are accumulative. Your hair actually gets healthier the more you get the treatment done.

Dimensional Hair Color
Hospitals can be strict when it comes to wanting their employees to keep their looks conventional, so extreme hairstyles and colors may not be the best option for the busy nurse. With long shifts, you’re spending a lot of time indoors under harsh, fluorescent lighting. How you want to color your hair is of course a matter of personal preference, but most nurses I see enjoy dimensional, natural looking highlights and lowlights. Highlight techniques like balayage and babylights add life and dimension to your hair, look better under fluorescent light, and grow out more naturally. This gives you the natural, effortless look you’re looking to keep up throughout your busy day.

Gentle Up-dos
While it’s easy, tying your hair into a rubber band ponytail or messy bun every day can damage your hair, especially if you’re using hair ties with metal fasteners. If you’re searching for hairstyles and colors to add more excitement to your look, you can try these fun up-dos that last all day. Switching up your hairstyle is a great way to protect your hair, because putting it back in the same ponytail every day can stress and damage your hair over time. To keep your hair back while minimizing damage, try snag-free Blax hair ties, or the Sephora equivalent. These small but powerful little guys stretch to go around your ponytail and then slide right off, minimizing any possible breakage. If you’re just trying to keep your hair out of your way, consider alternating between hair ties and some fun and casual bobby pin up-dos to give your hair a break. Just like hair ties, using bobby pins over and over in the same place can cause damage, which is why it’s important to switch it up. Here are a few extra tips on keeping your up-dos damage free:

  • Don’t pull your ponytail too tight
  • Alternate between high and low ponytails
  • Don’t style your hair while it’s wet
  • Insert your bobby pins grooved-side down
  • Don’t use hair ties with metal fasteners