Long Hair in IB

I am a rising junior and a Sikh, so I have long hair and a beard due to my religion. Sikhs are recognizable because of their turbans, but I do not always wear a turban, and most recently I have been wearing a man bun. I know that it is important not to stand out in the interview process, and yes, I have already searched through WSO to see others get grilled for the same topic. My hair and beard are always well maintained and I'd like to think I pull it off well, so my question is: Can I wear a man-bun and beard to an interview if I look presentable?

Comments (15)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 31, 2020 - 6:57pm

Wear the turban. Way easier to explain why you have a beard with appropriate religious headwear instead of a potential misconception.

May 31, 2020 - 7:04pm

Wear the turban. No one will mind. They understand it is due to religious reasons. We are IBers not racist xenophobes.

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
  • 1
May 31, 2020 - 7:25pm

If you are going to interviews please go in a suit and tie, first impression matters and I think its better to spend the time explaining your strenght than your religion.

Then once you are in its just easier to go dressed as you feel comfortable if there is no such a dress code (as it happens in most banks)

Dont worry for the beard, if you take care of it it will by not mean be a problem. First impression matters (even if its sad) so make sure you are well dressed and prepared for the fit & technicals

Jun 1, 2020 - 12:53am

SF Banker:

turban is completely fine but a man bun? havent seen any of my sikh friends not wear a turban at their office

I'll second this. Keep the beard well trimmed. My Sikh friends who choose not to wear a turban (most of them) generally keep their hair pretty "high and tight" as in very short haircuts. There's also a stereotype of poor bathing habits among anyone from the Indian area. My coworkers never exhibited it, but before this there were people on the train to work that clearly did. Make sure that you don't play into it.

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
  • 1
  • 1
Jun 4, 2020 - 6:38pm

I know a Sikh guy in IB. He wears a turban most days but he also will wear a thin black cap on days he doesn't have important meetings/doesn't feel like tying the turban. He kept his beard neat using tons of hidden bobby pins and hair spray, I was actually blown when I found out he didn't cut his beard bc you really couldn't tell. He actually eventually decided he didn't look as professional as he wanted to and couldn't keep the strays in line, so despite feeling torn on the religious aspect he started getting it tidied up a little by a barber. But I digress. Rock the turban and if anything they'll like that you're bringing the diversity.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Jun 4, 2020 - 6:42pm

How would a bro flow/baseball/lax hairstyle be perceived in banking?

Nov 9, 2020 - 8:24am

Idk how it would be perceived "in" banking, but in WFH banking I am rocking some serious lettuce that I am pretty good at hiding when speaking to clients

  • 1
Nov 29, 2020 - 3:16am

As an Indian guy, I echo the above. Better to just wear the turban so there isn't any question over why you have a man bun because yes those aren't looked upon favorably. I'm not Sikh myself but can say as someone who's been on the core recruiting team that a religious piece is an easy point whereas the man bun will take some explaining which doesn't really favor well. I know it probably doesn't sound fair but it's just the way things work.

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