Auto Service World
News   May 2, 2019   by Renee Montague

Ban the bun? Association tackles debate about tech hair styles

The Midwest Auto Care Alliance (MWACA) may have opened a can of… hairspray… by tackling a matter of personal grooming.

In its eNewsletter’s “question of the month,” the alliance answered a question about whether an employer can ask employees not to wear a “man bun.” At root is the question of whether the ubiquitous bun reflects poorly on a repair shop.

The alliance suggests that while an employer may enforce a reasonable dress code which includes grooming rules, it must be uniform for both genders.

“With respect to long hair, an outright prohibition against men wearing it in a bun may be problematic, because a policy that is so gender-specific,” the alliance advises. “A policy that permits women to put their hair in a bun but prevents the same for men exposes the employer to potential liability for gender discrimination and other claims, and is not recommended.”

Instead of banning the man bun, the alliance suggests a dress code or grooming standard that asks employees to maintain a neat, clean hair style.

So… what do you think?  We’d love to hear what you think about man buns and dress codes. Reply here or send an email to



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4 Comments » for Ban the bun? Association tackles debate about tech hair styles
  1. Bob Ward says:

    No matter what the style preference of the technician is it falls under a company dress code or even a safety issue. Even though the style may not be to our liking, if it poses potential safety hazard it should be properly addressed. The manner in which it is handled will determine the response from the staff.

  2. Todd Green says:

    I had a longer style in the early 90’s and ended up with my hair caught in the wheels of a creeper. So, that prompted a change for me. If a fella chooses to wear his hair in a bun, his choice. If a hair style doesn’t pose a hazard, and the overall appearance of the tech is clean and professional, hair style choices shouldn’t matter in the modern era.

  3. My new apprentices are of the younger generation, 18-26. The hair style is long, the rule for the shop is it has to be tied back, can not cover their ears when wearing a cap. Just like loose clothing, loose hair must be worn in a safe manner.
    Employers must realize that style changes. When I started in the work force long hair was also the norm. I never had an employer tell me to change how I wore it, as long as it was well groomed. As managers we must understand the people we employee along with their styles.

  4. George S says:

    When I started in the profession in 1971 long hair was just beginning to be in style. I wore my hair longer but still kept it shorter than a lot of people. I do remember a guy getting his mop caught in the cross auger of a combine. He still has a bald spot when the hair was yanked out. One thing we’re allowed in this country is that we can do whatever we want with our appearance as long as it doesn’t get in the way of our jobs. Of course there are those who push the envelope completely out of whack. I agree with the rules that your technicians should be properly groomed and presentable. AND, they should also keep their personal safety in mind…

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