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Can You Wear Your Hair Down While Bartending?

Young woman wearing formal attire at the bar table.

Any bartender can tell you that the job isn’t easy. You have to style yourself in a specific way to fit the establishment’s vibe for those making the drinks, including proper attire and hairstyles. Of course, those who haven’t bartended before may be unaware of the etiquette required when it comes to hairstyles.

I’ve bartended a bit in my life, so I’ve had first-hand experience when it comes to styling my own hair. However, I’ll provide both perspectives on male and female hairstyles appropriate in a bar setting while serving.

Should You Wear Your Hair Down While Bartending?

Young woman wearing a white attire serving a white cup of drinks.

When it comes to serving, there is a strict code that your hair should be tied up and back if you’re handling food. However, bartending is slightly different because you’re offering a performance while handling drinks. As a bartender, you need to use your features to get tips.

Because of this, you may need to style your hair so that it fits your physical features. This may include having longer hairstyles. So, a general rule of thumb is that if your hair is longer than your shoulders, you should either curl it so that it’s higher or tie it up.

This is because as you’re making drinks, there is a chance your hair could get into the product. The last thing you want is a customer complaining about having hair in their mixed drink or shot glass. So, making sure your hair is combed through and tidy can help save you a lot of hassle.

What Hair Length is Ideal for Bartending?

Charming girl bartender demonstrating the process of making a cocktail.

Whether you are a male, female, or nonbinary, shoulder-length hair or shorter is suitable for bartending. Anything longer, and you will need to work on styling your hair back so that it doesn’t get in the way of your serving. You also don’t want the chance of any hair falling into the customer’s order.

If you have short hair already, then having hairstyles where you can push back the hair from your face is often better. It prevents the hair from getting into your eyes, but it can also help boost your looks and draw attention to your face. An excellent short hairstyle should never be underestimated.

What Hairstyles Should You Wear?

As stated earlier, hairstyles should push the hair back or out of your face. Each hairstyle will be different depending on if you’re a female or male. Below, we’ve included a short list of varying hairstyle guidelines and ideas for each gender.

Male Bartending Hairstyles

Portrait of two young coffee shop partners standing together at the table.

You’ll generally want your hair pushed back or slicked back for males. If you have very short hair, you may not have to worry about styling it. However, rocking a man bun or ponytail can be appropriate if you have long hair.

You’ll just need to practice combing back the hair to look nice and sleek. Using products such as gel or hairspray can help get certain desired looks, but be careful so that you don’t smell the products you’re using.

Female Bartending Hairstyles

Sexy redhead female bartender serving a shot of glass.

For females, their hair should be brushed through and pushed back. Any hair longer than your shoulders will need to be tied up in a ponytail or bun. For layered hair, you can get away with braiding the front of the hair backward, which will help prevent any hair from slipping while serving.

If you have wavy hair, you may want to go ahead and sleek back the front of your hair while tying the rest up. This way, you can prevent some of the curls from falling into a drink as you prepare it. Otherwise, you can also braid your hair and keep it back.

Are There Any Alternatives?

Some half-updos involve a person putting the front of their hair back, and the back of their hair is left down. These hairstyles can work if you properly secure and style the hair. Basically, you’ll want the hair pulled out of the face, including your bangs and side bangs.

The only time you can leave the bangs on your face is if they are shorter than your eyes. Side bangs will need to be shorter than your jawline’s tip. Otherwise, your bangs and sidebangs will need to be secured behind your ear.

Bartending Hairstyle FAQs

Bartender showing his skills in making a cocktail.

Are Bartenders required to wear their hair up?

Each state has its own specific codes for whether or not a bartender has to have their hair up. In most cases, if a bartender is only serving drinks, then they don’t need to have their hair tied up. However, if they are prepping food, handling utensils, or doing other forms of foodservice, their hair will need to be tied back.

Can You Wear Your Hair Down While Serving?

No, any waitress or waiter can’t have their hair down while serving. The main reason for this is that their hair may accidentally fall into the customer’s food. Tying the hair back can help prevent that situation from happening.

Do Waitresses Need Their Hair Up?

Servers who have long hair should have their hair pulled back so that it doesn’t fall into the food. The only time you can keep your hair down is if you have very short hair above the shoulder. However, you should still take precautions to ensure that your hair won’t come out.

What Should a Female Bartender Wear?

The type of clothes will depend highly on what type of establishment you’re working at. In general, monochromatic clothes are appropriate. Studies have shown that clothes of a single color such as yellow, green, blue, and red often get the most tips.

Can You Have Long Hair As a Waiter?

Yes, it’s fine if your hair is long or short as a waiter as long as you style it correctly. Long hair must be pulled back and secured behind the head to avoid becoming a sanitary issue. You are not required to trim or cut your hair, and if your employer asks you to, you have full rights to deny them.

Just be ready with alternative hairstyles that can help prevent any hair from accidentally falling into customers’ drinks.


As you can see, you can have plenty of variety in terms of hairstyles as a bartender. The only issue is that you’ll still want to look professional. So, finding a hairstyle that suits you will be the main problem.

Personally, I like to learn and experiment with a few different hairstyles appropriate for serving or bartending. Looking at Pinterest or other image searching sites can help give you a better list of hairstyles you can choose from. Hopefully, this helps you if you’ve been worried about what type of hair you can have as a bartender.