It’s no secret that flight attendants have some of the strictest appearance standards that they must follow.

This includes tattoos, piercings, hairstyles, and even the shoes they are allowed to wear.

If a flight attendant’s hair is beyond shoulder-length, it should be worn up. If below shoulder-length, it should be styled, so it does not fall onto the face.

But there is much more to know about flight attendant hair requirements, including hair color, accessories, products, extensions, and more.


Flight attendants are allowed to dye their hair, but airlines do not permit any hair color that isn’t considered natural looking.

What this means is that if you want to go for a bold look, like pink, green or blue hair, you won’t be able to.

Flight attendants are required to have brown, black, blonde, auburn, and red hair – in other words, natural colors.


Flight Attendant Permitted Styles

  • Bun: The bun is one of the simplest and most common hairstyle that flight attendants have. While there are many different kinds of buns, including a classic bun, high bun, messy bun, knot bun etc., some airlines may only allow specific types of buns.
  • Ponytail: It doesn’t get much simpler than the ponytail, which is why you will commonly see flight attendants on every flight wearing it.
  • French Twist: The French Twist is an elegant, classy hairstyle that flight attendants are permitted to wear, but can be a bit tricky to perfect.
  • Short Bob: If a flight attendant has hair that is too short to tie up, they need to wear it down. While some airlines have strict rules on length, such as the hair not being able to touch the collar, others allow a bit more leeway.
  • Bangs: Flight attendants can wear bangs, though they usually have to be on the short side – i.e. no longer than the top of the eyebrows
  • Braids: Braids, as long as they don’t contain beads or trim, is another hairstyle that flight attendants are permitted to wear.

Flight Attendant Prohibited Styles

Instead of listing every single hairstyle in existence, the general rule to follow is that if a flight attendant’s hair is beyond shoulder-length, it should be worn up.

The goal is to keep hair from falling onto the face.


Practically all airlines will state that:

  • Hair longer than shoulder-length should be worn up
  • Hair shorter than shoulder-length should either be pulled back (if possible) or styled so that it does not fall forward onto the face

Hair Accessories

There are many hair accessories out there, but most airlines will only permit the following:

  • Hair clips
  • Headbands
  • Barrettes

Hair Products

There is no general restrictions on flight attendants using hair products.

But the thing to note is that the product, such as mousse, pomade, spray, or gel, should be used to help achieve a controlled style.

Why Do Flight Attendants Have to Wear Their Hair Up?

Flight attendants have to wear their hair up for both safety and appearance purposes.

For example, on every aircraft there is a safety device called a smoke hood. In the case of an emergency, this is worn around a person’s neck, with a tight seal being necessary.

If a flight attendant’s hair is down, it gets in the way and a tight seal can’t be made.

Short bobs are fine because they don’t get in the way.

It’s no secret that flight attendants have stringent appearance standards they must meet, too.

If a flight attendant wears their hair down, it can fall down over their face as they perform their duties, which doesn’t exactly look very professional.

Are Flight Attendants Allowed to Wear Hair Extensions?

Airlines will generally allow their flight attendants to wear hair extensions.

Keep in mind that these should be on the more subtle side, as all airlines have a “no extreme styles” appearance rule.

How Should Male Flight Attendants Wear Their Hair?

The general rule for male flight attendants is that their hair should be clean, neat, and cut in a classic, conservative style.

Just like with female flight attendants, hair must not exceed shoulder-length. If it does, it should be worn up.

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Patricia is a senior flight attendant with over 20 years of experience working for a major U.S. airline, primarily on international long haul flights.
Patricia is passionate about sharing her knowledge and expertise about the unique lives flight attendants lead, offers valuable insights on what it takes to become a flight attendant and what the job entails.
Patricia has been quoted or mentioned in major publications, including Newsweek.