Posted on: October 19, 2023

Best Hairstyles for Food Service

Best Hairstyles for Food Service

Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial when it comes to working in the food industry. Some best practices include washing your hands, making sure your clothes or apron are clean, and keeping your hair out of your face while you’re at work.  

Luckily, there are some hairdos that make doing this a lot easier that are still fashionable. Continue reading for our choices of the best hairstyles for food service workers and chefs.

Why Your Hairstyle at Work Matters

You might think that your hairstyle at work might be something trivial. Why would it be important to have a cute hairstyle for fast food? But the issue is more than just how your hair looks. Keeping your hair clean and away from your face is pretty important considering there are certain health and safety risks when it comes to hair contamination in food. The hair itself isn’t the only thing to worry about, but the dirt and bacteria that can come with it. The best way to keep a food workplace clean and hygienic is by keeping your hair out of your face entirely.  

Hairstyle Rules and Regulations in the Food Industry

The Food and Drug Administration Food Code is the go-to guide for best practices to ensure safe food handling in a retail setting. Title 21 of the FDA Food Code addresses hair restraints, but only in food manufacturing, packing, and labeling settings. That part of the Code reads:

  • The plant management shall take all reasonable measures and precautions to ensure the following: (6) Wearing, where appropriate, in an effective manner, hair nets, headbands, caps, beard covers, or other effective hair restraints.

This means there are no federal regulations regarding staff working directly in restaurants, such as chefs, waitstaff, or bartenders. These laws will differ depending on the state, the local municipality that the restaurant is in, right down to the restaurant itself. Where you work will have its own rules and the final say on how you should style your hair while you work, depending on the restaurant’s style and what they want to allow.

Food Service Hairstyles

There are many restaurants that have strict rules about keeping your hair clean, neat, and away from your face. HOW to keep your hair out of your face is entirely up to you. Let’s take a look at some of the options of hairstyles for chefs and food service workers.

  • Ponytail

You can’t go wrong with the classic ponytail at work. Not only is it great at making sure every strand is kept in place, but it’s incredibly easy to do. The first thing you’ll want to do is have a hair tie, scrunchie, or whichever tool you happen to be using for the ponytail in place on your wrist. Grab your hair and lift it to your desired height, then comb your hair back while simultaneously grabbing your hair with your dominant hand. Once you’ve combed all your hair into place, grab your hair tie and pull it off of your hand and around your ponytail. Depending on how much stretch your hair tie has or how thin your hair is, you’re going to want to twist, and re-wrap the tie around your hair again, until your ponytail is firmly held in place.  You can then touch up your hair with gel or hairspray for an even sleeker look.

  • Braids

Braids is another hairstyle that Is both fun and effective at keeping those stray hairs away. For a traditional 3-strand braid, you’re going to first separate your hair into three even sections. To make things easier, we’ll number these sections as Section 1, Section 2, and Section 3. To start braiding, cross Section 1 over Section 2, leaving Section 1 in the middle. Make sure not to lose track of your sections with your hands. Then, you’ll cross Section 3 over Section 1, and pull all sections tight so as not to have a loose braid that falls apart later. Next, cross Section 2 over Section 3. All of these steps are one complete pattern. Continue this pattern until the braid reaches the bottom of your hair. Secure the bottom of your braid with a hair tie, your braid is officially complete. Once you’ve mastered the traditional braid, you can experiment with other hairstyles just as pigtail braids, French braids, or updos with a braided headband.

  • Bun

Buns can be considered functional, but cute updos for work in a restaurant. While “messy” buns have been popular in recent years, a more practical option for food service workers will be a little neater to avoid flyaway hairs getting in the way. The easiest way to create a bun is actually by building upon a ponytail. Once your ponytail is complete, grab your hair and twist it clockwise, or counterclockwise, until your ponytail feels tight. Then, wrap this strand around the base of your ponytail in the same direction you were twisting your hair until it forms a bun. After that, simply wrap a hair tie or scrunchie around the completed bun. If it still feels loose, you can use bobby pins to stick into your hair wherever it feels loose to really secure your bun into place.

  • Short Hair

So far, we’ve talked about a lot of hairstyles that might work better for those with longer hair. If you have hair that isn’t quite long enough to tie up, there are plenty of hair accessories that can be used to style short hair to prevent food contamination in the workplace. Of course, these will be subject to the rules established at your place of work. Some of these options include:

  • Headbands
  • Barrettes
  • Hair clips
  • Bandanas
  • Bobby pins
  • Caps
  • Beanies

Whether you’re directly preparing and cooking food or you’re serving patrons, keeping your hair pulled back in some way is crucial to maintaining a clean and safe food environment for you and your customers. Keep these hairstyles in mind to have yourself looking and feeling great for your next day at work.

If you’re interested in starting your career in the food and beverage industry, get started today with our alcohol and selling training program.