A Traveling Nurse Was Told She Had to Dye Her Hair Back to a Natural Color — Is This Legal?

A traveling nurse was told by the company that sends her out to hospitals that she had to dye her hair, which is green and blue. Can they legally do this?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Nov. 14 2023, Published 5:59 p.m. ET

Nurse told to dye hair TikTok
Source: TikTok/@nurse_jennag

Should she wig out?

I am covered in tattoos and I don't mind admitting that some of them are rather ridiculous. One in particular has proven to be troublesome, but not because I was ever specifically told to cover it up. I chose to. The tattoo in question is of a naked devil girl, which occupies my right upper arm starting just below my shoulder. I have never asked an employer if I need to cover that or any other tattoos up, but I always did because it wasn't worth the hassle.

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As far as hair color goes, I have never dyed my hair any color that one wouldn't normally find on a person's head. Because I'm a 90s kid, I went through a Manic Panic phase as a teen and dyed my hair cranberry red to match Claire Danes's from My So Called Life. That's about as wild as I got. For one nurse who has opted to go with a blue and green hair combination, she is feeling the strain of an uptight employer who has asked her to change it. Is this even legal? I wouldn't strand for it!

Woman with pink hair
Source: Getty Images

Pink hair, don't care!

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Hair today, dyed tomorrow!

"Love your hair," wrote someone under one of Jenna G's TikToks. She goes by @nurse_jennag on the popular app but it wasn't her healing skills this fan was complimenting. Jenna has striking blue and green hair that falls in waves over her shoulders. However, that might change.

In response to this flattering remark, Jenna filmed a separate TikTok specifically addressing her lovely locks. "I actually just got the worst possible news about my hair," she said with a sad smile on her face. While at the grocery store, Jenna received an unfortunate call from her travel nursing agency. She needed to dye her hair.

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"The hospital that I start at tomorrow saw my profile picture and asked if I still had colored hair," explained Jenna. She did. Jenna was then told she had to have "natural hair by tomorrow." Anyone who has ever dyed their hair knows that trying to get a last-minute appointment is difficult. And before anyone suggests this, never dye your hair from a box.

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If she refused to comply, Jenna's contract with this specific hospital would be terminated and she would be out of a job. Some people might not think this is a big deal, but Jenn has put "thousands of dollars" and countless hours into her hair. It's also very damaging to try change it this dramatically in a matter of hours. What's a girl to do?

Folks in the comments had a lot of ideas for Jenna such as, purchasing a wig. In a followup TikTok she explained why that is kind of difficult. "The only two places that have wigs in this city are Party City and Sally Beauty Supply," said Jenna. "I have a huge head and a lot of hair on top of all that so, usually these little costume wigs do not fit me well." Plus, these wigs are irrationally expensive. Tell me why a bob wig from Sally Beauty is $100.

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Jenna opted to take a chance with an Amazon wig which she had overnighted. It was supposed to arrive before 8:00 a.m. the day she is scheduled to start. "If it doesn't come in time I'll wear a scrub cap," said Jenna. "They can deal with it."

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Are scrub caps allowed, asked one TikToker? Jenna has no idea. All she knows is that her first day involves a picture for her badge. She'll either be wearing a wig or a cap. What's kind of annoying about Jenna's situation is, she works at night. The hospital will practically be empty. It's unclear who she is dyeing her hair for.

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At the end of the day, the only thing Jenna cares about is being a nurse and trying to help people. It's not 1945. I doubt very seriously someone in the throes of cardiac arrest will be offended by Jenna's hair color.

The good news is, not only did the wig arrive in time but it looked great. It even looked as if you could see a scalp where the hair parted. My only question is, won't the wig get itchy at some point? I can't wear one for more than a few minutes without going insane. Perhaps Jenna has a very strong scalp. Here's hoping she does!

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