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Pantene is encouraging Japanese women to let down their hair while job-hunting as part of a new campaign designed to stimulate discussion about the expectation of many employers for women to adopt the same hairstyle.

‘#Freedom in Job-Hunting’ was borne out of a survey of 1,000 university students by the Procter & Gamble owned haircare brand, which found that many are still being pressured into conformity.

Japanese society is still bound by strict hairstyle rules and dress codes with many fearing to diverge from these standards in order to stave off being judged by their peers and the wider public.

During job interviews, female candidates are expected to adjust their skirt length to the same height as others, tie long hair into a ponytail and pull their hair back tightly.

Pantene Japan brand manager Yoshiaki Okura said: "Pantene is promoting the advertising campaign to help as many people as possible be active in their own fields while showing that they really are more free than before by listening to what job-hunting students have to say and sending our message to them. Pantene hopes to help create a society in which both students and companies can work toward their goals while allowing students to show what they really are with confidence, including their clothes and hairstyles."

In all the survey found that 81% of respondents admitted to adhering to these principles to maximise their job prospects even though 70% expressed dissatisfaction with this style of dress. Moreover 71% of companies claimed that it was important for new recruits to express their individuality, highlighting a dichotomy between expectation and reality.

Pantene has previously celebrated African-American hair as part of its 'Strong is Beautiful' campaign.