Wendy Greuel at TheWrap Power of Leadership Event on the Politics of Appearance (Video)

L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel, who is running for mayor of Los Angeles, talks about why she grew out her hair — because that's how you win, naturally

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel has picked up some unexpected tips during her run for mayor of Los Angeles.

Jerod Harris/Getty Images"In a debate, 55% of what people are looking at is your appearance," she said during a panel discussion at TheWrap's Women in Leadership breakfast on Thursday at the Montage Hotel. "So in my very first debate, months ago, people said to me, 'Just look good, long strong and don't screw up.'"

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If she wins, she would be the city's first female mayor.

Greuel (center, with panelists Nell Scovell, Cathy Schulman, Kamala Harris and Anne Globe) noted that she is a "qualified candidate who happens to be a woman," acknowledging that she had some incredible mentors and women who created the pathway.

"But just this week I got a call from a reporter, who said, 'Don't kill me but my editors have made me ask this question. Why have you grown your hair long'?'" she recalled. "And I said, 'Did you ask the guys that? Or why they had a different tie?'"

Listen to Greuel's response to that question below: