Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Risks Going From Long to Short Hair

Going short is particularly risky for certain people. It’s risky for people with very curly hair (does anyone remember when Felicity actress Keri Russell went short?) and for people with fluffy and/or frizzy hair, who may need wax type products to control their hair when the weight of the lengths is cut off. Even if you have never had short hair, if you’ve ever had a fringe, the way it behaved should be a clue as to how your hair will sit when short. Finally, don’t forget that your hair’s texture can change – sometimes dramatically – as you get older, so that bob that looked so cute when you were seven or eight might not sit that way when you’re twenty.
Face Shape
There’s also more risk for people with particular face shapes. A round face can be greatly accentuated by certain short styles and, at worst, you may end up looking like a kindly old grandma with a very young face! Keep some layers long (an inch or two below the jaw) to lengthen the face. Avoid having the same length all over if your hair is curly or springy, as this will produce the ‘grandma’ look. Also avoid a blunt, chin length bob or a short, blunt fringe if you have a round face.
Another tricky face shape for some short styles is a very square jaw as a prominent jaw can be greatly emphasised by very short styles and blunt cuts, such as sharp bobs. This can have the effect of making you look a bit masculine (though if you like this look, that’s fine). Soft wispy layers around and just below the jawline work best and the shorter top layers or fringe should balance out the jaw.
Long faces also need a balanced cut; just as long straight hair parted in the middle will drag down a long face, so too a ‘top heavy’ short cut with nothing at all around the jawline will emphasise the length of your face. But long oval faces can look great with a sharp bob cut at the jawline (not above). Long faces also benefit from a long wispy fringe, but definitely not a short, blunt fringe! Shag cuts look great on long and oval faces.
If your face is what is commonly referred to as ‘heart-shaped’, avoid blunt cuts where possible. If you are lucky, you may be able to pull of an Amelie style bob (go slightly above the jawline). In general, though, you will need a layered, textured bob. But – lucky you – you look amazing with a pixie cut (just like a pixie, in fact)! There are many more guidelines on this and I may talk about this more in subsequent posts. However, even though face shapes can to some extent be generalised, each face is unique!
No Going Back (not for a while anyway)
The most important thing to remember is that once your hair has been cut (unless you are wealthy enough to afford hair extensions – and even then you need to have sufficient length to attach them) you just have to wait for it to grow back before restyling it. For this reason, if you are going for the chop for the first time (or the first time since childhood), always go a little longer than your target style to start with. That way, if you don’t like it you still have some length to work with – you can get some added layers put in to make it more manageable, re-shape the style, tie or clip it back (if things are really bad) and, most importantly, it won’t take as long to grow out. Remember, your hair only grows roughly half an inch a month.

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