Taking the chop: why short hair is underrated

Admit it: if you are one of the larger majority of the population, the thought of having short hair scares you a bit. There is so much emphasis on having longer hair as a woman, and how by doing so, you are somehow “more feminine”, sometimes even “more beautiful”. Short hair is often seen as “boyish” and “unattractive”- for no understandable reason whatsoever.

Luckily, the times are changing, and even those with the most pointlessly old-fashioned views on what makes a woman a woman are beginning to understand that a hairstyle is a form of expression, not a sign of gender. More and more women are going for the chop, but still, the short hair phobia remains, and it’s got nothing to do with looking like a man (pfft).

For many of us, we just wouldn’t know what to do with short hair. If you’ve had medium-to-long hair throughout your whole life, you may be daunted by the idea of something shorter at the thought of additional maintenance, or some hidden secret about how to keep it looking good that you might not know about. For the most part, there really is nothing to worry about. If you’re considering short hair but are worried you might hate it, here’s what to do:

1.       Talk to your hairdresser

This is always the first thing you should do if you’re considering the chop. A good hairdresser wants the best for you and your hair, and he or she will tell you honestly whether they think a short hairstyle will look good on you, and if so, what sort of length and style you should go for. They can show you pictures, discuss maintenance, and help you to get a better idea of what a certain style will look like on you.

2.       Find inspiration

There are so many beautiful celebs rocking the shorter hairstyle these days. Model-turned-TV presenter Emma Willis is a great example- she’s one of the most iconic pixie cut ambassadors of today. Emma Watson is another Emma who’s worn short hair well- and Emma Stone, for that matter. But the list really is endless- Halle Berry, Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway… get searching online and you’ll be surprised at just how many celebrities have embraced short hair over the past year itself.

3.       Take the plunge

Sometimes, you just have to take the YOLO attitude and do it. If your hairdresser’s supporting your short hair decision, as are your friends and family (and you’re sure they’re not just saying it to be nice), and you’re almost certain the style will suit you, what’s really stopping you? Chances are, you’ll love the decision you’ve made. If you don’t want the too-much-too-fast pressure of cutting everything off at once, you can always gradually chop down until you reach a length you’re happy with.

Short hair doesn’t get anywhere near as much love as it deserves. In terms of styles, in some ways, it is a lot more versatile than those on long hair, and you can experiment with layers and sharp edges in a way that a long ‘do just won’t pull off. And can we talk about how a short hairstyle can completely alter the shape of your face for the better? While long hair can often fall flat around your cheeks, hiding your features, you can use a short hairstyle to emphasize your face shape and flatter your assets.

Not everyone can pull off short hair, so if you can, count yourself as one of the special ones. Not only will you stand out from the crowd, but you’ll never have to fuss around with knots and the like either (or rarely, anyway). Short hair is a lot easier to maintain, and generally requires less attention than a head full of long, disobedient locks. The only thing to bear in mind is that you’ll likely need more regular cuts if you’ve got a particularly sharp style, to keep things neat and even.

So, the verdict: no, short hair isn’t for everyone. But if you can pull it off, and you fancy a change from your usual style, you should absolutely go for it. If you’ve never tried short hair before, even more reason to give it a go- it might just be the best hair decision you make in your life…

Laura Shallcross