Short hair on women can look fabulous. It highlights cheekbones, shows off your face, elongates your neck – and that’s only the visual aspect. It also says something about who you are as a person: you take risks, do what you want, aren’t afraid to step outside of the normal convention.
While all of the above is undoubtedly true, for many of you reading this, you’ll still hate the idea of cutting your hair above shoulder height. For many of us, long hair is a symbol of femininity – perhaps even the ultimate sign of femininity. We can’t help but be seduced by long sweeping hair, tendrils of curls, that fall around shoulders and down your back with every movement. There are forums dedicated to the pursuit of long hair, while the loss of losing their hair prompted many a breakdown for contestants of the infamous ‘America’s Next Top Model’.
If you have always wanted the courage to try a short style but aren’t quite ready to take the step, there’s probably a few voices in your mind whispering their objections. So, let’s answer and satisfy them – and then maybe there’s a short hair style in your future!
Objection: “It won’t suit me!”
There is no surefire way of knowing if any hairstyle is going to suit someone before they go for the chop. There’s no scientific method at play, no perfect formula that means if you sit down for a haircut you’re guaranteed it’s going to look good. There’s too many variables: your face shape, hair color, your ears, your neck, how large your forehead is.
The same is true of a shorter hair style: it might not suit you, or you might love it and swear you’ll never go back. There’s an element of risk involved any time you let someone loose on your hair with a pair of scissors; even a style you know you like can be damage if the hairdresser isn’t skillful!
Objection: “It’s aging!”
There is some truth to this, but it’s based off perception rather than the physical impact of the style.
There is an expectation from some corners of society that when a woman reaches a certain age, she should cut all her hair off. There’s no real reason this is the case, but try and think about it: how many women over the age of 50 can you think of, right now, that have hair that falls beyond their shoulder blades? Bet you can count it on one hand.
So we see a shorter hairstyle and our brains, used to the above, shortcut and think it’s aging. To conquer this, you have to choose your style carefully. Rachel Bloom, for example, is under 30 and has short hair – it’s not aging on her, because it’s styled in a modern, fashionable way.
Then there are cuts like the pixie, which reduce your hair to a couple of inches in length. This isn’t aging at all. In fact, it can actually make you look younger and infinitely more contemporary. So conquering this one is all about understanding it can be overcome with the eventual cut, and then how you brush and style it.
Objection: “It will take ages to grow back!”
On average, hair grows at a rate of about one inch per month, though lifestyle factors (illness, for example) can reduce this. So if you chop your hair off to just below your ears, then it’s going to be a couple of years before it will really be considered ‘long’ again.
This might be a fair objection if we didn’t live in a world with a plethora of options for making short hair appear longer. If you get bored of your shorter ‘do, there’s extensions or modern wigs innovators such as Celeb Wigs have to offer to give you some length back. You can also employ a few tricks to get your hair to grow faster if you’re really determined.
So don’t think that the cut is the length you are stuck with for the foreseeable future. If you want a change, then you can get it.
Objection: “It’s harder to maintain!”
We’ve touched on the issue of maintenance being an aspect that defines how good a short cut can be, so it’s important to look at both sides of the coin. Yes: short hair is, in general, more difficult to style. That’s because you’re working with shorter strands and there’s no hiding behind throwing it in a ponytail if it doesn’t look good.
Again, the cut you choose is the answer to this. Some styles will require a lot of upkeep, needing many mornings spent with aching arms as you twirl various devices around your hair. Others – especially the shortest styles – can be washed and then left to dry.
If you’re puzzling over this one, ask yourself how long it takes you to style your current hair length. It’s probably awhile, and you’re okay with that – so why not extend the same courtesy to short options?
Objection: “My hair is too thin to go short!”
If your hair is thin to begin with or thinning as you grow older, then short hair can seem like madness. You spend so much of your time wanting more hair, why would you take the risk of cutting it off?
In actuality, short hair can give thin hair a new lease of life. The shorter it is, the more dense it appears. When left to grow long, thin hair can quickly look lanky and flat against the head as the weight of the hair weighs it down. With short cuts, hair is bound to have more natural bounce. It won’t cure the problem, but it might just make things look better – and after all, perception is reality.
There’s no doubt many more objections in your mind when it comes to cutting your hair. For some people, it just won’t be the right decision, and they’ll know that in their hearts. For others, there’s a spirit of adventure they want to explore but can’t quite find the confidence. If you fall into that category, why not lose a few inches and see how you feel? You might just love it.