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Why (almost) Anyone Can Wear Short Hair

How to Find a Short Haircut that Works for You

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Why (almost) Anyone Can Wear Short Hair
Photo by Pando Hall/Getty Images

At the time of writing this article, I recently cut my just-past-the-shoulders-length-hair to a pixie cut. It was a dramatic change. I spent the better part of a month listening to reactions about my new look. From my lovely (male) cousin who said, "What the hell did you do to your hair?" to friends that gasped and proclaimed their love for the new look, it seemed everyone had an opinion. Overwhelmingly, the most common response from most women was, "That's so cute, but I could never wear my hair that short."

My reaction was always a smile and a nod, but here's what I really wanted to say:

Just about every woman on the planet can wear short hair. Period.

I'm not saying that a short haircut is the answer for every woman. For whatever reason you may not want to have short hair. You may absolutely love your long hair, but to say you can't wear short hair is really not close to reality.

Finding a Short Haircut that Works: Be Honest With Yourself
The first step to short hair is to be honest with yourself about your hair and your face. Pull your hair back into a tight pony tail and look yourself dead in the mirror. Pick out the things you love about your face, and the things that you'd rather not admit existed.

When you have short hair, you have the opportunity to expose the beauty in your face. You can create shape in your face, give a wide forehead softness, enhance cheekbones with face framing, elongate your neck, expose your eyes, conceal imperfections, create height, or even make your face look thinner with the right cut. Go to your stylist with a list of the things you'd like to enhance, the things you'd like to mask, and ideas of cuts you like on other people. It helps to find a hairstylist that you trust, that knows what she's doing, and that will take the time to help you achieve the right look. Especially if you're making a dramatic change, it's important to be confident that the person cutting your hair is on the same page that you are.

The Benefits to a Short Haircut
I wonder if I could ever list all the benefits of short hair. To start, it's a great way to start over. If you've had a bad haircut, over processed your hair, or just need a drastic makeover going short is the easiest way to achieve a healthy start. It's fresh, it's new.

Short hair is incredibly easy to style, and fast. If you're lacking time, or just sick of all the time you spend in front of a mirror styling long hair, a short haircut is a great solution. Once styled, short hair doesn't really become disheveled, and if it does it's typically a quick and simple fix.

One of the biggest benefits of short hair in my life is that it doesn't interfere with my workout routine. Short hair never has to be pulled back to exercise. It's already out of the way. If you workout on a regular basis, you likely have to plan your hair routine around your workouts because the shower, dry, style process is such a pain to work around. With short hair, the process is much simpler and easier to carry out. Suddenly a quick workout over lunch is no big deal.

If you're a mom, a short haircut can be a lifesaver. It's much harder for a baby to pull short hair, and with your styling time cut down significantly, it's easier to find time to style your hair and feel put together. Not to mention, that less time in the bathroom translates to more mom-time.

Busy working women find that short hair can give a polished, professional look that lasts all day from morning meetings to client dinners. Of course, less time in the bathroom is also a benefit to professional women when time is money.

If your hair is thin, short hair can give you volume, body, and the illusion of thickness, where longer hair just falls flat. It's much easier to mask thinning hair with a short cut that gives the illusion of fullness.

The Downside of Short Hair
While I love my short hair, there are things about it that aren't so convenient. I miss a pony tail on occasion, or pulling my hair up for a formal event. Long hair is certainly "prettier" in many people's opinions, and a lot of men tend to find long hair more attractive than short hair. There's a level of femininity about long hair that can often feel lost in a shorter haircut. A level of confidence is required when you decide to wear your hair short, that's for sure.

Maintenance can also be a downside to keeping a short haircut. Short hair appears to grow out faster and lose shape more rapidly, requiring more visits to the salon for more frequent haircuts.

The Long and the Short of It
If you're considering a short haircut, but stop short thinking that you'd never be able to pull it off, I can assure you that you're wrong. There is a short haircut for every face, every lifestyle, and every woman out there. Browse through photos, look around, discover what you like and find a stylist that will work with you to get the right cut. Then enjoy all the extra time you have and have fun making your short hair as feminine or edgy as you want it to be. Always remember, it's just hair. It will grow out.

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