Why (Almost) Anyone Can Wear Short Hair

Person with short hair against a pink background
Ian Ross Pettigrew/Getty Images

Everyone, at one point in their lives, wants a dramatic change. Some people choose to move country, some choose to move jobs, some choose to dye their hair, some choose to cut it. But some people get mixed reactions, especially when they cut their hair short. It's common for more conservative people to say things like "What the hell did you do to your hair?" But some friends will gasp and proclaim their love for the new look. Everyone had an opinion, but the only one that actually matters is yours. Overwhelmingly, the most common response is going to be "That's so cute, but I could never wear my hair that short."

It's easy to react with a smile and a nod, but just about every person on the planet can wear short hair. Period. It's not that a short haircut is an answer for every person. 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 far from the truth.

Evaluating Your Hair and Face Shape

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 ponytail and look yourself dead in the mirror. Pick out the things you love about your face, and the things that you don't like about it. Learn your face and eye shape, and be honest about that too. 

When you have short hair, you have the opportunity to expose all of the beauty in your face for what it is. You can make your face appear more shapely, 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.

What to Tell Your Stylist

Go to your stylist with a list of the things you'd like to enhance, the things you'd like to mask, and photos of cuts you like on other people. This idea is best when you manage find a hairstylist that you trust, that knows what they're doing, and that will take the time to help you achieve the right look.

Particularly if you're making a dramatic change, it's important to be confident that the person cutting your hair is on the absolute same page that you are. You don't want to be stuck with a bad haircut, because you can only go shorter or wait for it to grow out.

The Benefits of Short Hair

A lot of people use short haircuts as 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 and 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 can be 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 can be that it doesn't interfere with your workout routine. Short hair never has to be pulled back to exercise, because it's already out of the way. If you work out on a regular basis, you might have to plan your hair routine around your workouts—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. A quick workout over lunch turns into no big deal.

If you're a parent, a short haircut can also be a lifesaver. It's much harder for a baby to pull short hair, and with your styling time gets cut down significantly. Because of that, it's easier to find time to style your hair, and you feel more put together. Not to mention, less time in the bathroom translates to more time spent actually parenting. Similarly, people who are busy working 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 professionals 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 shortcut that gives the illusion of fullness.

What Else You Should Consider

However, having short hair isn't all convenience. If you're used to having a ponytail, you might miss it on occasion, and long hair can be nice to keep you warm in the winter. 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.

It's also certainly "prettier" in many people's opinions, and a lot of people tend to find long hair more attractive on female-presenting people than they do short hair. There's a level of sensuality about long hair that can occasionally feel lost in a shorter haircut. A level of confidence is required when you decide to wear your hair short.

The Final Takeaway

If you're considering a short haircut, but think that you'd never be able to pull it off, quite simply, you're wrong. There's a short haircut for every face, every lifestyle, and everybody 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 edgy as you want it to be. Remember, it's just hair. It will grow out.

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