Lengthy Considerations: How to tell if a short hairstyle will work for you.

Hair Ideas & Inspiration

Lengthy Considerations: How to tell if a short hairstyle will work for you.

14 Jul 2015

Our expert stylist Scott Perkins explains:

Over the past few years it's become increasingly difficult to term the popularity of short hairstyles as a trend. Trends come to an end, whereas the fashion of shorter cuts not only keeps rolling, it continues to gather momentum with every new variation and fresh style. Not since the gamine Audrey Hepburn created short-haired chic's first iconic look back in the fifties, have short styles seen such enduring popularity, with 21st century's own celebrities, from Anne Hathaway to Miley Cyrus, blazing the trail.

Jaguar PS
Image credit: Jaguar PS

Image credit: Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Short hair looks effortless and elegant, sexy and confident, so it's hardly surprising the temptation to cast caution to the wind and go radically short occasionally creeps up on even those of us who are seriously attached to our longer locks.

At The Chapel we're massive fans of shorter styles but as in all hair-related matters, regardless of fad and fashion; the success of every short style depends entirely on it's suitability for each individual, and for some among us there are several precedents for advising against trading in your mane. So for those of you still procrastinating about a pixie or continually contemplating a crop, our top Tunbridge Wells stylist Scott Perkins offers some sound practical advice, alongside a few words of caution on why for some; extra short won't always equal extra chic.

"There are a few points for everyone to consider before taking their long hair short,' warns Scott, "and a few that are more specific, which we'll get to later. In general though, we all need to remember the most important factor; that short hair actually requires more maintenance than long. It may seem counterintuitive at first, and many people are drawn to short hair because it looks less hassle, but you'll need to find a stylist you really get on with, because obviously short styles grow out quicker, so you'll be making far more frequent visits to the salon, every fortnight if you want to keep a style perfectly fresh, every four to six weeks to keep it essentially shaped. For those people who simply don't have the time or inclination for this, there's your first stumbling block. Long hair on the other hand can still look great when you jump out of bed and grab it into a ponytail, or loosely wrap it into a chignon, plus you'll also lose that extra flexibility of pulling hair you wear down most of the time into those glamorous updos for special occasions."

Syda Productions
Image credit: Syda Productions

"You also need to remember that longer hair weighs more, just because there's more of it,' continues Scott. "Once again this sounds obvious, but it means that if your hair is naturally curly or wavy these traits get looser and less pronounced as the weight of long hair pulls out the definition. Take that weight away with a shorter cut and natural curls get more accentuated - fabulous if you love them, less so if you're a straight hair fan. Remember that your hair texture will play a starring role in, and have a major bearing on, the style of your new short do."

"Aside from these generalisations, there are particular things to consider in regard to how your personal face shape will suit any given short hair style. Longer faces tend to be less suited to shorter styles, and although there are some short styles that work really well for very round or square faces, people with these face shapes need to avoid popular cuts like the classic, jaw-length bob - or run the risk of stepping out of the salon looking like they've already donned their bike helmets!"

"The rule of thumb recently established at John Frieda involves taking the vertical measurement between the base of the ear and the bottom of the chin (you can do this by placing a ruler out straight from the ear and a pencil out horizontally from the base of the chin then measuring the distance where they meet) - if the distance is more than 2.25 inches then your face is probably too long to suit a short cut."

"However, I believe there's always more than one exception to every style rule, and a skilled and imaginative stylist should be able to find a short cut to suit those with long or oblong faces. For example, I'd recommend  a shorter shag cut with tapered strands that graze the jawline and a little more volume as you work up to the crown. Cuts like this will work to frame long, straight faces with complementary angles and look fantastic. Conversely, pompadour and quiff cuts may be the super-cool styles of the moment, but their cropped sides and top volume will only serve to accentuate oblong and stretched oval faces, so leave these cuts to the folks with round and heart-shaped faces who need a little visual length."

Evan Fariston
Image credit: Evan Fariston

"Once again there's a reason why the lob (long bob) remains ever-popular, and that's because it works with every face shape. Throw in some rich waves for dynamic, sculpting volume and your answer to the perfect shorter cut for a longer faces is staring back at you."

"Essentially hair regrows, or we'd all be out of a job, but shearing off long locks you may have spent years nurturing is still a big step. Always get a professional consultation before making any major changes to your hair. Visit us at The Chapel, and not only will you get practical expert advice, we'll also do our very best to deliver the inspirational guidance you need to feel secure about taking the leap back to being a shorty."

Featured article image: Iuliia Stepashova / Shutterstock.com