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Breaking Short Hair Rules


Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano is a short hair rebel. While riding a wave of popularity as her role as sister witch, Phoebe Halliwell on WB's Charmed, the brunette beauty shocked legions of fans by suddenly appearing onscreen with a Twiggy inspired short pixie hairstyle.

Even though Phoebe has access to the very best celebrity hairdressers that LA has to offer, she broke all established short hair style selection rules and went with a short style that she loved.

She ignored the generally accepted rule that a super short hair cut is not ideal for someone with a prominent chin or wide cheekbones. Alyssa has a fairly well defined heart shaped face with a prominent chin. Her cheeks are full and her forehead is much wider than her lower face.

Regardless, Alyssa went with a pixie style. In reality she was like many other celebrities that frequently defy the established hair and beauty world rules about short hair selection. Making a radical shift from medium or long hair to short hair is a visible way of establishing a rebel or rogue personality.

One of the most famous hair choppings involved Mia Farrow when she agreed to have famous hairdresser Vidal Sasson take her from super long to super pixie while new husband Frank Sinatra watched in horror. Celebrity hairdresser Peter Lamas told me during a phone interview some years ago, that he "was assisting Vidal during that famous Mia Farrow short hair cut".

Alyssa Milano As Phoebe Halliwell 2003

Peter reported that Frank "arrived in the salon with an long blonde female urchin and left with what appeared to be a young boy". The world was indeed shocked by Mia's dramatic haircut but it got their attention and they turned out in record numbers to see her film, Rosemary's Baby. While her movie career soared as the result of breaking the rules of established feminine hair styles, her marriage to Frank Sinatra crashed and burned.

Was it because she broke the rules of short hair selection and went way too short? No one will ever know but Mia and the dearly departed Frank.

While her major short cut was explained as a absolute requirement for the role she played, even back then, wigs were often worn for drastic hair length and style changes.

In 2005 Natalie Portman took a similar tactic and shaved her head for a film role copying Demi's Moore's behavior in GI Jane. Just like Demi and Mia, Natalie enjoyed a lot of media and public attention regarding her dramatic short style.

Not everyone take a dramatic short hair turn for the movies. Everyday people often go drastically shorter for other reasons that range from having lots of self-confidence to an impulsive moment in the salon. Others go for a short hair chop to get over a broken heart, start a new career or to signify an independent, edgy style.

The new 2006 Diet Coke ad is built around a young woman going dramatically shorter to symbolize her confident and zest for life.

Other hair trendsetters that consistently break established short hair rules includes Christina Aguilerra who teases her short strands, wears outlandish curls fashioned on a short bob or goes a shocking shade of platinum that offsets her latest deconstructed shag. Christina morphs through a wide range of short styles paying no mind to the hair industry's suggestion on face and body shape, hair type, texture or hue.

Are You A Short Hair Rebel?

Alyssa Milano - All rights reserved.

If you have an itch to break all the short hair rules consider these survival techniques:

1. Don't Follow Directions

Find the hidden beauty in your face shape, skin and eye coloring or hair type and texture and flaunt it regardless of what traditional short hair rules dictate. If you are like Alyssa and have a prominent chin, follow your heart and if a pixie is your dream style, go for it. Remember that self confidence is the key and how you wear your hot new short style is all up to you. The beauty of breaking short hair rules is that your hair will grow back quickly.

Even better, with the dizzying array of hair extension options and add-on ponies, you can instantly ditch your new pixie if you have second thoughts later.

2. Break All Your Beauty Rules

If you decide to go for it and adopt a sassy new short cut that you might not normally consider, throw out your own rules for your make-up. Search for the hidden talents in your beauty products and experiment with a completely new direction in your hue selection. If you were formerly a pastel princess, consider going with a vibrant spicy look or vice versa. Take a brand new bold direction to match your new cut.

3. Defy Accessory Designers

Alyssa has also been a pioneer in the hair accessory arena. She broke the barriers to adding big sassy hair flowers to very short looks.

Although she continued to adorn her super short pixie cut with baby barrettes, skinny minny headbands and clips, she also affixed large juicy colored daisies that most people with short strands might shy away from. She layered tons of sparkly hair gems and glittery bobbies along the sides, instantly creating a brand new image.

4. Work With A Hot New Hair Designer

Keep in mind that you may need to jump ship with your long time hair designer. If they have preconceived notions of what you should or should not do with a short cut or style, you may need to go somewhere new to achieve your goals.

5. Reconsider Your Fashion Signature

A new short hair mixed with a new tude means a revamping of your current fashion style. Get in tune with your new image and redirect your clothing selections based on that new image.

6. Be Fearless

Be prepared for lukewarm responses from your significant other, friends and family. Be willing to be fearless and own your own short hair destiny. Remember that if you find that you don't like your new cut, hair extensions, wigs and hair vitamins to help you grow out your cut quickly, are at fingers reach.

7. Re-evaluate Over Time

Once you get comfortable in your new short cut, allow yourself some time to play with it, make adjustments and consider your long range short hair goals. Take your time and make no promises to yourself, your hairdresser or others.

8. Flaunt Your Fierceness

Bask in the freedom and pride of your new fierceness at flaunting all the established hair and beauty rules in favor of honoring your own true inner and outer beauty and selecting a short style that rocks your world.


The days of matching your face shape, hair type, texture and color to your short hairstyle are over. At least for those short hair rebels that are willing to walk on the wide side and select short styles with courage and a sexy self esteem.

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Thank you for visiting us at The HairBoutique Blog and for leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated. We apologize in advance but must remove any direct advertisements or solicitations.

- Revised Publication Date: 04/26/11

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