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Cutting Your Hair Short

Is Short Hair Right For You?

Thinking of going short? Make certain you're a good candidate before you chop those fabulous locks!

There comes a time in most every woman's life when she considers going short. Some girls love a short trendy look in their teens; other women hold onto those tresses until they're in their '40s or beyond and decide that Rapunzel locks may make them look older and dated. Of course, some women simply never let go of long locks, sometimes for cultural or religious reasons. Others change their hair regularly for fun.

Whatever your situation, if you're thinking of going short for the first time, ask yourself the following questions. They'll help you decide if you're ready or not, or if you'll regret choosing a short cut.

1. Do I have a self-image that includes long hair? Close your eyes and picture what you want to look like. Do you see someone with long, flowing tresses, or a person with a cute short crop or a mid-length style? Or, does your self image vary when it comes to your hair? If your self identity is tied to long hair, chances are, you won't easily adapt to short locks. For a change, try a mid-length style instead, or lose an inch and add layers.

2. Why do you want to cut your hair? Good reasons are because you are ready for a change, you're tired of your old look, you have a new job, you think long hair dates you or makes you look too youthful.

Bad reasons for cutting your hair are to look like a movie star, to change your life entirely or because your boyfriend insists he prefers short hair. The point: You should do this for yourself.

3. Will cutting my hair give me something I don't have now? If your hair is dry, damaged, over-bleached or over-permed, cutting your hair will make it look healthy again. If you have no time for morning styling, short locks will help shave precious minutes off your routine. If you have fine hair, it'll definitely look healthier and lots thicker in a short cut. Ask yourself what you want most from your hair, then ask a professional stylist if short hair will help you get it.

4. Do I handle change well? If you wear the same fashions you did 5 years ago, have the same job you did 10 years ago and generally avoid change, short hair may into be for you. Women who change their looks frequently don't take a look they don't adore too seriously. Women who seldom change will leave a salon in tears if they don't like a new look. They won't give themselves a chance to adjust to it before they decide to hate it. If you are going from super-long hair to short hair, make certain you can handle the change.

5. Will short hair make my face look better? If you have an oval-shaped face, you can wear hair of any length. If your face is square, avoid super-short cuts. If it is round, you need height, some length and enough hair at the sides to partly conceal apple cheeks. Also, long facial shapes are dragged by long hair, but if hair is too short, a pointed chin becomes a focal point. Play around with pinning your hair up and various lengths and decide which length makes your face look the best. Check out relatives who look similar to you and ask yourself who has the best haircut. You can also try on wigs. Getting a visual before you chop locks is always a good idea.

6. Do you love being able to have an updo? Sometimes, you're tired of long hair, but forget how you love wearing it up in the evening or being able to slip it into a ponytail. Hair that's chin-length or shorter cannot be put up or pulled back. It can be gelled off the face and if your hair is nearing shoulder-length, there are ways to put hair up, but they require a little more time. Make certain you haven't forgotten something you'll miss a lot if you cut your hair. On the other hand, realize that short hair is truly the most versatile and within a certain length, it can be put up. You can also attach ponytails or other pieces for those times when you want a special look.

7. Is a big event coming up? If you're going to your 10th year class reunion, getting married or meeting an old boyfriend after years of being apart, don't cut your hair. If you want a change for a big event, ask about different styling techniques or change your cut at least two months before the event. Even then, avoid super-drastic changes. When it's incredibly important to look your best, the last thing you need is to feel bad, because you made a choice you weren't prepared to make.

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Original Publication Date: 11/01/99 - Revised Publication Date: 03/08/11

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