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Short Hair Cuts 411


Alyssa Milano as Phoebe WB's Charmed

Yes it's true that I personally have hair that is holding at about 6 inches past my waist. And yes, its all my hair - although I have played with add-on tresses, wigs and related options.

So why I am writing about short hair? As the ongoing full time consumer hair editor for MMI Magazines (Short Cuts Magazine) for the past five years, I have written an advice column about short hair every month since I started with MultiMedia.

This means that I spend just as much time researching short hair trends and issues as I do long hair. In fact, I also am the consumer hair editor for 101 Celebrity Hairstyles as well as contributing articles on all types of hair for several other publications over the past eight years.

Over the past ten years at I have received an even number of hair related questions about short hair as long hair. Many people ask me if I prefer short, medium or long hair. The answer? I have always believed that it is a highly personal matter and that every man, woman and child should select their hair length and style based on what makes them feel best. This should be regardless of age, culture or any other outside influences. Bottom line, it's your hair and your should enjoy how you wear it.

Short hair cuts can offer so many great advantages. While I never advocate that someone cut their hair from a medium to long length (again it has to be free choice in my book) I can share what some of the advantages are.

1. Offers an instant image change

Alyssa Milano as Phoebe WB's Charmed

One of the reasons that make-over shows like to cut hair from long or medium to short is because it does make a huge difference and shows instant results. Whether this is always a good thing or not, the bottom line is that it does show a dramatic change.

Changing your hair is the easiest way to make a personal style statement.

2. Hair is the latest accessory

It used to be that when you cut your hair short, you had to live with the results for a long time. The idea of cutting in haste and repenting in leisure was definitely true.

As the current throng of celebrities have proven, this is no longer the case. Recently Eva Longoria changed her hairstyle eight times during the ALMA Awards broadcast, with the help of Celebrity Hairdresser Ken Paves and eight wigs.

Jessica Simpson current has chin length hair. However, you will probably rarely see the beautiful blonde celebrity with the same hairstyle more than once. This is because her hairdresser Ken Paves is the king of creating the latest hair look on Jessica.

Which means that short hair can instantly be transformed with add-on hair such as ponytails or braids or falls. Half wigs and wigs are also very popular and can instantly transform short hair to long.

Yes it's true that you will have to invest in either hair extensions or add-on hair options, but the days of crying in front of the mirror because your hair is too short are long over.

Hair accessories have also come light years in sophistication. Headbands are very chic and the options are endless from the inexpensive to the couture quality. The latest bandeus, scarf headbands and elastic bands can instantly whip a rebellious short do into shape. There are even hair clips that come with hair attached which can add fullness or length to your short cut.

With all of these great options, it is much less risky to go from medium or long to short.

3. Short Hair Comfort Options

Alyssa Milano as Phoebe WB's Charmed

I have had three very close friends deal with cancer. In all three cases they chose to have their hair cut short and then eventually to have their heads shaved during chemotherapy rather than try and deal with the gradual hair loss issues.

In all of the cases it actually buoyed their spirits. All of my friends stared out with medium or longer locks and made the first step to dealing with their chemo related hair loss by going shorter first. It actually cheered them up to have new hairdos to distract them from their illness.

Ultimately they shaved their heads when the short hair started to fall as well. In all cases, their hair grew back completely and they are back to their old favorite styles.

The short hair transition offered them comfort in dealing with their diseases.

I have another friend who is a landscape architect. She works outside in the hot Texas summers. Every year she has her hair cut into a sexy layered bob that looks stunning on her. By the end of summer she is letting her hair grow and by Christmas, has a longer look. She also utilizes add-on ponytails and braids in a variety of very cute styles for evening wear. My friend tells me that she loves the freedom that short hair offers her for her work outside.

4. Showing Off Great Features

Celebrity hairdresser Robert Hallowell once told me that one of the keys to success in Hollywood, is to have a long lovely neck. I never really thought about that before but its definitely true. While height helps, having a long and slender neck is important for TV and film work.

One way that actresses accentuate their long necks is with short haircuts. A short style will instantly show off a beautiful neck, great ears or play up a gorgeous face.

5. Just Tousle & Go

Alyssa Milano as Phoebe WB's Charmed

One of my own hair secrets is to wear heavily layered bangs that blend into my own long tresses. During the sizzling hot summers in Dallas, I wear my hair braided or pulled off my neck in a variety of twists held with lots of different hair accessories.

I don't shampoo my hair every day but I do shampoo my fringe which I then tousle with my fingertips and a little gel, styling glaze, mousse or cream. I love that I have the option to tousle and go and my bangs look different all the time.

Short haircuts and styles offer this same plus. You can wash, tousle and go with minimum fuss.

Of course there is one downside, short hair requires more frequent trips to the hairdresser for maintenance. Even if you are growing out your short style, you will need to keep it trimmed and neat.

6. Making A Personal Statement

Alyssa Milano as Phoebe WB's Charmed

How many people have you known that go through a serious romantic breakup and instantly change their hair? Cutting or completely altering your hair can definitely change your outlook. It can also make a personal statement.

As Celebrity Hairdresser Robert Hallowell once told me - some of his favorite celebrity clients are not classic beauties but they can wear any hairstyle of any length and look fabulous because they have that special self-confidence or chutzpah that make everything they do look amazing.

Having great self-confidence is definitely a plus for go short.

I certainly don't recommend that anyone take drastic actions with the scissors to overcome a bad romance. Cutting hair to change your image or to make your own statement about your personal style is a great option. Just make sure that you are cutting your hair for the right reasons.

7. Dealing With Damage

It happens to many of us at some point in our lives. A chemical hair treatment fries our ends or the color never takes the way we had hoped. While there are many options to living with stressed tresses, sometimes the collateral damage is sky high. Going with a fresh new cut can often offer a brand new start and leave the high cost of maintaining a damaged do behind.

8. Following Fashion Trends

Alyssa Milano as Phoebe WB's Charmed

Short hair popularity ebbs and flows like everything in the world of fashion. Opting for a short style that can be used as a canvas for experimenting with the latest colors or styles is always a great possibility.

One of the reasons that models and acting professionals keep their own tresses short is because it allows them to live through hair coloring and other styling challenges without any long term problems.

Of course there is also the new hair accessory options to choose from.


Short hair cuts can offer so many wonderful options. It can instantly create a new look, make a personal statement, offer comfort and ease, help to dissolve damaged strands or offer a portal into the latest fashion trends.

With the many new options for instant add-on tresses, hair accessories, wigs and half-wigs, no one ever has to spend any time crying before a mirror to overcome a too-short or bad haircut.

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