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Short Hair Style Selection


Amy Spanger 2006

Short hair style selection is usually the hardest part that most short hair wearers struggle with. Once someone has decided that they want a short hair style, the key is to figuring out just what style works best.

Can everyone wear short hair? It depends who you talk to. There is a long standing tradition in the hair world that the short hair selection follows very specific rules including analyzing the following items:

1. Hair Texture, Type & Conditioner 2. Face & Head Shape 3. Age 4. Body Shape 5. Hair Color 6. Time & Commitment To Maintenance 7. Personality 8. Ideal Hair Image

1. Hair Texture, Type & Condition Considerations For Short Styles

In theory any type of hair from very thin to very thick can pull off a short hair cut or style. In reality, this is not always the case. When hair is very fine or thin, unless the cut is carefully created, short styles will emphasize the fine or thinning textures.

The same is true for thick or very thick strands. When shaped, layered and cut appropriately, thick hair can be a work of short hair art.

Is there an ideal hair texture, type and condition for short hair styles? The reality of the situation is that hair that is naturally straight, medium in thickness and healthy, is the best candidate for short hair styles.

Amy Spangor & Michael C. Hall 05-17-05

2. Face & Head Shape

Anyone that has ever considered adopting a short hairstyle has probably pondered this basic question. Some hairdressers have come up with formulas on what face shapes work best with short hairstyles.

While the oval face shape is the ideal shape for any short style, with appropriate modifications, any face shape can wear a short hair style. The ultimate goal is for your hair to flatter your skin and eye tone and face size and shape. Ideally hair should act as a beautiful frame.

Short hair can work beautifully for anyone with either very delicate or large features. A firm jaw and absence of a double chin is best. A well shaped head and a long beautiful neck are also helpful.

If the bottom tip of your chin is more than 2 1/2 inches lower than the bottom of your earlobe, short hair may not work for you unless you increase the length at the nape of the neck.

It is important that a short cut not appear too severe. This can happen when a short cut is cut too blunt or shaved at the nape of the neck.

3. Age

Depending on several factors, short hair may make you look older or younger. A lot depends on the actual style and whether it is flattering or not. Some short styles will actually camoflauge wrinkles and other signs of aging while other styles will magnify them.

As women get older hormonal changes related to menopause and estrogen reduction may impact the overall texture of the hair. Certainly hair does not grow as quickly or reach the same lengths as for younger women. Another consideration is whether your hair has begun to turn gray or not. There are also potential issues with gray or white hair, which tend to be more coarse and dry along with receding hairlines or gradually widening parts. All of these factors need to be considered when selecting a short cut.

Since the face line of women tends to soften around the jawline after age 40, selecting a short haircut that accentuates the changing jaw dimensions may not be as flattering as styles that minimize jaw line focus.

Another issue with age and short hair is that gray and white hair may have an overall drier or coarser texture.

4. Body Shape

Not always considered in the equation is body shape. Someone with a heavyset frame might not look as good in a super short style as someone with a thin, elfin body shape. The key is balance.

Small features and a small body shape are ideal for super short looks.

5. Hair Color

Believe it or not, natural hair color can have an impact on the success or failure of a short cut.

Highlights can look streaked if they are cut after colored. Skinny highlights do not work as well as chunky, bold streaks. A vibrant hair color works as a fabulous accessory on short hair.

Amy Spanger 4-05-05

6. Time & Commitment To Maintenance

Short hair cuts require consistent visits to the hairdresser to keep their edge. While your hairdresser can advice you of the proper schedule, you should plan to visit the salon for a trim every 4-6 weeks, depending on the season of the year and how fast your hair grows.

This requires a commitment of time as well as money.

7. Personality

Studies have shorn that people that prefer short hair styles to longer ones are often more independent, edgy and risk takers. People with longer hair tend to be more traditional, as a rule.

8. Ideal hair Image

While short hair might seem ideal based on the other factors listed above, if you do not see yourself with short hair, even if it is the best overall style for you, you may be uncomfortable wearing it.


Can everyone wear short hair? It depends whom you talk to. There is a long standing tradition in the hair world that the short hair selection follows very specific rules.

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- Revised Publication Date: 05/26/10

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