When To Cut Your Hair Short - And When NOT To
To Cut Or Not To Cut Your Hair?
So you have long hair, but something’s changed. You’re eyeing the other side of the divide, and seriously considering cutting your hair short. Maybe you just started working outside and it’s the dog days of summer. Or perhaps you were dumped. Or possibly you just saw a killer short ‘do on TV. Whatever the reason, you’re sweating the decision. It feels huge. World-changing. Potentially amazing.
So, how do you decide?
We’re glad you asked! Because we have opinions. Read on for seven of them.
DO - Because It’s Hot
If you’re living or working in a humid atmosphere, long hair can be a sweat-soaked nightmare. You can start the day off with a perfect coiffure and wind up feeling like Medusa with limp tresses snaking around your shoulders by the afternoon.
Getting all that hair off, off, off your neck and shoulders can absolutely be heaven! But make sure you understand this: chopping off all your hair will make any weird curls or waves that humidity adds to your hair texture that much… more. You’ll still need to style your hair daily.
DON’T - Because You Love Easy Bad Hair Day Fixes
Short ‘dos can be super-cute but are also more vulnerable to bed head and bad hair days. When you keep your hair long, you have something to work with when your hair is misbehaving—as we showed you before, you can braid it any number of ways, change your part, and accessorize extensively.
Short hair can be a real pain in the ass on a bad hair day, and require extensive styling if you slept on your hair funny the night before. (Or it could look great! Some bedhead does look like what a really good stylist might do…)
DO - Because You Break Up
Cutting all your hair off after a big breakup is an age-old act of transformation. When our lives are shaken down to the foundation, we like to reinvent ourselves—rising like a phoenix with a glorious new hairstyle or color. And cutting off long lengths of hair just feels like shedding that heavy and hurtful past. Kick your painful past to the curb and find a new you!
DON’T - Because You Break Up
Then again, cutting your hair while you’re in an intensely emotional state can backfire. You’re less likely to think through your decision when you’re hurting and just craving some big, visible change. So you might want to slow your roll and consider whether you really want shorter hair, and then consider which style would most suit your face shape and hair type before committing.
DO - Because It Gives You Headaches
Long hair can get really heavy, especially for those of you with a thicker hair texture. When you combine that weight with certain hairstyles—like tight braids or ponytails or updos—you create the perfect conditions to get a headache or even trigger a migraine. Some of you might decide the looks you can achieve with long hair are worth the pain—but exploring short hairstyles sounds like a winning (and most importantly pain-free) move.
DON’T - Because Someone Else Looks Great that Way
The worst way to select a new hairstyle is by going after the latest fad and what a celebrity is wearing. Don’t get us wrong—that’s a great way to get inspiration! But you need to take that inspiration and seriously consider whether it suits the shape of your face and your hair type. If your hair is stick-straight but you want a tousled bob with a lot of body, your hair’s not going to miraculously achieve that shape with a cut. (Unless your hair is straight because the length is pulling out any natural waves you have.)
There are two great ways to get some insight into what a new hairstyle might look like on you. First, you can find an app that lets you upload a picture of yourself and try different hairstyles on. (Also great for seeing how different hair colors might look with your skin tone.) Secondly, you can make an appointment to speak with a stylist - a skilled stylist will be able to give you insightful feedback about what short styles might suit you. Ideally, do both.
DO - Because You Want To
When it comes right down to it, the best reason to cut off all your hair is because you feel like it. Your hair is an expression of who you are, and the perfect feature for experimenting with new lengths, styles, colors, and accessories until you find those looks that feel right, that you love, and that give you the confidence to rock the world.
After all, as original boss lady Cersei Lannister put it, “I am Cersei of House Lannister, a lion of the Rock, the rightful queen of these Seven Kingdoms, trueborn daughter of Tywin Lannister. And hair grows back.” (Pro-tip, that’s a great personal mantra—just swap out the details to proclaim your own magnificence.)
Planning to chop your hair off soon? Share your before and after photos (and your personal why) on Instagram! Don’t forget to tag us @isa.professional.