Short hair is all the rage these days with Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Anne Hathaway and even in Asia, Rainie Yang, Jeon Ji Hyun and IU sporting a cool and fashionable short crop!
With so MANY reasons why you should consider chopping off your locks, it is no wonder why short hair is becoming more and more popular these days.
Cutting your hair short does however require you to take a big risk as a bad haircut can ruin your overall look... for months!
To help you get that perfect short haircut for the new year, we have consulted haircut specialist Izumi, Chez Vous Hair Salon as well as several other haircut experts to give you the lowdown on what you HAVE TO KNOW about short haircuts!
Other than using pictures, it can be hard to communicate with your stylist if you don't really understand what goes on in a haircut. Therefore, our first section here tries to decipher what goes on in the mind of a stylist when he/she designs a haircut for you, specifically a short one.
According to Izumi, a haircut, especially a short one, is largely characterized by a the following five factors.
One crucial aspect hairstylists take into consideration when cutting hair short is hair length. Too short and they hairstyle frames the face in an unflattering manner, reflecting on their inexperience.
Just to give you an idea of the lengths to think about: there's Pixie Short, Bob Haircut and Mid Length Bob!
The length of hair is largely dependent on what you are comfortable with.
There are some factors that you may however want to think about.
Do you have...
If so, keep your hair short and above the collarbone! Shorter hair exerts less pressure on the scalp, minimizing hair loss!
A Face that is slightly bigger than what you desire?
In that case, you may want your hair to end slightly after the chin to help you "hide" some of the flesh!
With a mid-length bob, your face will look even thinner than if your hair is over your shoulder!
According to UK celebrity stylist John Frieda, place a pencil under your chin horizontally and hold a ruler under your ear, vertically.
If the intersection of the two measures less than 2.25 inches, your face is made for short haircuts like Pixie and Short bob.
If the distance from the bottom of your ear to your chin is more than 2.25 inches, you’re best suited to a longer style.
Credits: John Frieda
A pixie haircut goes best with hair that is slightly curled.
If you have excessively straight hair, you will have to spend more time styling your pixie haircut to make it look good!
Nice Head Shape?
By taking away all the extra hair, a pixie haircut highlights all your facial features - both good and bad.
Other than face shape, head shape is one of them.
An oval head shape with higher forehead tends to look very good with a pixie haircut. Having worked many years in the US, Izumi observed that many Caucasian ladies have oval head shapes that make them very suitable for pixie haircuts!
Asian heads, unfortunately, tend to have shorter foreheads and sometimes, not-so-attractive skull / head shapes. A very skillful haircut specialist is therefore required if you want a pixie haircut as she will know exactly how to cut the hair to hide the weaknesses and bring out your strengths!
This can often be a question of customer preference. Some customers do not like having fringes tickling their eyes so no bangs for them!
For others open to having bangs, the hairstylist has to choose one that best suits your face shape and hair texture – straight bangs, side bangs or double bangs.
If you are wondering which type of bangs is more suitable for you, look out for our next article on What Bangs Best Suits Your Face Shape!
Depending on where the stylist believes the bulk of the hair volume should be, the haircut can be angled upwards, downwards or straight to achieve a different look.
1. A-Line Downward-Angled Bob
The classic A-line bob can suit many different types of hair textures, whether your hair is straight or wavy.
This bob is when the hair is shorter at the back and angled towards a longer front. There are usually no layers at the back and its concave shape creates the effect of a longer neck and smaller face!
TIP: According to Izumi, ending the cut AFTER the chin further helps to make your face look smaller!
For those who wants to lengthen your neck, the A line cut also has that effect!
2. Classic Straight Bob
A typical normal bob with the same length all around the whole head and it frame the face just under the chin. The edges are usually “softened” to create a soft finish and eliminate the “hard lines”. There are usually minimal layers in the hair. One can opt to do a C-curl rebonding to better achieve the “hallyu-like” shape that many Korean celebrities are sporting now; or perm it to give it more texture.
TIP: Although this hairstyle is rather trendy, Izumi reminds us that this hairstyle is bottom heavy. Therefore, it tends to make the entire chin area looks a little bit bigger. It is therefore more suitable for ladies with sharper face shapes as this hairstyle can help to soften the facial edges. Ladies with rounder faces may want to skip this hairstyle as it CAN make your face look even bigger.
3. Upward Angled Bob Cut
Once a hugely popular haircut in Japan, the upward angled bob cut has the bulk of the hair volume at the base, ending with a shorter cut near the chin.
Izumi shares that this type of hairstyle is perfect for ladies with sharp angular faces and big shoulders. The upward angled bob will help soften the face and take attention away from chubby arms.
Whether your hair is more suitable for layered or straight cut may depend on your hair texture.
A hairstylist determines if your hair is more suited for a blunt bob or layered bob by assessing your hair texture.
A blunt cut can help your hair look thicker and best of all, requires less styling and maintenance that a layered cut. Layering on the other hand helps to reduce hair thickness, which is great for those with coarse hair and significant hair volume. However, it is not recommended for those with thin hair as layering can make your hair look even thinner.
On the other hand, a blunt cut can possibly help your hair look thicker and best of all, requires less styling and maintenance than a layered cut, which goes off-shape more easily than a blunt cut.
Popularized by Amber Guo in the movie Tiny Times 4 (小时代4), an asymmetric bob is one where one side of the bob is longer than the other.
This is a versatile haircut as a good stylist can customize the hairstyle by altering the length and angle to suit all face shapes.
Under the hands of a skillful stylist, the asymmetric shape and steep angle at the sides can help to "sharpen" the face and make it look smaller!
TIP: According to Hensley from Chez Vous Hair Salon, the shorter side should be slightly above the chin and below the the cheeks to give greater facial contours for ladies with rounder face shapes. The difference between the longer side and shorter side can be made drastic to further take away the attention from the “roundness”.
Understanding what goes into a short haircut can help you articulate your requirements and make it easier to get the haircut you desire.
However, whether the haircut looks good or not still depends on how skillful and consultative your hairstylist is. You may get some general ideas from what we write above but experience, skill and consultation will help a good stylist give you the hairstyle that best suits your hair texture, face shape, head shape and even your objectives (ie. to look more mature / younger at work, more masculine / feminine) to ensure that the final hairstyle is something you are completely satisfied with.
For someone going for a short haircut for the first time, we would therefore recommend that you invest a little and look for a reputable haircut specialist such as Izumi from Izumi Hair Salon and Hensley from Chez Vous Hair Salon to know exactly what type of hairstyle best fits you!
Do bring along 3 pictures you are fond of so that the hairstylist you have in mind can better recreate the hairstyle you are looking for.
If you need help, we have compiled a list of haircut styles that combines various aspects of the above 5 factors here!