The Dramatic Haircut

Woman with very short buzzed hair
Photo: Istockphoto
Going from Long to Short Hair
Whether you've received a promotion, are tired of your infant using your hair as their personal toy, or simply crave something new, transitioning from long to short hair can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. If you've sported long locks for most of your life, the prospect of seeing them fall to the salon floor can indeed be frightening.
Questions may arise: What hairstyle will flatter my face? Is short hair easier to maintain than long locks? And what if, by some horror, I end up disliking it? Here are a few steps to guide you along the path to shorter hair.
1. Consider your personality. While a short, spiky cut may look great on someone who enjoys sports and adventure, if you're quiet and soft-spoken, you may feel uncomfortable. Conversely, having to spend time curling layers may be too much work for someone seeking an easy wash-and-go style.
2.Consider the type of hair you have. Is it thin? Curly? Especially with shorter styles, certain cuts will only work with specific hair types. For instance, if your hair is thin, a single-layer cut can make it appear even thinner and sometimes greasy. If your hair is very curly, certain styles may resemble a poodle.
3. Consider the shape of your face. The goal of a good haircut is to create the illusion of a symmetrical, oval face. If you already have an oval face, consider yourself fortunate! You'll have more options to choose from. If not, look at pictures of people with a similar face shape. Long layers in the front with shorter layers in the back can help elongate a round face. Layers framing the face can soften prominent cheekbones. Bangs can help disguise a large, square forehead.
4. Go to a stylist you trust. Now is not the time for a trip to an inexpensive $6 haircut place. If you don't have a trusted stylist, ask someone whose haircut you admire. Most people are happy to share their opinions about who is good, and especially who is not so great.
Freshly cut hair on the floor
5. Double-book your appointment. The front desk typically schedules time based on the expected duration of a procedure; for example, a couple of hours for perms and coloring, while only 30 minutes for a haircut. Let them know you'd like enough time booked to show your stylist any pictures from books, magazines, or the internet that you think might work for you.
This allows you to discuss different options and any lingering fears with your stylist and come up with a solution together. Many upscale salons offer a consultation and cut option, but if not, ask for one anyway, although be prepared to pay a little extra for the time.
6. Talk to your stylist. While this article may guide you in the right direction, your stylist is your best friend in this situation. She can help you determine what works best for your face, lifestyle, and hair. Now is not the time to be shy!
If she suggests something you really don't think you'll like, speak up. It's better to express your concerns before the scissors come near your head. Also, answer her questions truthfully. She needs to know if you're not a morning person before giving you a style that requires an extra 30 minutes of work every morning to look good.
7. Watch how the stylist styles your new haircut. Ask her to explain what she is doing and why at every step. Remember, you'll have to replicate this tomorrow morning!
8. Relax and have fun. The worst-case scenario is you don't like it. The great thing about hair is that it's temporary. If the short look isn't what you expected, you can always grow it back out. In the meantime, enjoy all the compliments from people telling you how brave you are for doing something so dramatic.
By Susan | Updated | ©

See also:
Why short hair can make you look younger
Take the plunge and cut your hair short