Why Hairdressers Prefer Short Hair

Hairdresser with scissors
It seems that many hairstylists are generally in favor of shorter haircuts. And many women will agree that they know of at least one stylist whom, if allowed to do as they please – would always opt for the pixie cut. My own mother was once the victim of a pixie cut when she told the hairdresser she’d been going to for 15 years “do something different”. She never made that mistake again.
Short hair can work for a remarkable number of different individuals, yet there may be reasons for a stylist's preference toward short hair styles that goes beyond purely aesthetic considerations. In some cases, it all comes down to money.
When the average woman follows a schedule of having her hair trimmed and maintained at the salon every 6-7 weeks, a woman whose hair is less than 3-4 inches in length usually needs to attend the salon nearly twice as often (every 3-4 weeks) This is can be even more frequent for those whose styles incorporate clipper-cut regions.
The reason being that since the hair grows at an average rate of one-half inch per month, in four weeks the hair may only have grown one-half inch, but if the hair was clipper-cut to one-eighth of an inch to start, that means that at the end of four weeks that hair is now five times the length at which it started, and the entire look of the cut is off.
Furthermore, shorter hair means that new growth in chemical processes becomes noticeable more quickly. If the permed hair is three inches long, two months between perms means that a third of the hair visible is unpermed. The same applies to color treated hair.
There’s also the fact that shorter hairstyles are easier and faster to maintain. Short hair needs less product (whether it be shampoo, conditioner, styling product, or color) and can be shampooed, rinsed and blown dry in much less time than longer hair. And in a business where clients are billed by the service, not the hour, being able to do more in less time means much more money.
When all of these factors are added together, short hair looks more and more attractive to many stylists, and they naturally develop an affinity for them. Unfortunately, sometimes, it is to the detriment of the client’s best interests.
The key to making sure you get what you need from your stylist is to try to educate yourself about your hair and what looks best on you. If you can, perhaps visit a wig shop where you can try on various wigs and see if you like shorter hair or if it will be flattering to you.
And most importantly, if you feel that your stylist is trying to encourage you into a shorter style (or if you simply want to get some ideas of what she or he thinks would be a great look for you if you gave them permission to do whatever they wished) ask them pointedly “why” they think the look would be best, and listen for reasons that would apply as much to you as to them.
For instance, if the top three reasons the stylists suggests that you go for a short haircut are that 1) you could style the hair that much more quickly and easily, 2) you would save money on the products you use, and 3) more frequent maintenance means that the hair stays healthier, then you know that the stylist may be thinking more of her own bottom line than of what looks and works best for you.
The primary reason for ANY hairstyle choice should always be what is most flattering to the individual in question. You then tailor those options according to the client’s other needs (something that will be lower in cost to maintain, or that will be faster and easier to recreate at home). You never want to be left feeling that your hairstyle was selected for you in order to accommodate your stylist’s scheduling plans.
Now, I will close this by saying that the stylist that is likely to make a judgment to give her client shorter hair just for the sake of increased business revenue is rare. But they are out there. That’s why it’s important to have a good rapport with your stylist.
As a hairdresser, we are often called upon to tell some hard truths and with that responsibility is a tremendous amount of trust. You, as a client, trust us to make you look good, and in that same sense give us the power to make you feel good about yourselves. It’s important that we always keep that sacred.
Stacy - Hair Stylist     ©Hairfinder.com
See also:
Reasons to cut your hair and go short
Why do hairdressers cut your hair too short?
How to get a good haircut
What trained hairstylists look at