Why Hairdressers Prefer Short Hair

Hairdresser with scissors and eager to cut
Photo: Depositphotos
It appears that many hairstylists generally favor shorter haircuts. And many women will agree that they know at least one stylist who, if given the freedom, would always choose the pixie cut. My own mother was once a victim of a pixie cut when she told the hairdresser she had been going to for 15 years to "do something different." She never made that mistake again.
Short hair can suit a remarkable number of individuals, yet there may be reasons why stylists prefer short hairstyles that go 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 with hair less than 3-4 inches in length usually needs to visit the salon nearly twice as often (every 3-4 weeks). This can be even more frequent for those whose styles incorporate clipper-cut regions.
The reason is that since hair grows at an average rate of one-half inch per month, in four weeks, the hair may have only grown half an inch. But if the hair was clipper-cut to one-eighth of an inch initially, that means at the end of four weeks, the hair is now five times the length it started at, and the entire look of the cut is affected.
Furthermore, shorter hair means that new growth in chemical processes becomes noticeable more quickly. If the permed hair is three inches long, waiting two months between perms means that a third of the visible hair is unpermed. The same applies to color-treated hair.
There's also the fact that shorter hairstyles are easier and quicker to maintain. Short hair requires less product (such as shampoo, conditioner, styling products, or color) and can be washed, rinsed, and blow-dried much faster compared to longer hair. In a business where clients are charged based on the service, not the hour, being able to accomplish more in less time means significantly more money.
Hairdresser who is cutting a client's long hair off
Photo: Stock Colors/Getty Images Signature via Canva
When all of these factors are considered, short hair becomes increasingly appealing to many stylists, and they naturally develop a preference for them. Unfortunately, sometimes, this preference can be detrimental to the client's best interests.
The key to ensuring you get what you need from your stylist is to try to educate yourself about your hair and what looks best on you. If possible, you could visit a wig shop where you can try on various wigs and see if you like the look of shorter hair or if it flatters you.
And most importantly, if you sense that your stylist is attempting to steer you towards a shorter style (or if you simply want to gather some ideas about what they think would be a great look for you if given permission to do as they wish), ask them directly "why" they believe the look would be best and listen for reasons that would be applicable to both you and them.
For instance, if the top three reasons the stylists suggests you go for a short haircut are: 1) you could style the hair that much more quickly and easily, 2) it would save you money on the products you use, and 3) more frequent maintenance would keep your hair healthier, then you can understand that the stylist might be considering their own bottom line more than what looks and works best for you.
Hairdresser who is chopping hair off and cutting a short bob
Photo: Maria Geller/Pexels
The primary reason for ANY hairstyle choice should always be what is most flattering to the individual in question. Then, you can customize those options based on the client's other needs, such as lower maintenance costs or a style that can be easily recreated at home. You never want to feel that your hairstyle was chosen to accommodate your stylist's scheduling plans.
Now, I will conclude by saying that it is rare for a stylist to make a decision to give their client shorter hair solely for the purpose of increasing business revenue. However, such stylists do exist, which is why it's important to have a good rapport with your stylist.
As a hairdresser, we are often called upon to provide honest feedback, and with that responsibility comes a tremendous amount of trust. You, as a client, trust us to make you look good, and in turn, we have the power to make you feel good about yourselves. It's crucial that we always cherish that trust.
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