5 Things to Know Before You Chop Your Hair

If you have anywhere from medium to Rapunzel-length hair, summertime can trigger the urge to chop.it.all.off. It doesn’t help that everyone from J-Law to ScarJo is going the pixie route. But can we really pull off the trend? The answer is yes—with some caveats. We chatted with experts from three of our favorite hair care brands—Italy-based Davines, celeb favorite Neil George, and Paris import Fekkai—to find out what to consider before making the cut. Their five pieces of invaluable advice for a successful short ‘do:

Match Your Face Shape to Your Cut

“A short haircut like a bob flatters most face shapes,” says Jordi Martinez, a stylist at Fekkai’s Soho salon. As a general rule of thumb, elongated face types (oval, diamond, triangle) should avoid cuts that will make them look even longer like those that sit below the chin. Those with shorter, rounder shapes should steer clear of cuts where the length and volume sit above the ears. In addition to hair length, explains Joseph DiMaggio, a Master Session Ambassador for Davines, bangs are crucial. “A straight fringe on a circle face will make your face look super small,” but a blunt bang is great for an oval face. As for more dramatic cuts, like Demi Lovato's shaved head, that’s all about attitude. DiMaggio says, “If you can confidently rock a shaved side of your head, go for it.”

Think About Texture

Whether you have tight coils or slippery straight strands, you can make almost any cut work for you. “It’s about placing the cut for your texture," DiMaggio says. "It’s all about balance, like anything.” Regardless of whether you have curly or straight hair, expect more volume when you go short. “When it’s longer, gravity comes into play,” explains DiMaggio. “And if you have really curly hair, be aware of shrinkage.” Curls also need to be kept hydrated—try Fekkai’s Essential Shea Pot de Crème, a moisture-intense, fast-absorbing styler.

Don’t Forget Color

“What works on long hair surely won't work on short,” says Amanda George, co-founder and lead colorist at L.A.’s Jonathan & George Salon. This is especially true if you have highlights, which may look choppy or misplaced when you cut your hair. Think about adding color that will compliment your new style. For example, George says, “Jennifer Lawrence added some heavy light blonde in the front of her hair when she cut it off, to add pop.” And remember to take care of your new hue with a gentle but effective cleansing shampoo like this one from Neil George. The line’s conditioner can also be used as a mask.

Know Yourself

The pros agree that bringing in a picture can be helpful for your stylist. But, says DiMaggio, “Make sure it’s realistic. Look for references and images that are in line with what your hair actually looks like—and ask your stylist, ‘Do I have the right face for this?’” It’s important to be honest about your daily routine. If you’re a wash-and-dash type, that may affect the type of style you can maintain (successfully).

Your Hair Will Freak Out

You walk out of the salon feeling five lbs. lighter and Karlie Kloss-chic, but your hair isn’t quite on board with your new ‘do—and this, says DiMaggio, is completely normal. “When you cut all the hair off, you have to wash it three to four times really well for it to take a new natural growth pattern.” You may also need to switch up your hair regimen. Shorter hair gets oilier, greasier, and dirtier faster, so you’ll need to wash it more frequently (every other day or even every day) and use oil products sparingly. For curly hair types, DiMaggio loves This Is a Curl Building Serum, which you should work into towel-dry hair, style, and let dry completely before pulling curls out for soft, natural waves. To give fine, straighter hair volume, spritz on This is a Sea Salt Spray, and tame flyways with Davines OI/All in One Milk

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