Cropped Coifs

By Shaun Thomas

Thinking of chopping your locks for spring? Here’s what you need to know before going under the scissors.

Cutting off your hair is a big decision, especially if you have tresses longer than the full score of Les Misérables. But I’m here to tell you that short hairstyles can give you an amazing new look. Most girls with long locks would never dream of taking the shears to their hair, but with the right stylist and the right cut, it could be the one thing that takes you to a new level of hot! There are several girls out there who have successfully made the cut in the past few years: Alyssa Milano, Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley, and Sharon Stone have all cropped with confidence. And we all remember how big the Meg Ryan shag was a few years ago. But before you take the plunge yourself, you need to decide what exactly you are looking for. Short, spiky, and highly textured? Smooth, calm, and chic? Or maybe just a classic bob?

The first thing that should be taken into consideration is the shape of the face. Rounder faces should keep a wispier, softer look so that no severe angles sharpen features that need to recede. Think of the shaggy, wispy styles of girls like Kelly Clarkson. Longer or more angular faces can support a shorter, edgier look similar to that of Hilary Swank’s crop that she wore for a while or the textured piecey-ness of Halle Berry’s signature pixie. Finding the right length and texture for your face and hair is a task that your stylist will undertake with careful consideration.

The next thing that matters is your own hair texture. Coarser hair types can handle a good amount of texture to remove excess bulk and achieve the piecey styles they can so easily support. Thicker hair types can also support a smooth, sleek look with the right products and styling techniques (think Vidal Sassoon). Finer hair needs much less texture, as the more hair that is removed through texturizing, the thinner fine hair looks. However, fine thick hair can support a bit more texture. Medium-textured hair works with a variety of styles, so look to your stylist to help you choose exactly what is best for you.

If you are a girl who isn’t ready to make such a dramatic change, then maybe a short style that still maintains some length is more appropriate. The “Posh bob” (Victoria Beckham’s inverted cut) is in high demand right now, as well as Katie Holmes’ short shearing. Both styles keep some movement but are short enough to provide relief from the weight and maintenance of long hair.

Short hair is turning into a bit of a trend, and ladies all over are embracing the scissors. Don’t be scared. After all, if you aren’t happy with the results, you can be certain of one thing . . . your hair will grow back. [Sb]