Short hairstyles are perhaps the most mismanaged hairstyles worn by women. Far too often, the decision to go short is made based on utility and ease of care. As a result, the short style ends up being unflattering to the individual. The thing many women forget is that just because every woman CAN have short hair, not every woman should. All of the standard rules apply when it comes to choosing short hair.
Luckily, “short” is a relative term and can mean a fairly wide range of lengths. In addition, short haircuts can incorporate a wide range of wave patterns, too, which further assists in helping those who want short hair to look good wearing it. The style has to flatter the face and needs to represent some measure of balance.
So let’s take a look at some of the basics of short haircuts, as well as the variations that can make a major difference in how the style ultimately looks.
Anatomy of a Short Hair Style
Since the term “short” refers to the length of something, it is obvious that the key element of a short hairstyle is the length chosen. While the length can vary, it is generally considered that a short haircut is seldom longer than the mid-point of the neck. Of course, most short styles are shorter than this, and you can see virtually every increment possible in the short styles available.
While there really is no “rule” against anyone wearing super-short styles, it should be noted that these shorter looks are often best-suited to those with fine-boned and delicate features. Those who have weight issues or simply round faces will often think that a super-short style is good for them, and end up enhancing the troublesome features rather than minimizing them.
A short hairstyle can feature a variety of layering techniques. The hair can be blunt cut to a clean edge on the bottom line of the style, could have even long layers, or combine the two with a blunt edge and interior layering.
Colors aren’t specifically restricted by the inclusion in a short hairstyle. Rather we mention color here because color can often be used in a short haircut to add drama and excitement and take an otherwise “normal” look and give it an edge.
Texture and Texturing
In this case, we’ll discuss both the thickness of the hair and the finishing techniques used in a short hairstyle. The two are somewhat connected since the diameter of the hair and it’s “feel” indicate the need for certain finishing techniques to make the hair look the way you want. Finishing hair cutting techniques can also take a bland looking hairstyle and make it exciting and increasingly flattering to an individual
Avoiding the Boring Short Hair Pitfall
Often, a woman chooses a short hairstyle solely for the convenience and increased ease of care it offers. In cases like this, when simplicity is the motivating factor, short hairstyles can become boring. Perhaps the individual doesn’t think of the possible ways to adapt the look, or has had the short hair for so long that wearing it is habit and the look suffers from neglect.
To avoid this, it’s important to ask for a fresh look at your hairstyle periodically. Perhaps having the hair textured with a razor and then a quick blow-out as a part of the styling process will give you a new twist on your look. Or maybe you should let the hair grow out a little and use the length to create additional volume in areas that better flatter your face. Perhaps your look could benefit from a splash of color. Or frankly, the answer could be a simple matter of adding a new styling product to take advantage of the traits your hairstyle already has.
It’s always easier to explain what is meant in a given situation when you have a visual representation that illustrates a specific point. And since everyone likes celebrities, let’s look at a collection of celebrities who sport short hairstyles and discuss what makes these styles work, and for whom.
Anna Faris and Amy Madigan
Seen in these photos, Anna Faris and Amy Madigan are wearing short hairstyles that fall at the longer range of “short”. Yet the two looks are remarkably different. Note how Anna’s fine, pale blonde locks are gently tapered at the ends to create soft edges. These soft, clean lines are terrific in that they flatter and frame her face and provide a clean, professional look that is also chic and stylish.
Amy Madigan’s hairstyle is of a comparable length but features a layered cut with a lot of deep texturing, creating deep points in the layers which enhance the color variations in her hair and allow for a flipped out styling in targeted areas where a little volume is wanted. The variations in the strands and the movement created by the twists and turns in the hair make a great frame for the face and help to draw focus to the silhouette as a whole, minimizing the signs of aging.
Milla Jovovich and Angela Bassett
The two hairstyles shown here, sported by Milla Jovovich and Angela Bassett, are shorter and both feature different degrees of wave in the hair. For Ms. Jovovich, the curl is softened into a wave to soften her sharper features, while the volume of the hair gives a horizontal focus to her slim face. The sweeping line of the fringe perfectly frames the eyes and draws the viewer in to her piercing gaze.
Angela Bassett’s hairstyle is actually very similar, but her coarser hair texture dictates a variation in the way her curl is handled to create the softness desired. The layers in the hair are tapered into long locks which become shiny, soft tendrils framing her beautiful face. The soft sweeping lines and the shimmer and definition in the finish help to keep the eye drawn to the hair and minimize the look of the fine lines that belie her age.
Annette Benning, Morena Baccarin, and Amber Rose
Our last trio here features progressively shorter hairstyles that all have “more extreme” elements designed to enhance the appearance of the style.
Starting with Annette Benning we see a short layered look that has razor-cut texture to create needle-point ends in the finished look. Combined with a blow-out styling technique and texturing paste, the style is given lots of visual interest and the power to draw the attention away from signs of age, while matching the personality of an actress who is known for playing a range of characters and with a tremendous sense of self.
Next, we find the lovely Morena Baccarin, whose gamine-short haircut was a dramatic shift from her previous styles that celebrated her long raven-hued hair. This super-short cut has been point-cut to create extra texture in the finish and the definition created by the styling displays the shine and shimmer of her hair beautifully. As with many shorter styles, this gamine (which means “boyish”) cut draws attention to the eyes, making them the central and primary focus of the look. Since her eyes are one of Morena Baccarin’s best features, the effect is dramatic.
Finally, we find a look that has only been sported as a regular statement by a handful of women. Amber Rose, an American Model, has claimed for herself a very dramatic look, by opting for an induction-cut hairstyle which she has dyed blonde. The effect creates an intense focus on the face and allows her beauty to be uninhibited. As a model, the hairstyle also makes her sought-after, since her look is so dramatic that items she wears are usually well-remembered, which appeals to designers who want their names and their clothes remembered by as many as possible.
Of course, these looks are not for everyone, but hopefully they will offer you some inspiration for enhancing your own sense of style.