Summer Hair: Go Short Or Go Home

Want in on Summer 2016’s hottest hair trend? No, it’s not a color. It’s not even a hairstyle. It’s abig one: short hair! Yep. If you’re looking to take baby steps into ‘new style territory’ you’d best turn back now: this summer is all about big, bold changes and serious style statements.

While deep, dark hues and longer lengths are typically associated with the colder months, summer’s all about easy, breezy styling and peppy choices. It’s about looking and feeling cool and being your lightest, brightest self. There’s something about cutting your hair short that’s evocative of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis: you’re shedding all the winter weight and opening up to happy, colorful summer.

Now, as I’ve often stated on my blog, going short can be a little bit scary, especially if you have worn your hair long for a significant amount of time or you’ve never been able to find a short haircut that really suits your personality. However, you must go short at least once in your adult life to know how liberating it can be: you’ll feel like a whole other person and if you make the right style choice, you might just never go back to longer hair.

If you’re not convinced, here are a couple of reasons why you should definitely consider going #shortforsummer.

To start with, hello new you! If you’re looking to turn heads (and secretly, we do all enjoy the attention and admiration) there’s nothing quite as effective as a short new hairdo. It’s unavoidable, unapologetic and unparalleled!

Secondly, short hair really plays up your features. They’re all suddenly super emphasized. Wishing you could wave around a magic wand and give yourself doe eyes and razor-sharp cheekbones? Well, you can. Shorter hair really plays up facial features and it’s sort of like training a mini spotlight on them. All you need to do is select a short haircut that suits your face shape/ structure and then let it weave its magic.

Short hair is instantly edgier. Even the chicest, sleekest variants have a certain wildness to them. You’re immediately donning a ‘take-no-prisoners’ attitude and there’s an underlying vibe of power and force and inner strength associated with shorter hair. If you want to try a bolder look or you’ve always played it safe and don’t feel comfortable experimenting with makeup or your outfits, shorter hair can be an easier choice to make. Once it’s done, your personality grows into and you can explore different aspects of your being.

Which brings us to yet another benefit of cutting your hair short: short hair forces you to be confident. Let’s face it: so many of us use longer hair to hide behind. Several of clients confess to longer hair making them feel ‘safer’. From body image concerns to an unsure style identity, longer hair is often used as something of a ‘shield’. Painful as it may sound short hair strips that protective layer away. And forces you to be confident. Shorter haircuts tell you to look yourself straight in the mirror and accept what you see. Sounds like a whole lot to expect from a haircut? It’s not. Shorter hair can be your one-stop solution for self-love.

Then there’s the fact that short hair is relatively easy to maintain. Heck, for the most part it maintains itself. Short haircuts are also usually hairstyles as of themselves, which means you don’t have to spend a whole lot of time, effort or supplies styling it (at least not for regular wear). Short hair dries quickly, usually takes a couple of minutes to look well styled and you save so much time (and money!) on hair care products. You’re also nowhere near as vulnerable to split-ends in short hair as you are with longer hair, which means fewer trips to the salon and so much less time spent stressing.

 

What’s more is, all the celebrities are going short for the summer as well! Khloé Kardashian also recently traded in her trademark medium-long lengths for a shorter, shoulder-skimming bob. There was Taylor Swift’s new blunt bob with a thick front fringe just ahead of the 2016 Grammy Awards. Miranda Kerr recently debuted a short, wavy bob as well as a lighter, more honeyed blonde hue. It’s my favorite of the hair trends for summer 2016: cheerful, feminine and so easy to maintain.

 

And of course, to top it all off, short hair is cool. No, I mean literally cool. Updos and topknots are fabulous but let’s be honest: how often can you really style your hair up on the fly? And it does get heavy and starts dragging halfway through the day despite the bazillion pins you stuck in. Short hair, by virtue of its very nature, is cool and comfortable. When the temperature rises, so should your locks-length.

Now that I have your attention about going short for the summer, let’s take a look at some tricks you can use to make the most of short hair.

First up, short hair is easy to style- as we’ve discussed already. A little change in texture is all you need to look like you have a whole new hairdo. Wear it sleek and chic one day and tousled and sexy the next. Just because you have a seemingly limited amount of length to work with doesn’t mean your options are limited: play around with your short hair! Invest in a spot of texturizing product- pastes and gels are great for edgier, slicker looks like undercuts and faux hawks while mousse and styling creams are ideal for wavier styles.

The easiest way to switch up a short haircut is to change the way you part your hair. Side parts are great for emphasizing volume on one side and lending an asymmetrical dimension to the look. A central part in straight/ slightly wavy short hair looks really professional and is a great choice for the workplace. Zigzag partings are always funky but even more so in shorter lengths.

If you’re going to be keeping your hair short for a longish period and you enjoy styling, invest in ‘mini curling tongs’. They’re smaller than your typical half-inch barrels and are easier to work with when it comes to shorter lengths. If you don't want to spend on a new tool you could always use foam rollers or even drugstore-variety perm rods.

Keep a bottle of dry shampoo on-hand. Many of my clients report that their shorter hair feels weighed down faster as compared to longer styles. Any change in texture, no matter how subtle, is instantly visible in shorter hair because there just isn’t a lot to hide behind. So if you feel like your ‘do is sagging a bit or just isn’t looking all that great after a long nap, a little sprinkle of dry shampoo or volumizing powder can help boost volume at the roots and freshen up a look.

Short hair tends to frizz slightly more than longer hair; wait, scratch that: frizziness is more visible in short hair than it is in long hair, which is why I recommend investing in a great frizz-control product. Something that tames and smoothens hair down without making it fall flat. It also helps to treat your hair to a nourishing mask of some sort on a weekly basis. Of course, these are habits that you should adopt as part of a long-term hair care routine regardless of your current haircut/ length, but if you’re not particular about them as yet, now will be a good time to start.

My colleagues who work in the makeup industry always recommend using blush when wearing hair short. Your cheekbones are going to be emphasized anyway: might as well make them pop. A pretty flush on the cheeks is a great way to balance a shorter haircut, especially if you’re worried it’s veering into androgynous territory. Similarly, bigger accessories can also help you compensate for the perceived dip in femininity- though I must assert: short hair is fabulous as of itself and can, in fact, by emphasizing the features make you look a lot girlier than you’d imagine!

A final tip: if you’re excited by the idea of shorter hair but just can’t drum up the courage for a really different look, start by cutting to a shoulder-length lob. It’s still decidedly in the realm of ‘shorter haircuts’ but it’s also long enough for you to feel more comfortable in and to gradually work your way up to something more daring.