January 29th 2018
Who, What, Hair
Who, what, hair: short haircuts - your essential pre-chop checklist
March 28th 2017 / 1 comment
Whether you want a bob haircut like Alicia Vikander, a pixie cut like Janelle Monae or a buzz cut like Kristen Stewart or Katy Perry, these are the expert tips you need to know before taking the plunge
Tempted to go short, shorter or super short? When it comes to hair makeovers, going for a chop that goes beyond just the usual few inches is a prospect that fills most with fear. Should we really be so scared though? Not necessarily. If too much colour and heat have left your locks dry, brittle and damaged, going short could actually provide the perfect opportunity to help your hair regrow and recover. “Over the last few seasons, we have seen people over colouring, so a great advantage of going shorter is to give yourself a fresh break and to also make a massive statement!” says hair stylist supremo Adam Reed for L’Oreal Professionnel. “Spring is also a great time to try a new look.”
With A-list inspiration coming in the form of Janelle Monae’s beautiful pixie cut, Alicia Vikander’s glamorous Hollywood bob and most recently, Kristen Stewart’s and Katy Perry's buzz cuts, it seems going to brand new lengths is a trend worth trying at least once in your life whether for practicality or as a form of self-expression. What should you bear in mind though before taking the plunge? From choosing the best short haircut for your face shape to the most common mistakes that people make before booking in, I caught up with Adam to find out his top hair tips.
Bob? Make it bespoke...
When it comes to bobs, the possibilities are endless in terms of shape and style. “A bob comes in so many forms and can really be tailored to the individual,” says Adam. His top recommendations? “If you have a square face shape, go for something more graduated and elongated with a softer fringe, rather than a blunt square bob. If you have a rounder face shape, then go for a strong, boxy mid cheek bob with a strong fringe. For longer face shapes, I'd recommend a longer shattered fringe to give a light softness to the cut.”
Pixie cut? Aim for balance...
If Janelle Monae, Michelle Williams or Scarlett Johansson are your pixie cut crushes, recreating their signature styles is surprisingly easy to achieve. The secret? Making equilibrium key. “Any face shape can wear a pixie cut, it’s just about balance,” advises Adam. “As a hairdresser, you always try and make the face appear more oval. If you have a round or square face, I recommend length and height on top of the cut.”
Buzz cut? You don’t need to be brave...
Want to go shorter? If Kristen Stewart’s buzz cut’s calling, Adam advises just going for it. It’s a style completely different in its character and softer substitutions are certain to just fall short. “If you are going to do it, then just do it!” he says. “Don’t go in half-heartedly. You can have a pixie crop, but that is a totally different look. It will never look as strong.” He adds, “I think it suits everybody. Remember you are pretty much born with one, and many people don’t realise that most heads are actually an okay shape! So I recommend that anyone can rock a buzz cut.”
That being said though, time could be the biggest drawback to going super short if you tend to tire easily of your hairstyle. “The main thing to consider is that if you hate it, growing it out will take a while!” says Adam. “It takes a long time to get rid of a buzz cut and you go through some dodgy stages – it can be a couple of years until you have your hair length back. However, I do think it’s something everyone should try at least one in their life!”
Favour face shape over hair texture
Are there certain hair textures that favour short haircuts more than others? “Not really, it’s all about your face shape,” says Adam. “It’s about finding something that you are comfortable with and going with it. If you have fine hair, you can use products to make it appear thicker – from waxes to gels to sprays.”
Revise your hair regime to match your regrowth
As your length changes, so should your hair products advises Adam - an important aspect to bear in mind should you decide to go short in terms of time and money. “Definitely make sure you speak to your hairdresser about using good products for your hair length and type,” he says. “A lot of people think you don’t need to worry about product when it’s short, but it’s as important to use product in short hair as it is for long hair. I recommend using texturizing products for shorter hair such as L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Beach Waves, £15, or a good wax such as L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Deviation Paste, £14.50, which gives a matte finish.”
“When it’s a bit longer and growing out, use something a little heavier to add shine, such as L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Original Oil, £16.49.” A good tip for ensuring even distribution? As recommended to us by hair stylist Jamie Stevens, pump a small amount onto palms and spread over the entire surface area of your hands, including the backs, and apply from the back to the front of your head (starting at the ends).
In terms of haircuts, regularity is key for keeping your style looking its best. “You will find it will start to lose its shape every six weeks,” says Adam. “You will really see a difference if you keep it well maintained.”
Consider your scalp
Haven’t seen your scalp for a while? If you opt for a buzz cut, expect to see a lot more of it, so it’s certainly worthwhile investing in some solid scalp control for keeping it in good condition. “It is really important to look after your scalp as it will be much more exposed and on show,” advises Adam. His top picks? “Products I would recommend are L’Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Sensi Balance, £11.50, or Kerastase Bain Vital Dermo-Calm, £18.60.”
And finally, bring in a visual reference…
To keep any short hair mishaps to a minimum, Google ranks highly when it comes to providing a point of reference for your hair stylist - so get browsing. “Find an icon you love and take a photo – a picture speaks a 1000 words!” says Adam. “Don’t be scared to bring in something you hate too so that the hairdresser knows what you DON’T want as well.”