Go short like Rihanna - but not shaved like Miley Cyrus, advises Kiran Branch with expert help from George Northwood

Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

Once upon a time, we were fond of long, cascading Rapunzel tresses as sported by Gisele Bundchen at the 2005 Academy Awards - but since that day everyone seems to have jumped on the "long hair with tousled ends" bandwagon. Whether its a Victoria's Secret model, a Kardashian, a Geordie Shore-ette or the checkout girl at Sainsburys, the layered look has started to look a little trashy.

Thank goodness, then, Rihanna has stepped in to show that there is another way. Her new gamine look is chic, fashion-forward and definitely goes against the grain, showing that short can be feminine. 

Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway and Emma Watson have also nailed the sexy crop, but before you dial your stylist, beware: not all short dos are worth doing. When done correctly, crops can perfectly frame your face (see top tips by stylist supremo George Northwood below), but do avoid the trend of the moment the undercut - ie, shaving the underside of your hair. As a rule of thumb, any hairstyle that is this dangerously close to being a mohawk is not a good look, case in point being Miley Cyrus. The popster-turned-punkster looks as though she's had a run-in with a lawnmower.

George Northwood's Short Cuts to a Top Crop

1) If you have a soft face like Halle Berry, go for a "hard crop" as your feminine features will be complimented by a masculine short-back-and-sides. Alternatively, if you have very prominent features try a crop that has extra length, making it more feminine. 

2) Colour is key when you're going short. If you have a "soft" crop, try highlights to add to the femininity. Those who are opting for a "hard" crop can afford to go for a vibrant or statement colour.

3) If you have fine or lifeless hair, a crop can work wonders, especially when bleached which will give it that extra oomph it needs.

4) Going from long hair to a crop in one salon visit is drastic by anyone's standards and may leave you feeling slightly traumatised! Ask your stylist to gradually give you a crop and definitely keep the top long to begin with (think Emma Watson) just in case you feel inclined to grow it out. 

5) Make sure you use the right styling products. After washing your hair, spritz with Kérastase Resistance Volumactive Volume Expansion Spray (£16.10  www.feelunique.com ), rough dry and then with a little Shu Uemura Art of Hair Cotton Uzu (£22  www.feelunique.com ) on your palms lightly run your hands through your hair and style.