|The Short Hair
Variety - Hair Care Tips
The Short Hair Variety
Are you afraid to cut your hair because
you feel it will limit your hair style choices? Or do you currently have
short hair and are bored to tears with the same old look?
Relax—you don't have to give up variety
when you have short hair!
A good shorthaired look depends on many
- Facial shape
- Hair type
- Hair products
Before you make the final cut, so to
speak, check over your options. It's never a great idea to get a haircut
on a whim. As with buying something useless, expensive and
non-returnable, the saying goes, "Buy in haste. Repent at leisure."
If you're having a horrible hair day,
pick up the phone instead of the scissors. Make an appointment with a
stylist you trust, and give yourself at least 24 hours to think about
what you want. (Meanwhile, put on a hat and get on with your day.)
What is your facial shape? A good way
to check is to pull your hair back from your face. Is it round? Long?
Kind of squared at the chin line? Oval? There are many books out there
that can help you with hairdos for your particular facial shape, and you
may want to refer to some of them.
Also, many salons offer an imaging
service that can show you how you would look in different hair styles.
What are your best feature(s)? A good hair style can really play up your
eyes or mouth, for example.
Generally speaking, if your face is
tends to be heavy at the jawline, you may not want a style that adds
more bulk to that area. If your face is long and thin, a long, straight
style may just make your face look longer. If your face is round, then a
halo of curls may make your head look too much like a ball.
Just a quick word here on glasses—one
of the best things you can do to update your look is to update the style
of your glasses. If you are currently wearing 80's-style big-frame
glasses, check out the new smaller styles. More stylish glasses can help
your overall look.
What kind of hair do you have? Is it
straight and silky? Thin and flyaway? Thick and bushy? Naturally wavy or
curly? What does it do right after you wash it, using no products? If
you are cutting your hair to make it easier to care for, be sure that
you choose a style that doesn't make you spend more time than you did
when it was long!
Again, generally speaking, if your hair
tends to be stick-straight and on the thin side, a blunt-cut hair style
may suit your hair more. This type of cut often makes the hair appear
thicker than it actually is.
If your hair is bushy, you may want to
get more of a layered cut to make the hair appear smoother. Be realistic
about what your own hair is like. For instance, if you've fallen in love
with a model's silky pixie cut and your own hair is thick and coarse,
you can bet that the same cut on you is not going to look like hers—the
hair is too different.
Again, talk with your stylist (who has
probably seen and handled all types of hair) about what will work with
The cut is THE defining factor of short
hair! The cut can make or break a great short hairdo. Be sure that your
stylist is trained and experienced in working with short hair. Often a
good short hair cut will take much more time than longer hair. The cut
has to be precise to make the right haircut. Before you leave the
chair , check:
- Is the cut even?
- Is the style what you wanted?
- Do you that feel you can duplicate
the style at home?
- Does the hair frame your face
- Are the back and sides the way you
Remember, you are the customer,
and you are paying.
Do yourself a big favor and spend the
money for a really good cut. Believe me, this is not the area to
skimp on! There isn't a whole lot you can do to cover up a bad haircut,
except grin and bear it.
Now, having sprung for a great haircut,
how about shampoo, conditioner, mousse, gel, spray, etc., etc.?
Many salons carry a couple of different
lines of products, and of course, that's what they use and will advocate
for your hair.
There are two schools of thought on
hair products: one is that they are all about the same, and it's
ridiculous to pay more for salon brands. The other is that "regular"
products (non-salon brands) contain harsher ingredients that can harm
your hair over the long run.
This is a decision you will have to
make for yourself.
Stylists have seen all kinds of hair,
every sort of awful hair disaster you can imagine, and have had to
correct multitudes of homemade hair mistakes. It's their job to know the
hair products, and to try many others.
After a stylist has worked with your
hair, they have a pretty good idea of the texture and condition of your
If you don't feel comfortable with
buying the products the stylist suggests to you, you can always jot down
the ingredients and look for a less expensive alternative somewhere else
with similar ingredients.
My own opinion is that my hair
always shows; it isn't as if I bought a new outfit I only wear a few
times each month. When my hair looks good, I feel good. I love
trying new hair products, and don't mind paying for them (another
advantage to short hair—you use less products!). I am the daughter of
the original Bargain Queen, and I don't mind shopping endlessly to save
$10 on a blouse. But great hair— that I'll pay for! Again, this
is only my two cents.
A good mousse, gel or styling stick can
do wonders for giving you a whole new hairstyle.
I transformed my own straight hair
completely when I used the right products to produce a Bed Head hairdo,
and I mean completely ! People who knew me well had to give me a
second look. If you go for the Bed Head, you can go from completely wild
and spiky to leaving it straight in the back and sides, and spiking the
top and front. Or slick it all down and spike the bangs only. It's
really up to your own imagination (and nerve!).
Color is another one of those personal
decisions that cause a lot of soul-searching. Again, as with a haircut,
it rarely works out to "impulse color." I'll bet most hair stylists wish
they had a buck for everyone who walked into their salon moaning, "What
was I thinking ?" Take a long, hard look at your own hair color.
How do you like it? Many of us were blondes when we were babies, but not
all of us kept that golden hair.
Your skin color has a great deal to do
with what your hair color should be. If you've ever had your colors done
and know whether you are a Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, then you'll
have a pretty good idea of your skin tone.
In general, most of us can be
categorized as Warm (warm skin tones of gold, brown, olive, etc.) or
Cool (cooler skin tones of blue-white, rose, etc.). When Warms use the
cooler hair colors (black, dark brown, and so on), it sometimes can make
the contrast between skin and hair too harsh. Same goes for Cools using
warmer hair colors (reds, light browns, and so on). Read on for an
example of what can happen.
My Own Hair Color Disaster:
Colors done well can really enhance
your look. Remember Princess Diana before she married Prince Charles?
Her hair was a blah mousy blonde. But after she had her hair highlighted
to a gorgeous, glittery blonde, what a difference it made!
Conversely, the wrong color can ruin
your appearance. It used to be that having your hair colored meant that
it came out all one color. The new color technology today strives
to give your new color the natural look of many hues, as you would find
in natural hair color. You can get everything from a totally new color
to soft highlights only.
Perms can really change your short
hairdo! If your hair tends to be flat and you want more body, you can
get a body perm. This will give volume rather than curls to your hair.
The perms today can give you everything from gentle waves to ripples of
tight curls. Something else to consider with a perm is how fast your
hair grows. If your hair is straight and you get a curly perm, then
eventually your naturally straight roots will show. Most perms last
about 4-6 weeks, depending on your hair.
Check with your stylist about whether a
perm will work for you and the look you want.
When your hair is short, your makeup is
doubly important—short hair helps draw attention to your face. Have you
decided yet what you consider your best feature? If it is your eyes,
then play them up! Here's a good tip for mascara—before you put on any
other makeup, coat your lashes carefully with mascara first. This will
be your basecoat, the one you'll add to later. Complete the rest of your
makeup, then go back to your eyelashes. Now your mascara has something
to "sit" on, and the next layer will really make your lashes stand out.
Before you put on makeup, always start
with a moisturizer and a good sunscreen, and use them all year round.
It's been proven that many types of skin cancer (as well as wrinkles)
can easily be avoided by this inexpensive solution. Don't forget to use
some on your face and neck, and your arms and hands.
After you get your hair styled, you
might want to treat yourself to a makeup makeover. A good makeup
consultant can give you some good tips on how to maximize your new look.
With a short hairdo, you can really
play up the accessories to give it panache. I heard this bit of mis-advice
a while ago: "short hair/small earrings," and "long hair/big earrings."
Not in MY book! I own and wear everything from tiny diamond studs to
three-inch diameter mother-of-pearl honkers.
Dangly earrings give interest and
allure to short hair, and hoops look great on everyone. Gemstone studs
give a nice sparkle to your earlobes, which are right out there on
display with short hair. If you don't usually wear necklaces, you might
consider getting a couple of gold or silver chains, with or without
pendants to help give nice neck-interest. If you don't care for chains,
try using colorful silk cords to hang a pendant around your neck. And
scarves, of course, are always great to try in different ways.
One of the great sad truths is that the
older we get, the more we become victims of gravity. If you feel your
neck isn't as firm as it used to be, then let me share my pearl secret
with you. Pearls by their very nature reflect light, and when you wear
them around your neck, light is reflected up toward your face,
therefore casting a very favorable light on your neck and face.
If you feel that short hairs are out of
luck in the hair ornaments department, you couldn't be more wrong. There
are lots of cute short hair ornaments out now. Currently popular are the
fancy bobby pins for short hair—these have sparkly rhinestones, enamel
work, tiny ribbons and so on attached, and they make a neat look. There
are also "mini-scrunchies" (you can also use the ones in the baby aisle,
too!), colored rubber bands, clips, and small barrettes. I've been
noticing that many women with short hair are creating some innovative
styles using the rubber bands and barrettes: they take a few sections of
hair, twist each section and then pin it down. This makes a cute
Some manufacturers are making "hair
jewels" that stick to the hair for a dramatic look. Your imagination is
the only limit to what you can do to glitz up your look. One day in the
mall I saw a young woman with very short dark hair who had tied a satiny
green ribbon, headband-style, around her head with the ends trailing
down her back. It was enchanting!
A few words on the sheer femininity of
short hair—when your hair is short, other things are noticeable: your
neck, ears, and shoulders. Play them up! Have you ever noticed how sexy
longhaired women look when their hair is up? This is because the ears
and neck are shown off. Try this the next time you go out: if your
outfit allows it, apply some body glitter to your neck, upper back,
chest, and ear lobes. You'll be dazzling in any light!
Remember, the "right" hairstyle is what
looks right on you. Short hair is every bit as versatile as long
hair, and you can have a lot of fun coming up with new ideas. Just
because you walk out of a salon looking one way doesn't mean you have to
keep the same look every day. Celebrate your individuality in every way