Since Mandy asked not once, but twice in previous comments, and I don’t have anything else interesting to say at the moment, I present to you:
Jen’s guide for successfully going from very long to very short hair with as little trauma as possible
1. The Decision
Think about it for a long, long time. When you think you really want short hair, think for at least a few more weeks. If you can not go more than 2 weeks without buying some new hair bauble or barette or chopstick-like thing to stick in it – short hair is probably not for you.
2. Will it Suit You?
Be honest with yourself about what kind of hair and face you have. Cutting your hair ï¿½bershort like Halle Berry will not make you look like Halle Berry. It may, however, make you look like an androgynous borg. There is a short-hair style out there that will suit everyone – but do not expect miracles. You won’t ever look like anyone but you. The only difference is, now you’ll be a you with short hair.
Be honest with yourself about how much maintenance you are actually willing to commit to. Unless you have perfect hair (in which case, I hate you), you will have to purposely style your hair daily. No ponytails – no wash n’ go. Long hair that’s left to its own devices usually has enough weight to it so it looks “sexymessy.” Short hair will make you look like you stuck your finger in a light socket – and not in the good way. It doesn’t take long to blowdry & style short hair (I’m down to 10 minutes), but it must be done if you are going to be seen in public.
Other mainteance required will be regular haircuts. Short hair is actually much harder to maintain than long hair, because your cut will have a great deal of structure. And it is a delicate balance. Leave it too long, and you will immediately look like one of those people in the “growing out a bad cut” stage. These haircuts will also not be cheap (further detail in the next section). If you count on at least $50/month for maintenance cuts, and you can handle that, you’ll be fine. You may also want to factor in a hat budget, for those times when your stylist is mysteriously sick or otherwise unavailable, and you can’t get in for another week (and if your stylist is actually available the next day because he or she is not “in demand,” they are probably not the best person to be maintaining your new short hair.
4. So you’re ready – Now What?
Now you go find a really good stylist. Do famous people come to your town or city? If not, you should find a stylist in a city they do go to. Go where the famous people go. Never go to a chain. Never go anywhere in a mall. Never go to a stylist who has bad hair him/herself. Never pay less than $50 for a cut. Occasionally there are exceptions to this rule. But they are rare and risky. If the stylist can not run his/her fingers through your hair and tell you every problem you’ve ever had with it (too flat, too poufy, too curly, too straight) – run. It is very, very hard to fix a bad short haircut. After all, there is only so much hair left to work with. Also, slightly related to that – ALWAYS tip the stylist. If you do not, they will enact small rage on your hair, and camouflage it so that when you go to do it yourself, you look hideous. If you can not afford at least a 10% tip on the already very expensive hair cut, you can not afford short hair. Also, the stylist should show you how to style your hair once your are doing it on your own. Do not be afraid to poke and prod at your hair while they are styling (not cutting – styling – unless you do not like your fingers anymore); a good stylist will usually encourage you to do this.
My personal experience with going from long to short went something like this: Ponder for 3 months (during which time I chopped off about 8 inches of my dead and damaged hair, bringing it up to mid-back length) – accept short hair lifestyle. Go to very expensive stylist for consultation & style selection. Sleep on it. Return for actual cut. Be treated like a goddess (at least they make you feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth at the expensive salon). Leave about $300 poorer, but with fantastic hair.
5. Post cut – Now What?
Go shopping (while you are still feeling fantastic) and hit the makeup counter at a department store (bonus point for going to Clinique, because I lurve them). You and your new short hair will now require a slightly bolder make-up look (because your hair is now not the distinguishing factor on your head notifying passers-by that you are a girl). And when I say slightly, I mean slightly. Please do not go all crazy Marilyn Manson with the colours. Go a tint or two darker on the eye or lip colour. The person at the cosmetics counter can help.
You should also invest in some bold earrings. They are fun and fabulous and everyone will see them now that they are not busy getting tangled in your no-longer-long hair.
And that, my friends, is how you manage to go from long to short hair with a minimal amount of trauma. If you follow my advice, you too can look fun, and kicky (and also drunk) with short hair, just like me.