5 Tips for Rocking Short Hair Like You Mean It

An ode to the post-wedding chop

photos of women with short hair

The first time I cut my hair short, I was thirteen-years-old. I chopped over a foot of hair and donated it in honor of my sister, who had passed away from cancer the previous year. Cutting my hair was one of my earliest brushes with feminism, and one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done (try being the only kid in your freshman class with a pixie cut, much to your new boyfriend’s dismay.) In the past fifteen years, I have had just about every short hairstyle imaginable, from shoulder-length long bobs (or “lobs” as Pinterest would have it) to super short side-shaves and faux hawks. Some styles were more successful than others (pixie cuts should never be feathered y’all), but suffice to say, I think I’ve finally nailed this thing down.

When Pantene Beautiful Lengths approached us about this year’s National Donate Your Hair Day event, asking if we wanted to be involved, I knew I wanted to write about the more practical side of cutting and donating your hair. Because while my short hair journey may have started from an emotional place, these days it’s really about having an awesome haircut (and maybe still a little about feminism.) If you’re not already familiar with Pantene Beautiful Lengths, you can read all about our partnership with them right here, including why it’s a cause very near and dear to my heart. The short version: Pantene Beautiful Lengths makes and distributes free wigs for women who have lost their hair to cancer. The wigs are made possible by donations from folks like you and me (you only need eight inches of hair to donate, and all of the hair they receive goes straight to making wigs; it’s never sold or otherwise redistributed.) Last year alone, dozens of APW readers ponied up and helped contribute to making at least six wigs (that we know of), and every month I get a new email or Facebook message featuring someone’s ponytail with a note about how APW inspired them to make the cut (we’ll have an essay on that very subject from our own VeganKitchenDiaries coming soon. Get excited!) So, since you guys helped make last year such a resounding success (personally fulfilling a dream I’ve had since I first donated my hair over a decade ago), we thought we’d pay it forward with some tips and tricks for going short.

1. MAKING THE CUT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO GO SHORT SHORT. As evidenced by just about every celebrity this year, cutting off eight inches of hair just as easily means you can try this season’s trendiest haircut, the long bob. And because it’s 2014 and the hair gods are shining down on us, the long bob looks great with just about every hair texture, as evidenced by some of my favorite styles below:


Adam Katz Sinding via Le 21ème


Jason LaVeris/Getty Images via Pop Sugar


Getty Images via Harpers Bazaar

2. JUST IGNORE THE “BEST HAIRCUT FOR YOUR FACE SHAPE” STUFF. THAT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO FIGURE OUT. IT’S YOUR STYLIST’S. I think the number one concern holding women back from cutting their hair is simple: what if it looks terrible? What if my face is too round/long/short/wide for short hair? Which I totally get. The last time I went in for a drastic cut was just after our wedding. I had been growing my hair out for two years and was suddenly… scared. The truth is, most women look smokin’ hot with short hair. The key is to find a style you like to inspire your cut, and a stylist you trust to make it look awesome on you. A good stylist will know how to modify your inspiration so that it suits your face and hair’s texture. As for the too round/too long/too short/too wide for short hair nonsense? Patently untrue. If you look good with your hair pulled back in a ponytail or in an updo, then you look good with short hair (and for my fellow plus size ladies looking for hair inspiration this tumblr has a ton of before and afters that have me convinced everyone should have short hair.) Bonus tip: Even though I’ve had short hair since forever, I still get a little panicky about how my hair is turning out while I’m still in the stylist’s chair with my smock on. So I don’t judge the final look until I’ve got a pair of earrings in, and a regular shirt on my back. Smocks are unflattering, y’all.


Margie Plus


Nadia Aboulhosn

Want to see how long and short hair looks on the same person? Check out this, this and this post from plus size model Nadia Aboulhosn

3. THAT SAID, SHORT HAIR DOES TAKE SOME MAINTENANCE. The shorter you go, the more upkeep your hair is going to take. Hair grows fast. Super short hairstyles (think pixie) require trims every six to eight weeks to avoid the dreaded mullety Florence Henderson stage that comes from when the nape of your neck grows out faster than your bangs. But there are ways to make it work without breaking the bank! First, ask your stylist if they offer free bang or neck trims. You don’t usually need a full-on haircut every six weeks, just some general shaping and cleaning up around the edges. Some stylists will do this for free (mine does. Thanks Yesenia!) Also, while I find it is usually worth shelling out the cash for a good “base” cut (especially if you’re going from long to short), ask your salon if they have assistants or trainees who are available to do upkeep. My old salon used to offer trainee cuts for $20. And finally, if the idea of regular upkeep is super daunting, just ask your stylist to take the back up shorter than they normally would. I naturally have a low hairline, so this trick usually affords me a few extra weeks between cuts. Or you can always opt for a short hairstyle that’s more uniform in length, like a bob. Bonus: if you want a bob haircut and you live in a major metropolitan area, you can also get free haircuts from really reputable salons that are training new stylists in classic techniques (I used to go to the Aveda and Bumble and Bumble salons on training day when I was a broke college kid. Check Craigslist for model calls.)


High Maintenance: The layers in this haircut, the short pixie length, and the pastel color mean upkeep every six weeks at most. Image via Refinery29.


Low Maintenance: The evenness of this blunt bob means it will grow out really nicely over time, slowly turning into one of the lobs featured above. Bonus: sideswept bangs don’t need as frequent trims as more blunt bangs. Image by Fred Duval/Getty Images via PopSugar.

4. TRENDY STYLES LOOK GREAT ON SHORT HAIR. Pastels? Baby bangs? Ombre? Yes, yes, and yes.

image (1)

Julia Robbs via Refinery29


Joslyn Blair via Elle.com



5. STYLING TOOLS (and tutorials) ARE YOUR FRIEND. The biggest mistake I made when I first cut my hair short was refusing to take the 5-10 minutes each morning to style it. You know, with tools and stuff. While a good hairstyle should really do most of the work for you, a little heat and product will make a huge difference (for me it’s not even about how it looks, it’s just that my hair listens better after I’ve thrown some gunk in it.) Product is also protection; you don’t ever want heat to touch your hair without a barrier (what kind you need will depend on your hair’s texture and how you like to style it. Your stylist will be able to make a recommendation.) The good news is that since your hair will be short, you won’t end up using much product, so it can last forever (a medium sized bottle usually lasts me six months with everyday usage). If this is your first time going short, ask your stylist to set aside a few minutes at the end of your appointment for a mini lesson on styling.

1. BaByliss Nano Titanium Portofino Dryer ($139.95) 2. Style your long bob five different ways using this flat iron tutorial from Refinery29 3. Ultra CHI Pop Pink Iron ($99.95) 4. Learn how to style a pixie cut via The Beauty Department 5. Pantene heat styling products, available at drugstores ($5-$10)

National Donate Your Hair Day is coming up on November 22nd this year. So if you got married this summer, and have been thinking of making a drastic change to your hair, here’s how you can participate in Pantene Beautiful Lengths and use your haircut to make someone else’s life a little bit better:

  • In order to donate your hair, you need at least eight inches of unbleached, non-dyed, non-chemically treated hair. If your hair is grey, you can still donate, so long as the grey doesn’t make up more than 5% of your hair.
  • If you live in LA, NYC, or Miami, you can sign up to receive a free haircut at one of Pantene’s National Donate Your Hair Day events. Click here for salon details.
  • Have your stylist pull your hair into a ponytail (or multiple ponytails if you have a lot of hair), then snip! Once your ponytail has been cut, mail it to:

Pantene Beautiful Lengths
Attn: 192-123
806 SE 18th Ave.
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

  • When you’re done, tell us! Take a picture of your cut and tag @apracticalwedding on Instagram with the hashtag #APWPBL.
  • If you’re not ready to make the cut just yet, Pantene Beautiful Lengths accepts donations year round.

Watching the APW community rally around a cause like Pantene Beautiful Lengths has been one of the highlights of my career here. Getting to see the coolest group of women on the internet rocking amazing short hair alongside me? That’s just the cherry on top.

Don’t miss National Donate Your Hair Day on November 22nd! Click here for more details about how you can participate, get a free haircut, and help make wigs for women battling cancer. And for those of you who have already made the cut, share your best tips below!

This post was sponsored by Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Thank you PBL for helping make the APW mission possible! Click here for more information about Pantene Beautiful Lengths and how your donation helps women who are battling cancer.

Featured Sponsored Content

  • Okay, so I have a pixie question: how do you spike it up a bit without looking like you just woke up. I’m thinking like swoopy-spiky instead of heat-miser with a flat spot from the pillow (which is how I wake up)? I went pixie short in June and have NO intention to change my length, but want to try out new ways of making it look fab. The swoopy-spiky look? Is one I cannot figure out.
    I love this partnership a lot, and Maddie was one of the many women who inspired me to make the chop I’d been dreaming of for *years.*

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      So, I have an arsenal of about 10 different hair gunks that do different things with my hair. Some give it a more intense spiky hold, while others give it a softer touch. Right now I’m using something that actually calls itself goo. :) Also, different hairbrushes do different things. I get a more swoopy look when I use a paddle brush than when I use a round brush (which tends to give me weird tidal wave hair.) BUT. I would take a picture of what you want into your hairstylist and be like, ‘Show me the way.’ That’s what I do!

      Final hint: It might be a length thing. My hair is capable of different stuff at different lengths. An extra inch or two makes a big difference!

      • ooh, good to know! Right now I’m rocking short pixie, but I may add an inch (though then my bangs get into odd territory) to see what I can try. I’ll definitely take a picture to my stylist next time I go in for a trim (next week, yay!) to see what we can try :-) Thank you!

    • Glen

      One of my ex-boyfriends used to call me heat-miser in the morning. :-)

      My hairstylist recommends guys’ products for a softer hold. But I second Maddie’s advice.

      • My stylist also recommends guys’ products. one of my hair goos is by men’s dept, and smells awesome. :-).
        I can never decide if I like heat miser or cold miser better, but when I see my morning hair, it’s totally heat miser :-).

        • I started bringing in pictures of guys’ haircuts instead of ladies haircuts, and got a good length for the swoopy/spike look. Specifically David Tennant photos ;)

          • Oh I like that. And um…. yeah, that’s sort of the hair I was going for. Whovians unite? :-)

          • Absolutely! At the moment I keep mine longer, so it gets kind of Matt Smith levels of swoopy, but I’m cool with it. ;)

          • Matt Smith was definitely “my” doctor, and I’ve been watching since Tennant :-). I had Smith swoopy before but decided I wanted my pixie shorter for a while (which I love) so I’m thinking Tennant spikes might be better.
            but who knows? I could do both! I see my stylist in a week. There will be plenty of pictures! :-)

          • Michelle Van Engen

            Now I want to go to my stylist with an example from Doctor Who and see what happens.

          • Go for it and report back if you do! :-). I’ll do the same, I am sure :-).

  • Marit

    And recommendations for where to donate if your hair has been colored/bleached? I’ve done locks of love and would love to do it again!

  • Bernice

    Love love love!!! When I met my fiance, I was rocking a fantastic pixie cut that I absolutely loved and made me feel so confident! All my friends loved my hair, I loved it, even my guy loved it! Then we got engaged and I had this notion in my head that I needed long, romantic, curled locks to go with my poofy princess dress and my traditional veil. So I start growing my hair out…Six months later and I’m hating my hair every day and agonizing about this. After many discussions about whether I could pull off princess dress + pixie cut + veil with my wonderful bridal party and so much encouragement from my fiance, I took the plunge again and cut it all off. Back to a slightly longer pixie that my stylist thinks will go better with a headpiece we found for the wedding and I can’t wait to feel like a slightly more glamorous and princessy version of myself on my wedding day!

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      I can’t WAIT to see this.

    • Meg Keene

      She might not tell you ;) But I think Maddie still regrets giving into pressure and not rocking short hair with HER big wedding dress. SOOOOO. Just saying. It’s going to look fab.

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        Sigh, it’s true. My faux hawk would have looked so cool.

    • Jennie

      I cut and donated my hair about six months before our wedding. My stand-by haircut is a chin-length bob, I’d been growing it out for fun when we got engaged and it was making me crazy. People were a little surprised that I cut my hair so close to our wedding, but I’m so happy I did, I look like me in our wedding photos.

    • I LOVED having a pixie at our wedding, and I dug how it looked with a headpiece. I’m sure you’ll rock it!!!

    • I LOVED having a pixie at our wedding, and I dug how it looked with a headpiece. I’m sure you’ll rock it!!!

  • quickj

    Such a cool partnership, and great cause!

    To echo: Yes, yes, yes, yes to finding a great hairstylist who you can trust to work magic with your face shape and hair texture in order to help create something awesome. The sole difference between my absolutely-terrible early-20s experience with short hair and my awesome late-20s experience with short hair was becoming savvier in finding stylists who could work well with hair like mine. And for sure, smocks aren’t very flattering. Over the years, I’ve decided that I have to reserve judgement until I go home, wash my hair, and then style it like normal – I think the cutting process makes it all goofy (and for me, super fluffy). I’ve often found that the folks who are the best totally *mean it* when they say to come back and have them tweak my haircut after a day or two have passed, if necessary. I’ve only taken them up on this a time or two, and both times I have, they’ve been really glad to tweak the cut as necessary to accommodate weird curls/cowlicks, etc. that have a mind of their own. Also: to make my pixie more budget-friendly, I normally have the stylist cut it significantly shorter than my “ideal” length, to prolong the growing-out process, and go in for a “mullet trim” about a month before a legit haircut, which means that even with a short pixie, I only get it cut every 3/3.5 months, depending.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      COWLICKS. Ugh.

      (I also love a good stylist who doesn’t balk when I mess with my hair right there in the chair. Or ask for a little more off the sides when it’s “finished.” God bless, Yesenia.)

      • quickj

        Haha, 4 good cowlicks and thick, wavy hair = learning how to be open to whatever my hair feels like doing. :) But yes, AMEN re: a little more off the sides.

      • Meg Keene

        My cowlicks are so bad I for sure can’t have bangs. And really short hair would be… swirly???? Very very swirly. They are not fun.

      • I have a cowlick on both sides, so when I was getting 6 week trims, my stylist ended up switching up which side my bangs aimed, because the cowlick would always make it variable.

      • malkavian

        Cowlicks are even more fun when they start going grey. Apparently grey hairs are more wirey and stubborn than non-grey hairs. Wanna guess where the majority of my grey ended up?

  • Chelsea

    I’m getting married next October and I’m hoping to snip off about 15 inches to give to charity! I’ll definitely send my hair to Pantene when I do!

  • Eenie

    I did this back in August for the third time! Donated 10″. Don’t love my short bob quite yet, but guess what? Hair grows. I imagine I’ll love it by December. I mostly hate that I have soooooooo much hair that it poofs out so much now that it isn’t weighed down. I have to spend some extra time styling it. Worth it for such a great cause.

    • Alyssa M

      You know, I have that problem, but when I chopped my hair off the stylist was able to thin my hair quite a bit to fix the poof. Mine is a super short pixie so it’s starting to poof a month later, but I’m pretty sure they can thin longer hair too.

  • love this! the first time I cut my hair short out of my own choice (not counting the sad bowl cuts i sported in kindergarten) was also to donate to cancer. my amazing high school girlfriends organized a hair drive for an indie charity in toronto and got a salon to sponsor the haircut (tip: check in your area for salons that do free haircuts if you’re donating), so it turned into a great girl date of getting our hair cut and styled. plus, the moral support of going for short hair together was a huge.

    it would be really cool to see the short haircuts other apw’ers get… maybe an instagram tag? (i won’t be participating this year though, growing out these locks for a wedding. but can’t wait for national hair day next year.)

  • Ashley

    I got my first pixie the day after our wedding a few months ago (I would have rocked it at the wedding if I weren’t so scared about how it would look). I adore the look, but I am bad at the upkeep. I never do anything but brush it, so I’m sure it doesn’t look as good as it could, and I hate getting my hair cut/spending money on a haircut. But hey, I was lazy with my long hair too, and I think my lazy short hair often looks better than my lazy long hair, so that’s a win! :)

    I’m actually considering going even shorter. Right now I’ve got grown out bangs that are parted on the side and swoop across my forehead. I find myself flipping my hair out of my eyes constantly. Plus it still gets tangled in the wind, which is what I wanted to avoid with a pixie! I love the length of the purple cut above, but I worry that 1. It won’t look as good on me, and 2. That my super fine hair won’t sit the same way. (And of course the additional upkeep of the even-shorter ‘do)

    • Sara P

      For what it’s worth, my fine hair was super easy to style when it was super short – I washed, but almost never combed it or anything. The one thing you have to watch for are any cowlicks. I could tell the stylist had gotten a little too short when five or six hairs on top would stick straight up. But it grows out fast.

      • Ashley

        Thanks! I appreciate hearing from another fine-haired person. Maybe one of these days I’ll get the confidence (or get annoyed enough with the bangs) to go for it.

        • Sara P

          Good luck! (My bangs drove me batty)

        • EF

          I’m also a person with crazy fine hair! and mine’s about the length in the picture — probably shorter in the back. it works just fine! I also do not own a brush or comb, they’re completely unnecessary with hair this short.

          • Ashley

            Oh, the thought of not having to brush is awfully tempting.

  • malkavian

    I have a pixie cut and it requires virtually no effort to style, I just need to wash it or wet it and run a comb through it and tell it where to sit (though my cowlick needs a little more convincing than the rest of my head). This is probably a texture thing, I have super, super thick hair. Whereas when it was long anything besides a ponytail was just too much effort and even then if I didn’t dry it first I’d still have a wet patch under my ponytail holder because my hair retains moisture hardcore.

    • kcaudad

      If I put my hair in a pony tail when it is wet, it will still be wet around my ponytail holder and around my scalp when I take it out at the end of the day! It drives me nuts!

  • Mary Jo TC

    “try being the only kid in your freshman class with a pixie cut,”

    Ugh. That was me in 1998. A very impulsive decision, regretted the first time I tried to style it myself. I didn’t have the face to suit it, the skills to style it, or the confidence to rock it. Cue 2 years of awkward growing-out haircuts. I’m convinced it kind of ruined high school for me. I admire all the other women who love their short haircuts, but I’m not sure I’ll ever rejoin them.

    The long bob, though, was my haircut of choice for years, until I grew it out for my wedding. I’ve kept it long since. I’m thinking about adding sideswept bangs though.

  • Lindsay

    i cut off my moderately long hair into a pixie cut about 3 1/2 years ago and have never looked back. i got a mix of reactions, from “but your hair was so pretty!” to my favorite, from my 80+ year old, typically traditional grandfather – “it just looks like YOU!” when we got engaged i was shocked by how many people asked if i’d be growing my hair out. i didn’t, and rocked it with a DIYed birdcage veil on a headband. i manage the upkeep by getting haircuts at a cheap salon in nyc where dozens of mostly immigrant barbers and stylists cut hair and banter (oh the BANTER!) in a basement. it’s awesome. the quality of the cuts is hit or miss, but with short hair it’s never a big deal if it’s a little shorter that i expected, because it’ll grow out in a week or two.

    • Mezza

      Can I ask what salon? I have a pixie cut too, and I keep bouncing between random salons/barbershops in NYC (or just cutting it myself when I get fed up). Would be nice to find a regular place!

      • Lindsay

        astor place hair, at 2 astor place. it takes some getting used to, the stylists can be a bit gruff so i don’t go there when i’m in the mood to be pampered! but a cut ranges between $15 and $20, which is the cheapest i’ve found here, and they have so many stylists that i never have to wait.

  • Class of 1980

    I did not know until today, that my hairstyle is called a “Lob”. ;)

  • ardenelise

    Aww man, this is making me want to donate again! I donated 12 inches last year 2 months before we got engaged to the shortest my hair had been since preschool. My husband said he had a slight preference for it longer, so I grew it out for the wedding, but I kind of miss how cute it looked in a ponytail when it was short. (My avatar picture in Disqus was also taken on like my best short hair day ever.) I don’t think I could go pixie short (there’s no telling what my curls would do at that length), but I might straighten it this weekend and see if I’ve got a full 8 inches I could crop.

  • Sara P

    I can’t wait to donate! It’ll probably be next year, but we’ll see how much longer I can stand it. The ONLY downside (for me) of the super-short pixie is how often it has to get cut.

  • Aubry

    I have what would be considered a “Lob” probably, When it’s curly its at the shoulder but when straight is several inches longer. I have been struggling a bit over the years with wanting long hair and it just not working. I have come to love my hair shorter.

    I had hair trauma as a child, and then didn’t get my hair professionally cut until I was 20. My mom would to the kitchen-trim, straight across the bottom. My hair was down to my bum for almost my whole childhood and teenage years. I cut it off at 20 and donated the 11 inches – what a great feeling! My hair looks WAY better short as it is very curly. when it was long the top third was kinda flat, the middle third wavy-curly and fuzzy, and the bottom third ringlets and pretty dead from my 8 month trim intervals. then it is shorter it looks healthy, super curly and really cute!

    I want to grow it out but would need to spend way more time styling it. Maybe straighten it mostly? or get a blowout (would totally but they are $$$). My natural hair (which I love and is a huge part of my identity) just doesn’t look good long.

    My struggle is if I am daring enough to go to a wild color. Like bright purple or red. That girl above with the lavender hair is amazing! I’ve always wanted to but I’m scared that it wont look good, or the color won’t take and I’ll be stuck some crazy bleached color until we can fix it, or it will fade super fast and ill have to re-dye it all the time and then kill my hair. Anyone conquered their fears of bright shades??

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Thanks for sharing about short, curly hair. It says, “If you look good with your hair pulled back in a ponytail…you’ll look good with short hair.” But my tight ponytails and buns are nothing like the Jew-fro that will result if I go shoulder-length or shorter…

      • Lisa

        Have you tried getting a DevaChan haircut? I started going to a DevaChan stylist about 3 years ago, and it has really made all of the difference. Part of the reason I wasn’t that nervous to chop my super curly hair off was because I have a stylist who rocks really curly chin-length hair. (FWIW, Cally from Curls & Company in Chicago if you want to see.)

        I feel a bit like a weird evangelist for these type of cuts now, but it truly revolutionized the way I look at hair cuts. They cut your hair dry so they can gauge the spring factor and will show you how to care for your hair well. If you live in or near any metropolitan area, you should be able to find stylists off the Naturally Curly web-site.

        • kcaudad

          I will also vouch for Ouidad styling products and techniques for curly hair. Check out their website: http://www.ouidad.com/Curl-Talk
          I’ve used their gels and hair products for years, and it had made a huge difference (to the point of budgetting to buy the giant bottles a couple times a year!) My sister goes to a Ouidad certified salon/stylies, and it has changed the look and texture of her hair after years of thick, curly (white girl) froes!

        • Aubry

          That might be worth a try! I have a trusty friend who is a hair dresser and is so great and blunt with me. She keeps it real! but if I need a change or she is unavailable I will look that up. I just went on the website and they have a salon in my city.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          The last I looked for a Deva cut, I couldn’t get one in my area. Looks like that’s changed! Thanks!

      • Aubry

        Yes, curly bob is VERY different than straight or wavy hair bob. I attached a pic of my hair at it’s shortest (its’ actual length is maybe 2-3′ longer than shown when straightened). I have considered going even shorter – crazy curly head explosion in the best way. I’m just not convinced it would actually turn out how i want, and might just look terrible!

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        Yeah, that’s a very good point. I actually keep my hair super super short because it’s so curly. (This is my hair’s natural texture in the photo attached.) I’m lucky in that it’s super fine, so it usually responds well to heat, so I can straighten out my pixie pretty quick when I want to, but when it’s longer, that usually only lasts for a few hours before the curl creeps back in (embarrassing photos of that attached.)

        The last time I had chin length hair and wore it intentionally curly was in the fifth grade (photo also attached, because amusing.)

        • Maddie Eisenhart

          Um, I think i just uploaded the same photo four times. Way to go using Disqus, Maddie.

        • Jess

          Girl, you are ROCKING those overalls!

      • Meg Keene

        Girl. I almost had Maddie correct that. My hair is like… thick. And frizzy. And think. I could have a pixie (I don’t want it, but I could have it). But I can’t have any other kind of short hair unless I want to maintain the HELLLL out of it. Which I do not, thanks. Give me a bob and it looks like a triangle.

        Edited to add: I have the most insane cowlicks all over my head a person has ever seen, so I’m not sure I could go pixie either, without insanity. At least I like long hair??

    • Lisa

      In case you don’t see the comment I made to ElisabethJoanne: have you ever tried DevaChan cut? It totally revolutionized the way I look at cutting my hair and really helped me learn to work with it better! My hair was down near the bottom of my rib cage at our wedding and is now roughly shoulder length after the 8″ chop. Part of the reason I was able to do the chop with minimal fear was that I had this stylist who was so fantastic and had the same type of hair as I do so I knew that she *got* it.

    • kcaudad

      In collage, I had bright red hair for a while. It was cherry-red from the grocery store isle. I loved it! I would re-dye it every month or so, but I didn’t care because it was cheap to get another bottle of dye and have my roommates help me. I’ve wanted to go back to red ever since, only this time I’d have it done professionally at a salon.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      A note about lavender (which I did this year.) It fades SUPER fast. So as long as you’d be comfortable with having blonde hair after the fact, you can actually try it pretty risk free. Also, if you have dark hair like me and have to bleach it to get to the crazy color, it actually changes the texture of your hair. My once very curly hair is now more wavy-to-straight because I’ve chemically damaged it. It took a little getting used to; it’s easier to style in some ways and harder to style in others.

  • NW

    I rock a pixie cut and love it! I cut my hair off a week before my high school graduation and haven’t turned back in 10 years! After getting married last year (which I rocked my short ‘do for) I decided to live a little and shave portions and have gone even shorter since then. Getting married made me feel more confident about taking risks with my personal style.

  • Rose

    I have quite long hair and always have, but wow, pictures like this make me really get me into my semi-annual “I wonder if I want short hair” routine (it happens in the spring when it starts to get hot, and again as I start looking forward to months of wearing winter hats). They’re all so cute! I’m definitely waiting until after the wedding next fall, but then I’ll have to see. Anyone else who always had long hair cut theirs short?

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Meeeee! Soon enough the feeling of “I wonder if” turns into “I just need to know” and you’ll book yourself in.. I waited until my wedding was over too.

      Maddie is so right when she talks about it feeling empowering as hell. I am recommending dramatic haircuts to everyone who’ll listen at the moment…

      • Lauren from NH

        I think it’s the rule breaking that does it. I am very fond of rule breaking ;)

        • Maddie Eisenhart

          Rule breaking and shorter showers. :)

          • Rose

            Shorter showers I can totally get behind. Takes way to long to wash mine, and absolutely forever for it to dry.

    • Lisa

      I had never had my hair shorter than about 2″ below my shoulders until almost a month ago. I wanted to chop it last fall, but my stylist recommended waiting until after my wedding to be sure that I had the length I wanted for the day. (In the meantime she cut off 4″ to placate me.) I absolutely LOVE the short hair, and I’ve had extra long hair for most of my life. I’d definitely give it a try after your wedding or whenever you feel it’s right. :)

      • Rose

        I’m definitely waiting until after the wedding. I’m really rather proud of my hair, it’s down past my hips at this point. My general feeling is that when it looks good it looks really really good (hence wanting it at the wedding–I definitely want to show off), but the everyday braid that always ends up kind of messy is getting old. So maybe another year, and then I’ll see.

    • Sarah E

      That routine happens for me every 3-4 years. Or rather, I give in every 3-4 years. I’ve cut all my hair off 4 or 5 times now, dating from 5th grade to present. Hair grows back! Plus, when I have long hair, I start noticing, lusting after short haircuts and their benefits. Then when I have short hair, I long for a ponytail.

      Short hair is great in the summer, especially if it’s short enough to be off your neck! Though it is strange to be very hot and NOT have that gratifying pull-hair-back moment. I was less thrilled with short hair in the winter, because I had a style that needed to be “done,” and hat hair messed it up. But earmuffs came to the rescue and all was well :-)

  • K.

    My fiance desperately wants me to cut my hair after the wedding (he thinks short hair is super sexy, but understands my desire for a traditional updo). The only thing stopping me is my mom’s voice in my head, telling me that I’ll look less feminine and beautiful if I don’t have super long hair.


    It’s obvious what I’ll need to do. :D


    • vegankitchendiaries

      Imagine me “Arsenio-Whooping” for you right now, girl.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      The funny thing is I feel so much more feminine with my short hair. It might be because I have a super curvy body, which just ends up being weighed down by all that hair. So when I go short, I pile on ALL the girly stuff: earrings, makeup, dresses, you name it. Or maybe it’s just because you can see my face? Who knows. Anyway, whooping it up with vegankitchendiaries right now. Snip snip indeed. :)

      • K.

        Yes, I’m curvy too and sometimes I feel like they get lost in my mass of thick long hair. I feel like I’ll be so much freer feeling once my hair gets gone, and how is that not beautiful and feminine??

        (Not that feminine is the end-all, be-all, but I am a girly-girl.)

      • Lindsay

        even as a slightly-less-curvy-bordering-on-boyish lady, i feel more pretty and feminine with short hair! i think it’s because it makes me eyes and other facial features really pop.

        • Kayla

          Me too! As a fellow less-curvy-bordering-on-boyish lady, my eyes and lips look way bigger when I have short hair, and I think that reads as much more feminine.

          It’s weird to me how often women with really long, unflattering hair tell me they’re afraid to cut their hair short because it might look bad. In my head I’m like, “But honey! It looks so bad already! At least you’d have a shot at it looking good!”

          But I would never ever say that out loud to a person.

  • vegankitchendiaries

    Killer photo round up, Maddie! Nadia Alboulhosn is such a freakin’ goddess…

  • Sarah E

    I have cut all my hair off a regular intervals throughout my young life. For my most recent pixie (now long since past), I had it cut originally by my long-time stylist that I loved and trusted. A month later, my partner and I moved halfway across the country. I found a new stylist by stopping the first woman with kick-ass hair on the street and saying something to the effect of “Your hair is awesome and I just moved here. Could you tell me where you had it done?”

    Always look for the folks with kick-ass cuts for recommendations on stylists. Even if they are strangers, or near strangers (like the barista who knows your drink but not your name), they are usually happy to give a great recommendation for their person.

  • kcaudad

    Just came here to say that I’ve had my hair cut like Yesenia’s since last year’s posts, and have finally loved it! Thanks to my great stylist and Yesenia for the inspiration. Guess I’m finally cool with my ‘lob’ of messy curls!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Did Yesenia go short and I missed it?? She has the *raddest* hair.

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        Man, her hair wins so much. She’s got a lob herself right now, and it’s super cute. Wavy and awesome.

  • Lisa

    Totally did this a few weeks ago three days after our wedding, and I love my new hair!!

    A tip I learned: my stylist recommended that we do about 8 really small ponytails across the back instead of one large tail because the length would be more even and she could maintain a bit more of the length. This was really great because I was able to maintain a little more of the length (mine’s about shoulder length now), which made the chop a little less scary.

  • Kelsey

    Aw man, the Florence Henderson is the bane of my damn existence. Two things that really help me with the maintenance thing:

    1) Once you’re past the intial, emotional short hair panic thing, I have my hair gal cut it a little shorter than ideal when she does a full cut, because it does grow in so fast, it looks just how I like it four days later.
    2) Eyebrow maintenance. If you’re not sure if you like your short haircut- get your eyebrows done and see what you think. The two are very closely related for me!

    • vegankitchendiaries


    • Maddie Eisenhart

      EYEBROWS. I’d like to give a major shoutout to my ladies at European Wax Center. You can get a yearlong unlimited pass for like $220, and I end up going every two weeks or so as a result. (I’ve got grampa eyebrows without.) Best thing ever, and it’s a national chain.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Seriously?? That’s like an unlimited Olive Garden pass for your brows!!!

        • I heart this comment so much.

  • HannahESmith

    I did this last year! Such a great feeling to cut all that hair off post-wedding.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Cute as hell!

      • HannahESmith

        Thank you! It grew out very well too. An a-line is a great style for someone who isn’t sure they want to have short hair forever.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      LOVE IT. Especially your bangs.

    • Sarah E

      What a great cut!! Love love love.

    • Meg Keene


    • Pantene Pro-V

      Beautiful! Thank you so much for donating!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Anyone dealt with scalp psoriasis? I’m embarrassed to go a salon because my head is so gross with sebum and flakes.

    • mimi

      Never dealt with it myself, but a stylist or a dermatologist might be able to give you some tips or treatments for it.

    • InTheBurbs

      Yep, for my entire life and almost every stylist I’ve worked with has been super cool about working with me to find the best cut and color for me – ie: something that doesn’t fry my scalp. I’ve shared what is happening during the consultation. Good luck!

  • Amy

    Woo! This is making me even more excited to chop my tresses. I’ve been growing mine since last March’s PBL posts, and now that I’m a month past our wedding, I can’t wait to go short again and send my hair in.

  • EllaY

    I love this article so much!! Pinned every.single.image. Thank you! I find when cutting my hair short that bringing my Pinterest boards of favorite styles helps so much. What you might see as “layers” looks very sleek to a stylist or vice versa. Best to come with visual aids!

  • mimi

    For the past 10 years, my hair (fine, wavy/curly) has basically stayed between jaw length and just past shoulder length. I’ve been debating about chopping it off. Right now it’s about shoulder length when dry, so not long by any means, but longish for me. I love how it looks when I put it up (especially in the first style pictured here http://www.refinery29.com/hairstyles-fine-hair#slide) , but I don’t always love it when it’s down, so maybe I’ll just take the plunge sometime soon…

  • Annie

    I want to start a club called Cool Girls with Short Hair. Short hair rocks! I’ve had a bob for the last 5+ years and really dig it. When I was wedding planning, at first I thought I should grow it out so I could “do something” with it. Then I realized that I’m most myself with short hair–why grow it out just to put it up? I had my bob plus a fun jewel-y headband and called it a day.

  • EF

    I’m a regularly very very short haired person, and I’ve gotta say the 6 week maintenance is…super optimistic. Maybe my hair just grows wicked fast, but I’m in there every 3 weeks for a cut. But again, mine’s really short, it’s a ‘male’ cut (though I firmly believe that hair is hair and gender-spectrum-blind) and 3 weeks is pretty normal for a lot of guys.

  • KestrelLowing

    Oh man guys, you might just push me over the edge.

    I’ve had the exact same haircut since I was about 5 years old. As long as it would grow, with bangs. (the style of bangs is now sideswept, but for most of my life, it was straight across). Thing is, my hair will never actually get to the length I really want (aka, waist length), and I can only grow it to about bra-strap length before it starts breaking off (super, super fine hairs).

    But then, of all things, I saw Taylor Swift’s music video for Shake it Off where she’s got the long bob. Super, super, super cute, and maybe even doable with my naturally wavy hair. So I’ve seriously been considering just taking the plunge. And taking off 8 inches would still let me french braid my hair, although the remaining braid would be so tiny!

    But in a way it feels so cliche – the post wedding haircut (we got married about 7 weeks ago). And my sister just got her hair cut shorter too… Still, if it being ‘too common is the issue, that’s pathetic. I’ve never been a hipster, and I’m not about to start now!

  • Alice

    Anyone have experience going short with very thick, very frizzy, curly-wavy hair? I haven’t had short hair since I was three years old and it hadn’t grown out. My dad is a curly-top and my mom is more wavy and very thick, and I’m somewhere in between. I never see pictures of hair like mine, not sure if there is some secret I haven’t learned, or if it really just is more unmanageable than normal people’s. So anyway, I’ve always thought about going short, but am worried about getting a fro or an unmanageable rat’s nest. Even the nicest salon curling creams, gels, and serums leave me with a mass of frizz. Anyone tried this and have an idea of how to style or what it would do? My one rule is that I won’t blow dry (makes my hair go poof even with a diffuser, and also takes forever with my thick hair).

    • Sarah

      I’m a bit late here but hopefully this might help you! I have red curly hair which sounds similar to yours, which for most of my life has been short. For about the past five years I had my hair cut similar to this- http://tinyurl.com/kw5gw4d

      Since my hair is so think, my hairdresser talked me into having an undercut with it to take out some of the bulk just at the back, which was scary at first but felt amazing! You couldn’t really see it was shaved (which for me was important- I’m more conservative than hipster!) as it was covered by the hair above the shaved section.
      My trick to styling so you don’t get crazy frizz is to style when wet and let it air dry.. I hate hairdryers and because it was short and winter is mild here it isn’t too problematic. I wet my hair every morning in the shower, remove excess moisture by squeezing gently with a microfiber towel, then apply leave in conditioner and curling mousse, and style by twisting small sections to make ringlets. Once it’s fully dry and the mousse had hardened, I gently scrunch my hair to make it a bit softer looking. Personally I don’t mind it being a little ‘crunchy’ because this was the only way I could make my hair hold all day frizz free!

      Also since August I’ve started trying to follow the curly girl method, which slowly seems to be improving the health of my hair and making it more curly and less frizzy. Basically I’ve stopped shampooing and cleanse just with sulfate and silicone free conditioner, and use amicrofiber towel rather than a regular one. Now that I’ve been doing this routine for awhile it takes me about 10 min after I get out of the shower, which can be a little annoying but generally worth it for me to feel confident about my appearance. Hope this is useful :-)

  • Michelle Van Engen

    I’m so glad you’re doing this again! I was just researching where I could donate my hair, and Pantene Beautiful Lengths has the shortest length requirement. My hair isn’t that long. I’m going to have to go very short. Question: should I get a trim now for split ends, or just do that when I go in to donate it?

  • amalance

    Great timing! I got married a month ago and have been counting down the days until I can chop this off into a long bob (I refuse to say “lob”).

  • DM

    I am a little late to this party- I buzzed my head about a 1.5 years ago and donated it to Pantene’s Beautiful Length’s. Woot for short hair done care. Means my hair will be short for our wedding which is not how I pictured things but I am proud of my reasons. Pictures. =)

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      <3 <3

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  • Bdubs

    Oh my good golly, I want more photos of the model in photo 5 from the top! What does her rocking blonde hair look like hands-free? I am totally in love with her style and her hair looks fab!

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  • dinesh kumar

    You only need to prepare scissors, two hair tie, floor coating paper and trash cans, two mirrors, and hair clamp tool. Curious how? Let’s watch the following video. this is really interesting facts

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  • Donna Oliver

    Good work! Keep it up. Also, check these pixie hairstyles for everyday look http://urbanhighfashion.com/pixie-haircut-ideas/