Associated Press

By Stephanie Nolasco


Lopping your locks can be intimidating, but stylists say there's no need to be nervous about trying a shorter 'do.

“Changing your hair can be one of the best ways to liberate yourself and to really feel like a new person,” says Ryan Stone, hairstylist at Ted Gibson salon in New York City. “From my personal experience as a hairstylist, I see many women who are fascinated with short hairstyles, but are terrified to make the change. (But) you should never be afraid to change your hair because the best thing about hair is that it will always grow back.”

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Ready to make the plunge? Find out some tips on how to obtain the best short haircut for you from well renowned stylists, as well as which looks are most popular this year:

Determine Your Face Shape

Before chopping away, it’s important to determine your face shape, which will help you decide which style will be most flattering. “The best way to do so is to pull all the hair away from your face and take a picture of yourself without makeup,” says Nicole Hartmann, senior stylist at Prive Los Angeles. Once you’ve determined your shape, head to a stylist that specializes in short haircuts. “Don’t just walk into a salon without doing some research,” she says. “Bring pictures of short hair you like and ones you don’t to eliminate any confusion.”

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If You Have a Long Face

For those with long faces, the key is adding width. “A heavy fringe can give you a sharper look,” says New York City-based stylist Angelo David of Angelo David Salon. “Textured short haircuts, or cuts with layers around the cheekbone area, can help open up the face." David also suggests adding bangs to minimize the length of a long face for a sleeker finish.

If You Have a Round Face

Stay away from super sleek looks and instead, get creative with a hairstyle that's popular during the spring and summer seasons. "Explore creating subtle waves and body to minimize the roundness of the face,” David says.

If You Have a Square Face

Most short cuts work for square faces. The key is not emphasizing an already strong jaw line. “Short haircuts, such as graduated layers, can accentuate the face, without highlighting your strong jaw line or other strong features,” says David. Look for a cut that ends at the jaw line.

If You Have a Heart-Shaped Face

Ask your stylist to create blunt bangs, which will give you more bang for your buck. “Blunt bangs look best on people with heart-shaped faces because they frame the face and accentuate the cheekbones,” explains senior stylist Missy Ambrosini at Pennsylvania-based Giovanni & Pileggi salon. “Bangs are also great for making women look younger and covering up lines and wrinkles.”

If You Have an Oval Face

Those with oval-shaped faces can diminish large foreheads with a classic style that has been worn by Hollywood stars for decades. Simply sweep the bangs to the opposite side of your face, creating a deep side part.

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Go Short in Stages

Consider a less dramatic look by taking the short hair plunge in small stages. Not only will this give you time to get used to your new look, but if you discover that short hair is not quite for you, it won’t take as long to grow it back. “If you have a square face or a larger forehead, make sure you leave face framing pieces and a longer fringe,” says Hollywood-based stylist Janine Jarman. “Round faces need to have more of a square shaped cut to create balance.” Also, don’t forget to ask your stylist for which hair products will work best for your hair, as this will make the transition easier to handle if your mane always looks its best.

The Carey

The leading lady of “The Great Gatsby” is having a major hair moment. Raphael Reboh, founder and stylist at Femme Coiffure Hair Spa in Miami Beach, says actress Carey Mulligan’s pixie shag with long layers is a popular look this season and works best for those with oval or round shaped faces. “Ask for a pixie with a shaggy bang and sides,” says Reboh. “The longest length should not exceed the top of an earring/ear piercing.” He also reveals this style is ideal for those with fine hair featuring less texture. “It will literally dry itself in less than 30 minutes,” says Reboh.

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The Karlie

Reboh reveals another sought-after look for this year is model Karlie Kloss’ hair. He describes it as another variation of the longer bob or “lob,” with layers touching the nape of the neck with long-layered bangs. Ladies with oval, round or heart-shaped faces will benefit from this short style. “It elongates and slims a round face,” Reboth explains. “It’s also ideal for heart-shaped faces as the volume on the sides helps fill in hollow cheeks. You can either rock it curly or wavy for a ‘20s inspired bob or pin-straight for a more elegant appearance. 

The Anne

Reboh says Hathaway's cut is perfect for the summer but warns that it requires more maintenance and works best for those with fine hair. “The trick is not to exaggerate any strong features, such as sharp cheekbones or a wide chin,” says Reboh. If you’re daring enough, ask for a tailored pixie with layered bangs that are ½ inch from the eyebrows.