I did the Lady Di 'do in the '80s.
October 9, 2009 9:26 AM   Subscribe

How can I ensure that my short, layered haircut doesn't feather?

I got my hair cut short. My hair is pretty fine but there's lots of it and there's a natural wave in it. It's layered all over with longer layers in front, sort of with side-swept bangs that I can almost put behind my ears. It's basically a shag but I've realized that unless I'm careful, it has a tendency to "feather" on the sides and I would like to avoid that. I believe the stylist used a razor to cut in the layers.

I don't blow dry my hair and do not want to start. It's been a while since I used a lot of hair products but it seems like that's key to keeping this style looking shaggy and piece-y, right? For now I'm shampooing about once a week and just rinsing and/or conditioning about 3 other times per week. I get out of the shower, towel dry my hair, run a big handful of mousse (Herbal Essence Totally Twisted) and then scrunch it a lot as it dries. When it's dry, I'll often use a cream styler - my stylist suggested Short Sexy Hair - Slept In Texture Cream and that seems to work pretty well. I end up scrunching up my hair frequently during the day to keep it lifted off the crown of my head and and the strands in a more vertical configuration but the wave and weight of my hair tends to want to flatten and feather it against the sides of my head. This, I do not like.

Are there other tricks to keeping my hair looking more shaggy and less Lady Di?
posted by otherwordlyglow to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Without blow drying it or using a flattening iron I don't think much unfortunately. If there is a natural wave then it will do what it want. I have naturally wavy/curly hair and it has been my experience that product and scrunching will only take you so far in the quest for hair that goes the way you want. After that you need to apply heat.
posted by gwenlister at 11:01 AM on October 9, 2009

Response by poster: I'd much rather use a flattening iron and have a really good one. I was hoping by cutting my hair short, I could eliminate the flat iron but it really does seem to be that contrary to what everyone who has seen me with my new haircut has said, short hair is NOT less work.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:05 AM on October 9, 2009

Not a stylist, but I have hair like yours. When it's shorter, it becomes impossible because there's less weight pulling down the waviness. Short or long, I *have* to use heat if I want to avoid the scariness. BUT I lessen it a little by letting it dry halfway on its own. Then I blow dry the rest and either use a flat iron or curling iron depending on whether I want straight hair or manageable curls.
posted by katillathehun at 11:15 AM on October 9, 2009

Your hair sounds a lot like mine: fine, lots of it, with a wave. Short hair is way more work for me, which is why I'm growing mine out! When it's shorter than ponytail-length, I've never been able to get away without blowdrying. The 1970s and early 1980s were the glory days for my hair.

So, no concrete advice to offer, but will be watching to see what others say.
posted by chez shoes at 11:15 AM on October 9, 2009

short hair is NOT less work.

Oh hell, no. It sounds like we have fairly similar hair, and the easiest hairstyle I ever had was shoulder-blade length, because I just wore it up all the time. There's nothing easier, but I eventually got bored.

Sounds like a flattening iron is going to be the way to go. I can never get my hair to stay straight without one, personally. If I just blow dry it straight, it's feathering within hours. Heat + product is the only way I get any sort of cooperation out of it.
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:18 AM on October 9, 2009

I have crazy thick, coarse hair, so I can't relate to specific styling tips, but I suggest that you quit touching your hair once it's styled. That will cut down on frizz or weirdness in the wave.
posted by runningwithscissors at 11:32 AM on October 9, 2009

Response by poster: Just to be clear, I don't mind the wave at all and don't really want it to be straight. I just don't want it to be feathering on the sides. Something like this (yeah I'm a girl) though there are probably a bit more layers in my cut or really more like this with slightly longer bangs.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:50 AM on October 9, 2009

Yeah, no, unless you go pixie short, long hair is less effort than short hair.

Why don't you do what I do and shower in the evening and then when you get up in the morning it is dry so all you have to do is flatten? It saves the blow dry time.
posted by gwenlister at 11:51 AM on October 9, 2009

Response by poster: Wait what NSF? It's just a dude with a shag, isn't it???? I just checked it again and it's just a smiling face with a haircut.....I dunno what to say but I'm sorry if it doesn't work. Not my intention.

Actually I do most often shower at night but with this haircut that just means that when I wake up, I have Beaker from the Muppet's hairdo so then I dampen, apply products, tousle, and go.

And really, touching it doesn't make it worse.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 12:00 PM on October 9, 2009

I fixed the image, yeah it was a totally nsfw image.
posted by jessamyn at 12:29 PM on October 9, 2009

Short hair is definitely more work.

I used to have very short hair, and my hair is also very fine, although it's stick straight. To keep it looking piece-y and shaggy, I only washed it once a week, with shampoo only, and just rinsed the other days. I didn't use conditioner at all, because I found that made it more fly-away. I also used a mix of Bumble & bumble products, which are pricey but great. I found that the styling wax mixed with a bit of the sumotech, brilliantine, or grooming creme worked the best, depending on if I was going for spiky, piece-y, or professional.
posted by min at 1:37 PM on October 9, 2009

I use CHI styling paste on my short, wavy hair. You can see the results in my profile when I blowdry it up (also, crappy cellphone pic is crappy).
posted by desjardins at 9:40 AM on October 10, 2009

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