Hair today, gone tomorrow
May 28, 2014 1:43 PM   Subscribe

What hairstyle should I get? I’m looking for a haircut that’s somewhere between femme and androgynous, good for my face shape, easy to maintain, and possibly involving shaved sides.

I’m an East Asian female in her early 20s with a longish, thin face and high cheekbones. I don’t wear glasses. My current hair is pretty long, almost halfway to my elbow, and slightly curly/wavy. It’s parted slightly to the side, with no bangs. I used to have a version of this (shoulder-length with perm) and was very happy with it, but it grew out. My hair's black and I’m not interested in coloring it.

Things that are pretty necessary:

- The new hairstyle needs to be easy to maintain, so a bob/pixie cut is out (I don’t know how to cut my own hair and won’t have time) and straight hair might be out (my hair is naturally almost straight, but still needs to be straightened).
- It needs to be not super femme/cute, so long and/or very curly hair is out.
- No bangs.

Things that would be nice to have:

- I like the idea of shaved sides or one shaved side. I’m not brave enough to go all the way though, since my family is somewhat conservative and I work in academia. Something like this (one, two) would be perfect, if I could flip the hair over and hide it. Does that have a name? I like this too.
- I’m interested in a more androgynous/masculine cut like this but I’m probably not brave enough for that.
- I like hair with volume, since it balances out my longer face and general skinniness/tallness.
- I'm open to styles besides the two I linked.

I'm not comfortable with posting pictures publicly, but if you think they'd help, ping me:
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The name of the partial shave side is an "undercut". But I think you should try the Halle Berry cut! Be brave! Hair grows back.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:01 PM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

The very first thing I thought upon seeing your first paragraph there was to do what Anya from Project Runway has. She's got some bombass hair and always looks laid back+cool+fashionable.

I usually tell people to do short hair like your Hally Berry cut there because that's what I like personally for myself, but from your description of yourself I think the long hair undercut would be really neat.

However, if you do want to try out the androgynous thing, now is a good time. It's a pretty trendy cut and is not going to put a giant PROBABLY MAYBE A LESBIAN OR DUDE OR SOMETHING sign over your head the way it would have 10-15 years ago (which is when I first cut my hair short). So if that's the angle you're worried about re: the being brave thing, don't worry about it.
posted by phunniemee at 2:09 PM on May 28, 2014

Yes, echoing phunniemee, now's absolutely the time. Dig around on Pinterest for a ton of gorgeous undercuts and similar.

That said, my hair's fine and wavy, not too dissimilar to yours, and last year I went from to-my-elbows to the hip/queerish undercut you speak of. It looked... not so great, and largely I think this is because those kinds of cuts demand to be styled every day. I just don't have the fortitude for daily fussings with, and didn't quite realize I'd need to commit to that in order to look good (and not just awkwardly butch--at least on me, an undercut settles on my head in a way that makes me look very dorky older lesbian from the nineties). I've downgraded to a un-femme pixie cut and am much happier at least because it's understated and doesn't demand constant attention, though it's also not what I'm most fond of. This all just as a warning regarding those so-sexy-in-pictures undercuts! In my twenties I had innumerable chin-length versions of your shoulder-length-with-perm pic linked above (plus layers to add in body, minus the perm), and I think that's ultimately what I'll end up with again--partly because it's flattering and very able to code switch between queer and mainstream, and partly because it's dead simple to maintain on your own in the mirror with a pair of scissors. Anyway, I'll keep my eye on this thread self-interestedly!
posted by tapir-whorf at 2:28 PM on May 28, 2014

My favourite haircut was based off one of the women in Nina Sky; it is most clear in the Major Laser video Keep it going louder. (I never was able to find a picture of Nicole that captured it so I showed the video on my iPhone to my stylist, lol). It had shaved sides but looked very professional the way it was cut and styled. My mother doesn't like crazy haircuts either, shaving my head bald cured her of that since now any hair is an improvement.
posted by saucysault at 4:21 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm a short hair fanatic and tend to think every woman should try it at least once. My only caution is, what's your definition of "easy to maintain"? My "androgynous" pixie needs to be cut every six weeks to look good, and I wake up every day with hilarious cowlicks that must be tamed. It also definitely looks best with product in it, especially when I want to style it like this. Does that sound like a level of maintenance you can/want to handle?

Similarly, undercuts need maintenance not to look weird, and (as I've learned from my bestie who is doing it right now) arduous to grow out. Just things to keep in mind.
posted by mostlymartha at 5:15 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

About 20 years ago, I did this to my hair. It is never more than two inches long now but I guarantee you, I never feel sexier than when my head is shaved. Nothing to hide. All me. I'd hardly call anything about Halle Berry androgynous but I think her cut is amazing for all face shapes and more than fits your criteria. Do it. (Picture is for illustrative purposes only. That's not me.)
posted by nubianinthedesert at 8:08 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you want a style that does not require regular visits to a stylist to maintain I am not convinced an undercut style would be much better than a bob or pixie.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:10 AM on May 29, 2014

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