Hairfilter - Young woman with no clue needs hairstyle!
July 13, 2014 7:12 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting my haircut. I don't want to say "just trim it and leave it the way it is". I also do no not know what I want, and I have some anxieties that I want to try and ignore. Can you help me?

So I have hair about an inch past my back, that I almost always wear up. I don't like to fuss with it, products confuse me and I don't care enough to learn (I've attempted it, it's no good), and I really really prefer as little work as possible. My hair is probably average thickness, and the only other thing I can think of is that when it's short it likes to wave just a little bit, but I'm willing to straighten it if it is short.

Here's a pic up, here's down.

I work in a very casual office, in a call center, but I'm moving up the management ladder slowly (yay promotion!). I can't think of anything that would be a dealbreaker hair-wise though.

Caveat: I'm deathly terrified of having short hair. I'm afraid I'll look like a guy. I've been told this is silly. Please ignore my anxiety and offer short hair if you think it'd look good. I've learned that if I'm anxious I should ignore the anxiety and do it anyway.

Can you toss out ideas, pictures, recommendations, do's and don'ts? I'm probably just going to either give this thread to my hairdresser (partner's mom, so that's not too weird) or have someone else do the picking.

Thanks in advance, I've been going through hair threads all day and you all do not disappoint!
posted by trogdole to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My first thought was that something short and gamine would be so lovely on you!

I just cut my hair from mid-back to short and it is nothing short of a revelation. I can even stagger out for brunch with day-old hair which is something I was never able to pull off before without looking grungy.
posted by mochapickle at 7:23 PM on July 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

You kind of have a Lizzy Caplan look to me and she looks super cute with this do. I think it would great on you!
posted by greta simone at 7:28 PM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

You and I have similar hair and hair philosophies. I've had great success with what my stylist calls a "shattered bob" or "textured bob". She cuts it shorter in the back, with the front pieces a little past my chin and no bangs. I can tuck it behind my ears, pin it back, whatever. It also works with the natural (and unpredictable) waves in my hair and makes them look kind of cute-messy.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 7:29 PM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I might disappoint, because the long and the short of it is, a mid-length layered style is by far the lowest-investment / highest-reward cut for meeting conventional femininity norms as well as convenience criteria.

With short hair, you'll need more product to control the wave, or else frequent cuts (which imo are a pain). At mid-length, gravity helps weigh down the wave, so less product is required, and you can go longer between cuts

Also, with short hair, there is always, always an awkward growing-out stage that feels twice as long as it is. This can trap people into short hair (which itself can be great) when they no longer want it (not so great).

Mid-length hair is also way more versatile than short hair.

So I'd stick, fundamentally, to a basic layered mid-length cut, but maybe get the stylist to tweak things (bangs and topmost layers, usually) to be more or less fashiony as per your preference.

That said, a long bob, which I think is still kind of having a moment, would tick both convenience and femme boxes and give you the feeling of change you're after. And, I think it'd look great on you!

(You kind of have one now, really. Practically speaking I mean cutting ~2" of length, probably, and getting a bit of shaping.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:30 PM on July 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

I also think you would look lovely with a short hairstyle! However, even though a lot of people love short hair for its ease of wear, I found short hair a lot more work. This will depend on the type of hair you have and whether you have weird cowlicks. A short haircut also requires more regular maintenance.

What about a classic straight-edge bob? You can go as short or as long as you like, and it looks nice both straightened and with some wave. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can try some asymmetry.
posted by Rora at 7:30 PM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've had short, shattered bobs for the past couple of years now (with varying periods of slightly awkward growing out, but it hasn't looked bad at all). I've been to some stylists who've done a kind of modified pixie -- shorter in the back, but more layered toward the front.

If you don't want to spend a lot of time styling your hair in the mornings, tell her that. There are plenty of haircuts that have the structure built into them and just become wash and wear (mine, I mostly just have to blow-dry my bangs. My hair is super wavy and I like it like that, though).

Also, remember: Hair grows. Bad haircuts are a bummer, yeah, but they don't last forever. I think you'll look fab with short hair, though, and I think you'll find it's much less work than you expect. Good luck!
posted by darksong at 8:02 PM on July 13, 2014

As someone with really short hair I will attest that while it is almost no work on a day to day basis, I have to get haircuts on a monthly basis (the shaved sides are maintained at home, thank gods). It's low/no maintenance between haircuts, but I *have* to go monthly or it makes me crazy.

Good luck finding something you love!!
posted by bibliogrrl at 8:07 PM on July 13, 2014

I think shaping it would look great--short hair is less work everyday, but you have to keep up with the cut. I think some holding product (I use some Redken wax stuff) would help.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:54 PM on July 13, 2014

I have hair similar to yours, maybe curlier (depending on where the wave starts) and with an inverted bob my hair did that one exact thing each and every day. It was great. The wave in my hair starts around my chin, and with longer hair and a good haircut will form thick quarter-sized ringlets... but it's a lot of work and everything being "just right". The cold hard truth (I think) is that I like the idea of long hair, and I like it on other people, but now that it's longer I wear it in a ponytail or messy bun 95% of the time.... which seems pointless. Plus, it takes forever to dry! I'm getting the itch to cut my hair again, and am thinking about this hair cut - another inverted choppy bob thing. =)
posted by jrobin276 at 9:28 PM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you'll pardon the reddit link and the unfortunate name, the /r/shorthairedhotties board will probably have a bunch of ideas for you (and is usually SFW)
posted by softlord at 9:34 PM on July 13, 2014

You're not going to look like a guy. Stylists are very good about making sure that women asking for short cuts don't come out looking masculine -- and I say that as someone who'd rather they didn't. If it's really short (say, short enough you can't run your fingers through the back), every once in a while someone who only sees you from behind might think you're a dude, but a little bit of product goes a long way toward preventing that. Your partner's mom should be able to tell you exactly what to get, and I promise all you'll have to do is smear it in. Go ahead and cut your hair! You're adorable and I think it'd look great for all the same reasons it looks nice up.
posted by teremala at 9:43 PM on July 13, 2014

I have pretty similar hair (texture + slight tendency to wave) and I've been pretty happy with my latest cut, which is a slightly a-line long bob-- longer in the front, slightly shorter in the back, some layers. My hairdresser talked me into bangs, which I don't love and which I don't think really work with the cut since it goes from short in the back to longer in the front and then... short bangs? which seems odd.

Anyway, what I most want to say is that I got a hot air brush and it has been revolutionary for styling and being happier wearing my hair down. It is so much easier to dry and smooth my hair now! I usually hit it with a regular dryer for a bit and then switch to the hot air brush, paying particular attention to the front. You can pull your hair tight enough to take out most of the wave, or leave it looser. You can also turn your hair under. Super super easy. I use a heat protector which is also super easy-- just mist it on before applying heat, and it will help with smoothing and shine, too.
posted by charmcityblues at 12:19 AM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just want to advise against a pixie cut unless it is something that you have ALWAYS wanted.

I wanted one for years, and finally took the plunge. It looked great. I had it short like that for about 5 years. I was super into the mod look.

But sometimes I would try a new hairdresser and get a masculine cut on accident, and some people's hair naturally lays nicely around the neck, but mine didn't and it constantly annoyed me and I would need it trimmed every 3-4 weeks.

So, I loved it, and it was easy, but sometimes it could be a pain.

But my style changed when I got into my 30's.

And its taken 2 YEARS to grow out and its only now at my shoulders!!!!

I'm glad I did it, because I loved it, but WOW did it take forever to grow back.
posted by misspony at 2:03 AM on July 14, 2014

I had a lot of anxiety the first time I went super short and it ended up being one of the best things I ever did. Since then I've gone from pretty long to very short a few times now and it's been worth it every time. Yeah, short hair does require more trips to the hairdresser and yeah, it's awesome that you can go from pre-Raphaelite curls to Audrey Hepburn gamine in a few minutes, but the reverse process is several years in the making.

I love the way short hair feels (it's really great) and on me it's frankly a lot more interesting and a lot less effort than the long hair. So, I guess you could count me into the "cut it short if it's something you're curious about" camp. Hair, even hair that grows as slow as mine, does grow back.
posted by thivaia at 7:07 AM on July 14, 2014

I think you're a lovely woman and that your hair looks pretty great either way. Keep putting it up to look professional, and you can blow it dry and use some hairspray if you want to wear it down.

Ask your partner's mom to teach you how to French Braid your hair or to do a chignon.

But I'm sorry with that face and those eyes...your hair up and out of the way is just devestatingly elegant on you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:31 AM on July 14, 2014

I just love your hair the way it is now. If you don't though a medium length textured bob is nice.
posted by SyraCarol at 3:35 PM on July 14, 2014

So I may have asked this question prematurely. I went with just a trim, and I'm actually quite glad. My hair is cute and I actually really like it for once, why change it! Thanks everyone for you suggestions. I'm definitely going to try a shattered bob when I get bored of my current look.
posted by trogdole at 7:23 PM on July 17, 2014

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