Long hair, don't care; jk I care way too much
August 22, 2014 11:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm having one of my sporadic SOMETHING MUST BE DONE frenzies and booked a haircut for the day after tomorrow but still haven't decided exactly what to do. I need help dialing it in! I have: A (very) round face, thick and straight Asian hair, length but a desire to go short, bangs that are overgrown but not enough to be not-bangs. I want: Killer shorter hair that feels modern and sleek and does not look stupid on me. GO.

My hair has been to my waist, cropped, and everything in between. It grows absurdly fast so I'm not especially attached to it and like starting over once in a while. Right now it's to my armpits and I'm bored, so I'm thinking I want to bob it again. But! I need help deciding what specific style 1) is what I want—modern and sophisticated and ideally a tiny bit edgy; and 2) will look that way on me.

Pictures for context!
Tonight. It looks way more textured than it really is because it's been up all day, but you can see that some old layers are growing out and my bangs are exactly the most awkward length.
Tonight, pulled straight back for a better sense of face shape (super round) and features (soft and undefined).
Heavy bang and long layers, early this year. Flatironed straight and smooth but overall the usual texture is closer to this photo than the first one.
Side parted crop, late 2012 or so. I loved having hair this short but perversely I'm pretty sure it only worked because I was sick and my face was thinner than it can sustainably be under normal circumstances.

1) Haircuts I like: So far my favorite cut reference is this sassy wedge with a funny longer nape. I also like a classic blunt bob but I mean looking good on Rihanna is not a meaningful predictor of real-world performance. My perfect haircut would look very fresh, is sleek/severe enough to feel a little dramatic, and reads as chic rather than cute. Basically I want the hair equivalent of a black Jil Sander dress. I feel like I am missing a whole universe of short haircuts, bob or not, that might fit this definition—any ideas? I am not interested in cutting shorter than my chin, shaving anything above my earlobes, gratuitous asymmetry, or anything tousled/choppy/piecey.

2) Haircuts that will look good on me: I'm pretty worried that neither of the above mentioned cuts will suit me and would love some hive mind advice I don't care about sticking only to the "right" cuts for round faces and soft features but also don't want to look like Kim Jong Un or like I'm three years old with a bowl cut again. Cuts need to work with my extremely thick hair, which tends to mushroom up as it gets shorter/lighter if it isn't aggressively thinned, and my big head, which inflates volume to a comic degree (the last time I had a bob stacked cuts were trendy and all those short layers made me look like a candy apple). If it helps, I'm short (5'2") and sturdyish—I'm small overall but it's like a solid, curvy small. Finally, I know that the baby face and wee-ness skew assumptions about me toward young and cute and earnest regardless of presentation or impact; I'm always trying to find a way to look my actual age (31) and style (generally resolute and intense and reckon-worthy). Maybe the exact right haircut is the key!

So—minimalist chic short hair for the babyfaced. Please hit me with your suggestions and ideas—my mopey teenager long hair and I thank you!
posted by peachfuzz to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Auuugh! All those styles are super cute on you! You don't gave a very round face at all btw. However, I am not feeling either of those cuts you linked to. I think the wedge feels super dated and the blunt bob risks being mushroom as heck. I agree on maybe not going for too choppy or tousled, it can read a bit k-pop which will skew younger again. But if you aren't going shorter than your chin then there's really only variants on a bob, and with thick straight hair that can quickly end up kinda triangle shaped.

I think this is a nice adult cut, but it looks from your tags that you already know what you want. You can obviously pull off the severe bangs, but it reads more indy musician or coffeehouse writer than little-black-dress for me. This is short-styled chic for me, but I gather it's huge amounts of maintenance. If the "not above your chin" is because of face-roundness concerns, drop that thought! I followed that for ages (actual fatface, double chin) before recently throwing caution to the wind, going shorter, and boom, I look ossum! Disclaimer: I know nothing, but have 20 years experience of my similarly haired wife's exploits at the salon.
posted by Iteki at 2:36 AM on August 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

I had long hair up until January, when I did this. Easy to maintain, I get loads of compliments.
posted by kinetic at 3:30 AM on August 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Remember to ask the stylist to cut enough for Locks of Love.

I'd bring your pics and be prepared to discuss with the stylist. I come in with an idea, and my stylist refines it by evaluating my face-shape, hair texture and lifestyle. I like bangs too, except it was pointed out that my forehead is too short for them. Ah! That explains why they're so hard to maintain and why they don't look quite right on me.

So let the pro do his/her job and come out with an AWESOME 'do!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:58 AM on August 23, 2014

I don't particularly like the wedge cut you linked to--it's like an unhappy truce between 3 different hairstyles (wedge, asymmetrical bob, blunt banged bob). I'm assuming you like the idea of blunt-cut bangs, since both of those styles feature them, as do the signature styles of most of the people you mention in your tags. So that being said, what do you think about this take on Rhianna's bowl cut? I know you say you don't want it shorter than chin-length but if you did indeed like the sideswept pixie-type crop you had in 2012 you might consider it. I don't think your face looks different from then to now as you think it does.

Blunt cut bangs are tricky--for starters, it's a very stereotypical "Asian" cut so avoiding the Kim Jong Un/Japanese schoolgirl look is a challenge. In their recent popularity I tend to associate them with pop stars, women in spy movies, and flappers. Katie Holmes has gone through some good banged bobs, and some bad ones, and IMHO the thing that makes the difference is the side part and a little sideways movement to the bangs rather than looking completely blunt. Here's another chin-length bob w/bangs that to me looks less stagey than a blunt bob.
posted by drlith at 9:09 AM on August 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

There are a ton of $20 wigs that look like those two styles you linked to, and even more, cheaper wigs that look like the Katie Holmes cut (I assumed she wore a wig, actually.)

Buy a couple and try them out. Most places won't let you try a bunch on, for obvious reasons, but you could ask.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:02 AM on August 23, 2014

Some inspiration from Korean singer Son Ga In:
Blunt, angled bob (although I think this runs this risk of making you look 5 years old)
Longer layered crop (my personal recommendation for you; I had this a few years ago and we have similar hair types and face shapes--I loved it! And you can clearly pull off short hair.)

Personally I've been dying to try this awesome asymmetrical bob from Marion Cotillard (I have recommended it at least once on another hair-related Ask because I love it so much.)
posted by Rora at 12:15 PM on August 23, 2014

Here is my take on short cuts: it all depends on your jaw line. Where the volume of your hair is most flattering (piled high, nape of neck, chin length) depends entirely on the shape of your head. Same reason some guys look great bald and some don't.

Do you have a square, horizontal jaw line (like Audrey Hepburn, Lucy Liu, Katie Holmes, Amber Valetta or Halle Berry(kinda)?) Then you will rock the pixie cuts and messy short dos and anything that puts your hair up high. But a severe bob that hits at chin length will not be particularly flattering, especially if you don't have time to style it perfectly flat. Look at pictures of Katie Holmes from the side with her bob when it's exactly chin length, she looks like she's wearing a helmet.

If you have a longer, less horizontal jawline (Jennifer Aniston, Blake Lively, Miley Cyrus) then the chin length or longer cuts are more flattering. These women tend to rarely wear their hair up and when they do its piled at the nape of the neck. You to be careful cutting it short or you make your head look oblong. Miley Cyrus manages to rock this but she is young, has long layers, a very femme color, she wears a lot of make up and the whole look is still pretty androgynous.

If you have a kind of in between jaw (Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba, several of the photos linked above) a chin length or slightly longer style or bob tends to look delightful. Pixie cuts are still questionable but they can work if they aren't too severe and they suit your face.

So my advice is to figure out what shape head you have and look at photos online, and play in the mirror. Put your hair up a few different ways: slick, teased, high bun, low bun, braids, piled on top... and decide where your hair emphasis should be to best flatter your head and face, then get a cut that puts it there.
posted by fshgrl at 1:31 PM on August 23, 2014

Thanks, all! I ended up getting a longish bob for now. Saving many of these short styles for my next few cuts!
posted by peachfuzz at 3:10 PM on September 2, 2014

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