17 Reasons You Should Consider Short Hair (You Can Thank Us Later)

The notion that men wear their hair short and women wear theirs long has always been with us thanks to the evolutionary truth that successful mating is more likely when the woman in the equation is young and healthy. And the fact is, long hair happens to be a reasonably accurate signifier of youth and health, as Dr. Kurt Stenn, former Yale professor of medicine, told Time in 2016. 

At some point, of course, women started wanting to be seen as more than just their reproductive capacity. Nevertheless, until the 20th century, women generally wore their hair long for as long as they could. They still do, generally speaking. But since the 1920s, short hair has become an increasingly viable fashion and lifestyle choice.  Indeed, every year — if not every season, brings with it a set of short hair trends that look utterly and enviably ah-may-zing, at least on the celebs and models we see wearing them. 

But could we pull it off, asks that nagging voice in our head. And assuming we could, would we really want to take that enormous step — the big chop? Besides, doesn't everyone say that short hair requires a lot more maintenance than long hair? Spoiler alert: The answers to these questions are — in the order in which they were asked –  yes, yes, and no. But there are many reasons why you should consider short hair. Here are just a few that you can tell that nagging voice.

Short hair has never NOT been on-trend

Short hair on women began as a rebellious choice. Think Joan of Arc in the 15th century. In the early 20th century, short hair offered a choice for the fashionably rebellious. Think bobbed flappers pulling the lever for Warren G. Harding in 1920. Ultimately, short hair has become a viable fashion choice, with or without rebellion on board. However, unlike skinny jeans, which are back after being declared dead by an entire generation of young women, and Crocs, which have come and gone more times than we can count over the last two decades, short hair, in one form or another, has literally never gone out of style. And we'd wager it never will. 

Short hair doesn't just mean a pixie crop

When short hairstyles on women first started gaining traction in the 1920s, it was thanks in large part to movie actor Louise Brooks who wore her shiny dark hair in a micro-bob so short, the longest lengths barely clearing her cheekbones. Starting in the 1950s, Brooks' flapper-bob had to make room for the pixie, as worn by Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday" and Jean Seburg in "Breathless." Today's short hairstyle options are infinite, including the bob, the pixie, the buzz, and the lob, in lengths from scalp-hugging to shoulder touching. There are even updo options for short hair

You absolutely DO have the face for short hair

We all have that friend who rocks their short locks like they were born for it. Yet who amongst us has not said to themselves at some point in their lives, "Gosh, I wish I had the face for short hair"? On the contrary, however, everyone has a face for short hair, according to Declan Haworth, a stylist and Colour Director at London's Blue Tit Dalston salon (via RedOnline). It's just a question of choosing the short hairstyle that works for yours in particular. Fortunately, there's an easy way to figure out which short hairstyles will work for you.

Your fabulous earrings deserve better

Jewelry is a means of self-expression, and earrings, which frame the face, even more so. But even the most dazzling of chandelier earrings, even the chunkiest of statement studs, for that matter, have their work cut out for them when it comes to being "heard" from behind a cascade of long locks. Now, we're not saying you should cut your hair just because you have a pair of earrings you happen to like. However, if you're someone who yearns for your fabulous accessories to make the dramatic impact they deserve, then short hair is an obvious statement-making solution.

You've got a gorgeous punim

Just as short hair can put your earrings on display, it can also draw attention to your punim (that's Yiddish for your face) in a way that long hair simply cannot. So, if you love your face (and you should), then let it be seen! Moreover, if there are particular features you happen to be particularly fond of, there's going to be a short haircut that can highlight them. For example, a pixie cut with a face-framing fringe can put the focus on your eyes, even making them appear larger and more prominent. Likewise, a short bob with angled bangs can put emphasis on your exquisite cheekbones.

Short hair projects confidence to the outside world

"A woman with short hair is perceived as confident," according to jury consultant Dr. Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, author of "Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior – Anytime, Anyplace" (via Today). One reason is that short hair sends the message that its wearer has nothing to hide. Another is that there remains a lingering societal perception that men prefer women with long hair. Accordingly, a woman who makes the choice to go in a different direction will inevitably be perceived by some as bold, perhaps even daring. And she might be.

The big chop is also an actual confidence booster

There's an old adage, "fake it til you make it," and it's stuck around as long as it has because it's grounded in psychological truth. Although our actions emanate from our thoughts, our actions also shape our attitudes. Whenever we do something that challenges our sense of who we are, we're forced to reconcile the conflict, which often leads to thinking differently about ourselves. And that's precisely what can happen the first time we go for the big snip. In other words, once you've done it, what is the alternative but to think of yourself as someone with the confidence to pull it off?

Short hair could even get you promoted

Short hair not only projects an aura of what may be genuine self-confidence, but it also has a way of instilling confidence in others when it comes to professional pursuits. According to Rose Weitz, a women and gender studies professor at Arizona State University, there is an observable correlation between having short hair and being a boss. As one high-ranking female executive once pointed out to Weitz: With a single glance at her company's organizational chart, she could "draw a line" above which every woman was an executive, and above that line, "no woman's hair touched her shoulders" (via Today).

Short hair is as playful as it is professional

Forget the cliche of the glasses-wearing librarian undoing her bun and letting her long hair down. If your goal is to look both playful and professional, and simultaneously at that, nothing works quite so much as a well-crafted crop. On the one hand, you're fitting into some institutionalized professional "norm," as Weitz puts it. On the other hand, short hair is still a daring choice — at least in life outside the office, which suggests you've got one going on, and you might just be up for anything.

Short hair can make thin hair look full and sexy

No, cutting your hair will not make it grow faster. We know this fro experience; if you want long hair, cutting it short is not the way to go. Nevertheless, eliminating much of the length will automatically make your hair feel and look thicker. Moreover, the right short style for your particular head of hair will not only add volume but also obscure some of the thinner spots, particularly at the hairline. 

Short hair is an anti-aging hack

"Why can't middle-aged women have long hair?" asked The New York Times in 2010, but with all due respect to the Gray Lady, we're kind of scratching our heads here. Because there's no rule that says you have to cut your hair shorter as you get older. It's just that so many women have done so for the simple reason that short hair is an instant anti-aging hack, especially when it's styled with texture in the form of layers, according to celebrity hairstylist Allison Depriestre (via SHEfinds). And don't even get us started on how much money a face-framing fringe can save every few months when you'd usually be thinking about hitting up your derm for a Botox refresher.

You're ready for a change

Who can forget the time in 2007, when Britney Spears buzzed her hair during a meltdown moment in a hair salon? It may not have been the pop performer at her most composed. However, looking back at how it happened (she asked for a buzz cut, and her stylist refused, per Newsweek), it appears to be THE moment that Spears finally got busy declaring her autonomy. 

And that's the thing about going for the big chop. At the rate that hair grows, any hair that hits below shoulder length is hair you've been carrying around for literally years. And letting all that go can be incredibly liberating. It certainly signals to the world — and to yourself, that you're up for a change.

Short hair is, in fact, an exercise in bravery

Anyone who's ever undergone the big chop will tell you that one of the vaguely annoying downsides is the constant questioning. "How'd you get up the nerve?" "Were you afraid of what your partner would think?" The truth is these are actually reasonable questions. It's just that by the time you sit down in your stylist's chair and say, "cut it all off," you're likely well past those questions. So hearing them repeated aloud to you may strike you as disconcerting. 

Our advice, however, is to embrace it, all of it, because you tried something daring because it's something you wanted. There were no guarantees, and yet, here you are, rocking it. So, guess what? You are, in fact, brave.

There's no better lesson in non-attachment

As important as it is to have an understanding of who we are, attaching ourselves to an idea of who we are is a recipe for suffering, according to psychologists and spiritual advisors, alike. But practicing non-attachment isn't just good for the soul; it also opens up possibilities and prepares us for all the unknowns that are inevitably heading our way. 

Head-shaving has long been a tool by which Buddhist monks practice non-attachment, but you don't have to shave your head to learn the lessons. All you have to do is cut off the length you believe has defined you and wait a single day — you'll come to realize your hair's already grown a smidge. Nothing, not even that haircut, is forever. 

You'll spend way less on products and styling tools

While we're on the topic of non-attachment, it's worth noting that short hair not only means less hair, but also less product. When you cut your hair short, you'll be amazed at how much simpler your beauty routine becomes. It's unlikely you'll ever be able to fully detach from all the hair products you've been reliant on for all this time (after all, short hair still requires cleansing, conditioning, and styling). But cutting your hair short will most certainly reduce your dependence on expensive products, not to mention styling tools.

Don't believe the hype: short hair requires minimal maintenance

People love to speculate that taking care of short hair somehow requires more of a maintenance commitment than keeping it long. But it just isn't so. We recommend a trim, on average, every six weeks for short hairstyles. For medium and longer styles? Why, that too would be, on average, every six weeks. And as for daily styling, short hair simply takes less time to dry, which cuts off who-knows-how-many-hours of blow-dry time over the course of a year.

If you want to, you can always grow it back out

Cutting your hair short is a lovely exercise in practicing non-attachment — but not only because you get to see how you're not defined by the length of your hair. The big snip experience becomes equally valuable when you come to recognize, as you inevitably will, that hair grows and keeps on growing. You can cut it. But it grows back. The process isn't instantaneous, of course, as we all know from observing Anne Hathaway after she filmed "Les Miserables" and Natalie Portman after she filmed "V for Vendetta." But it happens, and if you're like Michelle Williams or Halle Berry, you ultimately may not be able to resist the allure of returning to your sassy and sophisticated "roots."