Are short hairstyles for you? While no one can definitively answer that question except for you, hair guru John Frieda came up with a simple equation to tell who should and who shouldn’t rock a short cut.
First, take a pencil and hold it horizontally beneath your chin, as noted by Byrdie. Next, position a ruler vertically just under your ear. Lastly, measure where the pencil and ruler meet. According to Frieda, if the measurement is less than 5.5 centimeters (or 2.5 inches), short hair is a sure bet. If the measurement is anything greater than 5.5 centimeters, longer hair is a better option.
Of course, even if you know short hair will be flattering, there’s more to it than just solving a math problem. Because hair trends come and go quickly, it can be difficult to know which kind of short ‘do to get. Just as there are many fun, flattering ones to try, as seen on popular celebs, there are ones worth avoiding. From once-popular bobs to even pixies, these are the short hairstyles that stylists say are going out of fashion.
The stacked bob is a short hairstyle that's overstayed its welcome
The last time you cut your hair short, you may have rocked the popular A-line bob, also known as a stacked bob. If you plan to dive back into a short hairstyle, you may be considering trying your old look on for size. However, your hairstylist may just try to talk you out of returning to your roots. Krissy Johnson, hairstylist and owner of Alexander’s by Krissy salon in Los Angeles, Calif., told The List that the long bob, or “lob,” has since replaced the “previously trendy, short A-line cut.”
Mike Van den Abbeel, longtime hairstylist and owner of Mosaic Hair Studio and Blowout Bar in Orlando, Fla., agrees that the A-line bob is dying out. “The one trend that people definitely stopped doing was the stacked bob — especially with a strong angled forward or much longer front,” he confirmed to The List. “At its most extreme, this cut gave women what appeared to be dog ears and was just awful.” Hard pass.
The faux hawk short hairstyle should now be considered a "no hawk"
Chopping your hair short can be an empowering experience, especially if you’ve made the choice after a significant event in your life. “The decision to cut your hair during a transition period, whether it be a positive or negative transition, symbolizes to the individual themselves a new start,” mental health counselor Dr. Danielle Forshee told Elite Daily in 2018.
In years past, there was nothing more liberating than trading in your long locks for a sleek, bold faux hawk. While short hairstyles are still very much in, the faux hawk’s popularity is waning. “Sorry, but I think the faux hawk is nearing the no hawk stage,” Fae Norris, hairstylist at Rock Paper Salon in Los Angeles, Calif., opined to The List. The iconic look could, however, make a comeback in the not too distant future. “That said,” Norris continued, “stylists are always tweaking the styles that made a big splash so we can look towards new incarnations in 2020.”
Precise bobs aren't a popular short hairstyle anymore
A pin-straight, one-length bob may sound like a solid short hairstyle, but Mike Van den Abbeel, hairstylist and owner of Florida-based Mosaic Hair Studio and Blowout Bar, said the style is not nearly as popular as it once was. “A haircut that seems to be falling out of favor even though they are a classic look are very precise bobs,” he told The List. Although the stylist described the style as both “smooth and sleek,” they’ve been replaced by a newer bob trend. “Today’s bobs are all about cutting in texture and movement and removing internal weight so the hair can flow and has bounce,” he explained.
Cue: the French-Girl bob, a modish take on the precise bob trend. According to Los Angeles-based hairstylist Yoann Bourquin, this cut begins with a “blunt and full” shape, which is then individualized with layers, texture, and fringe. “We take what we know, the French technique, and we shake it up to create something modern that’s still classic,” he told Refinery29.
Pixies with side-swooping bangs are out when it comes to short hairstyles
If there’s one short hairstyle you should avoid, it would probably have to be what Isabel Azocar, hairstylist at the Washington, D.C.-based high-end hair salon Ian McCabe Studio, dubbed the “Can I Speak with the Manager?” haircut. You may know it best as Kate Gosselin’s once-famous and now-infamous haircut. At the time, the reality TV star, whose life is very different today than when she first became famous, told Entertainment Tonight (via Elle), “Everyone wants it! My hairstylist gets calls from all across the country.”
That may have been true in 2009, but, in 2019, that was no longer the case. Although variations of the cut have somehow managed to stick around for a decade, John Blue, owner and creative director for Boss Hair Group in Chicago, Ill., confirmed to The List that the “short pixie cuts with long, side-swooped bangs” have finally faded into obscurity. More traditional pixies, on the other hand, are still thriving.
Severe pixies are short hairstyles to avoid
Not all pixies are the same. Some are severe, while others are relaxed. According to Mike Van den Abbeel, hairstylist and owner of Mosaic Hair Studio and Blowout Bar in Orlando, Fla., the former has since lost steam. “Women’s short cuts today are about being lived in,” he explained to The List. “Women don’t want to look like they had their hair cut. No sharp lines or clean edges.”
Severe pixies may have died out, but there are plenty of softer iterations to try, like Rowan Blanchard’s cropped ‘do. Nunzio Saviano, hairstylist and owner of New York City-based Nunzio Saviano Salon, called the short hairstyle a “lived-in, feminine, and sexy pixie” when speaking to Allure. “Around the ears, you want it to be saggy with length so that it can be softly styled,” he advised.
If you have a face shape similar to that of Blanchard, a Disney Channel star who left the TV network in 2017, this cut will look especially great on you. “This cut complements Rowan’s angular face shape and hair texture perfectly,” Saviano told the publication. “The length and direction that her hair is styled really accentuates her gorgeous eyes.”
No one's asking for visible undercuts as short hairstyles anymore
The visible undercut was once a huge trend, but Fae Norris, hairstylist at Los Angeles-based Rock Paper Salon, confirmed that the “shaved underneath look” is “going out of style.” While that means fewer clients are requesting this specific kind of short hairstyle, which has been rocked by stars like Halsey, Norris said the technique still serves a functional purpose. “Removing some weight from the bob makes the style more wearable,” she explained to The List, “but I think it may have run its course.”
While showing off your fade or undercut is no longer en vogue, it’s possible to have a purely functional and, yes, completely hidden undercut. But it’s totally different from the once-popular trend. Hairstylist Anh Co Tran created the “parallel undercut,” which doesn’t involve any shaving of the underside of the hair. This means you’re not going to have to worry about that awkward growing-out stage involved with a traditional undercut while still having a haircut that “[removes] weight and [gives] movement to thick hair,” Tran explained to Refinery29.
Say goodbye to "piecey" and "flipped-under" short hairstyles
While “piecey” and “flipped-under” haircuts were once the preferred short hairstyles, Isabel Azocar, hairstylist at high-end hair salon Ian McCabe Studio in Washington, D.C., said they’re going out of style. Piecey, short hair can look great, but there is such a thing as too piecey. And when that happens, your hair will just come off looking super greasy. Allure advises, “Stick to piecey ends. Hair that’s defined at the roots can give us separation anxiety.” By working pomade just through the ends of your hair, you can get “a playful, textured look,” according to the publication, as opposed to an oily mess.
While flipped-under, piecey hair looks especially “dated,” according to Azocar, flipped-up hair is a past hair trend that’s actually come back in a big way. Unlike flipped-under ‘dos, flip-ups are a little bit ’60s and a little bit ’90s — and that combination will see us through into 2020.
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