Jun 14, 2010

Short and sweet: Short hair tips and tricks

By: Jennifer Weatherhead

Author: Elle Canada

Jun 14, 2010

Short and sweet: Short hair tips and tricks

By: Jennifer Weatherhead
Victoria Beckham has rocked the pixie, the blunt bob, the shaggy bob and everything in between. Gwyneth chopped her locks into a sleek above-the-shoulder look and new It girl Carey Mulligan proves that a close crop can be feminine and ultra-sexy. It seems that long locks are on their way out and shorter 'dos are in. With the help of two top hair gurus, Sally Hershberger ( and Nhi Tran from Vidal Sassoon (, we get the deets on short hair style tricks, trends and care.

Short hair inspiration
  • Carey Mulligan -- Blonde or brunette, Mulligan is super cute, flirty and comfortable in a pixie crop.
  • Victoria Beckham -- We love her smooth structured bobs that are just as polished (and unreal looking) as the rest of her body is.
  • Michelle Williams -- Her soft waves in a shorter cut look effortless and chic.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow -- She's famous for her long blonde hair with nary a split end, but we loved her straight, blunt bob she showed off recently.
  • Mia Wasikowska -- Alice in Wonderland's star is one of Hershberger's faves with her boyish cut and loads of texture.

Safest bet or more daring?
If you're thinking of chopping off the inches from your long hair you have a choice to make -- a subtle change, or a more extreme look. A softly layered bob that grazes the shoulders is a great way to ease into a shorter 'do. "Short, choppy bobs are great for nearly all face shapes," says Hershberger. But if you're adventurous, think above the ears. Tran always suggests a consultation before making any drastic changes to your hair. "Face shape is generally too broad to identify a specific cut – their eyes, lips, height fall into the equation as well."

Bangs -- do or don’t?
"I'm not a fan of a heavy bangs, but short pieces on a choppy pixie cut can be moved around in different ways and can look adorable," says Hershberger. To keep the bangs looking pliable and give them life, use a lightweight styling cream, gel or wax to shape and place your bangs.

You've made the cut … now what?
The secret to keeping your short hair looking fresh and healthy is regular trims -- every 3-4 weeks, suggests Hershberger, if you want to keep your current look. You can also play up your look with products -- creams, liquid gels, and waxes are high on Tran's and Hershberger's must-haves list for short hair. "One of the major mistakes people make with short hair is to over-apply products that are stiff and heavy. You still want the hair to be pliable and to move," explains Hershberger. "My Shagg Liquid Gel and Genius Spray Wax are perfect to give both sleek and edgy looks so that there is diversity in how to style short hair." Tran suggests Sebastian Craft Clay, Davines Matt Putty and Davines Mat Pliable Stucco to keep your short 'do looking polished and perfect.

Tips on growing out a short hair style on the next page ...

From day to night

Just because your locks are shorter doesn't mean your don't have options. For day you can either keep things soft and playful or slick it back for the office. For a sassy nighttime look use wax to add volume and texture to your layers and make it as messy as possible. "It's edgy and sexy," says Hershberger. You can also play with headbands (pretty floral options are hot this season) and clips and pins to add sparkle and pull back loose layers.

Keep on growing

You've done the shorter look and now want a bit of length; do you skip the salon? No, says Hershberger. "Don’t just stop going to your stylist and waiting for it to grow. Have it shaped into different styles,” she adds. “It’s a great opportunity to try something fresh and new at different lengths that you may not have otherwise tried," says Hershberger. Tran says the secret to keeping it looking healthy is a good conditioner. "At the moment it may be 2 inches, but in six months, that 2 inches will turn into your ends as new hair will grow in."

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Short and sweet: Short hair tips and tricks