Hollywood indie darlings like Michelle Williams and Carey Mulligan are chopping their locks in favour of ultra-cropped cuts; femme fatales like Angelina Jolie and Beyoncé are staying true to their ultra-feminine image with long, lustrous manes; while Keira Knightley and Dianna Agron are opting for a happy medium with short cropped bobs.

If you’re thinking of making a big change, but unsure whether to chop or grow your locks, we consulted an award-winning Wella Professionals pro stylist, Antonio Quintieri for an expert opinion on what best fits your features and your lifestyle.

1. Go for short hair styles if you…

Have fine hair

“For finer hair, I always tell clients to never go past the collarbone,” advises Quintieri, “because then it just starts to look stringy through the ends, and they start to lose shape and volume.”

Have delicate features

If you have delicate features like Michelle Williams, then a pixie cut will be a perfect match. A short mane will also show off your neck, but “if somebody doesn’t have a defined jaw line, they have to be careful,” warns Quintieri.

Want to stand out

The majority of women have long hair, so going short will separate you from the rest. Think of the attention models Linda Evangelista and Anja Rubik received, particularly for their cheekbones, after they chopped off their ubiquitous long model manes.

Don’t mind maintenance

Having short hair styles will require more frequent salon visits, since every little bit of overgrowth can throw the whole look off, so be prepared to make best friends with your hairstylist.

2. Go for long hair styles if you…

Have curly hair

Curly hair tends to puff up when cut short. “Somebody can have really long hair and have a bit of a wave in it, and then they cut it shorter and it goes curlier on them,” explains Quintieri, “and then they can’t do anything with it.” Long hair styles help control the the curl.

Have an oblong face

“If someone has an oblong face shape, I would definitely be careful in cutting the hair short, because it would make it look even longer.” Think Sarah Jessica Parker and her signature long mane.

More tips on whether you should opt for long hair styles or short hair styles on the next page …

Have strong defining features

“Anne Hathaway suits
longer hair, because she has such strong features.” Short hair will bring out that one strong feature, whether it’s a larger nose, a chin, or big ears, explains Quintieri. That might be a problem. Unless, of course, you want to highlight that signature strong feature, then it could suit you.

Like to experiment

Having long locks means you are able to play it up with different styles, from buns to ponytails, different textures, from straight to curly, and different colour techniques, like Rachel Bilson’s Ombré or Drew Barrymore’s dip-dye.

If you have your heart set on your dream cut, your stylist can probably make it work for you. “The layering and the haircut is what’s important,” elaborates Quintieri. “For example when going short, sometimes you have to leave a few pieces a little bit longer, to give it a different look.” It’s beneficial to consult with your stylist in detail before you make any big decisions. “If someone really wants to go for a
short hair style, I always say ‘be 100 % sure you want to cut it,’ because if there is even that little bit of doubt, it just turns you off from ever wanting to do it again.” Same goes when growing it out. Quintieri says that the awkward growing out phase can be avoided with regular salon visits, and trimming of the longer pieces while you wait for those really short locks to catch up with the rest.

Read more:

Our 7 favourite short hair styles

5 short hair cuts to try now

5 healthy hair secrets