Going for the chop in the New Year? Expert tips on whether short hair is right for you

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  • Jennifer Aniston
    Jennifer Aniston
    American actress
  • Pamela Anderson
    Pamela Anderson
    Canadian-American actress and model

Considering going for the chop? Before you lop off your locks, it's worth taking a few moments to consider which style will work for you. And we're not just talking about face shape either. Your hair colour, jaw line and hair thickness can all influence how the end result looks, feels and moves.

So why are so many of us reaching for the scissors? The recent decisions by celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston and Pamela Anderson to chop off their locks - and do it so stylishly - are proof that short doesn't need to be scary.

While Pamela Anderson and Jennifer Aniston's visits to the hairdressers were no doubt carefully considered, Jennifer Lawrence has happily admitted that her hand was forced, when the constant barrage of hair dye and heat styling on the set of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire left her hair frazzled and lifeless.

"This dramatic, brave haircut is so refreshing to see - I love it when a celebrity goes the whole way by going from long to so short," says Marc Trinder, art team director at Charles Worthington salons (charlesworthington.com).

"This super-chic low maintenance style really opens up Jennifer’s face shape. I also love her honesty in admitting that she needed to cut off her locks to salvage her hair from constant colouring. Sometimes a dramatic chop is the only way forward, and it's certainly paid off."

Out with the Rachel, in with the Jennifer

Perhaps understandably, given the more considered nature of her decision, Marc is also a fan of Jennifer Aniston's new do.

"The super-soft jaw line bob works extremely well with Jennifer's face shape as it's quite square," points out Marc.

"The soft edges and slightly longer length at the front completely soften her face shape, providing the illusion of an oval-shaped face.

“To achieve this look, hair needs to be layered in a subtle way. This can be done by layering the hair underneath. The hair will then fall a really natural way, with lots of movement, while still looking thick and lustrous."
Pamela Anderson, meanwhile, is proof that older women can rock the pixie cut as well as the next person.

"I love this chic and demure new look from Pamela," says Marc. "She appears so much younger and it's given her a completely fresh new image.

“Going from long, straggly extensions to this short pixie cut has really given her a dramatic new look. It completely frames her face and brings out her eyes and cheekbones. 

The key is the softness it has to the edges. There are no dramatic hard lines, but the bold daring short fringe oozes confidence and is a real step away from the artificial look. It's much more grown up, classy and stylish.

This haircut is fantastic on oval face shapes as it completely exposes the jaw line and cheekbones."

The long and short of it

Working out if a shorter do is for you is relatively simple. Never be afraid to grill your hairdresser about whether he or she thinks short hair will work for you, and if you don't feel you're getting a well-informed response, go elsewhere.

After all, if you're not confident in their ability to work out whether a shorter style will suit you, would you really trust him or her when it comes to actually chopping your locks off?

Before seeking expert advice take time to find some photographs which illustrate the kind of hairstyle you're considering - the more photographs your hairdresser can look at, the better, and it also means more back-up options if a particular style is ruled out.

"The consultation should be informative, helpful and most of all you should feel like you have complete faith in your stylist," says Mia Dellicompagni, director of hairdressing at the Francesco Group (francescogroup.co.uk).

"Listen to your hairdresser if he or she advises you against a particular idea - their experience is, after all, what you are paying for."

Finally, be prepared to splash some cash on maintaining your new do. "Be prepared to buy new products to style your hair - new brushes and electrical styling tools," warns Mia Dellicompagni.

"And of course, be prepared to invest some extra time in your daily routine to actually 'do' your new 'do'!"

The long and short of it: Asgar's top tips

Celebrity hair-stylist Asgar (asgarboo.com) has tended to the locks of celebrities like Cindy Crawford, and we persuaded him to reveal his top tips for those considering a shorter do.
Knowing your face shape and what hairstyle will enhance it naturally is really important.
Think about your face shape - one of the most common ‘hair faux-pas’ is embracing a trend or copying a celebrity look that will not suit your face shape.

Short hairstyles are best suited to long and square-shaped faces as they need texture, volume and plenty of body to balance the proportions. The key with a square-shaped face is to draw attention from an angular jaw by creating texture through curls or layers.
Long faces can be complimented with short or medium length haircuts, and softened with layers that fall around the face.
Round faces can benefit from soft gradual layers, minimising volume around the face.

Side-swept fringes that draw attention to eyes are great for heart-shaped faces. Bobs are also a great way to keep a heart-shaped face balanced and long layers are a must.
People with oval-shaped faces can get away with a variety of styles and should therefore be adventurous and try a number of looks.

[How to look after your feet this Christmas]

[Jennifer Lawrence on her new pixie cut: 'My hair couldn’t get any uglier before so I chopped it all off' - EXCLUSIVE]

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