It’s official: There’s no look under the sun that Charlize Theron can’t pull off, from pixie cuts, sweeping bangs, curly bobs or even that time she shaved off all her hair for Mad Max character Imperator Furiosa. For us non-celebs, taking our hairstyle up several notches by chopping off most of our length can be a bit daunting, and for some it can be downright terrifying.

But there’s no denying that chopping off all your hair can feel empowering and look beautiful at the same time. Charlize is a great example of how you can take your hair shorter – she’s literally the queen of short ‘dos – so we thought a Theron-inspired short hair guide was pretty perfect, and the best way to showcase how to wear shorter styles. 

Here, we’ll answer every worry you have about taking your hair shorter —and even bring to your attention things you may not have even considered at all. Going short needn’t be scary, so let us put to bed those short-hair related concerns of yours with our stylist top tips.

Timing is everything

You’re not alone in the world of post-breakup hair chopping, but a heartbreak haircut isn’t necessarily the answer. In fact, our stylists advise to never get a serious haircut when facing a big life change or attending a major public event.  Instead, take your hair shorter in stages to avoid a potentially major shock to your system. Chopping off a substantial length of hair can be scary for a lot of people, so avoid the urge to do something drastic when your emotions are running high – instead, take the time to make the change in stages. By doing so our stylists reckon you’ll get to see how fun the journey of a new look can be as you’ll get to explore all sorts of styles along the way before you reach your end goal. You’ll also get to test the waters as your hair gradually gets shorter and shorter with each appointment – it may even make you change your mind and decide on a different length or even a new color instead – which is absolutely fine! After all the choice is completely yours! So, don’t rush your decision to go short, take your time and remember to always get some advice from a professional stylist.

Don’t get worked up about face shape

Things our stylists hear whenever they mention taking hair shorter:

“My face would look huge!” “My face is too round!” “My face is too long!”  “My headshape is weird!” “I’ll look like a beach ball with short hair!”

These are the concerns our hairstylists hear day in day out, whenever the topic of short hair comes up. But truth be told, whether or not you can rock a short ‘do has less to do with your face shape and more to do with your overall style, personality and state of mind. The key to finding a short style that will suit you is all about finding out what makes you feel confident and beautiful – from the inside out – and working to build on that. For instance, if you feel like your cheeks look wide when you pull your hair back, communicate this with your stylist and they’ll be able to find a style that draws the eye away from this area, concentrating more on your eyes or forehead. The positioning of your style, how short the cut is and even your hair color can help to draw out, define or balance out your facial features – all it takes is an expert stylist! Equally, if you like styles that are feminine and floaty, your short ‘do could incorporate a sweeping fringe so that you still feel like have *some* length left to play around with.  Generally speaking, the bolder the style, the bolder your personality tends to be.

Embrace your hair texture

Similarly to face shape, there’s no hair texture type that makes a short crop off limits. Again, it’s all about selecting a haircut and style that works with your natural hair texture. For instance, if you’ve been blessed with curly hair, you’ll find that you’re able to take your hair that little bit shorter as you can afford to lose some of the weight whilst letting your curls pop out freely. However, with straighter, thinner hair, our stylists advise that it’s better to concentrate on cutting out the weight of your hair from underneath. It’s also important to go for textured ends, not choppy layers – ensuring the ends are not dull or blunt. Likewise, if you’ve been eyeing up a undercut for that cool-girl vibe, be sure to only go for the razor if you have thick hair – an undercut applied to thin hair will only make the hair that’s left appear even thinner – not to mention straggly and imbalanced, certainly not a look you’d want to go for! So, whatever your hair texture, be sure to be open minded about the type of style that will suit you – and trust the advice of our stylists – after all, they’re the experts!

Trust a professional

Speaking of trusting an expert, we can’t recommend a salon visit highly enough – especially when it comes to a short haircut. Short hair and long hair are completely different animals. Short hair usually tends to be the more complex and technically challenging option which requires precision, knowledge and stylist expertise. Remember, the shorter you go, the fewer mistakes you’ll be able to hide. So, if you want to avoid a seemingly endless era of staring into the mirror and willing for your hair to grow, our advice would be to visit a professional. You can find your nearest salon right here.

Bring visual aids

When you pop in to the salon for your free consultation, don’t just tell your stylist about the style you’re after, show them. By that we mean bring in photos – or just save them on your mobile – as a picture can literally tell our stylists a thousand words, and that way there’s no confusion over the look you’re after. ‘Shaggy layers’ for instance can mean very different things to different people so be sure to arm yourself with pictures of styles you like. Doing so will also help your stylist rule out styles that won’t work for you and give a thumbs up to the ones that will. To that end, it’s also worthwhile bringing in photos of styles that you don’t like so that your stylist is clear on the types of looks to steer away from.

Beware what lies beneath

When you cut your hair short, there’s a slight chance that you’ll be shocked at how different it looks – surprise, surprise! But, consider this – aside from just looking drastically different, cutting your hair short reveals things about your hair you may not have previously uncovered before, such as a cowlick you’ve never had to contend with when you had long hair. The texture of your hair becomes more apparent too the shorter it is. The best way to allow your stylist to tackle these short hair issues is to attend your appointment (and consultation) with your natural hair in tow, so that it’s not overly styled or manipulated into shape. That way, your stylist will be able to adjust your short style to compensate for the natural directions your hair growth as well as you’re your hair’s natural texture.

Get to grips with short hair styling

Just as you would slip into a pretty summer dress instead of your usual t-shirt and jeans, putting a lil bit of effort into your short ‘do can give the impression that you’ve spent *lots* of time prepping and styling. But, without the ability to put your hair into a ponytail or topknot, there’s literally no such thing as a ‘low maintenance’ fall back option. You have to do something to your short hair – even if it’s just rubbing a small amount of pomade in for that Theron inspired tousled look  (which by the way, could be argued is in fact in itself a ‘low maintenance’ option and is just as, if not even easier than pulling your hair back into a ponytail or bun). And when it comes to glamming up a short ‘do – the choices are endless: from glitzy accessories, power quiffs or slick back pin-ups just like Charlize Theron. We recommend taking some time out to ask about your styling options during your appointment and just as importantly our stylists will also be able to advise on the best products to keep your short ‘do in tip top shape.

Short hair means more haircuts

Get ready to become a regular salon guest. That’s because short hair can require more maintenance when it comes to keeping the style intact. As well as the shape of your cut and hair length, if you opt for a color service this will also need taking into consideration as root growth is more obvious with shorter hair. Our stylists recommend visiting the salon every four to six weeks to keep your color and cut looking fresh.

 

It’s not permanent

If you’ve cut your hair short and decided it’s not for you or just fancy switching back to longer hair, that’s ok too! But remember that you’ll still need regular salon visits that will keep each stage of your hair growth looking intentionally stylish and ‘meant-to-be’ – rather than settling for straggly ends and an out of shape style that you’d much rather keep hidden under a hat – we know which we’d choose!

 

Found a Charlize Theron inspired short style that you love?

Hopefully by now you’ve found the short style you’re after that you can take in to the salon and show your stylist at your next appointment, but – if you’re still looking for ‘the one’ take a look at our Instagram feed for all the #hairinspo you’ll need!