Short Cuts

I need your advice. I’m facing the age-old question for women with fast-growing hair: to cut or not to cut?

Unemployment and bridesmaid duties end in August, meaning I can’t toss my hair up in my signature ugly bun and I don’t need to braid, twist, or curl my hair into a fancy updo. I don’t do anything with my stick-straight hair, so I need a dry-and-go cut. I need to look nice, and I need to look nice by 7 AM every single weekday morning.

If I owned a curling wand, cared enough, and thought I wouldn’t give myself second-degree burns, I’d wear this style all day, every day:


But since I don’t own a curling wand, care enough, and would give myself second-degree burns, I tend to gravitate toward this cut, every time:


But, I’ve been secretly coveting Janelle Putrich’s hair ever since I discovered her photography blog:

It violates most of my rules: no choppy layers (makes my medium hair look thinner), no short hair (makes my round face chubbier), and no short hair again because I like to put my hair up in ponytails. Still, I couldn’t resist just looking at Pinterest’s ideas:

You only live once, right? And it’ll grow back, yes? And kindergartners don’t care that much if their teacher has crazy hair…yeah?

Tell me your thoughts on short hair vs. long hair. I’ve never gone this short before!

// A home decor style I love, and a great summer read

Portraits of Janelle: Rachel Wakefield

18 thoughts on “Short Cuts

  1. Rebekah

    I have two (somewhat contradictory) thoughts:

    1. Also a person with medium-thin and straight hair, I once tried short hair and choppy-ish layers. VERY BAD. Would not do again. They grew out unevenly, and short hair that is creatively cut is often more work because you have to style it.
    2. One of my mom’s favorite aphorisms: “Hair is just hair. It will grow out.” My sister was recently contemplating doing some colorful highlights next summer (not permanent dye, the kind that washes out), and I panicked because I don’t like change, especially dramatic changes in the personal appearance of family members, and my mom, as always, told me to relax. :)

    I can totally relate to the desire to cut it, though. My hair is growing like a weed, and I’m still trying to figure out what to do.


  2. Frannie Anne

    Lol … I randomly appear to leave a comment on this one post.

    I love the direction that style leans to (chic, easy, and stylish) but I always think soccer mom when someone sports it. ;)

    Not that that’s a bad thing.


  3. maryblendermann


    Actually, though. Short hair was the best thing I ever did for myself style-wise. It seems boring if you’re accustomed to ponytails and curls, but it gives you so many more options in terms of wardrobe because suddenly you have time (40 minutes of time!!!) and motivation (because no hair wat) to really make yourself look good with clothes and accessories. And because you’re not me, meaning you probably don’t wear jeans and a black t-shirt every day, this would probably actually work out really well for you.

    If it seems scary, start with something similar to the pictures you posted – have it frame the face, don’t let them use electric clippers, et cetera. Think of it like a regular haircut, they’re just taking off more. Then when it starts to grow out and get annoying, you can go shorter the next time if you want. Or let it grow out, if you decide short hair isn’t for you.

    Make this your motto: “FACE SHAPES DON’T MATTER! MEN’S FACES HAVE SHAPES AND THEY ALL HAVE SHORT HAIR!” (Different kinds of short hair, of course, but usually short.)

    A word with Bailey’s hesitation and anxiety, if I may – No one is going to make fun of you. No one will tell you you look ridiculous. Actually, if your experience is anything like mine, people are going to compliment your hair so much it becomes obnoxious (like, you’ll be grateful, but honestly. you heard that FIVE MINUTES AGO).

    My hair right now (“electric clippers with a 2 guard on the sides and scissor the top down” is what I tell the stylist) takes five minutes to wash and thirty seconds to towel dry. If I’m not going for my walk or eating breakfast, I can be up and out the door in fifteen minutes flat. You could probably get close to that with a slightly longer short hairstyle, but all of that to say –

    DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!


  4. Korie

    I’ve had short hair twice. The first time, I hated it. The second time? Love it. I ask my stylist to cut it just barely long enough that I can make a little stubby pony tail (with all my hair; no bangs here) if needed. This leaves the front longer and the back shorter, and it’s perfect every time.


  5. Karen

    I had an a-line haircut once and loved it. Only advice i have is be willing to pay a bit extra for quality… i hated shorter hair when i tried to go to cheap places, but walked out of the salon feeling awesome when i forked out a bit more to go to a lady who knew what she was doing. I have pretty fine hair so the shorter cut made it appear more full. And it was so fast. Literally shower and go. No styling necessary. (Gotta love straight fine hair!) Right now Im considering a pixie length cut but only after grad school cause my long hair is cheap to maintain!


    • Bailey Steger

      That’s one of the reasons I’m holding back — money and the lack of a good stylist. When I went to school, we had an awesome (and cheap!) salon that always made me look great. Now that I’m in the big city…I don’t even know where to start looking for a good stylist!


  6. Justine

    Personally I love my long hair. It is fine and stick straight. I just wash it, brush it, and go, and let it dry as I go through my day, or sometimes I braid it. It takes me under 5 minutes to get it looking like I want. I haven’t tried short hair in a long while and then I didn’t really like it, and it was still almost shoulder length.
    My advice for working with kindergarteners: either cut it really short or leave it long enough to put in a ponytail or bun. They should be old enough to know not to pull it, but it is nice to be on the safe side. And it protects you from getting lice.


  7. Bethany C

    Oop! Totally missed this but feel the need to chime in because I too recently had a Hair Decision. All my life I have had hair that is long enough that people commented on How Long Your Hair Is and I was starting to feel like maybe I was a little unhealthily tied to its length and color–it became a real identity! I considered an A-line or inverted bob but settled on just getting 7 inches chopped (SuperCuts but I would have absolutely gone with a more expensive/ well reviewed salon if I wanted a bob). Feeling ya with the middling-to-thinnish hair that is stick straight.

    Well it is definitely more of a normal length now (past my shoulders) and I do sort of miss its rather outlandish length. But it did get a tiny bit more body, I feel a bit more put-together, and I’m definitely glad I did it. I would say if you don’t feel a strong attachment to your longer hair it is so absolutely worth it–I remember one of my friends got a bob after years of long hair and I have never been so impressed by a haircut!

    I’m also trying out some thickening products such as the Paul Mitchell lemon-sage spray and Garner Fructis Sky-Hi Volume Mousse (I swear I’m not paid) and I have been pretty pleased. It is nice to know that I don’t have to depend on the whims of the Hair Deities for hair that has a little more body ;)

    Excited to see what style you come out with!


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