Are You Really Ready to Chop it All Off?

You've had long hair forever and are ready for a brand new 'do. Layering and coloring are just not giving you that oomph you've been desiring and you're thinking of doing something drastic. Celebs and models look chic and carefree with super short styles and you're thinking of going for the chop of all chops. But are you really ready to let go of your lifelong locks? Before you head to the salon and say goodbye to your flowing strands, answer these questions to find out if a short cut is what you're cut out for.

1. Are You Ms. Ponytail/Bun?

Are you constantly shoving your long hair into an easy-to- deal-with ponytail or messy top knot? Why bother having luscious locks if all you do is hide them? If you don't have the time or interest to style your long hair, why grow it at all? If your hair is always in your face tickling your cheeks or getting stuck to your lip gloss and it's driving you to pull your hair out, cut it short instead. Long hair can be a nuisance and a short 'do may be just what you've been missing.

2. How's Your Jawline?

Before you go for the chop, pull your hair back and take serious inventory of your jawline. Now you don't need a super strong, square jaw to pull off a short 'do, nor do you need the perfect chin or neck, but some folks are better suited for some hair to cover their less-than- best features. If you are self- conscious about a double or weak chin, a saggy neck, or droopy jowls, you may want to think about a bob vs. a pixie. While the new short hair may look amazing, if you don't have the confidence to hold your head up high, you'll never give the cut the attention it deserves.

3. What's Your Body Shape?

You may be thinking "what does my haircut have to do with my body shape?" but it has a good deal to do with how the short style will integrate into your head-to- toe appearance. Curvy bods are beautiful, but sometimes they pair best with a headful of full and bouncy hair to avoid looking like a pin head. Taller gals can also pull off long hair well since they've got lots of ground to cover. Petite ladies often look great with a short crop so their figures aren't overwhelmed with a pile of hair. It helps to look longer and leaner without the weighing down effects of lots of hair swallowing one up. When you're thinking of a fresh cut, take your entire look into consideration, not just the neck up.

4. What's Your Head Shape?

You've heard the horror stories of guys shaving their scalps only to find out they're a cone head or a lumpy bumpy Halloween mask on a neck. No, short hair may not expose a weirdly-shaped head as well as a clean shaven head would, but long hair covers differently than a short 'do. While your hair is wet, take a gander from all angles to be sure you like your head shape enough to chop off most of your hair from it. Additionally, see how big your forehead is and the ratios of your facial features. Short hair puts your head and face into the spotlight, so be sure it's ready to shine.

5. Is Your Hair Your "Thing"?

Do you have super shiny, glorious hair that could rival that of the women in Pantene commercials? Do you buy the best smelling shampoos and hot oil treatments? Do you use your hair as a flirtation tool and consider it part of your ensemble? If so, you may be a long haired girl at heart. A short 'do may be a fleeting thought, but some gals are just meant to be long and luxurious. Find another way to revamp your look with new makeup trends or some cool specs. Don't cut off your hair to spite your flair.

6. Are Your Brows on Fleek?

A short haircut brings your face into the forefront. Toss those tweezers immediately! Bold and beautiful brows are a must to frame your face and lend to the hairstyle. Keep them well-groomed and filled in well. You may find that you'll want (or have) to change up your makeup routine as well. Now you may want to focus more on a bold lip or a smoky eye in order to make up for less hair. You might want to contour more since your cheekbones are more prominent. See what works best once you've got those brows in check and you'll learn to balance out your face fantastically.

7. Do You Have Time to Style?

You might have the impression that short hair is easier and faster to style, but that's not always the case. Wake up with an insane short mess and there's no ponytail option to salvage your look. You'll probably need to wash and style every day with a range of gels and putties you've never needed before. Plus, you'll need to get used to which products work best and how to use them to your advantage. If you've got the time and creativity, go for it! Short hair lends itself to new variations all the time and a chance to express your mood day or night.

8. How Fast Does Your Hair Grow?

It's great to have fast growing or thick hair, but more hair means more frequent visits to the salon in order to maintain a short haircut. If you've got the time and money, then you're in the clear, but if you're on a budget and super busy, you may not be able to keep up with the upkeep. If you can find a way to stretch the time between cuts or your hair grows as slow as molasses drips, then a short hairdo is your calling.

9. Do You Color?

If you color or highlight your hair and plan to continue to do so once you make the major chop, be aware that you'll have to color more frequently. Short hair shows roots quite obviously and the frequency in cutting gets rid of the colored portions before you know it. Coloring is time consuming and expensive so consider that before taking the plunge. Otherwise, go back to the color your mama gave you and spend on the cuts and products instead.

10. Do You Have a Big Event Coming Up?

Before taking the step to change your appearance significantly, think about what's happening in the immediate future where long hair may be a better look for you. Are you getting married, headed to your high school reunion, or planning a book tour for your new novel? You'll be taking photos and may want to portray a particular version of yourself. If short is the way you want to be remembered, then go bold with a new you for the event. Be sure to get your cut a few weeks before so you are used to styling it and feel comfortable and confident with your updated look.

So are you ready to cut it all off? A fresh and fearless new you is ready to take on the world!

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