11 January 2008

It must be croppin' season!

After the weightiness of yesterday's post, all I wanted to do last night was a put together a piece on pretty dresses.

I was even going to call it "The pretty dress post" or perhaps something simpler like "Pretty Dresses - yay!" or "These dresses - pretty, no?"

In it, I was going to include a brief, substance-free intro on why owning a pretty dress makes a girl feel pretty and how when a girl feels pretty, even if she's not, she somehow magically becomes pretty (eye roll), and so on and so forth.

But just as I was about to find this pretty lady 11 or 12 pretty friends, I checked my inbox and found no fewer than six enthusiastic e-mails from readers either requesting I write a short-hair post or specifically asking me for my stylist's name* so they, too, could take the pixie plunge.

It seems there's something in the DC air that has women hankerin' for a croppin', and about that I could not be more pleased! I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is nothing more confidence-boosting than catching a glimpse of your hair in the mirror, even on a bad skin/hair/waistline day, and thinking to yourself, "I don't want to change a thing."

And what's even more gratifying than that is when those same words involuntarily come running out of your mouth in fierce Tyra fashion when a smug critic likens you to a Thai ladyboy or Christian from "Project Runway." Until I went super-short last July, I'd never had a cut about which I felt so protective -- not even close.

But now that I do, I'm addicted, my standards have risen, and there will for sure be no going back to letting myself live with ho-hum hair.

Just to be clear, I'm not implying long hair is always ho-hum and short hair is always va-va-voom -not at all, I mean, hello and hello- but I am saying there is a strong tendency for women with longer hair to lazily rely on their length to make their looks look more pulled-together. A fabulous short cut, by virtue of its relative rarity alone, requires much less of a day-to-day time and product investment to make a strong statement.

As with a strapless neckline and short-shorts, however, not everyone is a good candidate for short hair; be sure to rely on your stylist's honest opinion before you opt for the chop.

So anyhoo, for those who asked and also for those who will inevitably tell me I should grow out my "Hungry Like the Wolf" hair, here below are some of my favorite above-the-shoulder lock looks, in order from boldest to longest.


Swedish Model
(Summer 2007)
Natalie Portman
(Winter 2006)Selma Blair
(Summer 2007)
Elisha Cuthbert**
(Winter 2007/'08)
Audrey Tautou
(Summer 2006)
Agyness Deyn
(Fall 2007)
Bop Model
(Winter 2008)
Katie Holmes 2.0
(Winter 2008)
Katie Holmes 1.0
(Fall 2007)
Paris Hilton
(Winter 2007/'08)

*Karen Doron, PIAF Salon, (202) 783-3334
** your Editrix's favorite (after her own, of course)


Anonymous said...

Great post. I love short hair and I think that most people don't even realize how flattering it can be. Many women go from "cute" with long hair to "wow" with short(er) hair. I would strongly encourage any woman who doesn't absolutely love her hairstyle to find a stylist you trust and ask. If s/he is a good stylist they will help you zero in on the right length and style for your face and your hairtype. How to find a good hairstylist? Find someone whose hair you like and ask. I have yet to meet the woman who was not delighted at being stopped on the street/store/elevator and told "I love your hair! would you mind telling me who your stylist is?".
Happy cropping!

Anonymous said...

Also: does this mean we don't get the dress post? Pretty please?

Johanna said...

don't worry, you'll get the pretty dress post, too!

Alisha said...

Love this post--I agree that too many people are too hung up on having long hair that they never know how fabulous short hair can be.

Thanks for writing this!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had the face to pull of short hair. Even at my lowest weight, I always have a moonface. *cries*

Anonymous said...

No moonface here, but with curls, a short cut is just out of the question. Sad.

blake said...

I really hope DC doesn't start to look like a dyke fest. If it does, I'll know who to blame.

Sorry but long hair is always better in my opinion.

Johanna said...


You're a tool.


m said...

I think long hair, especially if it's fine and straight, can look very sloppy. I'm so sick of that messy beach look. I'm rockin the Katie Holmes bob, minus the blunt bangs, and have never looked better.

jes said...

I too wish I could do a shorter do, but while the Italian genes have given me lovely olive skin, they have also given me a nose not conducive to crops. Sigh.

bff in chicago said...

your short haired influence got to me months ago! I'm the toast of MichAve, baby!

Ok, not at all but I still get tons of compliments on it.

blake licks bathroom floors said...

Too-long hair seems dated to me. Love Elisha's hair, but I do not have the face for it.

Catherine said...

I'm always surprised at how a great short cut can make someone's eyes pop, or make their neck look giraffe-long. You really have to have a great cut, though (because MAN have I had some bad short haircuts, and I looked exactly like my brother.)

My problems is that I love my long hair when it's done and silky and wavy and yummy, but I also love the way a jaw-line bob brings my cheekbones into existence...it is always a dilemma.

Kiki said...

I recently went to something kind of in between that Bop model and the Katie Holmes 2.0. I have my days when I love it, and I have my days (fewer of them!) when I hate it. Still, it's sooooo much better than my shaggy beyond the shoulder boooooring look before. And I get many more compliments!

... and I will tell you that I was one of the girls that thought my face was too round, my hair was too curly/bushy, whatever excuses. Just GO FOR IT. It'll always grow out.

Anonymous said...

I am all about experimenting, but I think...some women...should seriously consider the shape of their face and the appearance of their features before going way short.

Some women just DO NOT have a SHARP enough face to pull this off. If your face is "soft," particularly around the chin or the cheeks, this look is not for you. No matter how tone the rest of you is...no matter how much you work out.

And some women don't have the nose to pull off this look...if your nose is at all round or has a "bulb," you really need to proceed with caution.

In other words...if you're not Natalie Portman, then you are not and never will be Natalie Portman.

dc lawyer said...

I agree with 2:35. Having a great haircut makes your life a little bit better, but having a terrible haircut makes your life miserable. I don't care how superficial that makes me sound, but it's true. This is one area I really wouldn't condone the "just do it!" method.

Righteous (re)Style said...

Funny, it MUST be cropping season as I have been walking around all this week asking everyone I know whether the new Katie cut (with bangs) would work on me. But, at the same time, I have had a variety of shorter cuts for years and years and have finally grown out my hair just a smidge past my shoulders - determined to have the patience to go long and luxurious. Yet the Katie cut beckons to me - like an old friend - from the Critic's Choice Awards and the red carpet of Mad Money. Can Katie look any better? At that point I remind myself that I do NOT look like Katie Holmes. Sigh.
(I ALWAYS love Selma's hair. Even when she bleached it.)

Anonymous said...

FYI-I think this is your favorite nail polish:


Anonymous said...

your stylist should give you a free cut on account of how much business you're giving her with this public rec. I called and made an appointment, and they said I was the third girl to call and ask for Karen specifically within the past half hour! can't wait!

jezebel said...

some of you are such sheep.

Teek said...

I chopped from mid-back to somewhere between Paris here and Nicole Richie's bob back a few months ago. I ... really regret it actually. Sorry to be a raincloud on the short hair party :(

I don't miss the hassle of long hair but I feel like I look younger and immature and unfinished. I feel like I can never dress it up and I miss my long preppy ponytail. I don't know if it's this middling length that is the problem, and I should try it even shorter, or if I should embrace the long hair in my 20s while it's still totally appropriate. And maybe I'm insane but I think it makes me look fatter. (In the body, I have a thin face and a little nose)

I love what happens when you ask women to talk about their hair - the floodgates open!

Oh, and I'm proud that you made it through this whole post without snarking on Brit's shaved head.

Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton needs to fire her plastic surgeon, dermatologist and make up artist.

dara said...

you're in the Washington Post today!

cali finale said...

I hate to admit it, but I like the cut on Paris the best. That lipgloss is awful but her hair is super cute.

Anonymous said...

Teek's comment reminded me of just how subjective (mullets and "I just got back from the Bahamas" cornrows excepted) hair is. I always thought longer hair was younger and immature and unfinished...think of the sorority girls with hair halfway down their backs -- or Miley Cyrus.

Scott said...

Maybe it's because my sisters had long hair.

Maybe it's the friend on mine that does Hillary's hair who says short hair is so much more of a challenge.

Maybe it's the artist in me as I've always looked at the hair, (or the head suit on guys) as the frame for the face's canvas...

Maybe it's different enough and more hard to pull off...

But I've always gone for short hair on women.

And you forgot a shot of Amelie Jo.

Anonymous said...

On another note, I saw this photo of not-so-pretty pointy shoes and I thought of you...


asjine fan said...

seriously 3:36, why would you post that link to Rachel's blog? why kick a girl when she's down? let her be.

Katie 2.0 is actually looking pretty good these days. when did she lose so much weight?? she looked crazy radiant at the mad money premiere a few nights ago. Oh wait that's where this picture is from.

Christina said...

You've inspired me. I have a 5pm appointment to go Katie Holmes.

priya said...

I made an appt for tomorrow but I think I'll take your approach and go super short in stages. I love the Agyness's hair but I'm too afraid to try it as it might be one of those looks that only looks good on the runway on a top model. thank you so much for pushing me into finally calling my stylist!

Candid Cool said...

i actually like christian's hair on him its not a cut for everybody.

Dave said...

I've never understood why so many guys insist on long hair and only long hair. That cut looks horrible on Ms. Paltrow. Yet many guys probably like it. You are so dead on when you point out good and bad in each.

You don't have to be Kate Beckinsale to pull off long hair any more than you have to be Natalie Portman to pull off short hair. You need to have a good cut either way.

Maybe it's because I like both hair, but a change like Elisha Cuthbert did had a major wow factor. Kate Beckinsale looks ten times better than she did with short hair, but growing out takes time. That's why getting a great short cut gets the wow from some guys.

That so many guys can't appreciate a hot short haircut just leaves all the short haired hotties for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I don't prefer short hair on myself, but like most of the pics you've posted! I have wavy, thick hair, so I feel as though I have a lot more options with long hair, (meaning it doesn't just hang there like Gwenyth's). Point being: It's so awesome to just *know* what your most flattering look is. It's long hair for me, and short hair for you - either way, the confidence it brings is fab.

freckledk said...

What happened to Rodney at Andre Chreky? Thought he did your 'do?

Johanna said...


Because I had to start making twice monthly trips to the salon (the only downside to short hair), I couldn't afford to keep paying $75 (plus tip) a pop. apparently, the policy at Chreky is that if what you need done takes as little as 10 or as many as 60 minutes, you have to pay for the entire 60 minute "time slot". Therefore, if I wanted to come in for a quick clean-up-the-back trim, even if I didn't need a shampoo or blowdry, I'd still have to pay Rodney's full fee.

I love him, but Mama needs shopping money, you know?

Karen and I have worked out a much more budget friendly arrangement. I've been seeing her for about six months now, and she's really fantastic.

Don't let PIAF's craptastic aesthetic turn you off -- Karen for hair and Jennifer for nails get my votes of confidence.

Anonymous said...

every two weeks??? that's something I hadn't really considered. that's a really big jump from my usual every two or three months.

will need to rethink this now...

Johanna said...


Thanks for pointing out the glaring Audrey Tautou omission! Apologies!


p.s. and thank you for being one of those guys who doesn't think if you don't have Giselle hair you must be a lesbian. believe me, you're fewer and farther between than you'd think.

Dave said...

Every two weeks? Your hair is as short as any guy's hair. I cut mine every six weeks. I admit that after three weeks it's a little long but it still looks good. I don't see why a woman should have to go every two weeks. I'm guessing Johanna chooses to.