5 tips on how to care for short hair

Morning #hairspo: JLaw's totally chic platinum bob.

Morning #hairspo: JLaw's totally chic platinum bob. Photo: Barcroft Media

"Women with short hair always look as if they have somewhere else to go."

So says Joan Juliet Buck in her gorgeously written essay on the chicly coiffed short crop for American Vogue in 1988.

"Short hair removes obvious femininity and replaces it with style."

The hairstyle's feminist agenda aside, shorter locks can be incredibly stylish. They do, however, require much more time, product and upkeep than longer styles.


If you've ever been tempted to reach for the scissors (or your stylist) and take the plunge, now's the time. With summer comes ridiculously, stupidly, disgustingly hot temperatures and lobbing away a good few inches is one way to liberate your sweaty neck. You end up with a style that looks and feels as new and fresh as the season itself and can go about your business feeling at least 15 degrees cooler! Just a few tips to follow first …

Seek a professional opinion

There's no such thing as having one kind of face for short hair – but you need to know what you're doing. Going short is all about short-term strategy and long-term execution, bearing in mind how your hair is naturally inclined to grow out. Consult a stylist. It's their job to take structure, length and thickness into consideration and adapt the style to suit your face shape.

Go to someone you trust because you'll be seeing them a lot. Every three or so weeks for blunt styles and every four to seven weeks for softer styles. This may sound excessive, but hair grows around half an inch a month and shorter styles require a lot more maintenance than your usual long-locked 'dos.

Go easy with the brushing

Short hair doesn't need to be brushed as frequently as long hair as it's less prone to tangles. If you want more texture, gently comb through with your fingers. This gives you volume at the root, allowing you to work it forward and play around with the shape.  If you want less volume, give it the once over with a pocket-sized round boar-bristle brush like this one.

Be selective with your styling products

Short hair isn't easy to style and structure. When compared to your below boob-length tresses, that boyish pixie crop is a whole new animal. Shaggy mops and bobs naturally maximise volume, so choose products designed to add texture and hold. Try a dry matte paste such as Wella's Bold Move for shorter hair and a styling foam or mousse such as Schwarzkopf Silhouette for a flexible hold on slightly longer styles. And take it easy with the heat-styling tools, which can easily damage the hair shaft.

Keep it clean

Shorter styles also require more washing than longer styles as they become greasier more quickly. Try a pre-shampoo treatment of coconut oil on the ends, before lathering it up with a gentle shampoo such as Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. Then slather a deep conditioning mask of Ogx Hydrating Macadamia Oil Intense Moisture Mask for at least 15 minutes before rinsing, to combat the dryness. End your shower routine with a five-second rinse in cold water to soothe the heat damage and save your strands from splintered cuticles.

As a result of excess styling, product and debris can build-up on your scalp, leading to irritation and flaking. Try an exfoliating scalp treatment such as Kiehl's Deep Micro-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment on top of your wash every week or so.

Of course, a dry shampoo such as the one by Batiste is also great for grease control whilst adding a textured finish.

Smooth away those contemptible flyaways

Short hair does strange things when it first wakes up in the morning. Here's a quick trick for taming flyaways: Take a cotton wool ball and soak it in water, then dab at your hair to get rid of haphazard strands that stick out.