For whatever reason — whether it's pop culture, the patriarchy, or something else — having "mom" hair is viewed as a negative thing. Though I'm not quite sure what exactly makes a woman's tresses considered motherly, it does seem like there is a pretty clear list of synonyms to describe the look. When I asked friends what constitutes that specific style, words like "dated" or "plain" and "unkempt" or "frumpy" made the top of the list. So what are some ways to wear short hair without it being considered a "mom" crop?
As it turns out, the key to rocking a chic cropped cut isn't all that different than what it takes have luscious long locks. The main thing Pravana-certified hair stylist Tiffany Sposato advises? Confidence. In an interview, she told me that the days of hard and fast rules are gone and, "as long as you love what you see in the mirror, who cares if it's 'in' or not?" Aside from not giving an eff about what other people think, there are actually some easy maintenance basics and surprisingly simple styling tips out there to keep your short 'do looking fresh and fierce. So if you don't want to sport the "I'd like to speak to a manager" haircut, check out these pixie-cut pointers.
1. Keep Maintenance Up
Buzzed heads and androgynous hairstyles are having their moment in the style spotlight. If you want to or have already made the leap to super-cropped hair, don't forget about maintaining your look lest you fall into Chia pet territory. Celeb hairstylist Cesar Ramirez told Allure that you should be "checking in with your stylist at least once a month for a touch-up and to resist the siren song of drugstore clippers," to keep your style looking clean.
2. Get Edgy
Since "plain" was one of the words I heard thrown a lot when describing "mom" hair, it's totally understandable that a lot of women want to find a way to add a little edge. Stylist Rodney Cutler told Elle that just razor cutting the sides can take your short 'do from ordinary to extraordinary in an instant. It's another great way to make sure your look is one-of-a-kind, too.
3. Consider Your Face Shape
As stylist Sposato had already mentioned, you don't have to limit yourself when it comes to haircuts based on what you "should" or "shouldn't" do. But, it is helpful to take your face shape into consideration when deciding what length to go for. "Everyone can pull off a chin-length cut," Redken brand ambassador, Randy Cutler, told Glamour. "But have a thorough consultation with your stylist to determine what type of cut is best for your face shape — whether that’s a layered look, A-line shape, or a fringed style."
4. Mind Your Bangs
Just because you want a cropped cut doesn't mean that you can't have fun with a little fringe, too. But beware the dangers of bangs. Just like when you tried to trim your own hair as a child, there are some risks involved. Sally Hershberger stylist, Guy Riggio, told Total Beauty that bangs can be a great way to frame the face, but you should stay way from anything too bulky. And on the plus side, not having heavy bangs means not having to do a lot of high-maintenance styling in the morning.
5. Celebrate Your Natural Texture
I've heard plenty of horror stories from friends with naturally curly hair about how they've had "the haircut from hell" when they opted to go short. But don't let that discourage you from rocking a pixie cut. Celebs like Rihanna and Lupita Nyong'o have proven curls and cropped 'dos aren't mutually exclusive. "Finger-comb curls to loosen them up," hair stylist Bethany Brill told Refinery 29. "Add a bit of styling wax or paste to the ends so [the curls] don’t collapse."
6. Be Kind
Though it's super tempting to whip out the straightener or curling iron for a quick style when you're running short on time, be careful. It turns out that all that heat can add up and take its toll. Matt Fugate, a stylist at Sally Hershberger, told Allure that heat styling and chemical treatments can be even more damaging (and apparent) on shorter hair than longer hair. So make sure to replenish any lost moisture and nutrients so your 'do won't look fried.
7. Don't Overdo Layers
Chopping off your hair doesn't mean it has to look choppy, too. If you want depth and movement, you can add layers, but don't go crazy with it. Moderation is key. Riggio told Total Beauty that too many layers can look frizzy, and you should ask your stylist for thick, heavy layers. The last thing you want is for your hair to look too busy, so adding a touch of dimension is the way to go.