Short hair is supposed to be liberating. Losing length means less work, less product, and the realized dream of a true wash and go, right? Well, sort of. While it is true that there are fabulous benefits to cutting your curls, caring for them at a shorter length requires some adjustments to your normal regimen.
Do get more frequent trims.
With long hair, you can usually get away with scheduling a professional trim 2-3 times per year, in addition to regular at-home split-ends checks. With a shorter cut, you will have to spend more time in the salon chair. A short-to-medium cut needs to be trimmed every 6-8 weeks, while a pixie may need to be trimmed even more frequently to keep it in great shape. But, the bright-side is that your hair will be its healthy best.
Do make sure you are using the right types of conditioners.
With longer hair, you may find that the ends need intense moisture to keep them from being dry and frizzy. At a shorter length, intense rinse-out and leave-in conditioners may leave your curls looking greasy and flat. You may notice that your hair does better with a few lighter, water-based products.
Do plan on needing to wash your hair more frequently.
With long curly hair, it takes a couple of days for the sebum at our scalps to make its way down the hair shaft, and it may never reach the ends before we wash it away. With shorter hair, you may need to step up your wash days, particularly if you have fine, low density hair.
Do create a night routine appropriate to a shorter length.
When your hair is long, you may be able to pull it up into a pineapple before going to bed and awake with voluminous curls that have body at the roots. If you overstretch shorter hair, it will lose curl definition. A better bet is to sleep in a satin scarf or cap.
Do spice things up with temporary color.
Do not neglect your scalp.
This is particularly important if you are trying to grow out your hair after a big chop. The condition of your scalp is key, and making sure that it has everything it needs to be healthy will give you strong roots and adequate hair growth. At the least, you should be clarifying 1-2 times per month, but for increased benefits, add a detox and an exfoliating scrub.
Do not skimp on styling.
As much as it would be wonderful to be able to scrunch and walk out the door, many (if not most) of us find that shaping our curls will give the best results. Finger coiling, twist outs, and shingling can bring out the best in our curls and our shorter cuts. Styling curls helps to shape them as they grow, too.
Do not let your roots fall flat.
While flat roots are a challenge for long-haired wavies and looser curlies, for those with shorter styles, too much moisture at the roots can keep curls from clumping correctly. To avoid this, use a microfiber towel to get out excess water, and then clip your roots. Click here for tips.
Do not stick to the same style every day.
If you are used to long hair, you are likely used to its versatility. Short hair is versatile, too! You can use pins and clips to direct your curls, dab in pomades and texturing pastes to add movement, or pick out your soft, well-defined curls for face-framing volume. Short hair is never short on choices.
What are your best-tressed tips for short hair? Let us know in the comments. For more dos and don’ts click here.