Short Hair: The Process of Deciding to Take the Plunge

This week I got an email from a fellow Seattle-ite asking me how I decided to take the plunge and cut my hair short. Excellent question. Here’s my process of deciding to cut my hair short.

Once upon a time I had long hair. Long, thick, dark, luscious, Asian hair. I especially loved pulling it back in a bun when it was wet to produce gorgeous curls. But deep down I wanted short hair.

This goes WAY back in the archives! It's a physical photo I had developed from film. Circa 2001
Henry and I's Asian Invasion, circa 2004 in Calgary, Alberta

So I cut bangs. Inspired by Anne Hathaway’s cut in The Devil Wears Prada, in 2006, I adopted some fun bangs and started using a diffuser to encourage the natural wave in my hair. And yet still, I wanted short hair. At the hairstylist, I would always look at this picture of Mandy Moore with her short ‘do and fantasize about the day I’d take the plunge…

The cut I was inspired by. Photo:
(It's shocking to me that I can't find a better photo than this)

Then in 2007, I went for the A-line bob, inspired by Victoria Beckham. It was a great change and I wore it that way for several years, and even added a red streak for kicks. It began growing out and got about to my shoulders before I had the urgent need to cut my hair.

Loving that red streak! Photo: Justin Hackworth. Circa 2008
A long bob looks great with curls as well. Photo: Ethan Killian. Circa 2009

So the weekend of my birthday in 2009, after talking about it for years, I finally cut my hair short. From an A-line bob, it really wasn’t a huge difference, but it completely revolutionized my look. I swear, the fastest way to make everything in your closet look new is to change your hair.

With hair stylist Mike Kowalis

Maybe because I got called a boy when I had a short haircut in seventh grade. Maybe because I was a flamenco dancer (which traditionally necessitates long hair). For whatever reason, it took me a while to get to my short hair, but we finally made it!

If you’re trying to get the gumption up to take the plunge, what’s stopping you?

23 thoughts on “Short Hair: The Process of Deciding to Take the Plunge

  1. I've always been jealous of girls that look super awesome with short hair. I know a few, and you, Sarah are one of them! Growing up, I would go from long to short all the time. Maybe one day I will be brave and go short again, but for now I am totally taking advantage of long hair, haha.

  2. Thanks, Andrea! When I was a teenager, I did that long to short jump all the time as well. In the meantime I will live vicariously through your long hair! Recently I've been missing it and have been thinking about extensions… we'll see! -Sarah

  3. I must say I have always loved your hair short, I am rather envious. I have always wanted short hair like yours, but with my curly locks, it will just look like an afro. Maybe one day I will find a short hairstyle that looks girl with my curly hair. Hope you are doing well.

  4. Thanks Rachel! It\’s true, having short hair when you have curly locks like yours make for more maintenance if you are to straighten it everyday. I don\’t know if you remember the show Felicity starring Keri Russell, but at one point in the show she totally cut her hair short and it was quite glamorous! Here\’s an image of her:… Things are going great here, hope you are doing well! -Sarah

  5. Thanks ladies! I love it though sometimes I wish I had longer hair as well. I guess that\’s what removable extensions are for, right? Best of both worlds! Great to connect with another Mormon fashion blogger :) -Sarah

  6. Sarah!!! I adore this post with all my <3. Simply because I'm in that should I or shouldn't I phase. I've gone gymnast short before & am itching to go there again. However I'm not as skinny as I was back then & am worried I'll look too round in the face with a cropped cut. Plus I chopped a bunch of lifeless ends last winter, but part of me wishes I still had those ends, cause the total length by now would've been impressive. Currently I'm stuck in just past the shoulders holding-pattern + it makes me feel very frumpy. There are times I think "I can't cut it some more, cause then I won't be able to pull it back." But doesn't that sound ridiculous?! Unless it's curled & coming out of a ballcap or cowboy hat, I'm not a fan of it down. So why keep the length then, right?! Bah. I dislike being a libra. Curse in all matters of decisiveness. :)

  7. Keely, I\’m glad this blog post resonated with you! I\’m in a holding pattern right now myself about whether to stay short or grow it out. As far as cutting your hair is concerned, I bet if you kept some longer face-framing layers it would help to minimize any additional fullness you have in your face. The just-past-the-shoulders part is a hard place to be — it\’s not fabulous, is it? I hope you come to some sort of a conclusion at some point! You could always just keep growing it and see how you feel about it then. The funny thing about long hair is women typically pull it back anyways, so what\’s the point in long hair? Ah well. There\’s still something so glorious and feminine about well maintained long hair. Good luck! -Sarah

  8. This cut looks great on you. I think it's because you have such a nice jawline. I have gone short before, and I don't think I'll make that mistake again. Mine was a bob, though, not a boy-cut like yours. But still….it was a hard learned lesson on what DIDN'T work for me…


  9. Thanks, Anh. You bring up a good point — just like fashion trends, short haircuts don't work for everyone. If you don't mind my asking, what made having a short haircut a mistake for you? Did it not work with your face shape or personality? I'm sure you grew that haircut out in a hurry!


  10. I definitely did! It just didn't fit with the frame of my face, unfortunately. I have a slight double chin, and though it's not super noticeable, I didn't want to bring more attention to it! I would really love to be able to rock your cut though.

  11. Your hair is gorgeous short Sarah! It's amazing how it brings life and confidence to one's style. Am seriously thinking about cutting mine as well. I look like a spaniel at the moment, not having had a hair cut in months since giving birth. Building up the courage…and want to lose more of that baby belly before I take the plunge 😀
    Thanks for the inspirational advice!

  12. Thanks Kate for your kind words! I tell ya, a good haircut can make everything in your closet look better. How long is your hair right now? If it\’s long enough for a ponytail or a bun, at least you have options for a quick fix everyday. Good luck with your haircut! I\’d love to hear/see how things go, let me know if you blog about it! -Sarah

  13. My hair is past my shoulder blades. It would be ok if I could tie it up, but then it feels very heavy. Plus chunks of layers go astray and get very annoying. Definitely need to chop it off. Less hassle for a mum of 2 :)

  14. Kate, your hair is so long! I have really heavy, thick hair as well and one thing that has worked for me in the past is for my hairstylist to thin the layers underneath so that it feels like thick and you don\’t have layering pieces to worry about. Either that, or chop it off! :) Good luck! -Sarah

  15. I've always had short hair. It's super duper short or bob. I want to go super short again but now I'm older (47) I'm worried about my not-so-young face. Thoughts on older girls with short hair?

  16. Stephanie, thanks for stopping by! It\’s interesting you ask about older girls with short hair because for many women, once they get to a certain point they just cut their hair — I suppose it seems like the thing to do for many. If you have concerns about your face shape, I\’m sure you could discuss this with your stylist and find ways to move forward in a way that would flatter your face. Personally I find that when I have a super cropped cut that it brings attention to the angularity in my jawline, but when it\’s slightly longer, I don\’t notice it anymore. Good luck! -Sarah
    PS: If you ever wanted to brainstorm short haircut styles with me for your face shape, I also have eStyling Skype sessions available for $15 for 15!

  17. I am making plans to cut my hair short again in the Fall, just have to decide how short to go. Pinning lots of inspirations. So fun to see your hair story. You have a (beautiful) face shape that allows you to play with any style of hair–short and long–and short really does suit you! I had red strips in my hair for several years, but have had it natural since '06. And yes! I ALWAYS feel completely refreshed after a new cut.

  18. Van, how exciting that you\’re going to be cutting your hair short! Thanks for your lovely compliment, it\’s really been fun to experiment with different haircuts over the years. Aren\’t red streaks fun? Since you\’re looking for short hair inspiration, you may appreciate my Short Hair Pinboard — lots of inspiring haircuts! I\’ll be excited to see what you decide on! -Sarah

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