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Short hair is in with the pixie and the ‘lob’

With a snip heard around the world, celebrities are trading their extensions and decolletage-length tresses for shorter, more playful hairstyles. From close-cropped pixies to collar-length “lobs,” short is the new long.

“Women have been taking a chance with versatility, and are feeling sexy and feeling confident wearing [these shorter haircuts],” says Marie Robinson, Manhattan-based stylist to pixie-loving clients like Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway. “Everyone is bringing their length up — it’s a fresher look.” And just in time for summer.

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What separates these cuts from the classic glamour bob is edginess. “It’s more trendy, more asymmetrical, [with] a retro kind of bed head,” says Neal Farinah, the stylist behind Beyoncé’s infamous pixie cut and the short styles seen in her visual album. But can just anyone pull off this bold hair trend?

“Everyone has an inner short haircut — it’s a matter of pulling the trigger,” says Michelle Lee, owner of Salon Eva Michelle on Newbury Street. “Anybody can wear any length. If you’re ready to do it, there is a short haircut that will look good.” Here are a few favorites.

Michelle Williams (short bob)

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Michelle Williams’s style showcases the modernity of the new short cut. Longer pieces keep the style looking “a little softer,” says Robinson. “There’s some length on the top of her head and around her face that gives it more of a feminine quality.” To get Williams’s polished yet “effortless” look, Lee says to ask for plenty of invisible layers, which add dimension and motion. “You won’t actually see a lot of short layers, but you’ll see a lot of movement in the hair.”

Jennifer Aniston (A-line)

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

For those who are nervous to lop off their length, Lee suggests a universally flattering A-line cut. “Because it’s shorter in the back and longer in the front, you have that security blanket,” she says. The swingy cut “makes people feel like they still have their hair.”

Beyoncé (curly bob)

Lucy Nicholson/REUTERS

Curly-haired women can make the cut, too. “When [curly hair] is shorter, you get away with having really fun, expanded shape,” says Lee. Farinah suggests going with a cut that’s a couple inches longer, so that when “you wash it and wear it curly, it doesn’t look like a mushroom.” To avoid the dreaded “Christmas tree” triangle silhouette, Lee advocates for “more height through the top, and more lean through the sides.”

Emma Stone (lob)

Mike Pont/Getty Images

The “lob,” or long bob, features collarbone-length hair and is hotly requested this season. Whether it’s blunt-cut, filled with long layers, or messy and choppy, the lob offers the versatility of being a long short haircut. Women with very long hair should ask for a lob that’s just “slightly shorter in the back — not so much A-line, but [something that] gives a little more swing to the hair,” Lee says.

Jennifer Lawrence (grown-out pixie)

Alastair Grant/AP

Jennifer Lawrence decided to cut her hair on a whim, admitting in an interview that she was frustrated with her “fried” style at the time. Her laissez-faire attitude toward the chop has inspired many women to follow her example. Farinah, a huge proponent of the shorter ’do, says, “be free, have fun, celebrate your sexuality. It’s only hair. It’s going to grow back!”

Jessica Teich can be reached at jessicateich@gmail.com.
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