Seemingly overnight, a crop of effortlessly cool haircuts—typically followed by an “-ob” suffix (lob, bob, you get the picture)—have taken over the beauty scene. What’s more, the trend is gaining traction that truly shows no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.
To get some insight on the style being rocked by the likes of Bella Hadid and Stella Maxwell, I reached out to Virtue creative director and celebrity stylist Adir Abergel and Kérastase hair stylist Jennifer Yepez, who both style the hair of some of the biggest names in Hollywood (particularly the celebs who have propelled the shoulder-grazing style into mass popularity—think Gigi Hadid, Kristen Stewart, and Anne Hathaway).
Keep reading for the celeb hairstylists’ take on why short hair is *so* popular right now.
It’s the perfect antidote to dyeing and bleaching
Remember last year, when “unicorn” mania ushered in a slew of pastel hues in everything from food to beauty? So does Abergel. “We were seeing extreme color changes,” he says. “People coloring their hair light pink.” Those kinds of color trends are hard on the hair. They usually require a “double process,” which means that hair is first bleached and then dyed the cotton candy hue. Easy on the eyes, but rough on hair.
According to Abergel, these very trends from last year laid the groundwork for shorter cuts this year. “With a lot of dye, you end up damaging a lot of your hair and through that, women started exploring going shorter and cutting off all of this dead hair.”
PSA: If you’re not in the market for a cut, Abergel recommends rehabbing strands with an oil- and protein-packed Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask. “It’s an amazing weekly treatment,” he says, to boost shine, luster, and vibrancy in color-treated hair. Similarly, “coco-buns” are taking over the world (or just the Well+Good office, perhaps). Try slathering a tablespoon into strands from roots to tips, throw hair into a high top knot, and sleep on it. When you wake up in the morning, shampoo it out, and your hair will be ultra-soft and shiny.
The styling options are endless—and they have major payoff
Abergel points to the innumerable ways a shorter ‘do can be styled as one of the reasons behind its popularity. “I think that short hair is incredibly versatile. There’s a lot of different ways to wear these bobs that add a little bit more individuality,” he says, pointing to celebrities like Emma Roberts, Saoirse Ronan, and Rooney Mara.
Their unique spins speak not only to the range of options for a cropped cut, but also to how your own personality can help define and style your look. It’s this versatility, according to Yepez, that allows a shorter cut to completely change the look of the person rocking it. “I love it because sometimes it suits the person so much more than long hair and just gives them a fresh, new look,” she says.
Standards of beauty are changing
Perhaps the biggest catalyst to the short hair takeover is the fact that standards of beauty are changing as diversity becomes more celebrated. Yepez looks to Hollywood (think: everyone from Kate Hudson to Kendall Jenner) as part of the reason why women who aren’t in the spotlight are beginning to feel more comfortable expressing themselves—and chopping off their locks.
“Once celebrities and models start cutting their hair off, everyone starts to think it’s cool. People who always wanted to try it, but were scared, now have the courage to chop it all off,” Yepez says. “If someone sees a look that inspires them and wants a change, they can bring the picture to their hairstylist and easily get the same look.” So as the tide begins to change, and as women have more points of reference for what they want their hair to look like, there’s also this: Long hair isn’t the foundation of “pretty hair”.
“There is an entire movement that has happened where long hair doesn’t define what beauty really is anymore,” adds Abergel. “I think it’s a very exciting time in beauty in general, that women are celebrating all of these different hair colors, all of these different cuts, all of these different lengths. And there is something really fun about exploring that part of yourself.”
To preserve your style—long or short—after hitting the gym, steal this dry shampoo hack from another celeb stylist. And maybe consider skipping the salt spray for beachy waves and opt for this HG instead (hint: it’s not a spray).
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