By Nicole Pearl Kaplan
These days, everyone seems to be looking to celebrities for hairstyle cues and new ideas for cuts. The problem is that those hairstyles don’t always translate from Hollywood to hometown. Many of today’s stars have an army of beauty and hair experts to primp and pin every strand, but you have five minutes to run a brush through your hair before you’re running out the front door.
Instead of Hollywood hair, what you need is a haircut that fits yourlife.
“Even if you’re seriously busy, you don’t have to sacrifice great-looking hair,” says Jet Rhys, owner of the Jet Rhys salon in San Diego. “There are stylish cuts that work with your natural hair texture and don’t require a lot of time or effort.”
Look below for your hair type and find out which cut hair experts say matches your hair texture — and more importantly, your life.
If your hair is straight and …
- Long Get a cut that is all the same length at the bottom except for a few shorter layers in front to frame your face. When you let hair air-dry — the fastest and most common option for busy moms — the blunt ends ensure hair dries straight, smooth and neat. The shorter pieces around your face, which should fall at eye and cheek level, soften the blunt lines and give strands extra volume, says Rhys. (By contrast, many layers all over can look choppy if you don’t use a flatiron or blow-dryer.)
- Short A chin-length bob that’s stacked at the nape of your neck virtually styles itself, says Rhys. The stacking adds natural thickness that you’d otherwise only achieve from a blow-dryer and brush. And because of the shape, hair falls perfectly into place as it air-dries. That frees you up to focus on family activities more important than styling, like packing lunches, carpooling and getting to work on time.
Quick expert tip: Daily shampooing prevents oily and limp hair. But if you’re pressed for time, use a dry shampoo instead. Spray or sprinkle the formula on roots, then massage with your fingertips. Ingredients such as cornstarch absorb the oil and thicken strands.
If your hair has loose waves and is …
- Long Hair experts say that the best cut for wavy hair falls below your shoulders and has several layers cut throughout. “The layers should be various lengths, hitting at your cheekbones, jaw and neck,” says Rhys. These shorter pieces are lightweight, which encourages your wavy texture and adds natural body when you let hair air-dry. (If your strands are all one long length, the weight could relax waves and leave hair looking limp.)
- Short A layered bob that’s slightly longer than chin length is your key to stylish, hassle-free hair, says Rhys. Like the longer cut above, layers naturally boost texture and give hair movement. And unlike on straight hair, the layers won’t look choppy, because they blend in with your waves.
Quick expert tip: To ensure the wavy style holds all day, rub a quarter-sized dollop of gel between your palms, then finger-comb through damp strands and let hair air-dry.
If your hair has tight curls and is …
- Long Your hair’s smartest cut falls slightly past your shoulders and has a few long layers mixed in, says Rhys. The layers, which should be only 1 to 2 inches shorter than the longest pieces, give hair bounce but also retain enough weight to provide poof control. Unless you plan to shape and style curls daily, more dramatic or varied layers could leave hair frizzy on top and thin on the bottom.
- Short A sassy pixie cut is the ultimate time-saver for your hair type and length. “Cutting strands to only a few inches relaxes your curls, eliminating poofiness and frizz,” says Rhys. Because dealing with frizz eats up time, this cute, super-short cut will be a boon for your busy schedule.
Quick expert tip: For long hair, smoothing mousse helps define curls. Scrunch it into wet strands, then air-dry. The less you fuss with your curls, the better they’ll look, says Rhys. For the pixie, rub a dab of styling paste between hands and use your fingers to quickly shape and place various pieces. It will give hair structure and definition.
If your hair is coarse and …
- Long Braids and locks do away with frizz and require little daily maintenance beyond moisturizing your scalp and hair with an oil or cream. If you want hair that’s long and straight but hate the flatironing and blow-drying that go with it, Rhys recommends an in-salon keratin treatment. “It’s so gentle!” she says. “It smoothes and softens hair without any of the chemicals in traditional relaxers.” Although you must spend two to three hours with the experts at the salon initially, the results last for up to three months.
- Short A long, layered bob that hits at the center of your neck and has long, sideswept bangs is the cut for your hair. The length adds weight to prevent poofiness, and the layers and bangs give hair shape. Be sure, however, to get a trim every four to six weeks. Naturally dry, coarse hair is prone to split ends. If strands are not snipped, splits can work their way up, leading to breakage and frizz.
Quick expert tip: Every two weeks, give hair an at-home hot oil treatment to soften strands and fight frizz. Look for products that contain natural moisturizers like olive oil and vitamin E. Experts say to leave on for 45 minutes, even if the directions recommend less time. The oil often needs extra time to penetrate, says Rhys.