Sunday Tittle Tattle: Is This My Perfect Hair?

short hair styling

I’ve had a good chance to really test the limits of my new haircut, now, and things have been going pretty well. Which has led me to ask the question: could this be my perfect style?

Well: yes and no. Perhaps I’m just in the honeymoon phase with my new, shorter hair, but it does seem to be far easier to style. Although therein lies the rub: I hate hair styling. Even plugging in a hair curling tong gives me palpitations: what sort of monstrosity am I going to create on my head this time? I wonder, as my palms become clammy and I frantically search the chest of drawers for the little heatproof glove. (Those bloody gloves! Make them neon pink, please, so that we can easily pick them out when they get accidentally thrown into the sock and knicker drawer!)

short hair styling


So anyway, yes: I love my new haircut when I have “styled” it (method upcoming, I just need to take some photos of the various intricate – highly skilled! – stages, which include tonging, tonging, more tonging and then windmilling my arms to get the blood back into them) but I do slightly miss being able to tie it back when I don’t style it, which is approximately 98% of the time.

Although I must say that having it shorter is sort of forcing me into making an effort. Again, this is a swings and roundabouts scenario, because I have about as much energy as a sloth after an aerobics session and zero spare time. But if I shoehorn a twenty minute styling session into the week then I can pretty much make the waves/texture/volume last for around four or five days by repeatedly dousing my hair in dry shampoo. (Colab, obviously, and I’m still on the Paradise scent, if you’re asking.)  Admittedly I smell like a wet dog by the time I come to wash it, or like someone who has spent the weekend lying in a damp pile of grass cuttings emptied from the lawnmower, but it’s worth it to not have to keep on plugging in the Wand of Doom, which should require the user to at least pass some sort of proficiency test before they are allowed to spend time alone with it…

short hair styling

I’m going to compile an exhaustive list of the pros and cons of shorter hair, so if you have any of your own then please add to the comments section below – anecdotal material always welcome, I do spend quite a long time scrolling through and chuckling to myself when you leave your stories! (I’m rubbish at answering, but that’s because I now spend my spare time trying to put waves into my hair and look polished-yet-dishevelled.)

Here are some of my pros and cons so far:

It doesn’t tie back completely into a bun or ponytail, which is a bit of an arse, considering that I spend my life with it tied back into a bun or ponytail.


When it’s hanging loose, it doesn’t get on my nerves, so I don’t feel as though I need to be constantly tying it back into a bun or ponytail.

It needs product. Whether it’s the length, or the fact that it’s more bleached and therefore a bit frazzlier, if I don’t use any product it sort of looks slightly unfinished. Luckily, the type of product it needs (a tiny slick of grooming cream or a smidgen of oil on the ends) is quick and easy to apply. And I needed those things on my longer hair too, I suppose, it’s just that if I couldn’t be bothered to “do” my longer hair I’d simply tie it back into – yes – a bun or a ponytail.

It’s far easier to tong, wave or curl: there’s simply less of it. Well, not less as in less volume, so it still takes almost as long, but there’s less length to wind around the barrel or roller, so it feels quicker and it’s not such a fiddly task.

Finally – and hurrah for this one – it looks better when I don’t blow dry it. I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me to finally have an excuse not to blow dry my hair. Not that I ever did anyway, but my longer hair admittedly looked far more polished if I’d dried it with some heat – this cut just looks terribly, terribly pedestrian if I try to blow dry it into a uniform bob. Whereas the naturally-dried version frames my face and looks light and lovely, the heat-dried version is heavy and clunky and lacking in all of the beachy vibes that make the cut so perfect.

short hair styling

No doubt I’ll be bored of shorter hair by the autumn and the “growing out” phase will begin (does anyone else have this eternal self-inflicted hair-cut-then-grow-it-out cycle? what is this life?) and so I’m grasping the bull by its horns and doing as much “short hair experimentation” as I can. Wish me luck…

Many thanks, again, to Kat at Josh Wood Atelier for getting me out of a hair rut – you can read more about the cut itself in last week’s Sunday Tittle Tattle.


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  1. Tine
    July 23, 2017 / 8:17 am

    I always had this length or even shorter and was dancing through the majority of the time with it. Braiding is the best tip for getting it out of the way and if they are too short for a high pony tail then a low bun/knot in the nape should work.

    I never figured out how to handle longer hair, i.e. sleeping in it and the ever greasy look after two in the afternoon …

    • July 23, 2017 / 9:50 am

      Ooh, low bun! Didn’t think if that. Maybe centre parting, ballerina style.. x

    • Kate
      July 23, 2017 / 7:01 pm

      Ruth, I love the new cut, I want to cut my hair now:)

      • Kate
        July 24, 2017 / 12:03 am

        I cant wait for you to show us how you styled your hair. Looks gorgeous..

  2. philippa sutton
    July 23, 2017 / 8:34 am

    Definitely identify with this! I’m forever bored with my hair and repeatedly grow it, get bored, and then cut it short again. I really like having short hair, but as you mentioned it does require more styling and I’m very aware of the damage caused by over straightening.

    • July 23, 2017 / 9:50 am

      Yes, straightening fries it a bit doesn’t it?

    • Carol
      July 26, 2017 / 6:26 am

      same here I got a pixi cut in Feb Nd it’s been growing out since April ha …boredom

  3. Karen
    July 23, 2017 / 9:00 am

    Your new style is beautiful, Ruth. I have to admit that no matter whether I have my hair shorter or longer, it always gets scraped back somehow. I’m the laziest person when it comes to hair.

    • July 23, 2017 / 9:49 am

      Same! If it wasn’t all falling out around the front I’d still be scraping it back! x

  4. Nina
    July 23, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Yes – I can relate to all of your comments Ruth. I’ve just grown out my lob- cut a fringe in – now going through the pain of growing that out. Restyle remorse!
    Maybe a headband might get the front hair out of the way? What helped me was to twist two front sections and grip or elastic them at the back of my head. You don’t have to get the shorter back hair up – just the front bit. The added bonus is it gives your hair a bit of a wave when you take it out.
    I do think the new style looks lovely on you. Oh by the way I find the old school clamp tong easier than the twirly hell gloved variety.

    • July 23, 2017 / 9:49 am

      Oh my God, fringes are a whole new ball game!! x

  5. Helen Ruth
    July 23, 2017 / 9:19 am

    I love your new hair Ruth and it’s a gorgeous colour. More pros: it takes less time to wash and you need less shampoo and conditioner. Also I find that it’s easier to wash as it doesn’t get tangled like long hair does. I’m always cutting mine short (on a whim) and then wanting it long again, I can never make my mind up!

  6. Lucy
    July 23, 2017 / 10:11 am

    Major Pro – short hair makes everyone look that bit younger I think….need all the help I can get!

  7. Alex
    July 23, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Your new hair is just gorgeous, Ruth. Is suits you so, so much. That said, it’d still look beachy and cool if you let it grow slightly longer, to the point where you can just about tie it back. Best of both worlds!
    I’m a terrible one for letting my hair grow long, then seeing a shorter style and deciding I’d like to give it a whirl on a whim while I’m at the salon. And then comes the inevitable thought: ‘I’ve made a terrible mistake!’
    I once (admittedly after some deliberation) went for a pixie crop, bleached icy-white from almost black. Given that my hair’s so thick I normally need a hedge-strummer to keep it tidy – the wand of doom is no match for it – you can imagine how absolutely horrendous it was to style. Bleached straw-dry ends which jutted out at crazy angles. I had to get teeny men’s hair straighteners to sort it out/frazzle it some more. Never again, although it did look cool after all the effort. Xx

  8. Alex
    July 23, 2017 / 11:50 am

    i’ve gone short and love it! I do a low pony tail when i want to get it away from my face. For a sturdier style for exercising (so the front bits don’t fall out) i do a half up pony tail and then join it onto a low one (if that makes sense?!). I no longer have to blow dry either and as long as I use a serum it seems to behave itself. Only con is that in the summer I kept forgetting to put suncream on the back of my neck because it was never previously so exposed so i have some pretty dodgy tan lines!

  9. Jo WK
    July 23, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    Lol – spending the weekend lying in wet grass clippings – took me a while to compose myself after that one !
    I love love your hair like this Ruth, but I do sympathise with the styling woes. Fyi – I’ve spent a lifetime oscillating between long hippie hair and a shortish bob in shades of brown, blonde and red. I find if you go short you should keep up the blonde or a really sharp colour big time – ( mousy bob always look drab) . I’ve taken to cutting my own hair ( as it’s wavy/ curly and any mistake blends in ok haha) because I HATE going to the hairdresser ( they never get it right for me and colouring horrors well – don’t get me started!) Oh dear! xx

  10. Assezdepoutine
    July 23, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    I love this cut, and find that people with fine hair (that’s Ruth, right?) look best with shorter hair. I suspect even without much styling (such as a simple blow-dry with some wax or volumizing spray, like Brigeo’s or Aveda’s), and it would still look kicky and fun. Lovely.

  11. Susanamantha
    July 23, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    Your hair looks great,although I think it’s from the new color rather than the cut. It’s brighter, not mousy at all, and certainly more youthful. Nothing wrong with the cut, it suits you and this time of your life. I, like the others, go between a few years of past the shoulder long hair which is usually in a pony tail or bun, and a pixie cut, super short fringe. It feels so liberating to style my hair by sticking my head under the faucet, pushing my hair about, and letting it dry. But after a few months I’m bored with it and start the whole growing out nightmare again. That makes me want to become a hermit for a while until my hair is style-able in some way or another. Oh well, what fools we mortals be.

  12. July 23, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    hahahah always finding I cut my hair then say right I’m growing it out! and to be honest my hair is really very thick so for me styling when its short I found even harder and I would find twenty clips and rubber bands to still tie my hair up so what was the point! lol

  13. Evangeline
    July 23, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    I’ve been growing my hair for charity and can’t wait to go shorter and blonder. Have you thought about trying some hairbands to keep it off your face?

  14. July 23, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    I love this new shorter style on you! I’ve been having my hair cut short for awhile now, but I’ve been seeing such lovely long, wavy hair (mine is naturally curly/wavy) that I’m growing it out. Let’s just see how long that lasts for!

  15. Siena
    July 23, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    The one and only time I tried to properly blow dry my hair (with a brush and dividing it into sections instead of just blasting it dry) the brush (a mean sort of round style ) ended up entangled in the hair. I couldn’t move it an inch. Had to call my hairstylist for an emergency appointment. I had to go there by bus with the brush up in my hair!! The stares!! Needless to say, my hairstylist laughed his head off upon seeing me! He needed to soak brush and hair in a solution of oil, soap and water for ten minutes before he could finally untangle the mess!! I’ve been letting my hair dry naturally since …

  16. July 23, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    It really looks amazing, but I would go nuts when I couldn’t´t tie it back. With the kids grabbing and pulling and me constantly bending over to pick up something I just need it out of my face.

  17. Heather
    July 23, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    It looks lovely, really suits you. Mine is strawberry blonde, same length but much thicker and quite coarse, so I struggle with the less smooth look (always think it looks messy on my hair!) but need to persevere.

  18. Jayne
    July 23, 2017 / 6:21 pm

    I can totally relate to the comments here about going through the phases of long, short, long, short but the thing that seemed to happen for me (not sure why?) was how it affected me as a woman. Looking back at my ‘hair journey’ (and sometimes my hair went on a journey without my brain accompanying it, such as my recent blonde streaks episode..) whenever I had my hair shorter, although I felt more confident and youthful, I didn’t feel particularly sexy or feminine (I look back at my short hair photos and that is not the case, short hair can and is, sexy and feminine as your new hairstyle proves Ruth). Being the grand old age of 51 now, I have got to the point where I just keep my hair long and it goes up or down according to my mood.

    Jayne x

  19. Jemima
    July 23, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    What about half up half down? That would get it out of your face and would look lovely. It really does suit you so much! Very flattering. I had mine cut to this length last summer – and loved how easy it was to style – and it did make me wear it down more, like you. I ended up growing it out though, and I have my fringe back, which I love. Even though it’s a pain, it takes two seconds to blow dry (as per Sali Hughes video), and makes my hair look alright even if the rest of my mop is not styled. X

  20. Tatiana
    July 23, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    Love the new cut and color. It really suits you.
    I’ve had short hair since I was pregnant with my daughter 24 years ago. I finally let it grow. It needed a trim and a shaping and my favorite hair stylist had moved back to this area, so I booked an appointment. I sat in her chair and said, “I like the length and being able to pull it into a pony tail. Can we just shape it up”. The first few snips went in and I said, “Um that’s looking a bit short. Remember I want to be able to put it up in a pony tail!” Her reply it was just the layering that made it look short. End of story, I walked out with a chin length bob that I cannot put up. Grrr. It took me almost a year to get my hair that length.
    I usually hate product in my hair. Hate the way it feels, the fuss of it, the smell of it. But I do make an exception for Oribe Supershine Moisturising Cream. Keeps my style looking a bit more polished and less frazzled without weighting it down.

  21. Nikki Nicholls
    July 23, 2017 / 11:58 pm

    I love your new style Ruth. I was growing out a cut which was much shorter at the back and longer at the front and hadn’t had it cut since January. When I went to the hairdressers this weekend I took a screen-shot picture of your new style and asked for something similar. My hair is now the same length all round and the hairdresser made it look so nice as she used straighteners to curl some sections. I’m under no illusion that it will look anywhere near as nice once I’ve (attempted to) styled it myself .

    So thank you for the hair inspiration ☺️

  22. Barbara
    July 24, 2017 / 12:15 am

    Oh, it looks lovely. I find that longer hair drags my face down, looks stringy and looks like I just don’t care. Where as, a fresh haircut with the ends snipped off makes everything look fresher and put together. Also, a little different. I saw a picture of a college graduation class and every single young lady had the same hair style. On that note, I thank you for always making me smile and wish that I could get back to the U.K. for another visit.

  23. Poorani
    July 24, 2017 / 3:33 am

    I have always cut my hair going shorter than what my mother expects each time. When I am in the chair, I just feel very experimental. The second day I go through the 7 stages of grief. I dont do styling as I know I will be bad at it. Combing my hair for more than 10 minutes reminds me of my fat arms. So I keep tying what little I have into a ponytail and use hairpins for whatever is left.

  24. NIN
    July 24, 2017 / 6:03 am

    it’s a LOVELY style, anyways..
    it SO cute, so contemporary, so young looking, so in_place_with_min._efford.
    you really look 20 years old.
    dries out easier than long hair, so you don’t bother thinking how many hours you will be with wet hair if you give them a wash too, getting in the shower.

    i have long bleached hair myself, and i don’t short- cut them, thinking how long it will take to grow back when i will get bored of short (which i will, no doubt), so i go an and cut little by little, i recenty cuted a layerd style with bangs just to giv it a less-hair, lighter feeling for the summer. i m in a constnd search of an easy, complementary, but vamp- looking style :)

  25. July 24, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    I can’t pull off a bob with my super bushy curly head of hair, I have tried, and finally admitted defeat. So I am envious of anyone who can and always think bobs are super chic and fun looking. Yours is so pretty and suits you so well – the waves give it modern sass, keep it! Until you get bored of it, of course, I do think we are doomed to repeat haircut cycles! ;-)

  26. Helen
    July 24, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    This style looks just lovely on you, and I do sometimes imagine I’d like to try this kind of style too. However my hair is very dark (with a few greys, nice!) so these kind of beachy styles never look the same as on blonde or highlighted hair, which shows off the texture much better. I also have zero patience with styling and no upper body strength- I hear you with the aching arms!

    I’m another one of these people who has yo yo’d between shirt and long- I had a pixie cut most of my uni and postgrad days, which maybe wasn’t always the most flattering on me, but was sooo easy to look after – also no chance of getting your hair pulled on the rugby pitch! I went through a horrendous growing out stage in my mid 20s which has put me off cutting it again even though the ease is tempting me a bit.

    The worst haircut I ever had was right before my wedding when i managed to somehow miscommunicate with the hairdresser- had been growing it specially (the end of the post crop days) and ended up with 90s layers – in 2011! My mum’s hairdresser sorted me out with a 20s bob which looked great, but a lot shorter than I had planned! It really was a great cut though- fell into place without needing to style it on honeymoon.

    I now have ‘boring’ long hair, because it’s so easy to plait or tie back – I cycle a lot, including to work, and it’s just easier to deal with than having to style mid length hair in the ladies loo. Not to mention how ridiculous a bib would look under a helmet. I like to pretend I’m Lizzie Deignan with my plait…

  27. Jen
    July 24, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    You look sexier with short hair.

  28. July 24, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    I used to have short hair just like your but for practicality I grew it longer :( Seeing how great yours looks I definitely want to go back to short hair, just need to make the leap now!

  29. July 24, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    Just echoing what everyone else is saying – hair suits you so well Ruth.
    I too have hair this length and have gone through a good few ‘versions’ of this sort of cut. The time before last she did it really bluntly that, due to the nature of my hair (the shorter it is, the thicker it gets – especially the underside bits of my hair!), meant I looked a bit adore The Explorer if I didn’t style it!

    Now it has a few layers (criminal for this style, supposedly) and looks much better and has more movement.

    I can be pretty lazy when it comes to hair styling and prefer for things to require minimal effort. I don’t enjoy blow drying unless I really have to, which this style allows me to.
    The brand OUAI has been a life saver too. The Styling Creme and the Wave Spray are brilliant and I really recommend. A quick tong of my hair the morning after I’ve washed it and those products (plus a bit of CoLab!) lasts a good few days.

    As for keeping it off your face – just a little butterfly clip, or something similar clipping the top layer of your hair back works well for me or a half pony (I’m centre parted btw) works really well :)

    • July 24, 2017 / 2:15 pm

      That should say Dora The Explorer – not adore!

  30. Kim Coleman
    July 24, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    I think it’s a great cut – when my 2 kids were the ages yours are – I ended up cutting my hair all off … pixi cut. Wasn’t the best cut on me but it was easy to do (my kids are 18mos apart – yours too yes?) I eventually grew it out and had a bob once again and then grew it longer … midway down my back with bangs (aka Brenda Walsh from 90210 … that’s my generation). Had that cut for a few years as my job required me to wear it up and that was the simplest way to do it. Changed career last summer and I cut it shorter. I do miss long hair at times – it’s just touching my shoulders – but if I grow it out too long, it eventually ends up in the scrunchy-bun.

  31. Amanda
    July 24, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    So many of us have the same replies, we are not alone with this conundrum are we! NYE I had a ‘cut this man right out of my hair’ moment – yes NYE She took it from waist to too short for a pony tail on her say so whilst I was busy umming and ahing. I have had it worn back via a tree chic headband since and purely ‘fed’ it so as to get the health back into my naturally corkscrew curly hair which I straighten to death once a week or more. It had got to the point that the curls were barely there, hence conversation with hairdresser about next steps. Now it is pony tail length and I can tong it with a stupid half glove – utterly pointless contraption. And I’m toying with going shorter like yours again Ruth but I just miss my long hair when I need to feel smoochy if you follow. To be realistic there isn’t an awful lot of that on the cards right now so I may as well go a buzz cut but for now I’m John Frieda colouring it myself this week as I am the worlds most boring person on the planet when it comes to hair colour, and paying someone $300 to put one colour in is just ridiculous if you ask me AND it’s extra for a blow dry I say, if you are managing two bambinos and you can’t tie it back – keep it as it looks super hot. Personally I’d be swearing every five minutes whilst it stuck to my face in the hot Aussie sun (still never acclimatised since moving from Jersey 13 years ago) and would have a headband on that ASAP. Should’ve married a hairdresser that’s for certain, gosh can you imagine

  32. Mathilda
    July 24, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    Hi Ruth,I just cut my hair recently, and I think I won’t go back to my long hair anymore,found short hair is more suitable for me.Your new haircut just look great on you!! I love it!! I always want to have a kind of “lazy” feeling hairstyle which look like I just get up from my bed.but!!! when I saw the tutorial of this lazy style,it needs tons of products and styling,really drive me crazy,because I just don’t like spending too much time on styling my hair, and later it’s all gone(my hair turns oliy quickly especially in summer time). so now all I do is to tong my shorthair to straight,give a little bit curl at end and have a half bun, I love short hair with half bun!! it looks really nice,possibly I will spend whole summer with half bun. You can try half bun, it’s easy to do and I believe it will look gorgeous on you!

  33. Jennifer
    July 24, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    It looks incredible! Do you have access to Chloe and Isabel x Jen Atkin hair accessories? She’s made these huge pins that you can easily use to sweep the sides back, they’ve saved my life several times when a pony wasn’t possible. I love that you dread the tongs as much as me. Great write up. I’d be interested to know if less ponys/buns, my go to, makes you feel more polished on a regular basis? If so I need a haircut.

  34. Nicola
    July 24, 2017 / 9:36 pm

    Try the ‘bb don’t blow it ‘ hair styler . I have the one for thick hair . It’s a life saver in hot weather especially. I had the chop (not that one) and now mourn the loss of the can’t be arsed ponytail.

  35. July 25, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Well, not less as in less volume, so it still takes almost as long, but there’s less length to wind around the barrel or roller, so it feels quicker and it’s not such a fiddly task.

  36. Ana
    July 25, 2017 / 3:28 pm

    As I get older, i think the shorter hair look makes me look and feel younger, funny isn’t it? My hair is wavier than but what i normally do for more waves is after i wash my hair while it is half dry/wet i apply styling product, tie a high messy bun with a hair elastic (how tigh or loose or messy influences the final result), don’t mind the hairs that fall at the nape (the look isn’t very pretty, actually it looks crazy) and wait for it to dry or even help a bit with a blow dryer. Take the elastic off and ready to go…it doesn’t look as polished but i like it.

  37. Jess
    July 26, 2017 / 10:36 am

    I’ve just gone from hair down to the small of my back to slightly shorter than yours, it’s the best cut I’ve ever had… unless I don’t style it in which case I look like a mushroom headed scarecrow.

    I no longer get tangled in my own hair at night.
    It is undeniably more stylish.
    It dries in about ten seconds.
    I can just about pull it in to two teeny tiny bunches which looks adorable.

    I seem to need to wash it more often, which makes me think my longer hair had more oil absorbing capacity which is an unpleasant thought I wish I hadn’t had.
    It somehow gets in my food more.
    Not being able to tie it back – agreed that this is the worst.
    Standing in the shower with a handful of shampoo wondering when I’ll learn.
    Aforementioned scarecrow impression.
    Not being able to stand dramatically in high winds with long hair flowing behind me like I’m in a bad romance novel.

    Seems to be more cons than pros so far but the pros are a bit more sensible so I’m on the fence. I’m terrible at booking the hairdresser anyway so I’ll inevitably grow it out a bit. I’d love to know what styling products you’re using, mine really needs something a bit more sleeky in it.

  38. Kirstie
    July 27, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    I recently cut my hair to a similar length to yours and I find a jaw hair clip to be an absolute saviour for when I want to pull me hair back. My hair it the back is shorter so I only need to pull back the sides in a half up/half down manner!

  39. Mansi
    July 29, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Man, short hair suits you!
    The best thing about having shorter hair was that I didn’t have to bother with the dryer. Sometimes air drying just takes too long, especially since I tend to procrastinate. Need to reach out for the dryer, even when I’d rather not.

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