Whether your going short for the first time, or looking for a new short style, short hair requires an expert’s hand and an expert’s eye to pull it off right. A shorter cut can be dramatic and spectacular, or it can be a boring one way trip to old-city. I sat down with Frank Hathaway, a short hair specialist and style director at David Frank Salon in Scottsdale, to ask him about his special approach to short cuts.
D: You’re a big fan of shorter hair styles on women. What’s the attraction for you?
Frank: Simply put, when you have longer hair, people tend to see the hair and not the person wearing it. You have hair. With short and mid length hair, you have a hair style. There’s a huge difference.Shorter shapes allow you to accentuate the face and head shape in ways that just aren’t possible with long hair. The shape becomes very unique and personal.
D: Short hair gets a bad rap sometimes. Why do you think that is?
F: (Laughs) Because it’s done badly so often! To a lot of hairdressers, a short haircut is a quick thing, just get rid of the hair. Short hair requires much more skill than long hair. You have to be a great cutter to do it well.
D: You think a lot of stylists aren’t good with short hair?
F: If you don’t understand head shape and hair texture, short hair is going to show it off. Long hair is very forgiving. With a short cut, what you see is what you will be wearing for the next 5 weeks.
D: Is there a difference in cutting long hair?
F: Short hair is more about the shape. Long hair is a bit more about the styling.
D: Can anybody wear their hair short?
F: Most can, but some women need more of a mid length shape. Cuts are about the size of the shape, not just the length of the hair.
D: Is it true most men prefer long hair?
F: Absolutely not. I just read a study in fact that showed men prefer mid length and shorter shapes over long hair.
D: So why do many women shy away from short hair?
F: It’s a big step for them, and they are afraid of not getting a great look. You have to work with a stylist who can help them find what’s going to work for them.
D: How do approach a shorter shape?
F: First I look carefully at the guests features, get a feel for what silhouette is going to look best. I move the hair around and arrange it different ways to see what it does to the face shape. It has to balance with the body as well. I also look at the natural movement of the hair to see what it’s going to do when it’s cut.
D: What makes your haircuts different than others?
F: Several things. First thing is I always seek out one feature to make the shape unique and personal. It could be a bit of disconnection, or some asymmetry, just something to make it one of a kind. Then, I use a cutting technique that allows me to duplicate the shape any time the guest wishes. I train my staff to use the same technique. It gives us the ability to be completely consistent. You get the results you want each and every time. I also have a unique approach to texture that makes the hair perform amazingly well with minimal effort.
D: What about razor cutting?
F: I don’t believe any one tool is right for every job. I’ve mastered the art of razor cutting, but lately I find I can do most of what I want to accomplish with shears. I never work with clipper though.
D: Who’s short styles are inspiring you right now?
F: Charlize Theron, Ginnifer Goodwin, Pink, Beyonce, Emma Watson, and a bunch more I can’t even think of right now. There is so many great shorter shapes right now. I just saw a great picture of Rooney Mara in Vogue, fantastic.
D: Should you cut your hair when you reach a certain age?
F: No. At any age, you should wear what makes you look and feel like the best version of yourself. Isn’t that what its all about?