Coloring short hair can be a very tricky endeavor, and should never be approached in the same manner as coloring long hair. Color expert Dallace Walsh of Cutler 57th St offers up some tips on how to get the best results for coloring your short tresses.
If you have a haircut that is like Victoria Beckham’s or Michelle Williams’, highlights should fade from very heavy around the face to almost nothing in the back to the nape. This avoids that strong shelf of color from blonde to your natural color.
Now, if you have something closer to a pixie cut like Emma Watson, and you want highlights, then you really only have a couple of good options. Either a few highlights on top near to the face to accent the haircut, or tipping the ends of the whole head so that it looks more like a grown out single process. Having some of your own root color will give it dimension and it will look like highlights. This is also a great haircut to do a full Marilyn Monroe double process blonde on. To make it more modern, have your colorist tone the roots a level darker to keep some subtle dimension.
The biggest pitfall to avoid is doing any kind of traditional foil highlights if your hair is shorter than 2 inches, that is unless you want to look like a leopard. Other potential problems for those with short hair come at the point of choosing to cut it short or deciding to grow it back out. If you’re just now thinking of cutting your long locks; do not, I repeat, do not highlight your hair first! Not only will you be wasting a ton of money on hair that’s going to hit the floor, but also you might actually have to spend more time and money redoing the hair to work with your new haircut. Coloring after your cut will also give your stylist and your colorist an opportunity to work together to create something special just for you.
If you want to grow your hair back out, color can really help get past some of the awkward moments and actually make it look longer. Once you have 3 to 4 inches of hair, you’ll want to either go one solid color (single process) or do a more traditional full highlight. This is a time where dimensional color is not your friend. It will exaggerate the short and choppy look where a more solid color will soften and lengthen.