Is Short Hair on Women Still Controversial?

Published 12th Jan 2024 by Josie Jackson

The winner of Miss France 2024, Eve Gilles, recently made headlines following her pageant victory, with many questioning her short hair. However, a quick glance at photos of the 20-year-old undergraduate student reveals a stylish pixie cut with a side-sweeping fringe – hardly an offensive look. So, why did her hairstyle cause so much outrage – is short hair on women still deemed controversial? Team HJ decided to take a closer look...

Following her victory, Eve said: "We’re used to seeing beautiful Misses with long hair, but I chose an androgynous look with short hair. No one should dictate who you are... every woman is different, we’re all unique.” However, as reported by the Independent, some viewers labelled the jury's decision as 'woke', with "one user on X attempting to argue that the result was based 'no longer [on] beauty... [but] on inclusiveness'". This is somewhat surprising, given that there has been an increasing movement towards shorter hairstyles in recent months, with variations such as the Boyfriend Bob, the Bullet Bob and the French Bob taking over social media. In fact, the latter has amassed an impressive 250 million views on TikTok to date.

Discussing the recent shift towards short hair, Taz Daddi-Addoun, owner of The Birdcage Salon and Kao Salon Division Ambassador, explains: “I think people want a change from long hair. We have a generation of young people coming through that don’t care about gender stereotypes, so the shorter more androgynous hairstyles are a big hit." This would suggest that the controversy surrounding Eve's hair is due to generational differences. Meanwhile, with Eve's victory marks the first short-haired contestant to ever win the pageant in its 103-year history, it would suggest that the audience – which reportedly hit 7.5 million during the final broadcast – has grown accostomed to seeing a particular hairstyle underneath the crown.

However, with celebrities such as Hailey Bieber, Florence Pugh and Frankie Bridge all flying the flag for short hair, there’s no shortage of inspiration for clients looking to take the plunge. Meanwhile, Emma Simmons, owner of Salon 54, shares some of the benefits behind shorter styles, explaining: "A shorter crop often requires less styling time, so it’s ideal for busy clients. It also encourages clients to come in for regular maintenance cuts to keep split ends at bay.” As such, a new, shorter look is a great way to help clients who are looking to improve the health of their hair – and also promotes frequent appointments, helping you to keep your column booked and busy. 

Have you seen an increase in requests for short hairstyles? Let us know in this month's HJ Insider Survey.

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 12th Jan 2024

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

Have all the latest news delivered to your inbox

You must be a member to save and like images from the gallery.