What is Cropped Hair?

Diane Goettel

Cropped hair is a short hairstyle, usually worn by women, that can be interpreted in a number of different ways. The hallmarks of this kind of hairstyle is the length in the back, which is quite short. The length in the front, however, varies with trends and personal taste.

Cropped hair became popular in the 1920s.
Cropped hair became popular in the 1920s.

The shortest style of cropped hair is the pixie cut, which was made famous by Mia Farrow in the horror film Rosemary's Baby. Twiggy, a famous British model, also made the style popular when her hair was cut into the pixie style in the 1960's. The pixie haircut was key part of ladies' style during the 1960's and 1970's, especially as part of the Mod aesthetic. The singer Rhianna has also worn her hair in a cropped style.

The pixie cut is the shortest style of cropped hair.
The pixie cut is the shortest style of cropped hair.

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There are two distinct versions of cropped hair. In one version, the hair is cut very short all over the head. The styling may follow any natural curl in the hair, but can also be styled perfectly straight. This kind of style works for almost every hair texture. In the other version, while the hair is quite short in the back and up to the crown of the head, the hair in the front may be a bit longer. The longer hair is usually parted on one side and swept neatly behind the ear on the side opposite the part. In this version, the hair is normally worn straight.

The second version of the cropped hair look, as described above, is not usually suitable for naturally curly hair or permed hair. This is not to say that the style must be worn without volume in the hair. In some cropped hairstyles, especially those popular in the 1980's and early 1990's, very short hair was styled with a great deal of volume. In fact, the hair was sometimes treated with so much styling product as to leave it looking spiky.

One of the benefits of cropped hair for women is that it can be both stylish and convenient. Cropped hair requires very little styling or management and is very easy to wash. Cropped hair is also much more comfortable than long hair in hot weather. For this reason, some women crop their hair in the summer and let it grow out a bit during colder weather.

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