3 Hair Lengths, One Woman: Which Suits Her Best?

01
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These Celebrities Have Rocked Short, Medium and Long Hairstyles

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Images of Cyrus from left to right: February 2015, March 2012, August 2011. Getty Images:

Some celebrities love to change up their hair. They'll wear long, beachy hair for years until the day they debut a pixie on Instagram or on a red carpet. A few months later, they've grown bored with their short cut, growing it out into a long bob. And then one day that long bob will have magically gained a foot thanks to hair extensions, which look so real you'd never know they came from the heads of a half-dozen Indian women.

Maybe it's to stay relevant, maybe it's to create buzz. In any case, a major hairstyle change on a celebrity almost always makes the news.

With the current celebrity trend to chop off hair into a pixie or a long bob, I pulled together this slideshow featuring 15 celebrities each in 3 different hair lengths: short, medium and long.

You'll see pixies, bobs, shags and long, beachy waves and I'm sure you'll have fun (as I did) deciding which length you like best on each celebrity. The celeb's most recent style will be in the left shot with the oldest featured on the right. And keep in mind that for some of these women, I had to go back nearly a decade to find them in a certain hair length.

Which length do you prefer? For more inspiration on each hair length, don't miss:

02
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Lily Collins

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Lily Collins in 3 different hair lengths. Getty: Pascal Le Segretain, Larry Busacca, Frazer Harrison

When it comes to beauty, actress Lily Collins is best known for her full eyebrows. But what I love is how she is able to complete transform her look with a simple hairstyle change. In the left image, taken February 2016 at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, she's wearing her hair in a 30s style inspired bob, which makes her look at least a decade older (and more sophisticated, frankly) then she does with long hair in the middle shot. That long hair photo was taken in January 2016, just a month before the far left photograph. And it's only fair to note that her hair in this picture is long due to extensions. Collins has rocked shorter hair for more than a year. 

The far right photo shows Collins in a long bob back in 2013. 

See interviews, photos of Collins on About.com.

03
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Lena Headey

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Lena Headey in 3 different hair lengths. Getty: Frazer Harrison, Jason Merritt, Kevin Winter

Witness Game of Thronesactress Lena Headey in her natural brunette hair color (as Cersei Lannister she's a blonde) in 3 different hair lengths: a pixie back in 2014, long hair in 2013 and my personal favorite -- a chin-length bob in 2011.

Game of Thrones fan? Don't miss 24 Things to Know About Cersei Lannister. 

04
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Kristen Wiig

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Images of Wiig from left to right: February 2015, August 2014, January 2013. Getty Images: Gregg DeGuire, Michael Buckner, Jeff Vespa

When I created this gallery, I wondered: Is there an ideal length on every woman? One that would be obvious to a majority of people.

So I decided to do a little experiment with this Kristen Wiig image. I posted this picture on Facebook and asked my friends to comment on their favorite hair length, "short, medium or long.

I figured everybody would agree with me: that Wiig's short hairstyle was terrible, that her long hair was nice, but a tad boring, and that the choppy bob she wears in that middle shot is the clear winner.

Boy was I wrong.The comments -- more than 100 of them -- rolled in and the votes literally went like this: "short, medium, short, long, short, medium, medium, medium, short..."

"Really," I thought, "People like that short haircut on her?"

Yes, people liked it on her. In fact, 28 of my friends chose the image of Wiig in short hair (many of them men, so much for men preferring long hair). Only 12 friends liked the long hair. Her choppy lob got a whopping 74 votes. Pretty much a landslide, but not as big a one as I anticipated.

And no one commented that her short haircut was terrible. In fact, many people commented that they liked her in all three. I have very nice friends. Nicer than me, I think. Although now Wiig's short haircut is sort of growing on me and I can see why my friends preferred it. Certainly it's a better picture and her blue eyes pop with short hair.

So Does Someone's Opinion on Your Hair Length Matter?

People always have opinions on hair length, which begs the question: should we listen to the opinions of our friends, hairstylists and relatives or just trust our guts?

For example, years ago after I broke up with a boyfriend, my dear friend James convinced me to chop off all my hair. He insisted short hair suited me best.

I did it and I hated it. I felt as if my sex appeal dropped to the salon floor with all my hair. And try as I did, I simply could not rock my new haircut because I hated it on me. I absolutely love short hair on others, like Audrey Tautou (hello Amelie!) and I'm obsessed with Morena Baccarin's pixie. But on me? Hated it.

When it came time to cut my hair again, James insisted I keep it short. I started asking other people in my life their opinions. It turns out:

My hair colorist never liked my hair short, she thought shoulder-length hair was much more "youthful" on me.

My then hairstylist preferred me in a chin-length bob.

My friend S liked me in a long bob.

No one liked my hair short. No one suggested I grow it long.

So what did I do? I did what I wanted: I got a long bob and I plan to wear it this way for as long as possible. Until I bore of it, of course.

Since no one agreed on my hair length anyway, it made me wonder how much stock we should put in someone's opinion on anything, including our hair color, wardrobe and shoe choices.

And I think it boils down to this: Forget everyone else and do what feels right to you. Not everyone is going to agree anyway. Your best friend and your mother and your boyfriend may have 3 different opinions. The only opinion that really matters is your own.

And what's more, your haircut will only look amazing if you're happy with it, because confidence resonates and attracts people to you, whereas unhappiness only repels them.

So there's the permission you wanted. If you really, really, really want to shave the sides of your head like Pink...

...do it.

Because it's just hair. It can always grow out.

More hair inspiration:

05
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Jennifer Lawrence

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Images of Lawrence from left to right: October 2014, November 2013, February 2013. Getty Images: Stuart C. Wilson, Gregg DeGuire, Frederick M. Brown

Jennifer Lawrence debuted her asymmetrical pixie hairstyle via her Facebook page in fall 2013 and since then she's grown her pixie out into the choppy bob you see on the left. Both cuts were quite the change for the actress, who had been known for her long hair.

06
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Rihanna

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Images of Rihanna from left to right: February 2013, September 2012, February 2011. Getty Images: Lester Cohen, Steve Granitz, Jason Merritt

Rihanna has a long face. These hairstyles of hers pictured here abide by the Long Face Rules:

  • Typically, it's best not to wear your hair long if you have a really long face, UNLESS you curl your hair. Rihanna's curls add volume to the sides of her face, which is great.
  • Pixies are lovely on long faces, as long as you don't wear your pixie as a pompadour or spike the top. You never want to add volume to the top of the head.
  • Blunt bobs are always flattering on a long face.

07
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Audrey Tautou

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Images of Tautou from left to right: May 2014, May 2012, November 2010. Getty Images: Julien M. Hekimian

In one word: Gamine. That is how I think of Amelie's Audrey Tautou, so when she stepped out for a while in a curly bob and then later in long hair, I was thrown off. I wanted Tautou in a pixie. Always.

08
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Michelle Williams

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Images of Williams from left to right: February 2015, July 2012, December 2005. Getty Images: Jon Kopaloff, Frazer Harrison, Evan Agostini

Michelle Williams wore her hair in her signature pixie cut for almost a decade.  It was only recently that she started growing it out.

She told Elle UK magazine back in 2011 why she cut it and how she felt about wearing her hair short:

"I've really grown into it -- I feel like myself with short hair. And it's been a really long time since I had long hair, five years. Of course, the only people who like it are gay men and my girlfriends. Straight men across the board are not into this hair! I cut it for the one straight man who has ever liked short hair and I wear it in memorial of somebody who really loved it."

That person, of course, was Heath Ledger who died in 2008 at age 28. She said in the interview that their daughter Mathilda begged her mother to grow her hair long, but she refused.

It seems Mathilda's getting her wish now, since Williams has started growing out her hair.

09
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Charlize Theron

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Images of Theron from left to right: February 2015, March 2014, June 2012. Getty: Mike Marsland, Steve Granitz, Jason Merritt

Some people, like Charlize Theron, look good in any hair length, but I'm not one of them. I know the most flattering hair length on me and it's a long bob that falls just above my shoulders. Like Anna Wintour and her classic bob, I plan to wear this hair length for the rest of my life.

But what about you? If you are considering a hair length change but are baffled by your choices, don't miss my article, How to Pick Your Perfect Hair Length.

10
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Evan Rachel Wood

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Images of Wood from left to right: June 2014, June 2011, March 2011. Getty Images

Evan Rachel Wood is known for changing her hair a lot. She's worn it at all lengths and many different colors, including orange (for a movie).

She explained her hairstyling secrets to InStyle magazine back in 2012. “Anyone who says you can’t do anything with short hair is wrong!” she told the magazine.

As for products, she uses a host of styling products on her short hair and details them all in a Teen Vogue interview.

When it comes to hair color, she told Allure Magazine in 2013, " I’ve had my natural hair color now for a while. It’s blonde, in case anyone’s wondering. And I like that. I’m very content with my natural hair color right now. But I think the only other one I really loved was this kind of blood-red hair. It was like really dark red with this really bright red kind of sheen over it. It was awesome. I had so much fun wearing it."

11
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Anne Hathaway

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Images of Hathaway from left to right: January 2015, January 2013, October 2011. Getty Images

Anne Hathaway wore her signature pixie (pictured in the middle) for more than 2 years before growing it out. It's now a tousled bob and it's adorable.

Don't miss my article, How to Pick Your Perfect Hair Length.

12
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Scarlett Johansson

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Images of Johannson from left to right: April 2015, September 2013, February 2011. Getty Images

Scarlett Johansson has had a lot of hairstyles in recent years, but since becoming a mother, she's worn her hair in this platinum pixie.

13
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Jaimie Alexander

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Images of Alexander from left to right: February 2014, April 2013, January 2011. Getty Images

Actress Jaimie Alexander cut off her long hair years ago. She's most recently been seen in a pixie.

14
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Beyonce

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Images of Beyonce from left to right: March 2015, February 2015, August 2013. Getty & Beyonce's Instagram

I love Beyonce's pixie, which she wore for just days back in 2013 before getting a weave. Earlier this year, she rocked a chin-length bob, only to have another weave of super long hair sewn in.

15
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Faith Hill

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Images of Hill from left to right: February 2015, April 2014, April 2013. Getty Images: Jason Merritt, Jon Kopaloff

I'm not sure how I feel about Faith Hill's pixie. I loved her in her trademark long, beachy waves.

16
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Jaime Pressly

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Images of Pressly from left to right: August 2014, February 2013, August 2011. Getty Images: Gregg DeGuire, Albert L. Ortega, Frederick M. Brown

Here's Jaime Pressly in 3 different hair lengths.

17
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Morena Baccarin

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Images of Baccarin from left to right: February 2013, September 2012, August 2011. David Livingston, Gregg Deguire & Frederick M. Brownfor Getty Images

This Homeland actress is a gorgeous woman. I particularly love her pixie hairstyle.

Which length do you prefer? For more inspiration on each hair length, don't miss: