Let’s be honest: Chopping off long, luscious locks is not for the faint of heart. It’s fine if you’re Sienna or Scarlett, with razor-sharp cheekbones, but what about the rest of us? The truth is, there’s a point when long hair may not look so luxurious anymore (sad but true!), and lopping it off can help brighten your complexion and lift your features. Here’s how to master the ultimate short cut, no matter what your age. By Megan Kirkwood L’Oréal Paris Smooth Intense Straight Perfecting Balm, $9; Herbal Essences Wild Naturals Rejuvenating Oil Elixir, $11; Stila Stay All Day Brow Gel & Brush in Blonde, $44. THE CUT: Go bold with a super-short style, like a pixie. “The younger you are, the better your skin is, so you don’t have to hide behind your hair,” says Kevin Mancuso, global creative director for Nexxus, who’s worked with Scarlett Johansson and Anne Hathaway. But before you get too scissor-happy, remember that a face-framing length is your sweet spot when it comes to versatility. ASK YOUR STYLIST: If you have a round face, ask for a cut that frames it, with longer pieces in front of your ears to add definition. Are you more of a square shape? Speak up about adding longer strands that can help soften your features, says Mancuso. And lucky you if you have a heart-shaped face. “You can get away with a sideswept cut, or something more jagged and choppy,” he adds. MAINTENANCE PLAN: Since short cuts are guaranteed head-turners, keep your strands looking polished with a styling balm that adds piece-y definition. Use it before air- or blow-drying, and follow up with a shine-enhancing oil. You’ll also be drawing more attention to your face, so keep brows well-groomed to make your eyes pop, says Felix Lariviere, a creative consultant for John Frieda who has worked with Jennifer Lawrence and Halle Berry. John Frieda Luxurious Volume 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment, $15; Rock Your Hair Hair Plump Big Volume Texture Spray, $20; Göt2b Mind Blowing Ionic+ Quick Shape Mousse, $9. THE CUT: Go for a forgiving bob. It’s a great way to ease into a shorter ’do and give yourself a mini facelift while you’re at it. When your long hair lacks oomph on top, a short bob can give you face-flattering volume—and it looks elegant, explains Mancuso. ASK YOUR STYLIST: Adding layers throughout your bob and at the bottom can give your cut softness, says Mancuso. Your stylist can also use a razor on your ends for a light and airy effect. If your face is round, consider extra layers in the front to help contour your complexion (no bronzer required!). MAINTENANCE PLAN: Play up your bob with volumizing treatments and stylers so it doesn’t appear too heavy. Try adding some texture with curls or a wavy, beachy look, suggests Lariviere. “A texturizing spray will give you that carefree, tousled style that is simple and chic,” he says. Fekkai Blowout Texturizer, $28; Gosh Argan Oil Intense Mask, $10; Stylize Velcro Rollers, $9 for 4. THE CUT: A statement fringe is your friend—plus it can help delay going the Botox route. It will frame your best features while cleverly disguising any fine lines around the forehead (think “bangtox”). ASK YOUR STYLIST: Heavier, blunt-cut bangs work best for bigger eyes, while those with smaller, close-set features should look for something longer and more sideswept. “If you’re getting an edgy, blunt fringe for a square-shaped face, make sure the sides of your bangs are longer than the middle, while a longer, piece-y front fringe is great for heart-shaped faces,” says Lariviere. MAINTENANCE PLAN: Create more lift and airiness by setting hair, including any long, wispy bangs, in medium-sized Velcro rollers post blow-dry. Once or twice a week, apply a conditioning mask in the shower. It will help keep hair that’s become drier and more frizz-prone over time softer and easier to manage. Garnier Fructis Style Surf Hair Texturizing Matte Cream, $8; T3 SinglePass Whirl Styling Wand, $160; Nexxus Therappe White Caviar Shampoo, $12, and Humectress White Caviar Conditioner, $13. THE CUT: Embrace bounce and a healthy texture. The key to a great short ’do over 50 is restoring shine and keeping brittleness at bay, along with the inevitable flatness that comes with it. “You want a purposefully unorganized look to your hair, so it has the movement, texture and body that will make it look healthy, strong and ultimately youthful,” says Mancuso. ASK YOUR STYLIST: If your hair looks lifeless up top, consider changing the colour. “Adding foil highlights or a balayage colouring treatment around the crown of your hair can [create] the illusion of more volume, movement and lift,” says Mancuso. MAINTENANCE PLAN: Say yes to thickening and moisture-rich shampoos and conditioners, which will perk up limp locks, and look to texturizing pastes and sprays to create separation. Add body with a root-lifter and use your fingers to dry hair. Once it’s dry, create a side part (it’s more forgiving than straight down the centre) and use a one-inch curling iron to add a playful bend in your hair.