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Shoulder Length Hair: The 20 Hottest Hairstyles

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It's All About the Length: Why Women Have Fallen for "The Chop"
Lauren Santo Domingo's famous shoulder-length hair

Lauren Santo Domingo

Neilson Barnard // Getty Images
Just call it "The Chop." It's that perfect hair length that doesn't fall too long or hangs too short. It's the to-the-shoulders cut you get when you're sick of long hair but you're not ready to commit to a bob or a shag.

The Chop has become a popular hairstyle among women over 30. Lauren Santo Domingo, pictured here, reportedly cut off her super-long blonde locks a few years ago, when someone mentioned that all the New York girls have the same long hair.

According to writer Plum Sykes, Santo Domingo, former Vogue editor and founder of the world's most expensive online shopping site, Moda Operandi, went to New York stylist Valery Joseph and asked him to cut off the unhealthy parts of her hair. The result, she told Sykes, was "this new weird length. I was immediately obsessed. I love it. I wish I had done it before.”

Models, actresses and singers soon followed suit and chopped their long locks to shoulder-length. Although Santo Domingo has since grown her hair long again, many, many devotees of The Chop are still walking the streets of LA and New York. Since it became popular a few years ago, the cut has moved beyond the realm of the trend and has found it's place as a classic -- most likely because shoulder-length hair is simply the most versatile, flattering hair length on all face types and for all hair textures. (See The Perfect Haircut).

The key to the perfect shoulder length cut lies, simply, in the length. It can't be too long or too short and looks best when it just hits at the collarbone or a bit above.

“The finish should appear blunt but should never be blunt, as blunt looks cheap,” explains stylist Harry Josh in Vogue Magazine. “You texturize the ends with maybe a feather razor so the line appears clean, but there is actually a lot of movement in it. Too much of a block, and it looks heavy.”

If you get it right, your hair will be swingy, yet still sexy. Long enough to attract long-hair-loving men, but edgy enough that you'll stand out among a sea of beachy waves.

This look has been hot since 2008 and remains popular. The question is, how long can "The Chop" last before it hits its past-fresh date? Santo Domingo, for one, has expressed her concerns to Sykes.

“I made Valery promise he wouldn’t do the same cut for everyone else,” she told Sykes. “But everyone is going to him for shorter hair. So now we all have the same hair. Again.”

Read Santo Domingo's interview with the blog Into the Gloss and get her makeup and hairstyling tips. Also, read Sykes' full article on the shoulder length hairstyle trend in Vogue.

 

This is Gallery 1. See my other galleries of shoulder-length hairstyles:

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