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Katie Trotter: Be brave with a 'boycut' to lift your look

The pixie crop, the 'boycut', or whatever you want to call it, has caused an exorbitant amount of controversy in the last week since Beyoncé Instagrammed her new short, blond, crop.

Think Mia Farrow, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, Rihanna, Carey Mulligan and, more recently, Beyoncé ... and, well, you get the picture. The pixie crop, the "boycut", or whatever you want to call it, has caused an exorbitant amount of controversy in the last week since Beyoncé Instagrammed her new short, blond, crop. Who cares! It's a haircut - not a political statement, nor a blatant rejection of femininity.

You see, aside from a few brave souls, most of us keep the same old hairstyle for years. We cling to the "safe" option - sticking to a set of rules, never daring to break the mould. It all depends, of course, on how we wish to be perceived. If you go for the old long layers - these are codes that everyone understands. A buzz cut, or short back and sides, and, well, be prepared for questions. There is no doubt that we associate femininity with long hair - natural selection likes to say it runs a little deeper, in that long hair on a woman signifies healthy status, thus making her a more appealing mate.

So why don't more of us go for the big chop? It's just hair, after all. It grows back. The truth is, as much as we would like to claim gross injustice, or play the feminist card, we all know perfectly well that we are categorised by our choices in self-projection. It doesn't need pointing out. Most of all, I'm afraid to say, it's simply to do with brand management; and, often, standing out demands far too much energy. Because short hair demands style.

It's funny; we spend so many hours mulling over magazines, reading about clothes and what to do with them, that even those of us with little interest can't help but gather information on self-improvement. Yet most of us refuse to touch the one thing that could give us a dramatic makeover - which is a shame; all we're doing is denying ourselves options because we are too timid to venture into new territory. There's no need to woo the world with the wacky and wonderful for the sake of proving a point - simply stick to what suits your face shape.

Apparently, a measurement of 5.5cm or less from the base of the ear to the bottom of the chin is important (any more and you will appear masculine). Those with a heart-shaped face should try to keep the pieces around the cheekbones short, as it will balance out the face.

Add height and length to a round face by adding soft, ruffled layers on top, and for a longer face shape, keep the top shorter than the sides and back. A longer face shape should also avoid centre partings, as the eye will be drawn down the middle of the face, where it's longest. Long, choppy fringes are a great disguise, as they make a face look more oval.

We're lucky that trends move quickly - although most of us should dare to experiment more than we do. I suppose it comes down to this: we don't want to be told what to do - what suits us or not. We like to come to these kind of decisions by ourselves. So perhaps what shows real nous is simply taking the leap - so what if it ends up being one rather big mistake? As I said before, hair will grow back. Regardless, most of us are too wrapped up in our own conformity and projection to notice.

ktrotter@thenational.ae

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