Actress Jean Seberg was one of the first famous cropped tops in 1957. Photo: Mitchell/Getty Images)
The heat and humidity of summer can make any girl want to grab the scissors and cut off her hair.
We're not talking a bob here, but a really short haircut: chopped, cropped, spiked, shagged, layered and messy. But, as much as we'd all love a simple style, ultra-short hair doesn't look great on everyone.
Celebrity hairstylist Kenneth Tepper, from Pierre Michel Salon in New York, says going really short depends on your face, your personality and, bizarrely, your overall proportions.
"Oval and heart-shaped faces are best with short hair, but the most important aspect is that the cut and final result is in proportion to the body," he says.
If you have an oval face, you can wear just about any short style. Avoid covering your forehead with a heavy fringe though, as this could shorten your face and make it look too round.
For round faces, short hair looks best with volume at the crown to add height and help narrow the face. The sides should be layered and kept closer to the cheeks to avoid adding any width to the face.
Heart-shaped faces look great with short hair as long as you avoid too much volume at the crown, which could accentuate the width on your forehead and make your chin appear narrower.
Audrey Hepburn was one of the first to confidently wear short hair with her square face in the early 1950s. Halle Berry wear cropped hair with a oval face in April 2010. Photo: Getty Images
Square faces, because of their harsh lines, look best with soft layers and a wispy fringe.
If you're worried about other features - like a large forehead, large nose or long neck - short hairstyles can still work. "As always, let your stylist be the judge," says Tepper. "Ask if it will work. I just cut one of my client's hair from long to Mia Farrow short. It took a little coaxing, OK a lot
of coaxing, but she is so happy.
Going super short, whether it's a pixie, boy-cut or shag, is definitely for the daring. Tepper says, "These styles are a symbol of freedom, playfulness, youth, courage and confidence. It's the first step to being a true rebel!"
Jamie Lynn Sigler wears a short crop with her heart shaped face in January 2008, while Ginnifer Goodwin's round face looks striking with short hair earlier in April 2010. Photo: Getty Images
Very short hair became popular in the 1950s, with Jean Seberg's crop cut in the movie Breathless and Audrey Hepburn's famously short, feathered hair, while later versions include Mia Farrow and Twiggy. Today's short styles are more modern, chic, playful and sexy. Stars like Agyness Deyn, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Stroup and Michelle Williams have all recently been spotted sporting closely-cropped, fabulous styles.
Working with your hair's texture is an important factor in finding the perfect short hairstyle. Tepper says, "Curly hair gone short will give you the Grecian look. All the edges must be soft to allow hair to curl. Straight hair is best done short via a razor cut which keeps it feathery."
However, Tepper recommended that women with ultra thick hair should not chop it all off. "It can look too 'helmety'", he warns.
A classic Twiggy crop. Mia Farrow: circa 1968: Actress Mia Farrow being given a haircut by Vidal Sassoon, in preparation for the film 'Rosemary's Baby'. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images | Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Image
While texture and face shape is important when going short-short, age is not, according to Tepper. In fact, some of the great beauties of all time - young and old - look their best with a great pixie cut. Think both Hayden Panettiere and Shirley MacLaine.
So what's the biggest thing holding us back from shorter cuts? "Fear!" says Tepper! "You only live once and of course it grows back. And all the attention of a dramatic change is not so bad either..."
Fancy taking the plunge and lopping off your locks? Let us know if you decide to go short below - did you feel liberated or lonely without longer hair?