To shear or not to shear. That's the question ladies with long locks sometimes ask themselves.

But before you reach for those scissors for a DIY job or call your best friend to come over and start snipping, there are a few things to consider. A short cropped hairstyle might look effortless but it requires effort - from a pro to cut. Therefore a visit to a professional hair salon would be in order.

"I look at face shape and hair texture," says Wesley Hanlon, one of the creative directors at Sassoon Salon and Academy in Toronto. When a client decides to go the short route, these are the first two elements he will use to determine the style and how suitably short she should go. Whether or not her hair is thinning is another factor taken into consideration for the cut.

Most women over age 50 often opt for a shorter hairstyle, he noted. Mostly because of the easy maintenance which sometimes merely requires a bit of product and they're ready to go.

"Also, short hair always looks as if it's already styled," he adds. Unlike long hair which can fall prey to elements like wind, heat and humidity and requires more time to style and can include blow drying, brushing and more products to help it look glossy and neat.

But there are many incarnations to that cropped boyish haircut. Should it be long on top like British actress Emma Thompson is currently sporting this summer? Or should it be almost one length all around like popular television host Ellen Degeneres? Or should it be layered with an undercut like reality star Kris Jenner? Your stylist can help you figure out what's right short route for you.

And when it comes to styling your short hair, Hanlon advises to use a bit of mouse to give it a bit of lift. Your hair might be short but you still want it to have the illusion of movement.

Short hair can also be very dramatic looking. Think of those lacquered-slick and the combed back hair of those video vixens dressed in tight black dresses in the famous Robert Palmer 1985 music video, Addicted To Love. But only the most fashion-forward women can pull that look off, advises Hanlon. And age has nothing to do with it, he says, noting one of his clients in her 60s, with a strong sense of style, loves to slick her hair down and accessorize with red lips.

If you're still sitting on the fence on whether you should go for the hair crop, consider this: the benefits of short hair goes beyond practicality and ease.

"It's just looks uplifting and youthful," says Hanlon.

Scroll through our slide show below for a few inspirational short hair cuts as seen this season. 


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