While the Chop, a pretty safe, layered bob plus some bang action, is making its rounds across beauty salons, another more-daring look on the red carpet has a fresh, springlike appeal. At the Oscars, it was Charlize Theron's blond Caesar cut that turned heads. And Anne Hathaway's grown-out "Les Miserables" pixie also stirred the pot with its poofy volume. Earlier, at New York Fashion Week, it was Miley Cyrus' transformative short crop in a shocking blond that seemed to announce, "I'm no goodie-goodie Disney star."
The man behind The Miley? The Los Angeles stylist Chris McMillan - best known for snipping Jennifer Aniston's locks. While in New York for a press event for Living Proof (he's the celebrity stylist for the hair care line; Aniston is an owner), he discussed pixies over brownies.
Q: Where did "The Miley" cut come from?
A: I was styling Miley for a Marie Claire cover and she kind of had the Chop - a bob, really. The color, though, needed a fix. I guess she had colored her hair on a whim from a drugstore box color. So I sent my assistant to Duane Reade to get a frost and tip kit, which was really just painting on bleach. I'm not really a colorist, but she loved, loved her hair and called a week later to color her hair. We did it again in two weeks. She said, "My fiance loves it, let's do it again." She started going blonder and I started cutting shorter. Finally, I told her, "You should cut it like a boy: You're adorable, you're young, you work out, hair grows!"
Q: What were your references for the cut she has now?
A: I showed her all these images of Kate Moss, when she had the short hair, Agyness Deyn and Mia Farrow. It was all very rock 'n' roll. ... It was very fitting.
Q: Who else has a great short cut?
A: Charlize was my favorite at the Oscars. It was so beautiful. She looked modern and appropriate.
Q: Short cuts seem unforgiving, though. Do you have to look like Charlize Theron to make it work?
A: This is what I say about short hair: It's for everybody. Almost all guys have short hair, no matter what they look like. I've done it on extremely heavy women, very thin women. I've done it on big faces, small faces. The key is that it's a boy haircut on a girl. So you give it a softer neckline and softer sideburn or a longer fringe. I especially love the James Dean, and adding a floppy bang can make it more feminine.
Q: But how about someone like Jennifer Aniston, who has a famous head of hair?
A: Jennifer looks at those short cuts and admires them and wants to do it. Don't think one day she might not appear with short hair! Who knows, it might be for a role.
A: I'm very manipulative when it comes to cutting shorter, too. I'll lean over and tell my girls, "Get rid of all that old energy."