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Festival season is all about having the perfect social media snaps. Buzz60’s Emily Drooby (@emilydrooby) has the story
Buzz60

Forget mermaid hair, the latest “It” style is short and sweet (and sometimes sassy).

Katy Perry and Cara Delevingne were spotted with matching peroxide pixies in Paris in July. Taraji P. Henson showed off her curly crop (among other looks) while hosting the Black Girls Rock! event in August. And Emma Roberts and Lucy Hale shared their jaw-length bobs on social media early this month, which gave us Selena Gomez’s Met Gala bob vibes.

But stars aren’t the only ones up on the trend.

As of July, Pinterest reports domestic searches for “shag” haircuts on the site are up 220% year-over-year, and searches for pixie cuts are also up, with asymmetrical pixies garnering a 120% rise.

Naté Bova, a senior stylist at Warren Tricomi Salon’s Plaza Hotel location in New York, told USA TODAY that she has definitely noticed the trend, with short hair styles making up about 15% of her clients’ requests.

But why are our favorite stars and friends making the chop? A feeling of empowerment may be driving many women to the salon.

“There’s this narrative that short hair isn’t feminine … but I’ve seen so many women feel liberated, powerful and even more feminine when they’ve made that bold step,” says Mara Roszak, who has created hairstyles for Cara Delevingne, Brie Larson and other stars. “The things that hold us back are the stories we tell ourselves.” 

Those stories include the idea that femininity is tied to long locks, or that hair length is a key to identity.

“More women hold onto that than they realize, but more women who have cut their hair off come into themselves and channel a part they hadn’t accessed before,” Roszak says. “It’s removing this sense of security and also that fear we have of looking different.” 

Which, Roszak adds, can cause us to feel vulnerable. But even so, embracing the cut can be an incredible step forward. “Women don’t want to be told how to look or feel or be in the world — it’s our own personal choice,” she says.

Cara Delevingne, who shaved her head for her new movie Life in a Year, echoed the statement in an interview with USA TODAY.

“I feel like I definitely was more aware that you could pretty much hide behind your hair,” she says. “But it was really liberating to realize that you don’t need hair to be beautiful and to feel like a woman.”

The idea of taking control over your appearance is an important one in today’s Millennial generation, which Jane Buckingham, founder and CEO of trend forecasting and consulting company Trendera, says is another component of the trend. As is a focus on healthy, natural living.

Buckingham explains that the short hair trend is a solution for damaged hair.

“Practically, it’s just a good thing to give it a rest and cut it off and sort of start again,” she says.

Another bonus? Eliminating unnecessary stressors, like the need to do one’s hair every day, can be refreshing during a tumultuous time.

“(Short hair is) easier, right? It’s a difficult time, the world is a little bit crazy and people are like, ‘I just want to try something new. I want something fresh. I want something that feels exciting and new,’ ” Buckingham explains. “And I think a dramatic short haircut sort of does that, it’s sort of uplifting in this way.”

Delevingne agrees. 

“It’s nice to not have to maintain your hair,” she says. “We all get attachment to hair but it’s just hair. It grows back.”

Contributing: Brian Truitt