10 Career-Changing Chops That Make The Case For Going Short

Hard work, talent and perseverance are the three keys to professional success—but sometimes a really great haircut helps, too.

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Audrey Hepburn

Probably one of the most commonly referenced short hairstyles of all time, the actress' neck-skimming crop was a plot point in the classic film Roman Holiday. Her commitment to staying in character paid off—she landed an Oscar for the part in 1953.

Getty Images, Condé Nast Archive

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Mia Farrow

Because of this picture, many people think that Vidal Sasson first gave the actress her signature cut on the set Rosemary's Baby (as did we!), but the original version was by her own hand. The actress confirmed with the NYT in this open letter that she first chopped her wispy blonde waves with a pair of fingernail scissors about a year before filming began.

Getty Images

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Linda Evangelista

Fashion legend has it that the Canadian model cried when photographer Peter Lindbergh talked her into going short in 1988. The tears couldn't have lasted long though: briefly thereafter, so much work rolled in that she soon became a household name. Although the super's kept her hair short since that infamous first cut, she's played around with color plenty.

Anthea Simms/Camera Press/Redux, WireImage

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Meg Ryan

If Nora Ephron's witty dialogue is the meat and potatoes of the '90s romantic comedy You Got Mail, then its heroine Kathleen Kelly's choppy bob is surely the hot fudge sundae dessert. Without it, the movie just wouldn't be as deliciously awesome.

Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Jennifer Aniston

When the NBC show Friends premiered in 1998 it was an instant hit—and so was Aniston's choppy shoulder length haircut, dubbed "The Rachel," after her character. In fact, the style is still so commonly referenced today (nine years after the series' 2004 finale!) that it has its own Wikipedia page!

NBC via Getty Images

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Keri Russell

After spending the first two seasons of Felicity with a head of thick ringlets, the star boldly chopped them on-screen in the show's second season finale. Despite mixed reviews from the fans (and an instant drop in ratings), Russell defended her curly crop at the time, telling the Baltimore Sun in 2000 that it was a "brave and liberating thing to do."

WireImage, Getty Images

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Rihanna

This asymmetrical cut helped make Riri's fearless sense of style more famous than her killer pipes. Since the singer first shaved and chopped her long brown hair in 2009, her fashion and beauty choices have only gotten more daring.

WWD/Steve Eichner

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Michelle Williams

Although the actress displayed a wide assortment of hairstyles during her Dawson's Creek days (gelled-back curls, stick straight shoulder length—baby bangs!), she solidified her movie star status with this pixie cut.

WWD/Steve Eichner, Fairchild Archive

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Emma Watson

Leaving both her childhood and the Harry Potter franchise behind, Emma Watson marked the beginning of her college—and non-magical movie—career by shredding her shoulder-length hair in 2010. In addition to landing her some major roles (most recently, the lead in Sofia Coppola's upcoing film, The Bling Ring), the dramatic transformation also made waves throughout the fashion industry, landing her several covers spots on major magazines, including Vogue, T and Elle.

WWD/Steve Eichner, WWD/Robert Mitra

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Miley Cyrus

Can you believe that just a few short years ago Miley was a teenybopper actress on Disney? And a brunette with surfer girl waves? But perhaps that's the point of this extremely different look: by debuting this side shave style in 2011, she finally shed her child stardom for good.

WWD/Steve Eichner, Fairchild Archive