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Can You Win a Pageant with Short Hair?

pageant hair, pageant coaching tips
This girl scored the crown with her fashion-forward pixie cut!

This past weekend, I was one of 87 girls vying for the title of West Virginia Association of Fairs & Festivals Queen. (Congratulations to Black Walnut Festival Queen, Leslie Garrett, for taking home the title!) Over the course of the weekend, I saw various hair styles, from short, short with extensions, and long hair. I wore  mine shoulder length and straight, and others with short hair either wore it straight or lightly curled it. While two girls with short hair made it to the top fifteen, Leslie has long, flowing locks. That brings us to the main question — can short hair win a pageant?

Over the weekend, I had several opportunities to speak with Sydney Robertson, Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA. If you are unfamiliar with her, she recently won the crown with a pixie cut that shows off her impeccable bone structure. Even if you are not a fan of short hair in pageantry, if you speak with her you will understand what makes her a stand-out competitor. Not only is she a pretty face, she is very polite, well spoken, easy to converse with, accomplished, and exudes confidence–all qualities a queen should possess. This solidified my beliefs that short hair can win a pageant.

If you have short hair and are competing in a pageant, it is important that you get a cut specifically tailored to you. While you may find a picture of a short hair cut that you think looks wonderful, face shape is a major factor of how flattering the end result will be.


Beyonce’s short hair look

I can say from experience that not everyone can pull off the same short style.  If you are competing with short hair, you have to take into consideration the thickness of your hair and how it will lay once you “make the cut.” Layering, bangs, and overall shape can make all the difference in a hair-do, and a hair-don’t. You also want to take into consideration how you will style your hair. If you plan to curl it, be sure to add an additional inch and a half to the length you had in mind.


Oval face shapes can benefit from a blunt bang, as it does not elongate the face and creates a frame for the eyes. Shoulder-length blunt styles look best, as layers can thin the hair too much and make the face look longer than it is.


Heart-shaped faces are a little trickier. If you have a fuller heart shaped face, a shoulder-skimming cut with layers that begin below your cheekbones will balance out your face to keep it looking slimmer. If you have a thinner face or more defined features, feel free to go as short as an inch or two in length. It will showcase your features and not be distracting.

Round or Square:

If you have a round or square face, I suggest an a-line bob. This draws the eye down and creates the illusion of length in the face. I would have the bottom of your bob skim your collarbones, and the sides should lightly graze your shoulders. If you go too short, you risk having the opposite effect.

(If you’re not sure about your face shape read, “What’s Your Face Shape“?)

Whichever style you choose, be sure to wear it with confidence. In the pageant world, it does not matter how you wear your hair. What truly matters is how you represent yourself, and that you let your light shine.

Which dress do you like better?

3 thoughts on “Can You Win a Pageant with Short Hair?

  1. Yes, of course you can win with short hair! It worked for me…not only did it define my image but it was the difference for me between average and amazing. Anyone who saw my transformation between my years of competing with long hair then to short can tell you that completing my look with short hair was my super star moment. I am not saying that cutting your hair off will make you Miss America but if it fits your style, attitude, and look…then I say, Yes!

    Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000

  2. I would love to see something that applies to women of color with shoulder length hair, of which also do not want to wear it straight. I’m in a pageant and I have really curly hair and I have yet to find something where the curls are tighter than 3a hair.

    1. Thank you for the feedback. I’ll add this to our article bank and will create something for you!

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