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Celebrities and brides alike are cutting their hair mid-celebration, so they can debut a chic bob at the afterparty. We’re calling it the afterparty chop.

The Afterparty Chop: Shock Everyone With a “Spontaneous Bob Cut”

Celebrities and brides alike are cutting their hair mid-celebration, so they can debut a chic bob at the afterparty. We’re calling it the afterparty chop.
The Afterparty Chop: Shock Everyone With a “Spontaneous Bob Cut”

Conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t get a drastic haircut before a major event—even if you normally live for drama. The reason being, it’s often safer to stick with what’s tried-and-true, so you know you’ll love your final look. Plus, the formal hairstyles associated with these types of occasions (think weddings, award ceremonies, and black-tie events) often require longer hair. This is why it’s common for a bride-to-be to spend months growing out their strands, so they can don classic cascading waves or a voluminous updo. But there’s a new trend that has us wanting to overrule this advice.

We’ve noticed that an increasing number of people are opting for the afterparty chop. What’s that, you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like: Cutting your hair short right after a wedding, party, or another celebratory occasion. The idea is that you’ll show up to the afterparty or a subsequent event and floor everyone with your new look.

After enduring all the anxiety that comes with planning for the big day, some brides end up opting for a post-wedding haircut. The decision might come from wanting to release some stress after a job well done or mark the beginning of a new chapter in life—shedding the old to make way for the new. Brides reach for the scissors immediately after they say, “I do,” just in time to reveal a short bob hairstyle for the wedding reception or honeymoon. And it’s not just brides making the dramatic change; the afterparty chop is fast becoming a trend for anyone who wants to switch things up during a momentous occasion.

Actor and Kérastase Global Brand Ambassador Sydney Sweeney recently got an afterparty chop, courtesy of her hairstylist, Glen Orpeza, a.k.a. Glen Coco. Her updated hairdo featured shoulder-skimming strands styled with a side part and added volume and bounce, giving the look a touch of quiet luxury energy. “We were getting an itch for a new look—something that would feel young and fresh,” Orpeza tells “We started brainstorming for a week, and we landed on this take [on a supermodel-esque] 1990s bob with a dose of old money.”

Below, learn more about the afterparty chop, complete with pro tips from Orpeza. As you’ll learn, big risks = big rewards!

What Is the Afterparty Chop?

The afterparty chop is a short haircut that you get after an important formal event, like a wedding or prom, and sometimes before another watershed life moment (like a honeymoon!). Going from long hair to something shorter like a bob is a massive change, but it can make for a totally satisfying reveal (especially if you’re a bride who wants to get chopped between the time you say your vows and your first dance).

Perhaps you’re a soon-to-be college graduate who decides to take on spring break with wild and carefree beachy waves but wants to receive your diploma and shock your classmates by sporting a chic blunt bob. Or hit your company’s annual benefit gala with an intricate updo, then debut a stylish pixie cut the following day. (Imagine your co-workers' faces when you walk into the next brainstorming meeting!)

Whatever the occasion, there are plenty of short hairstyles to choose from, from the Italian bob, a viral shoulder-grazing cut with light layers to the ever-popular ‘90s-inspired lob. “The great thing about a bob like [Sydney’s] is that there are so many variations of it,” says Orpeza.

Who Should Try the Afterparty Chop?

The afterparty chop is the perfect hairstyle for anyone celebrating a landmark moment. Brides might want a more manageable style after having their long hair pinned up, down, and every which way. Meanwhile, a chic angled bob is an excellent choice for the grad or anyone craving something smart and sophisticated.

Short hairstyles can be surprisingly versatile while not requiring much maintenance. You can do a wash-and-go look with minimal products, use a blow-dryer brush to add volume to your roots, or add bouncy ringlets with a small-barrel curling iron. Like with any haircut, always consider your hair type and lifestyle. Anyone who wants to rock a shorter hairstyle can get the afterparty chop; you just have to find the right one.

4 Tips for Trying the Afterparty Chop

When it comes to debuting your own iconic afterparty chop, Orpeza offers the following advice:

Book a consultation for a personalized analysis

Getting a professional to weigh in before you make the big move is always smart. Your stylist will get a feel for what you want while evaluating your hair texture and condition so you come out with stunning hair that’s also healthy-looking. “To suit your specific face shape, hair texture, and thickness, be sure to ask your hairstylist what would look best on you,” says Orpeza, adding, “They can adjust the cut to make it work for you.”

Know what your maintenance routine will be ahead of time

It’s vital to be realistic about your hair, and you’ll need to confirm that you can keep up with the style on your own. “For Sydney, we knew this would be a major moment and the shock factor we were looking for,” Orpeza explains. “It was a perfect pairing with the Vanity Fair afterparty because Sydney was wearing an archival gown by Marc Bouwer that hadn’t been seen in 20 years.” But they also took her day-to-day life and how she’d style her hair going forward into consideration. Orpeza shares, “With Sydney’s hair texture, she can wash and let it air-dry with confidence.”

Have the right products on hand

Of course, you’ll want to ensure you have everything you need to style and care for your new hair at home. For Sydney’s bob haircut, Orpeza kept the products simple. “I wanted her hair to feel voluminous, soft, and bouncy,” he says. “To prep her hair, I used Kérastase Spay Volumifique and Kérastase Mousse Bouffante.” Once Orpeza finished styling, he used Kérastase Huile Gloss Réparatrice to add a dose of shine and Kérastase Laque Couture Hairspray for a medium hold.

If you’re scared, give it a “test run”

There’s no shame in being a little nervous—it is a big change, after all. Even Sydney Sweeney had reservations. “Sydney was hesitant about going short because she’s never had hair that short before,” says Orpeza. He did a faux bob with clip-in extensions on her at a fashion show prior to the big chop to get her comfortable with the idea. “She could visualize how it would make her feel without the true act of cutting her hair.”

How To Style the Afterparty Chop for Different Occasions

Now that you’re ready to bite the bullet and embrace chaos (we kid), it’s time to figure out what type of afterparty chop you want. Below, find all sorts of inspiration, from sleek chin-length bobs to full-bodied ‘fros.

Look 1: A bouncy chin-length bob for your big birthday dinner

If you’re turning 30 (or any other milestone age), you may want to make a jaw-dropping appearance mid-way through the festivities. After getting your fresh new cut, pump up the volume with Kérastase Volume In Powder Texturizing Spray and Kérastase Mousse Bouffante Hair Mousse.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of a good hair accessory, even if your strands are shorter. Cute hair clips can bring an understated bob to a whole new level.

Look 2: An afro for a summer wedding

For Black hair, the afterparty chop might involve taking out lengthy goddess braids (stunning for a beachside wedding ceremony) and letting your short, natural hair shine during the reception.

To keep hair feeling healthy after letting down a protective style, make sure to clarify your hair and scalp with Kérastase Bain Hydration Douceur Shampoo. Gently detangle curls and coils using Kérastase Curl Manifesto Fondant Hydration Essentielle Conditioner (or Kérastase Curl Manifesto Masque Beurre Haute Nutrition Hair Mask if your coils need extra hydration). Then, style with Kérastase Gelée Curl Contour for definition, and keep Kérastase Refresh Absolu Spray close by for refreshing your curls before any photos.

Look 3: Bobs and (curtain) bangs for a babymoon

Hot “mom hair” isn’t hard to achieve in between your baby shower and babymoon. A short bob paired with a trendy fringe will do the trick every time. We recommend that soon-to-be moms opt for curtain bangs to go with their fresh cut since they can easily be tucked to the side on days when you don’t have time for styling.

For the perfect babymoon hair, spritz strands first with Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Thermique Heat Protectant, then loosely curl your curtain bangs with a curling iron. (Once the little one arrives, you might want to go heat-free to maximize how much you can sleep—see our go-to heatless curl techniques here.)

The Afterparty Chop: The Bottom Line

While the afterparty chop feels extremely spontaneous, it doesn’t actually have to be. In fact, planning your style and even getting some professional guidance is a great idea. If you’re considering wowing your friends and family during your next big shindig, book a consultation using our salon locator now. If Sydney Sweeney hair is what you seek, we suggest showing up to your appointment with this article bookmarked. You’re welcome.

Next Up: Try The Trend: Why The Italian Bob Is This Season’s Chicest Chop

Use our salon locator to find a professional stylist near you. Don’t forget to bookmark to discover the latest trends, tutorials, and product reviews.

Header photo (left to right): @bobbiepiins/ @hairbychloegrace_/ @glencocoforhair

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