The Israeli Haircut

My friend who told me that most girls in Israel have long hair…is seriously mistaken! Since I’ve chopped off my own lovely locks, I’ve seen more and more the punchy panache of a cropped ‘do on the fashionable Israeli woman.

Yes, curls are in abundance, at least in Tel Aviv, and there are also lots of  women here with  long sleek black hair that make the American boys swoon (I’ve been told by friends,) but there’s something to be said for chopping all your hair off and getting a mod cut.   That’s why I believe many Israeli girls do it.  They don’t just go for classic bobs–they go for rocker chic looks with urban and sometimes ethereal femme style.

So let me explain how I got my hair to an even shorter length.At first, it was an inverted bob with scraggly pieces coming out at the ends so that my hair was closer to shoulder length.  Now it’s a classic graduated bob, long in front and short in back (though you may not be able to to see it as I enjoy tucking it behind my ears.)

The Evolution of Simona’s Hair in Israel

Yes I arrived to the Holy Land with blond hair!

Here’s the story:

I was sitting in the hairdresser’s chair last week thinking it was time to cut off some of my dead ends.  My hair, though thinned out, layered, and texturized in the past, was scraggly again.  But I was bored with the ‘do and asked the hairdresser, a former Shuki Zikri stylist who went off on his own, what he would suggest because I totally trusted his opinion. He told me, “You can’t go in between. Shoulder length won’t look good on you. Either you cut it as normal or you go short, above the shoulders with short in the front and long in the back.”

I didn’t know what to do.  Part of me wanted to just go for it but part of me was afraid I’d look too young.  Part of me wanted a change and part of me was afraid.

After wavering back and forth for a good 5 minutes (he even convinced me to get a normal ‘do, think about it, go home and ask my friends then come back in a week) I decided to JUST DO IT! I wanted a change, my long hair was becoming a hassle in the heat, and I liked the adrenaline that came with taking a big risk.  Plus I trusted the hairdresser.

He gave me a really nice ‘do but it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be and I don’t know if that’s because he was afraid of cutting it too short because I was nervous or because that was his idea all along.  The hair was long in front and shorter in the back but pieces were sticking out at the bottom to make my full head of hair closer to my shoulders. It looked more like a classic bob though it wasn’t.

I liked it though it never did look as good as that first night he cut it, but it got a good reaction from the crowd and I had actually gotten the makeover I wanted!

Funny enough, as much as I liked it, I kept noticing the girls with the real inverted bobs, the short in the back long in front sort of punkish rocker girl hairdos.  Despite the fact that I knew this style could be worn classy as well, that’s not what I was noticing.I couldn’t help but feel something was missing although I was fine sticking with what I got.

I got my haircut on Thursday night and Ava sat next to me at my early morning bus stop on Sunday morning.  We were both waiting for the same bus and going to the same place though I didn’t know it at the time and neither did she.  She turned to me and said, first in Hebrew, then in English.

“My name is Ava and I’m a hair student, learning how to do haircuts.  I noticed you had a bob, but I think you need a more graduated bob.  I was wondering if you’d like to be my hair model and I’d cut your hair for free.  I’m learning at a hair salon called OrenOrKobi in Herziliya Pituach.”

Funny, I currently work in Herziliya Pituach! And she peaked my curiousity.  I’d been wanting to get this haircut and now here was someone right in front of me, who was offering to do it for free.  I had my reservations, I had my doubts, but I decided to go for it…because there were more pluses then minuses.  The salon was near me so I could easily go during my lunch break, her teachers would be around to make sure she didn’t mess up my hair, and that day, when I got on the bus, after I agreed to have her cut my hair, we ran into another woman who’s hair she cut in the same way and it looked good!

That day, during lunch, I entered the hair salon, saw her real hair for the first time (the day I met her she was wearing a hat but her awesome hair style is actually a gelled mohawk type look in black and red) and had my hair done.  While she was a bit nervous and the haircut took much longer than I had time for (she was after all, a nervous student, who wanted to make sure she got every detail exactly right) I was quite impressed with the final product. You could tell that she worked hard on it and her bosses, the owners and other hairdressers in the place, were on hand to fix things and go faster when it called for it (I only had an hour, I ended up staying an hour and 45 minutes!

The hair is short in the back and long in the front.  But even better, I have rowdy dry and thick hair and thanks to Ava’s work and something, my hair is now thinner and texturized, making it much easier to manage.

Guess those Vidal Sassoon videos she watched a thousand times paid off!

I’m definitely going back, if not for her then for the other hairdressers.  You can tell the people there know what they are doing.


רחוב המנופים 11, הרצליה פיתוח, 9508528-09

HaManofim St., Herziliya Pituach, 09-0852809

It’s tough to go to my new Tae Bo and kickboxing classes and have bangs in my face because my short hair won’t stay up in a ponytail well.  I’m still mourning the loss of my long hair–but I’ve gotten so many compliments that I think the haircut makeover was worth it.

And now…to make myself feel better…here are some other amazing Israeli women with stunning short haircuts!

Ninet Tayeb (Singer)

Unless you’re living under a rock in Israel, you know that Ninet Tayeb shaved her head for a television commercial and now her locks are growing back into a thick, luscious curly bob.  Totally fits her rocker pop profile

Sarit Hadad (Singer)

Mizrachi singer Sarit Hadad currently has longer hair, but I loved her most when her hair was shorter, straightened and framed her face.  Consequently, I think she was most famous then, too.

Sharon Brunsher (Fashion Designer)

Israeli fashion designer Sharon Brunsher is chic, classic, and modern, just like her burgeoning femme clothing label!

Avia Ben David (Poet, Writer, Editor, DJ)

Avia Ben David is a Tel Aviv personality who models for photographer Victor Ben Tzvi’s Israeli Women collection in this photo.  I love how the short bob brings out her big eyes. Ben David is a poet, journalist, editor, co-founder of Sitra Achra (The Other Side in Aramaic) and she often moonlights as a DJ.  She currently lives in Yafo with two daughters.

Mirit Weinstock (Fashion Designer)

Israeli fashion designer Mirit Weinstock’s clothing  are the epitome of the elegant, romantic, and feminine woman.  And her curly bob is the epitome of modern hipster chic!

Louise Kahn (Lead Singer, Terry Poison)

Terry Poison‘s burst of electric pop is addictive and so is lead singer Louise Kahn’s short blond mop of curls.  She brings style and life to the already colorful group.

Photos:,, OrenorKobi


3 thoughts on “The Israeli Haircut

    • Simona

      She’s starting out as a hairdresser so for now she wants to practice on real people as hair models. That’s why she contacted me. I’m not sure how many free haircuts she is still doing but I can give you her number. Also, my next haircut is 20 percent off!

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