Women often opt for short hair because of the way it frames the face. Short hairstyles are sometimes a form of beautification for most women. Given this, according to Islam, there is nothing wrong in women having their hair shortened as long as it is done for the sake of beautifying themselves and nothing more. This is quite different from shaving head, which is completely forbidden for women. If a woman has her hair cropped with the intention of looking masculine, then it is forbidden because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “May Allah’s Curse be inflicted upon women who imitate men and vice versa.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: A woman can shorten her hair provided she avoids a hairstyle peculiar to men. The Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) has cursed men who copy women and women who copy men. This applies to hairstyle and appearance. So long as she avoids this, she is permitted to cut her hair. There is no prohibition in the sources. We should remember that originally the rule is permission; prohibition is only an exception. Although, we must add a word of caution. A Muslim woman is required to cover her head and not expose it except to her husband or her mahram (non-marriageable relative).

In addition, Islamic Law differentiates between ‘shaving’ and ‘shortening’ one’s hair. Shaving hair (i.e., cutting it by a sharp object such as a razor blade or skin-close clippers, etc.) is forbidden for women unless there is a justifiable reason such as when the woman needs an operation on her head or has to undergo special treatment on her scalp. But shortening her hair is allowed if she desires to do so. The only thing is that when women shorten their hair, they should not be doing this to imitate men. Therefore, the intention is important behind the act.