You’ve poured over hair inspiration Pinterest boards. You’ve photoshopped celebrity haircuts onto your head. You’ve pinned up the ends of your hair to make a faux bob. And you’ve decided: it’s time to get a short haircut.
Women are often nervous to crop their locks, even once they’ve made up their mind to take the plunge. You might worry that the cut you choose won’t flatter your face or will be impossible to style. You could be concerned about grave miscommunications with your stylist.
Well, worry no longer! In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about short haircuts for women. What should you consider before going short? How do you pick a style flattering to your face shape and hair texture? What short hairstyles for women are even out there? And what cute hairstyles for short hair are out there once you do have shorn locks? It’s all here in this comprehensive guide.
Why Go for Short Hair?
Especially if you’ve worn your hair long all your life, cutting your locks short can seem like a big step. So what are some of the potential advantages to short hair for women?
Not very many women rock a short cut, so cutting your hair short will help you to stand out in a crowd. If you like being a little bold and unconventional, a short haircut for women could be for you! By contrast, if you aren’t comfortable with people paying extra attention to you because of your haircut, it may be best to stick with something more conventional (like a lob or shoulder-length cut at the shortest).
Show Off Your Face
Short haircuts for women really show off facial features. If you feel like your face is always getting lost in a cloud of hair, consider chopping it off.
Lower Maintenance (Sort Of)
Short hairstyles for women can definitely shorten showering times! Additionally, if you have a wash-and-go style that doesn’t require a lot of styling, you can get out the door faster and spend less time doing your hair overall. However, you will probably need to get trims more often. Furthermore, if you choose a cut that requires a lot of styling, you’ll still be spending a lot of time making your ‘do look ready to go every day.
Your Head Will Feel Lighter!
This is no joke—if your head’s feeling heavy or you find yourself always pulling hair up out of your face, a short haircut will help your head feel lighter, and you will just be generally less overwhelmed by hair.
Show Off Your Hair Texture
Short haircuts for women can be a really great way to show off the natural texture of a woman’s hair, whatever it is. Many women with longer hair engage in lots of styling every day to conceal their natural texture. But short hair can really show off a wave or curl or voluminous or thick hair to great advantage.
Show off curls with a short cut!
Women’s short haircuts draw the eye upward to the face. This can make you look taller. A longer haircut draws the eye downward, which makes you look shorter.
Short hair is incredibly versatile. It’s true that you won’t be able to get your hair into Game-of-Thrones braids or complicated updos. However, short haircuts for women make up for this through their sheer versatility in other ways. Without too much styling effort and the judicious deployment of hair accessories, short hairstyles for women can be polished, fancy, punk, professional, sleek, messy, and so on.
Maybe you just feel like getting a drastic change. If you’re stuck in a hair or style rut and you are looking for a reason to transform your look, a short haircut could be just the thing for you. However, if this is a spur-of-the-moment decision because you just went through a layoff, a breakup, or other major life upheaval, consider waiting a few days to see if you still want to chop it all off. It comes off much faster than it grows back, and if you still want the wild cut in four days when your emotions have cooled, you’ll still be able to get it.
Pulling Off Wilder Hair Colors
It’s a little easier to pull off wilder hair colors (think anything not found in nature) with short hair, simply because the punch of unnatural color is by definition subtler with shorter hair. Not that there’s anything wrong with a bold hair color statement, but depending on your lifestyle and profession, you may have an easier time getting away with a purple pixie cut than a long mane of purple. Plus, if you dye the hair yourself, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to maintain a rainbow-brite hair color on short hair.
If your heart is set on striped hair, consider going short.
6 Considerations When Choosing a Short Haircut
If you do decide to go short, there are several things you need to consider in order to choose the best short haircut for you.
Your face shape goes a long way in determining what short hairstyles for women will look best on you; see the next section for tips on determining your face shape.
Hair texture also determines what cuts will look good on you. Super-curly girls may have trouble with the shortest cuts. Short hairstyles for fine hair or straight hair may need layers for added body. Short haircuts for thick hair should play up the hair’s thickness without creating a look that’s too blunt or boxy. We’ll go over hair texture in more detail later on in the article.
Time for Styling and Maintenance
How much time you have for styling and hair maintenance is another big factor in what short style you should get. If you don’t have a lot of time to style in the mornings, it’s doubly important that your style is wash-and-go and works well with what your hair naturally does. If you don’t mind styling, you can get away with more haircuts, but you could be spending a lot more time in front of the mirror!
Also, the shorter the cut is, the more often you’ll need a trim to maintain it. If you don’t want to be in the salon every 4-6 weeks, consider a longer bob or a lob that can grow out a little before needing another trim.
Are you prepared to spend a lot of time looking at styling tools?
Does your job have a stated or even implied dress code? Those in more staid professional fields may want to stay away from wilder women’s undercuts or especially punky styles. If you’re in a more creative industry, you may be able to get away with a more extreme look!
Let the hair of your coworkers and managers be your guide. Do they have similar styles to the one you’re getting? And if you aren’t sure, tell your boss you are considering x haircut and you want to make sure it’s office-appropriate before going through with it.
Choose something that won’t clash with or overwhelm your personal style, both makeup and clothes-wise. For the most part, if you like it and it’s flattering, that means it probably works with your style. But you should consider if you want to match your dress and makeup style or contrast against it. For example, if you’re a bold dresser, will you feel like you’re calling too much attention to yourself if you get a head-turning, razored pixie haircut? If yes, consider a simpler style like a classic bob. By contrast, if your style relies more on neutrals and classic structures, you might want to get a more textured and loose style to contrast, or a more austere style to match.
You might think age is an important factor in what short haircut for women you choose, but it’s not. Women of all ages look fabulous with all different kinds of short cuts. Short hairstyles for older women can be fabulous! Just look at Dame Judi Dench, Tilda Swinton, Helen Mirren, and other older actresses: they show that short hairstyles for women over 50 are a definite do! Pick something that you like and that flatters you, and don’t worry so much about whether or not it’s age-appropriate.
Some styles are timeless...and ageless.
How Do I Find My Face Shape?
Knowing the shape of your face is critical in choosing which of the short haircuts for women will flatter you the most. Face shape is primarily determined by the length and width of your face, your jawline, your cheeks, and your forehead. All face shapes are beautiful. But they tend to be suited to different hairstyles!
Read the descriptions to see which face shape sounds the most like you. If you aren’t 100% sure, you could also consult some friends and family. If you’re still not sure, you can measure your face, although this probably isn’t necessary for most people.
We’ve listed the six main face shapes following. Of course, not everyone fits squarely into one category—maybe your face is longer like an oblong face, but you have a strong jaw like a square face. In this case, take the advice from each description that best applies to your face and don’t get too hung up on fitting into one distinct “type.”
In an oval face, the forehead, cheekbones and jaw are of about equal width. Your face is about 1.5x longer than it is wide, and the line of your jaw is not particularly sharp. Almost any haircut flatters the oval face!
Celebrities with oval faces: Olivia Munn, Jessica Biel, Beyoncé
Beyoncé by Jennette F. Everett.
Oblong or Long Face
A long face is similar to the oval face, but your face is more than 1.6x longer than it is wide. People with long faces tend to have high foreheads. Women with long faces look great with bangs and can pull off styles with a lot of volume around the sides of their face. However, they aren’t as flattered by long, straight styles or anything with a lot of volume or height up top.
Celebrities with oblong faces: Liv Tyler, Carrie Underwood, Kim Kardashian
Carrie Underwood by Dephisticate.
In a round face, the cheeks are the widest part of the face, and the line of the jaw is somewhat soft. The round face is also about as wide as it is long, or only a little longer than it is wide. Round faces look best in hairstyles that add volume at the crown or create length. The best short hairstyles for round faces won’t add too much volume at the sides of the face.
Celebrities with round faces: Jennifer Lawrence, Ginnifer Goodwin, Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen by David Shankbone.
Like a round face, in a diamond face, the cheekbones are the widest part of the face. However, the diamond face has particularly defined cheekbones, as well as a tapering forehead and somewhat angular jaw. This face shape also tends to be longer than it is wide. Because of their smaller foreheads, diamond-faced ladies need to be careful with bangs as they can easily overwhelm the face. Styles that show off the cheekbones and aren’t too severe will be best for diamond faces.
Celebrities with diamond faces: Ashley Greene, Anna Kendrick, Vanessa Hudgens
Anna Kendrick by David Shankbone.
The heart-shaped face has a high, wide forehead and a narrower, sharp jaw (like a heart). Chin is pointed. This face shape is usually longer than it is wide. Short hairstyles for women that are softer around the sharp jawline, especially those with some volume around the jaw, are generally best for heart-shaped faces. Bangs are also often very flattering on this face shape.
Celebrities with heart-shaped faces: Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Kerry Washington
Scarlett Johansson by JCS.
The square face has a strong jawline about the same width as the forehead. Square-faced ladies usually look best with softer or more delicate styles to provide a striking contrast against the angular lines of their faces. Those with square faces generally want to avoid cuts that end right at the jaw.
Celebrities with square faces: Keira Knightley, Olivia Wilde, Lucy Liu
Keira Knightley by Andrea Raffin.
How Do I Find My Hair Texture?
There are three facets to hair texture: hair thickness, hair density (i.e. amount of hair), and hair curl. Here’s how to determine each facet, and what you should consider when getting a short style.
Note that you’ll want to wash your hair and let it air dry before you do this. You can use a towel, but don’t heat-style! You are trying to get at your natural texture.
Hair thickness refers to the thickness of the individual hair strands. To test this, take a dry strand of hair and rub it between your fingertips. If you can barely feel it, you have thin hair. If you can feel it a little, you have average-thickness hair. By contrast, if you can feel it easily, you have thick hair.
You can also tell this somewhat from visibility—a thin strand of hair will be hard to see, while a thicker strand is much more visible.
Thinner hair usually needs more layering to give it body and prevent it from looking limp. Thicker hair can get away with blunter cuts as it naturally has more body.
Hair density is essentially how many strands of hair are growing out of your head per square inch. To check this, look in a mirror. A magnified mirror is ideal but not necessary. Take a chunk of hair in your hands and move it around so you can see the roots from multiple angles. If you can see a lot of your scalp between hairs, that’s low-density hair. If you can’t see your scalp hardly at all, that’s high hair density. Most people fall somewhere in the middle.
There will be some variation in different places on your scalp, so you may want to check a few different areas to get an idea of your hair density as a whole.
Hair density, combined with hair thickness, is what makes your ponytail fat or not. In general more hair (ie more density) = a thicker ponytail, but the thickness of individual strands also plays into this. Fine, high-density hair may make a thinner ponytail than thick, medium-density hair, for example.
If your hair is lower-density, a shorter style (think pixie) actually makes it look like you have more hair, so that’s something to consider.
Oprah Winfrey’s stylist Andre Walker created the most popular curl typing system. It has been expanded by others to include two additional number/letter combinations, 3C and 4C.
First, you’ll determine your number from 1-4, and then your letter from A-C. The number describes your hair’s curliness level, and the letter describes its thickness.
1s have naturally straight hair with no bend or pattern to the strands. 2s have wavy strands. 3s have S-shaped curls. 4s have tight S- or Z-shaped curls.
“A” hair is fine, “B” hair is medium thickness, and “C” hair is thick. So if you have wavy hair with medium thickness, that’s a 2B.
Embrace the curl!
Here’s a chart describing hair texture for each number/letter combination.
Choose the one that best describes you:
|A - fine||B - medium||C - thick|
|1 - straight||1A: hair is very straight, very fine, without a lot of volume||1B: hair is mostly straight and medium thickness||1C: hair is straight and thick and resists curling|
|2 - waves||2A: A slight wave that sticks close to the head. Hair is fine and not particularly voluminous.||2B: More defined waves than 2A; can get frizzy at the crown. Curl definition easily lost.||2C: Coarse waves and a few curls. Doesn’t hold heat styling well and curl definition is easily lost.|
|3 - curls||3A: loose curls, hold heat styling well.||3B: tighter, corkscrew curls||3C: Super-tight spiral curls|
|4 - tight curls and coils||4A: Very tightly coiled curls; high density but fine and fragile strands||4B: Z-shaped coils with less of a visible curl pattern; lots of volume; prone to shrinkage||4C: tightly kinked, Z-shaped curls with little visible curl pattern; high density and volume, prone to shrinkage|
The more texture your hair has, the more carefully you should select a stylist. If you have curly hair (3 or 4), find a stylist who specializes in your hair texture because they will know how best to cut it. They may even cut it dry, since curly hair loses so much length when it dries versus when it’s wet.
13 Short Haircuts for Women
In this section, we’ll go over 13 short hairstyles for women, from the shortest, with pixie haircuts, to the longest, with lob hairstyles. We’ll discuss which cuts flatter which face shapes and hair textures and provide tips on styling and maintenance.
Pixie Haircuts and Other Super-Short Haircuts for Women
Very short hairstyles for women are still considered somewhat unusual for women. However, they are gaining popularity, and they are flattering for many people. They really show off the face and the eyes in particular.
If you have long hair now, you may want to start with a bob and make sure you like that before committing to a pixie or other short haircut. Hair grows back, of course. But growing out a very short haircut can be awkward and take a long time.
A note on face shape: women with oblong faces will generally look best with something a little longer, like a bob or lob. This allows for some volume at the sides of the face. All other face shapes have several options to choose from among the shortest cuts.
Ah, the closely shaved head—possibly the most low-maintenance style in the world. While many women think of this as a fairly extreme look for only the punkiest of women, a glance at Lupita above shows that it can also pair well with polished elegance.
Looks best on: This is one of the most versatile short hairstyles for black women or other women with natural hair (especially types 3c-onward) as it really shows off the texture beautifully. Women with sparse, low-density hair who want to make it look denser and thicker might also consider going with a super-short cut.
In terms of face shapes, theoretically any shape can look good in this cut, although square and oval faces are probably the easily flattered. If you want to know if you would look good with a shaved head, pull your hair back into a super-tight, slick, ponytail. If you like the way it looks, you can probably pull off a shaved head.
Avoid if: If you don’t like the way you look with a super-tight ponytail or your hair slicked back close to your head, a very close shave probably isn’t going to work for you. You may also want to avoid if you have a particularly prominent forehead that you feel self-conscious about. (The key point here is how you feel about it—Lupita has a high forehead but she looks great with her super short cut!)
Image credits: gcdgraphics/ Wikimedia, x1klima/Flickr
This is a bold undercut hairstyle. Women may be nervous to get an undercut, but it can be a very flattering, unique style! The key to an undercut for women is to keep the look from being too severe. While it’s possible to have an undercut with hair of any length, we’re talking about an a style with shaved sides and/or back and longer hair on top.
This is a fairly bold style; women who work in more professional fields may want to avoid this undercut. Women should also be aware that this is a look that requires a decent amount of styling and maintenance, as the longer parts on top usually need some level of styling to either give volume (if hair is straight) or keep things a little bit tamed (if hair has some texture). You’ll also need frequent haircuts, because if the shaved/short sections start to get too long, the whole haircut will look weird.
Looks best on: This style can work well on women with a round, oval, diamond, or heart-shaped face. This look is also one of the best short hairstyles for thick hair; it works well with hair types that have a little bit of texture and body. Thus, it can be a great look for hair types 2b-4 as the wave or curl in the long section really contrasts nicely with the tighter lines of the shaved section. This makes it a great look for short wavy hair. As Rihanna demonstrates, this is another very trendy short haircut for black women.
Avoid if: Avoid this haircut if you have a long face shape. The volume up top will just make your face look longer. Additionally, the look can sometimes be too severe on women with square-shaped faces.
Fine and/or straight hair will look very limp in this style unless you do a lot of styling. That’s something you should keep in mind.
Image credits: Growinnc/ Flickr, oouinouin/Wikimedia
True Pixie Cut
The true pixie cut—think Natalie Portman during the 2006 awards show season—is short all over. It may be just barely longer on top than the sides, but is still a very short cut.
Looks best on: This cut looks particularly good on square and oval faces. This is one of the best short hairstyles for fine hair and/or low-density hair; it’s lightweight and just a little product will give it enough body.
Avoid if: A true pixie cut is probably not your best bet if your hair is curly (anything 3+). A looser curl will be unruly; a tighter curl may give you a bit of a Keri Russell circa 1999/poodle situation.
Short pixie cuts also not the best bet for those with round faces or heart-shaped faces. The next cut (the long-on-top pixie haircut) will flatter these ladies more. Long and diamond faces may be able to pull off a true, short pixie cut, but it’s a risky proposition.
Additionally, you may want to go for something with more volume if you have a small head or are very tall.
Image credit: Joella Marano/Wikimedia
A long pixie cut with most of the length on top is one of the most versatile and flattering cuts that there is. The longer hair on top can be sideswept (a great look on almost all women!) or spiked up. It can be smooth and sleek or big and wild. It’s also a favorite celebrity cut—most celebrity pixie haircuts are actually this style as opposed to the true, tighter pixie. This is the Ginnifer Goodwin long pixie cut, and it’s gorgeous.
Looks best on: This look is flattering to women with heart, diamond, oval, and square faces. It’s one of the best short haircuts for round faces. I told you it was versatile!
In terms of hair texture, a bit of a wave will style best.
Avoid if: This is another cut to avoid if you have a long or oblong face. The volume up top really won’t work well for you.
For texture, looser curls may be suited to the long-on-top pixie cut (think Audrey Tatou), but tighter curls will still run into the Keri Russell/poodle issue.
Also, fine hair may need a lot of extra styling in this style to give the longer pieces enough body and volume.
Image credits: Tomdog/Wikimedia, NASA/Bill Ingalls/Wikimedia, Georges Board/Wikimedia
Now we move on to the hardworking bob haircut. There’s a bob cut to flatter pretty much every face shape and hair texture; it’s one of the most versatile short haircuts for women. The bob haircut can be styled into 1930s glamour or something sleek and straight. You can wear a long bob hairstyle up or down. Bring on the bob hairstyles!
Super-Short Bob Hair
This super-short bob haircut, sported above by Rinko Kikuchi and Carey Mulligan, is right on the border between being a bob cut and a pixie cut. It has a sculptural quality. It’s a fairly structured cut with a lot of layering to avoid flatness, and most of the volume occurs at cheekbone level or above. However, it doesn’t always have to be sleek like Kikuchi’s. Carey Mulligan’s is a much softer version of a similar cut, stacked with less volume on top than Kikuchi’s. Kristen Stewart has also sported similar but much messier styles. This is an unusual cut best for a fairly bold woman.
Looks best on: Short bob hairstyles work well on heart, diamond, and oval shaped faces as it calls attention to the cheekbones. Fine to medium-thickness hair that’s straight or a wavy will style the best in this cut.
Avoid if: Skip short bob haircuts if your face is oblong—the volume doesn’t fall in quite the right place. Round and square faces look overly circular in this cut. Additionally, hair that’s too curly or has too-thick strands will turn into a puffy pouf.
Image credits: Queryzo/Wikimedia, Mark Kari/Wikimedia
Messy, Layered Bob Hair (With or Without Bangs)
This is one of the cutest short curly haircuts. A messy bob cut with some choppy layers throughout can look great with or without bangs. It’s a very easy, wash-and-go style with a lot of pizzazz.
Looks best on: This is a style that can work with all face shapes with some slight tweaks to length, layering, and bangs! Heart-shaped and oblong faces should opt for bangs. Square and round faces will want to go a little longer than the jaw. Round faces should also consider a side part. Diamond and oval faces can get away with most iterations of this cut. In terms of texture, this is a great look for short wavy hair. The natural texture is really highlighted and flattered by the choppy layers.
Avoid if: While any face shape can get away with this cut, hair texture is an important aspect of this style. Hair that’s too straight, particularly if it doesn’t hold a wave or curl well, will just look choppy, uneven, and limp.
Image credits: GabboT/Wikimedia, Unknownbrowser/Wikimedia
Classic Bob Haircut
The classic bob cut hits around chin level or just below, is a similar length all around, and has a little bit of layering at the ends to give the cut some shape and lift.
Looks best on: This look is best on oval, diamond, heart, and round faces. With a side part, this is one of the most flattering short hairstyles for round faces. This look will work best (and be lowest maintenance) on hair that’s mostly straight.
Avoid if: This cut hits in the wrong place for a square face, and there’s not enough volume at the sides for an oblong face shape. Curly hair will need more layering and shaping than this cut provides or they risk looking heavy and boxy.
Image credits: Pabian/Wikimedia, Pabian/Wikimedia
Angled Bob Haircut
The angled bob cut that’s longer in the front and shorter in the back is another really classic cut. You can vary how layered the sides and back are, the length in front, the amount of length change from front to back, the texture, and whether or not you want bangs.
Looks best on: This is another cut that looks great on just about everyone with some adjustments. Round or square faces should go for a cut that ends just an inch or two below the jaw and without too much volume at the sides, to elongate the face. Heart-shaped faces should consider this look with bangs. Oblong faces will want the front to be on the shorter side (at or above the jaw) with lots of volume on the sides and a pretty short back. Curly-haired oblong ladies will look the best in this look. Diamond and oval faces look good in most iterations of this cut, although some diamond ladies may consider bangs to keep from getting lost in their own hair and to provide a framing effect.
This also works for most hair textures. A curly look will have a lot of volume at the sides, but the shorter length and layering in the back will keep it from looking too heavy or boxy. The volume at the sides makes it one of the most flattering short curly hairstyles for oblong faces. Straighter hair looks sleek and cool in this style.
Avoid if: No one needs to avoid this style; just customize accordingly.
Image credits: mattbuck/Wikimedia, Kurt Kulac/Wikimedia, Mohamed Adel/Flickr
Blunt Bob Cut With Bangs
This look involves a fairly blunt cut along the chin or a little lower and some eyebrow-skimming bangs. On thicker hair, it shows off volume and texture, on finer hair, it creates an ethereal, wispy look.
Looks best on: This look works the best on an oblong face—the bangs plus the blunt volume at the sides really works well with your features. An oval face would also look great in this cut.
Avoid if: The width of this cut will not flatter round and square faces. Additionally, those with very curly hair (3b+) will likely find that a blunt cut looks very boxy.
Image credit: Pabian/Wikimedia
A lob haircut is a long bob cut. The term lob generally refers to any cut that goes more than a couple inches past the jawline all the way down to shoulder-skimming styles. They can be a great way to test the waters of short hairstyles for women before going for an even shorter cut.
Blunt Lob Haircut
One of the most popular long bob haircuts is a straight-across blunt cut just above shoulder level, with or without bangs.
Looks best on: This lob haircut is great on oblong and heart-shaped faces with bangs. An oval face can also rock it without bangs. This is a good cut for hair that’s straight or has somewhat of a wave.
Avoid if: Like the blunt bob haircut, this cut won’t be particularly flattering to square or round faces. Drew Barrymore, above, has a round face, but her dark dip-dyed ends draw the eye downward to create an elongating effect with this cut. And curly girls should go for a style with more shape.
Image credits: Walterlan Papetti/Wikimedia, Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia, Courtney/Wikimedia
Messy, Shaggy Lob Haircut
This versatile long bob cut plays up the hair’s natural texture through messy, piece-y layers. It’s especially striking with a side part.
Looks best on: This is a great look for short wavy hair. It also works well on a very loose curl. Lots of face shapes can get away with this one with a little tweaking. Long faces should consider bangs and get more layers up top. Heart-shaped faces should consider bangs and let layers soften the jawline. Round, diamond and square faces should all opt for the side part. Oval shapes can wear this one pretty much however.
Avoid if: If hair is very straight, layers will look choppy.
Image credits: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia, Christopher Simon/Wikimedia, Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia
This sleek look is a pretty simple cut—a straight, smooth cut with just a little layering and weight removal at the ends to keep it light.
Looks best on: Square, round, and oval faces will be flattered by the long, sleek lines of this look. Naturally straight hair shines here; this is one of the easiest short hairstyles for fine hair.
Avoid if: This look won’t work very well with long faces as it may have an elongating effect. Diamond faces may look too severe behind a straight-cut curtain of hair. Hair also needs to be naturally straight or hold straight styles well.
Image credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky/Wikimedia
Layered Lob Haircut
The layered lob is an elegant cut with a lot of shape and body. Smooth layers frame the face and give the cut volume and movement.
Looks best on: This is one of the most versatile short layered haircuts as it can be adjusted for almost any style and face shape. Oblong faces should opt for shorter layers that add volume around the face, while round and square faces will look best in longer layers. Diamond and heart-shaped faces should consider a side-parted style. As per usual, oval faces can get away with pretty much anything.
Avoid if: A pronounced wave or curl that’s resistant to heat styling may not work best in this look.
Image credits: Renan Katayama/Wikimedia, Pabian/Wikimedia
Tips for Getting a Short Haircut at the Salon
Because short hair is less common on women, there are a couple of key tips to make sure your short haircut appointment goes smoothly.
Research the Stylist
Make sure the stylist you select has experience with both the cut type you want and your hair texture. If you’re going for a pixie, it’s probably not the time to go to a stylist who specializes in long, layered cuts. And especially if you have curly hair, it’s important that the stylist knows the proper techniques for cutting your hair texture. Otherwise, short curly hairstyles can end up looking very poodle-esque!
To find a stylist, you can look online. I also recommend asking people whose hair you admire and want to emulate!
Go In for a Consultation
Many salons will allow you to come in for a free consultation before committing to the cut. This is a good idea as it will allow you to see if you vibe with the stylist and if you are on the same page in terms of what would look good with your hair. Be clear on how much maintenance and styling you are prepared to do, and listen to suggestions! It’s your hair and you should please yourself, but stylists are also trained to know what would look the best with your features. So if they suggest some adjustments, consider them.
Bring a Picture
Any time you are making a drastic hair change, you should bring photos whenever you talk to your stylist about what you want your hair to look like. So bring photos to your consultation, and to your haircut appointment. This will help your stylist know exactly what look you are going for and keep you on the same page.
Make sure the stylist knows how short you want to go!
How to Create Cute, Easy Hairstyles for Short Hair
Once you’ve got this fancy new short cut, what can you do with it? This is a little bit constrained by how long it is. A lob haircut, for example, can still go into braided styles and updos, while a pixie cut can’t. However, here are a few things any short haired gal can do to play around with her look. We discuss some cute hairstyles for short hair in this section.
Put in Some Product!
Putting in some product to give more volume, a slightly different texture, etc, can give you a really different look. Pomade gives a piecey look to short hairstyles for women; some mousse and a little gel or hairspray will allow you to get height at the crown. For longer short haircuts, a salt spray gives beachy texture while a serum smooths. Experiment with different texturizing and smoothing products to see what you like best!
Halle Berry by German Marin.
Switch up the Texture With Heat
Those with the shortest women’s short haircuts may not have an easy time doing this, but bobs and lobs can get a really different look with a blow dryer, a flat iron, or a curling iron. If you’ve got some curls, try ironing it straight. If you’re on the straighter side, try some big-barrel hollywood curls. This is an especially great option for special occasions, when you want to create a lot of oomph and wow.
Marion Cotillard by Nicolas Genin.
Use Cute Hair Accessories and Hats
Headbands, barrettes, bows, bobby pins, and clips can make really cute short hairstyles. Because there’s less hair, accessories really stand out. Also, short hair is great for hats.
Switching Up the Part
Sometimes, all you need for a new look is to switch up your part! Making a deeper side part, moving from the middle to the side, or switching sides can all give you a fresh look without too much effort. Experiment and see what you like!
Short Hair for Women: The Bottom Line
Going short can be a bold, stylish, and empowering move for many women. Women with any age and style look great in shorter styles.
The most important part of short hair for women is choosing the right style for you. You'll want to consider what will flatter your face shape and hair texture, how much time you have for styling and maintenance, and how you need to dress for work. You can go supershort with a pixie-like style, keep it around chin-length with a bob, or go past the chin with a long bob.
When picking a stylist, be sure that they have experience with your hair type and that they have done the kind of cut you want before. And be willing to listen to their expertise!
Overall, while a short haircut for women can be a bold move, it doesn't have to be a risky one! If you choose your cut and stylist carefully, you can be assured of a flattering, fun result.
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Ellen has extensive education mentorship experience and is deeply committed to helping students succeed in all areas of life. She received a BA from Harvard in Folklore and Mythology and is currently pursuing graduate studies at Columbia University.