Short hairstyles have never really gone out of style, but they're definitely having a moment right now. So if you're toying with the idea of short hair, the woman&home beauty team has interviewed dozens of the world's leading hairstylists over the years to bring you the expert tips to know.
Online searches for hairstyles for short hair, from bob hairstyles to pixie crops, have surged over the last 12 months, something that will only continue throughout the year. To clarify, when we say 'short', we're talking cuts that end around the jawline; head to our guides to medium hairstyles and long hairstyles if you're after something lengthier. We're starting to really see a revival for shorter styles that are choppy and textured, with a nod to the '70s, says Adam Reed, celebrity stylist and editorial ambassador for L'Oral Professionnel. My signature look is the 'Brick Lane Bob', a blunt style with a lived-in, textural, shaggy finish.
So, how do you know if short hairstyles are right for your hair type? Don't worrythere's always a short style that suits every face and every head of hair, Adam stresses. Ultimately, it comes down to technique. If your hair is fine and straight, a blunter cut would give a very defined end result, whereas if your hair is naturally curly, you might want to opt for something with texture for more options, should you want a low-maintenance style. The right tools also help immensely when styling short hairstyles, so this might also be a perfect time to consider picking up the best hair dryer out there or consider the Dyson Corrale vs GHD Platinum to help with your new 'do
For the cuts that will best suit your face shape, tips for styling short hairstyles and celebrity 'dos to inspire your new look, consider this the ultimate cheat sheet.
How to pick short hairstyles to suit your face shape
Ask any top hairstylist and they'll tell you that the key factor when choosing any hairstyle, of any length, is your face shape. This is the make-or-break element in whether specific short hairstyles will suit you (or how they should be tweaked to do so). In most cases, your stylist should be able to tailor your style of choice to your face shape, whether you have a round, square, or oval face. That's why it's important to discuss a few options at the start of your appointment.
Short hairstyles for round faces
Round faces really suit longer layers or a graduated bob when it comes to short hairstyles. They can also pull off blunt styles, if a razor-sharp bob has taken your fancy. When styling for round face shapes, we will normally look to elongate the face by adding in side-swept bangs, volume at the crown or even changing the parting to ensure there are clear angles in the look, Adam advises.
Pixie crops may not suit all face shapes, however, Hare & Bone founder Sam Burnett warns. Round faces find this cut difficult to pull off as it can accentuate the roundness, throwing off the balance of the face.
Short hairstyles for oval faces
Viola Davis If you have an oval face shape, you've struck gold, as almost all short hairstyles will look fabulous on youespecially a super short crop. The most flattering face shape for a pixie crop is oval with petite features, to balance out the sharpness of the cut, Sam explains. Adam adds, When styling for oval face shapes, opt for layers to frame the face, angles to highlight cheekbones and the jaw, or even bangs if you'd like to cover the forehead.
Short hairstyles for square faces
Square faces look great with extra height to their hair; lots of soft, rounded layers are your friend here. Long bobs can look great on square face shapes, Adam says. Avoid a sharp or blunt bob and instead look to soft layers that will elongate the face shape. If you'd like to soften your jawline consider adding waves, embracing your curl type, or picking an asymmetric style to offset your face shape.
Short hairstyles for heart shaped faces
Heart-shaped faces are characterized by wider cheeks and a narrower jaw and pointed chin. When styling for heart shapes, it's important to keep the front section [of short hairstyles] longer, Adam tells us. In addition, when styling, part in the middle with the hair blown forward to close some of the width while highlighting the jawline. This helps to balance out the narrower sections of your face shape.
The best short hairstyles for women
From Twiggy's iconic pixie cut of the 60s to Princess Diana's signature layered style, there are so many chic short hairstyles in the history books that you're spoilt for choice when it comes to ideas. Then once you've gone for the chop, the next question is how to care for short hair.
A common misconception with short hair is that you don't need to worry about damage. But that is not the case and heat protectors are still just as important, whatever your hair length, Adam stresses. L'Oral Professionnel Pro Longer Lengths Renewing Cream ($28.63/11.90) is perfect to not only provide heat protection but also nourish hair.
Adam also emphasizes the importance of hair masks in your routine. He recommends the L'Oral Professionnel Serie Expert Absolut Repair Mask ($33.99/25.20), which contains gold quinoa + protein to keep your hair strong and healthy. Below we've rounded up the best short hairstyles for women, along with recommendations for face and hair typealthough remember that there are no hard or fast rules, as a good stylist will tailor a style to your face and hair type.
Short bob haircuts
Easily one of the most iconic hairstyles in the beauty history books, bobs are one of the world's most popular hairstyles (and far easier to blow dry than long hair). From the original 1920s Flapper style to Victoria Beckham's graduated lob of the Early Aughts, there's a look to suit every face and hair type. Our guide on how to style a bob has all the need-to-know tips and tricks a brand new bob.
Short layered hairstyles
Layered cuts are a great way to enhance volume, but it's important to keep layers on the longer side if you have fine hair, otherwise you could end up making hair look sparser. Thicker hair, on the other hand, lends itself well to lots and lots of choppy layers, la Halle Berry or Jane Fonda's iconic styles.
Short hairstyles with bangs
Pretty much everybody gets bangs at least once in their lifetimeeven the Duchess of Cambridge had full bangs once. Feathering suits most face shapes, but can be especially softening with a square jawline. Keeping layers longer in fine hair prevent it from looking too thin, while natural volume is enhanced in thick hair with choppy layers.
Short natural hairstyles
Whether you want to go shorter so that your hair requires less maintenance or are making way for healthy tresses, there are loads of natural hairstyles for short hair out there, however short a length you're afterincluding tons of braided hairstyles, like box braids. Lupita Nyong'o and Viola Davis are great examples of celebrities embracing shorter natural hair.
Short pixie crops
Pixie haircuts require regular trims to keep them at that crucial super short, super chic length, so be sure to visit your stylist every 4-6 weeks. I love a texture product for shorter looks, Adam says. L'Oral Professionnel Tecni.Art Super Dust ($19.90/13.20) is a fantastic product to scrunch into the roots or through hair to give a natural, lived-in feel.