Styling Products People with Short Hair Really Love

For women especially, cutting as much hair off as possible can be the most liberating feeling in the world. Though there's nothing wrong with loving longer, traditionally "feminine" styles, letting go of gender norms and allowing yourself experimentation can open you up to a whole new side of yourself. A shaggy pixie cut, a close-cropped afro, or even a high-and-tight undercut fade will change a person's whole look — and their routine, too.

Longer-haired folk might assume that short haircuts require far less styling and upkeep, but ask anyone with short hair to show you their bathroom cabinet and you'll be confronted with an array of gels, creams, pomades, and sprays they rely on for keeping curls coiled, side-parts sleek, and volume intact. Sometimes, shorter strands just need an extra push from products in order to cooperate.

That's why we've asked short-haired ishonest editors and professional stylists to give us their best short-hair styling picks. Here are 12 of their favorites, spanning all hair types and textures.

Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Sculpting Foam

This coconut-scented mousse from Paul Mitchell helps control frizzy hair and flyaways without sacrificing moisture. Hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew is a fan of the Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Sculpting Foam because it gives a hold that lasts all day long. "I love lightweight products that allow you to still comb through the hair while leaving a long-lasting shine," she says. "This is one of them for sure!"

Mielle Organics Hawaiian Ginger Moisturizing Styling Gel

The Mielle Organics Hawaiian Ginger Moisturizing Gel uses a combination of avocado and ginger root oils to hydrate curls. Editorial assistant Gabi Thorne loves using this gel to keep her 3C hair defined and frizz-free. "My teeny- weeny-afro (TWA) typically starts frizzing up on day two, and by day three, it looks like it's been fully brushed out," she says. "But going on day three and even four, my curls were still defined with this gel."

Vernon François Styling Cream

Vernon François' Styling Cream works wonders to keep waves, curls, and kinks defined. With a blend of moisturizing ingredients — shea butter, witch hazel, argan, and olive oil — the creamy conditioner doesn't sacrifice hydration to smooth hair.

Verb Sculpting Clay

Verb's Sculpting Clay can slick down or add volume to hair while leaving a gorgeous sheen (thanks to argan oil). Because of the pomade's flexible hold, you can restyle your hair throughout the day, if needed.

Ouai Wave Spray

Deputy beauty director Elizabeth Siegel swears by the rice-protein infused Ouai Wave Spray because it's the only mist that works for her fine hair, which doesn't hold styles well. This Best of Beauty Award winner is a godsend if you're looking to add texture to straight strands or extra definition to wavy hair. Use it on damp or dry hair to get the perfect beachy waves.

Kératase Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray

Dealing with frizzy, short hair can be tiresome, and that's why hairstylist Vernon François recommends the Kératase Fluidissime Anti-Frizz Spray. This product helps to smooth the hair, adds shine, and provides heat protection.

Adwoa Beauty Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Cream

The baobab and cactus oils in the Adwoa Beauty Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Cream are what make it feel like heaven on your hair. The thick honey-based cream softens and moisturizes dry curls while also leaving a nice hold. After applying, Thorne likes to add a little bit of oil to break up any potential crunchiness.

Living Proof Amp2 Instant Texture Volumizer

Sturdivant-Drew recommends using Living Proof's Amp2 Instant Texture Volumizer when you want to create texture or volume in the hair. Rub the white cream in your hands and it transforms into a clear matte formula that will add a lasting hold to any style.

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker is jam-packed with hydrating ingredients — aloe, castor seed, and vitamin E oil — to soften curls and provide a flexible hold. It virtually doesn't matter how much of this lightweight jelly you slather on because it will leave a gorgeous sheen, without the crunchy feel typical to most gels.

Carol's Daughter Monoi Repair & Moisture Star Strength Leave-In Cream

Sturdivant-Drew loves how the lightweight Carol's Daughter Monoi Repair & Moisture Star Strength Leave-In Cream hydrates and restores damaged hair. Though it doesn't feel heavy, this cream is rich enough to work as an everyday styler or moisturizer, thanks to the Tahitian monoi oil in the formula.

R+Co Dart Pomade Stick

It's one thing to work your hair into place when styling it at home, but getting it stay there throughout a long day is another story altogether. Luckily, R+Co has developed the Dart Pomade Stick (a Best of Beauty winner), which you can rub into your hands for quick-and-easy style maintenance at a moment's notice.

Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray

This Dry Finish Working Texture Spray builds texture and height with a light hold that doesn't weigh down short strands. It might not deliver Kristin Ess's signature beach waves, but it can provide the same matte finish.

Cake Beauty The Curl Friend

Cake Beauty's The Curl Friend beat out tons of other nominees to win the 2019 Best of Beauty Award for kinky curl definer. Tight coils that are prone to dryness are no match for the hydrating avocado oil and shea butter in this shine-enhancing formula.

Kenra Professional Platinum Texturizing Taffy 13

Hair that needs separation and hold without the crunch will find bliss with Kenra Platinum's Texturizing Taffy. The brand recommends it for anyone with a wavy hair type. Fun fact: You can also use it to polish parts for braids.

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Another Best of Beauty winner for curls, SheaMoisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie penetrates damp hair for wash-and-go styling without that tell-tale gel crunch.

Harry's Sculpting Gel

Though, yes, this is marketed as a men's product, hair products know no gender — don't knock this 'till you try it. For just eight bucks, Harry’s alcohol- free Sculpting Gel offers an extra-strong hold with high shine, perfect for a greaser-style slick.

Rene Furterer Style Vegetal Styling Wax

If maintaining shine and moisture is your biggest concern, turn to Rene Furterer's Vegetal Styling Wax. Its vitamin B5 complex provides your ends with relief after heat-styling or color treatment.

Miss Jessie's Coily Custard

If shrinkage is a big concern, Miss Jessie can provide the solution with Coily Custard, another wash-and-go favorite for frizz-free kinky curls. Its main ingredient is glycerin, meaning it's a sure thing for maintaining moisture in between wash days.

Oribe Fiber Groom Elastic Texture Paste

You can't see them at first glance, but the tiny polymers that give Oribe's Fiber Groom Elastic Texture Paste its name separate your strands and build height with a flexible hold that still allows your hair to bounce.

Aphogee Curlific Curl Definer

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