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Here’s How to Style Your Short Hair 30 Different Ways

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Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

After a major haircut, it's totally normal to panic the first time you wash your hair and lose the perfect blown-out style your stylist left you with on day one. We've been there, done that, worn a baseball cap to work because it was easier than figuring out how to style our new short hair. But now that you’ve done the chop, experimenting with different ways to style your short hair is not only fun but incredibly easy! So don’t sweat it, these 30 hairstyles will have you looking like the pro. Almost like you never left the salon.

According to hairstylist Andrew DeMio, short hair is totally in right now and he’s getting tons of requests for short bobs of all shapes and sizes. “Either sleek and straight or wavy and textured,” DeMio explains. He also mentions that French bobs with short bangs and short shags with lots of texture are trendier than ever, thanks to a few celebrities paving the way for shorter hair looks.

About the Expert:

Andrew DeMio is a hair stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City.

1. Piecey Bob

Kaia Gerber in a brown jacket at the red carpet

Photo by Steven Ferdman / Stringer/Getty Images

Kaia Gerber makes any look appear effortless, but styling this one really is. Play up your hair’s natural waves by scrunching a leave-in conditioner into your hair while it’s still damp. We’re obsessed with OUAI’s leave-in conditioner, which never leaves hair hard or crunchy. Or, if your hair is pin straight, loosely curl the front pieces and hold in place with gentle hairspray.

2. Colorful Crop

Ruby Rose with purple hair posing at the red carpet

Photo by Lisa Maree Williams / Stringer/Getty Images

Shorter hair is easier to dye, so why not go all the way with changing your look and add in a new color like Ruby Rose’s lilac? Try this temporary violet color spray from IGK to spruce up your look. It’ll be fully washed out in one to two washes.

3. Close Cut

Eva Marcille looking glam in a very short hairstyle at the red carpet

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Staff/Getty Images

For Eva Marcille’s crop, you’ll have to maintain this cut every three to four weeks, but with the right product, styling this look will be as easy as waking up, spraying, and heading out the door. Try SHEAMOISTURE Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Finishing Elixir to tame flyaways, create texture where you want it, and promote healthy hair at the same time.

4. Shaggy Fringe

Taylor Swift rocking shaggy fringes hairstyle at the red carpet

Photo by Jason Merritt/TERM / Staff/Getty Images

Taylor Swift’s cascading bangs blend into her short chop to add a bit of edge to an otherwise tame shoulder-length cut. If you have fine hair, you can achieve this look with a dry texture spray that adds a bit of depth to flat strands. We love MOROCCANOIL’S Dry Texture Spray for all hair types to lock in this look.

5. Cropped Coils

Lupita Nyong'o looking chic at the red carpet

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff/Getty Images

Lupita Nyong'o's look is so chic, and it gives her natural features and fashion choices a chance to be the star of the show. The secret to keeping up with this look is keeping it hydrated. Try locking in moisture with COCO & EVE’S Like A Virgin Hair Mask.

6. Brushed Back Waves

Scarlet Johansson looking glam in a brushed back wavy hairstyle at the red carpet

Photo by Frazer Harrison / Staff/Getty Images

Once your hair is pushed back and out of the way, you’ll truly be free to play up your eyes like Scarlett Johansson. As you comb hair back, hold it in place and spray at the root with the comb still in your hair. Since the pieces of your hair are shorter, it will be easier to keep them back and in place since they’ll be more lightweight than longer strands. Using a flexible hairspray like the KERASTASE Laque Dentelle Flexible Spray will keep hair in place without looking crunchy.

7. Shoulder Grazing

Park Shin-hye looking chick in an all-black ensemble and red hair

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain / Staff/Getty Images

The key to getting Park Shin-Hye’s sleek yet carefree look is to blow dry damp hair after adding moisture in the shower with a split-end repair shampoo and conditioner. To increase hydration and eliminate split ends, we love BIOSILK’S Silk Therapy Original Shampoo.

8. Short and Sleek

Side profile of a model with a short bob hairstyle

A short bob like this is the ultimate chic style. While this style is easiest for naturally straight hair, those with curly or wavy hair can also rock a sleek short bob (albeit with a little more upkeep). The secret to getting a straight, short style without losing body is to use a heat protectant spray with smoothing properties before reaching for the straightener, no matter your hair type. We like to distribute VERB’s ghost prep heat protectant™ throughout damp hair, and then blow it out smooth with a hairdryer's concentrator nozzle. The heat-activated polymers in this smoothing spray work to seal in hydration and cut drying time, preventing dryness and damage.

9. Tousled Curls

Model looking chic in her natural curls and minimal makeup look

After cutting off a few inches of curly hair, you might find that the cream- or gel-based products you used before the chop are now weighing you down. Switching to a lighter formula, like foam mousse, can help your curls move and find their shape again. To get this tousled look, spray a generous amount of TWISTED SISTA 30 Second Curl Spray in Coconut Limonene through soaking wet hair from root to tip, section by section, and then let it air dry.

10. Piecey Pixie

Close-up of model with a piece-y pixie hairstyle posing

Punk up your pixie cut with a product that adds shine and dimension. To get this look, brush or blow dry your dry hair out smooth, then lightly mist on NATURELAB TOKYO Perfect Shine Oil Mist and style it with your hands, twisting individual strands to break it up. This spray in particular is platinum fiber-infused to enhance your color and reflect the light, making it a great option for damaged or color-treated hair.

11. Blunt Bob With Bangs

Model with glittery eyeshadow makeup and blunt bob hairstyle posing against balloons

This quintessential French girl look is more about hair care than hair styling. For a genuine "I woke up like this" effect, give your hair all the love it needs before reaching for any tools. MARC ANTHONY Coconut & Shea Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner instantly softens and hydrates even the driest, most damaged, color- or chemical-treated hair to give you your shine back. From there you can air dry, or just use a straightener to smooth out your ends.

12. Textured Beach Waves

Model rocking beachy waves hairstyle

Shoulder-length hair looks equal parts lovely and laid back in tousled, beachy waves. To nail the California-cool vibe, grab your hot tools and check out our tutorials on how to curl your hair with a curling iron or flat iron. When you get to the very last step, mist your whole head with AIIR PROFESSIONAL Texture AIIR before you rake out your curls by hand. This technique helps you freeze your waves as soon as you reach just the right amount of undone.

13. Slicked Back

Model with we hair posing by the pool

A well-played wet look is timeless, but can be time-consuming and product heavy with long hair going halfway down your back. Less hair on your head = easier to control and smooth the whole look, without using half a bottle of gel. For a natural slick back that looks like you stepped out of the water about 10 minutes ago, wait until your hair is halfway dry before twisting strands from your hairline all the way back in smalls sections withUSE ME HAIR Wave + Curl Cream. As your hair air dries, the twists will loosen but stay close to your scalp, keeping your whole look shower fresh.

14. Undone Bun

Model rocking a messy bun hairstyle

Pull off a high bun with short to medium length hair can be tricky. A mid-height messy bun, however, is your jam. Shorter face-framing pieces will fall out naturally as you rake your hair back, making this look especially effortless. To keep it artfully messy and not a straight-up mess, use bobby pins to secure any big loose pieces. 

15. Tucked-In Bun

Side profile of a model with tucked in bun hairstyle

A slight twist on the undone bun seen above, this one is worn at the very base of your skull. Make it look more polished by scrunching a palmful of R+CO COOL WIND pH Perfect Air Dry Crème into towel-dried hair. Or, if you have wavy or curly hair, massage the product in while your hair is still damp from the shower to control frizz. Then you can center part it or make a deep side part and follow the same steps from the messy bun tutorial. (PS: find more tips on how to care for curly hair here).

16. Sleek Bun

Woman with a sleek bun hairstyle posing and looking up

This is the definitive, elegant, easy updo for short hairstyles—no extensions required. To get the look, work a generous amount of PURE BRAZILIAN Daily Anti-Frizz Serum into damp hair and brush it out smooth. Center part your hair, smoothing each side again with the brush, then secure it in a bun at the nape of your neck. And that's it! Add some interest by strategically placing bold hair clips around your ear for a hair-jewelry look.

17. Gatsby Glam

Model rocking a classic short hairstyle, glossy pink eyeshadow, and berry red lips

A short, just-undone-enough bob like this one gives us major 21st-century flapper vibes. It’s classic and cool, with edgy layers and slight waves that we think rebellious “Devil-may-care” 1920s partiers would’ve loved. To style this cut to timeless perfection, spritz a few sprays of R+CO Trophy Shine + Texture Spray through towel-dried hair. If your hair is naturally straight, finger-curl as you spray for loose, tousled waves, Or, spritz on top of damp, curly hair to boost any texture you already have. The gentle formula is made with cane sugar, not alcohol, so it will define your strands without feeling stiff or sticky. Bonus: update this look with some hair accessories to keep it looking fresh and modern in any century.

18. Rounded Bob

A photo of Taylor Swift with a round bob cut hairstyle wearing bold red lipsticks color
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Rounded bobs can be incredibly flattering, especially if your face has sharp and angular features. The best way to achieve this look is not only showing your stylist a photo like this but also, showing them a reference as to what you want the style to look like in the back. Make sure you have a great straightener in your arsenal of hair tools, we like this one from FLOWER BEAUTY.

19. Bleached Chop

A photo of Cara Delevingne with bleached short cut wearing a white tank top and a Chanel choker
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

While practical for summer, this bleached short cut gives a super edgy look. It’s easy to maintain and take care of. You’ll want to keep your hair super hydrated should you choose to go for this look, as bleaching can take a toll if you plan to keep it up. Alternatively, you could leave your natural color or play with fun demi permanent dyes—like the ones from Hally.

20. Wispy Curtain Bangs

A photo of Selena Gomez with a wispy curtain bangs hairstyle
Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Just because you're opting for a shorter hair style, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy cascading front pieces. Selena’s bangs may be a bit longer than you would like, especially if you’re sporting hair that’s falling at chin level. However, know that as your hair grows out (and your bangs normally do first!) this is the perfect face-framing look for that lived-in effect.

21. Edgy Shag

A photo of Billie Eilish wearing a black sweater and an edgy shag hairstyle
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

No one does a shag better than Billie. This past year, we’ve seen our hair goals come to life by watching the transition from lime green highlights to Marilyn Monroe blonde to deep, chocolatey brown. We loved this shaggy look she sported with intentionally long bangs and effortless volume. If you try it for yourself, just pick up a great texturing spray.

22. The Wet Look

A photo of Margot Robbie with a wet look hairstyle with bright yellow eyeshadow
Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images

The wet look certainly isn’t for everyone, but we’re still seeing it everywhere—on the red carpet and on the girl sitting across the restaurant you’re in, whose style you’re envying. It’s undeniably cool and elevated without trying too hard. To get the look, celebrity hairstylist (he brought Kim K’s Met Gala wet look to life), Chris Appleton recommends this product from Color Wow.

23. Space Buns

A photo of Bella Hadid with space buns wearing a yellow jacket and Fendi earrings
Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

A festival favorite that will never go out of style. Of course, with shorter hair you may find your space bun size varies. We think they smaller they are, the cuter! You can pair these with fun, mini claw clips or elevated bobby pins. You’ll want to stock up on tiny clear elastics too. A great look for second or third day hair.

24. Braided Bangs

A photo of Mary-Kate Olsen with braided bangs wearing a white shirt and a necklace
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Another festival-inspired look everyone is sporting at Coachella. People love the braided bang look because of how practical it is. Not only to sweep your bangs out of your face but if you have fine hair, you might find you front pieces begin to look greasy first. This is a great style to do in tandem with dry shampoo on days when you’re just not yet ready for a wash.

25. Face-Framing Waves

A photo by Scarlett Johansson with a beachy wave hairstyle
Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

For those with shoulder-length hair, this beachy style is a must (if not your go-to!). The best thing about this style? It doesn’t need to look perfect. You’ll notice one side of Scarlett’s hair is tousled and wavy while the other is purposely a bit looser. With this look, there are no rules! Achieve the style with waves made by a straightener or a small barreled curling wand.

26. Chic-ly Clipped

Throwing long hair up in a claw clip can often be challenging. There’s just so much to styl and some clips won’t hold it all! With shorter hair styles, carrying around a claw clip is a an easy solve when you’re short on time. It’s so easy to twist and clip. Plus, we think claw clips look better when they don’t have to hold so much hair up or when a few shorter pieces are falling out. Check out more claw clip hairstyles for any length, here.

27. Baby Braids

A photo of Margot Robbie with ombre blonde hair and with baby braids wearing a frilly white dress
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Another winner from actress Margot Robbie. Wear this versatile (it can go from casual to chic) at your weekend brunch, out at a music festival, or on your next date night. Part your hair down the middle and section off even pieces on either side. Have your clear elastics are the ready or keep ‘em loose and secure with a shot of hairspray.

28. Micro-Bangs

A photo of Alexa Demie with micro bangs and a double wing eyeliner
Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Euphoria star, Alexa Demie shocked us all with this post-season two look. She often sports a slicked-back bun with these baby frayed bangs. This trendy look definitely requires some upkeep as your bangs grow out, but if you can commit, it’s well worth it. 

29. Poufed-Pony

Shorter hair makes for the cutest propped-up ponytail. Hairstylist Riawna Capri lets Nina Dobrev’s wispy bangs frame her face while the rest of her hair is held back in a tiny elastic. This look is an easy way to create volume and texture despite your hair being pulled back. Don’t be afraid to get messy! These poufed-ponytails look better a little undone.

30. Messy Half-Up, Half-Down

A photo of Lucy Boynton wearing a black hair tie and black polka dot dress
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

It’s time to utilize those hair accessories you have tucked away. A half-up, half down with shorter hair lets a trendy accessory shine—like this simple bow on Lucy Boynton. Pick out a chunky embellished clip and tuck pieces back into it for a casual, quick, French girl hairstyle.

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About the author
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia is a freelance beauty writer. With experience in influencer marketing at Tata Harper Skincare and editorial at Very Good Light, she loves covering Gen Z beauty, wellness, and nail trends. Read her work on Very Good Light and Well + Good.
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Article Last Updated May 6, 2022 12:00 AM