Have you been thinking about ditching your long hair and trying something new and exciting? Are you craving a thrilling change? A short haircut is the perfect way to do both. Nothing says “bold,” “sexy,” “fearless,” and “chic,” quite like a short hairstyle – even the term “lioness” comes to mind. If you think about it, there are a few good reasons why. A short hairstyle draws the face—and others’ eyes—upward with an invisible vertical line, making your face look thinner, which means the right short hairstyle can flatter any face shape.
This logic can even be applied to up-dos that are done with long hair. Why are up-dos, and pixie cuts, for example, so elegant? Our theory is that short hair—and likewise, long hair in an up-do—exposes the neck, which is one of the most alluring parts of you. Without any hair hiding your neck, it’s very easy to turn your head in a coy, “come hither” way. An exposed neck is just begging to be kissed.
A short haircut says that you’re modern; you don’t need long tresses to be or feel beautiful—you’re not afraid to boldly shed them like an old skin and try something new. Not to mention the practical bonuses that come with short hairstyles. You’ll find that you have to wash your hair less often and that your hair will require less product. This means that your shorter hair will likely be healthier. It’s incredible how our hair can affect our confidence and mood. Your hair is your crowning glory for a reason.
We get that a big change like this can be a little scary. And granted, most of us have a horror story or two about a horrific short hairstyle our mothers made us get as a kid. In this special list we’ve created, we’re going to look at how you can embrace short hairstyles and ease your way into one by going progressively shorter until you reach the short haircut of your dreams; or, if you’re feeling extra brave, you can proceed to the short hairstyles at the end of this list. Either way, you won’t regret trying any of these fabulous ten short hairstyles. Now, let’s get inspired.
Also known as the long bob, your hair may already be at this trendy shorter length. It’s hip and modern, and an excellent first cut or “starting point” if you are looking to transition to shorter hair slowly. If you enjoy styling your hair—using a blow-dryer, flat iron or curling iron, and all the products that come with the styling process—but want a cut with more definition and sophistication, then this is the cut for you.
The Lob is usually left at collarbone-length, or thereabouts, so it’s not super short, but not super long, either: the Lob is still usually long enough to put in a ponytail or pull half of it up. You can have your Lob all one length, or ask for layers. Whether you straighten it, curl it, or throw it up, the Lob is a fun, flirty, and versatile style that you’ll find hard to go back from. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian have made this short hairstyle iconic.
The Classic Bob
A classic bob is around chin-length and can work with or without bangs. A bob works well for nearly all hair types: straight hair, naturally curly hair, thin hair, or thick hair. If you’re a product junkie, you can still get your fix with a bob—blow it out and straighten or curl it. You can still use your favorite heat protection spray, serum, shine spray – whatever your heart desires. Flip out the ends or curl them under.
With a classic bob, you’ve probably bypassed the ponytail stage now, but it can still be styled halfway up if your hair is all one layer. But consider that a Bob is so much fun if layers are added. If you love headbands and other hair accessories, the bob is your short hairstyle. There is something particularly “roaring twenties” and chic about a classic bob—Cameron Diaz has long been rocking this short hairstyle, and it never gets old.
The Long-To-Short Bob
This short hairstyle looks just like it sounds: longer in the front and shorter in the back. You can have all kinds of fun with this short hairstyle. Grab some styling paste or mousse and make it messy and tousled in the back, or leave it straight and sophisticated. You can curl or straighten the longer ends, pin them to the side, or rock a headband. You may be thinking that this hairstyle backs you in a corner with not many styling options, but you’ll find that’s simply not the case.
The short back will get you used to shorter hair if you’re planning to go even shorter in the future. Depending on your hair type, you may find that you can just apply mousse to your wet hair and go. Because you’ll have a couple of different lengths going on, this haircut makes it fun to play with color, too. This short hairstyle will always be on-trend because it flatters every face.
One Side Long, One Side Short
When it comes to styling, this short hairstyle is pretty similar to the long-to-short bob. Straighten or curl the longer side and get creative with the short side. This is another cut that works well with most hair types, and it’s universally flattering. You’ll get compliments galore as you turn from side to side and show off the funky dichotomy. This short hairstyle is a little edgier and lets you showcase your natural features and sassy personality.
You’ve still got longer hair draping on one cheek so that you still feel like you have some length, but you’ll also be showing the world that you’re not afraid of short hair when you turn to the other side. This cut also makes it easy to play with color—rock some fun streaks. Once you try this short hairstyle, you won’t want to go back. It’s a great transition cut into our next few short hairstyles.
One Side Shaved or Buzzed
Now we’re really getting into the gritty but gorgeous short cuts! With this short hairstyle, hair is officially off the neck and chin (unless you want to leave one side longer than in the picture shown). The idea might make you squirm in your seat, but this hairstyle is so liberating and life-changing. There’s no doubt that it’s funky, fresh, and fearless.
This short hairstyle can be just as whimsical as it is bold and just as graceful and soft for all of its hard edges. Your unique personality will put off exactly the vibe that you want from this cut. You’ll be so excited to do your hair every day—you’ve still got that one longer side to play with. Curl it or straighten it while still using all of your favorite hair products.
This short hairstyle lends itself well to staying in place all day. Since you only have one side to do, this cut will save you some time in the morning. Believe it or not, this short hairstyle does flatter every face shape, and of course, it will turn heads as you turn yours. If you’re ready to stand out in the crowd, this is the cut for you. This short hairstyle is an easy transition to our next one.
The Long Pixie Cut
Alright, no more security blanket with length in the back or off to one side—once you’ve gotten this cut, you are there, Queen! This short hairstyle is whimsical but edgy, timeless yet modern, alluring yet soft and sweet. Don’t worry, Product Junkies—there is a whole world of hair products for short hair like this. Hair wax, a mini flat-iron, and dry shampoo will become your best friends. You can make this cut as high or as low maintenance as you want.
Contrary to popular belief, this is another short haircut that can flatter any face—remember us mentioning how short hair makes the face look thinner? This cut will also show off the natural bone structure of your face. It will open up the eyes and draw elegant lines. There’s a lot of room for tailoring this cut to your needs. You may want chunkier pieces than the model shown here has, you may want a defined part, or you may want more jagged lines. You can have as many or as few bangs as you want. There are so many possibilities.
A good hairstylist will be able to translate what you want into “hair language” and give you the perfect, flattering short haircut you’ve always dreamed about. Tongues will wag as you hold your head high and make the world your runway with this short hairstyle. Headbands still look awesome with this cut, and so do chunky earrings. It’s more classic than you think. Audrey Hepburn made this short hairstyle famous—what’s more timeless and iconic than that? Today, celebrities like Keira Knightley and Anne Hathaway have been seen flaunting this cut.
The “True” Pixie Cut
It seemed like everyone wanted a pixie cut after Emma Watson showed hers off after filming the Harry Potter movies. She has been known to say that she “never felt sexier” than she did with a pixie cut. Here she is the picture of femininity, class, and sophistication—that’s a pixie cut in a nutshell. A true pixie cut will be short all the way around the head—short on top, and equally as short or shorter on the sides.
When one thinks of a pixie cut, those tapered, pointed sides by the ears usually come to mind. But we put “True” in quotes because your pixie cut doesn’t have to look exactly like Emma’s to be a real pixie cut. Again, contrary to popular belief, there’s room for creativity here. You may want pieces that are blunter and chunkier than Emma has here, or you may prefer the blended look. You may want some longer pieces brushing your forehead, or perhaps not. Your pixie cut is whatever you want it to be.
One important thing to remember when considering a pixie cut is how you style it makes all the difference. For example, you might be scrolling through the internet to get ideas for your next hair adventure and come across a pixie cut you really like. You scroll further down and see another one you like, but that looks quite different from the first. You may actually be looking at the same cut that’s just styled differently. So, make sure you talk with your hairstylist first before you make the appointment. Even if you’re transitioning from a short hairstyle to a pixie cut, it could still be a big change for you; make sure you and your hairstylist are on the same page. Don’t be afraid to try different styles—you can even spike it up. All you need is a good hair wax or styling cream and shine spray to make this cut pop. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll feel like yourself with a pixie cut. It’s the confidence booster you never knew you needed.
Add An Undercut
As shown, an undercut is a shorter cut or buzz “under” a longer layer, so that there’s a hard line between long and short. An undercut works best with a long pixie cut (#6), but it can work with items #4 and #7 on this list as well. It’s a fresh and unique variation to try with many short hairstyles and will make any style stand out. Your hairstylist may even be able to do cool designs within your undercut, like zigzags or some other pattern. The limit with undercuts is only your imagination. It’s a wonderful creative outlet and can really show off your personality and personal style. Undercuts grow out nicely as well, as they will still be shorter than the rest of your hair. And if you don’t like the undercut— it will grow back! Why not give it a try?
The Cropped Pixie Cut
This cut “crops” the hair close to the head, hence the name. It keeps the hair off the forehead, but it’s longer than a buzz cut. This is the original “I woke up like this” look. This short hairstyle takes zero maintenance in the morning, except perhaps a little hairspray or hair wax, at most, and even that is totally optional. This cut looks amazing with some chunky earrings. You can even grab a fun headband to change up your look.
Even though this short hairstyle is so low maintenance, it’s undeniably elegant and stunning. It lends a kind of grace and nobility to the head and opens the face. At the same time, it’s edgy, sassy, and high-fashion. A cropped pixie cut is the perfect combination of all of these.
If you want to change it up and add a unique twist, your sides don’t have to be the same length as the top—you can do a nice fade on the sides, for which your hairstylist will use clippers and guards. With a cropped pixie cut, you can have it swept to the side or pulled toward the front of the head. Once it grows out a tiny bit, you can spike it up. Nothing says, “I’m confident and fierce” quite like a cropped pixie cut.
A Shaved Head
Yes, it’s becoming a thing—people everywhere are trying this shortest of short hairstyles. There are, undoubtedly, different schools of thought on this, but we think, yes—this is a hairstyle. The boldest of the bold and the most fearless among us are rocking this upcoming hair trend. Chunky jewelry and bright colors complement this short hairstyle best.
The thing about shaving your head is that you’re giving your hair a completely fresh start and blank slate—what’s known as “virgin hair” will grow back. Having “virgin hair” means that it has never been colored, exposed to heat or chemicals, or been damaged in any way, so you’ll regrow hair that’s the healthiest it can be! One thing to keep in mind is that you still need to wash your head if you want to regrow super healthy hair. Hair growth starts at the scalp.
By “wash,” we mean “massage your head” in the shower. There are many shampoos out there that specifically promote hair growth, but talk to your hairstylist before choosing a shampoo. Your hair may also grow back with a different texture than before. For example, if you always had straight hair, it may grow back wavy if you shave your head.
If your hair is really damaged, brittle, or breaking to the point of giving you bald patches, you might want to consider shaving your head. Hair-shaving videos are a YouTube sensation, so why not make a video of your journey?
Your hair says so much about you and plays a huge role in your signature look. No matter what you want your hair to say about you— “bold,” “brave,” “capable,” “fierce,” “classy,” “strong,” “chic”—a short hairstyle can say it all. You may not feel like society has quite caught up with the look and the dialogue that a short hairstyle creates, but you know what they say: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Don’t let social norms, or the opinion of others, stop you. If nothing else, short hairstyles certainly say, “I’m my own unique individual.”
Getting or transitioning to a short hairstyle can be a huge confidence booster and a much-needed change. You may find yourself having a different, and perhaps improved, outlook on life. Short hairstyles are timeless and will always be trendy. If you’ve always wanted to try a short hairstyle, but couldn’t quite work up the courage, we hope we’ve inspired you to go for it. Your cut can be just as unique as you are.
Benefits to having a short hairstyle: In addition to the confidence your new short hairstyle will surely bring you, there are a few other benefits. There is a short hairstyle for every face shape and hair type—thin, thick, curly, wavy, or straight. With shorter hair, you’ll find that you’ll have less to do to get ready in the morning. It’s definitely a time-saver. You’ll also find that your shorter hair requires less shampooing and less product to get the job done.
This means that, overall, your hair will be healthier. If you maintain your short haircut, each time you go to your hairstylist, they’ll be working with new growth. They’ll only be cutting off dead ends or old growth. This is fantastic for coloring purposes; your new growth will absorb the bleach and color much better. Don’t assume that short hairstyles have to all look the same and don’t lend themselves to styling—there is an endless supply of hair products and tools that are specifically for short hair. You won’t be missing out on anything.
Take the plunge. Go forth, little Pixie, and conquer!