Short hairstyles for women—44+ ideas from shag cuts to French girl bobs and pixie crops

Get inspired with the best short hairstyles for women, from expert tips to the celebs who wear it best

Three of the best short hairstyles for women
(Image credit: Getty images)

The best short hairstyles for women are like a great little black dress. They never go out of fashion, always look chic, and once you find a style that works it'll see you through any occasion with minimal effort. Sound appealing? Whether your signature crop could do with a refresh or you're toying with the idea of short hair for the first time, we've got every inspiring image and hairstylist tip you need to make the right choice.

When we think about short hairstyles for women, a few classic cuts come to mind, namely bob hairstyles and pixie haircuts. But there is a whole spectrum of shorter styles that end at the jawline or above to choose from, many of which combine timeless appeal with a tick in the seasonal trend box.

"A good haircut for winter is definitely a short, strong bob. It works amazingly well with high collars and coat, helps to frame a face, and looks effortlessly chic," says Zoe Irwin, ghd Global Ambassador. "A 90s influenced French bob strengthens up a soft jawline and elongates the neck, and the Pixie crop is big for this season, in a short tousled style. Really prominent in natural hairstyles are very texturized short crops in an array of colors. Those really tight 70s curls, with little hairs flying around which gives it a cool freshness."   

Not sure which short hairstyle will suit your hair type? “Don’t worry—there's a short style that suits every face and every head of hair,” says Adam Reed, celebrity stylist and L’Oréal Professionnel ambassador. “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.”  

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 can 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. If you're looking for inspiration and really don't know where to start, try this general guide:

  • Square face: Go for something soft with height and layers as blunt cuts that hit at the jaw can emphasize sharper angles.
  • Heart-shaped face: Longer front sections that balance out wider cheeks and a narrower chin will suit. 
  • Round face: Sweeping fringes, longer layers or a blunt bob that hits below the jaw will elongate your shape.
  • Oval face: Almost anything works, you lucky thing. You can pull off a pixie crop if you dare.

Another consideration is how you style your 'do, which is almost as important as the cut itself. Even the best short hairstyles for women may not be right for you if they are too high maintenance (we're looking at you bangs hairstyles) and a little bit of reading up on the best hair straighteners and best hair dryer will go a long way to helping you wear your style, not have it wear you.

Short hairstyles for round faces

Chrissy Teigen leaves "Watch What Happens Live" on September 19, 2018 in New York City

Chrissy Teigen

(Image credit: James Devaney / Contributor via Getty Images)

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 attends the EE British Academy Film Awards at Royal Albert Hall on February 10, 2019 in London, England

Viola Davis 

(Image credit: Samir Hussein/Contributor via Getty Images)

If you have an oval face shape, you've struck gold, as almost all short hairstyles will look fabulous on you—especially 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

British actress Judi Dench poses for a photograph upon arrival for the UK premiere of "Victoria & Abdul" in London on September 5, 2017

Judi Dench

(Image credit: TOLGA AKMEN / Contributor via Getty Images)

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

Helen Mirren arrives for the Homage Helen Mirren Honorary Golden Bear award ceremony during the 70th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Berlinale Palace on February 27, 2020 in Berlin, Germany

Helen Mirren 

(Image credit: Thomas Niedermueller / Stringer via Getty Images)

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. 

Below we’ve rounded up the best short hairstyles for women, along with recommendations for face and hair type—although 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 famous graduated "Pob" in 2006, 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 for a brand new bob.


1. The loose wavy bob

Amber Valletta with a tousled loose bob

Amber Valletta

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any, especially square | Hair type: medium to thick


2. The jaw length bob

Lucy Liu with a sharp jaw lengh bob

Lucy Liu 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: heart or square | Hair type: fine and straight


3. The long bob with braids

Amandla Stenberg with long bob with braids

Amandla Stenberg

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: round or heart | Hair type: curly, coily, or kinky


4. The super sleek ’20s-inspired bob

Sarah Paulson with sleek ’20s-inspired bob

Sarah Paulson

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval, heart or square | Hair type: fine to medium


4. The asymmetric bob

Sarah Snook with an asymmetric bob

Sarah Snook

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval, round, heart | Hair type: thick


5. The side-parted bob

Rachel Brosnahan with side-parted bob

Rachel Brosnahan

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval, square | Hair type: medium to thick


6. The short feathered bob 

Jourdan Dunn with short feathered bob

Jourdan Dunn

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any, particularly oval or square | Hair type: fine to thick


7. The tousled bob

Debbie Harry with tousled bob

Debbie Harry

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval or heart | Hair type: fine or thick


8. The glam waved bob

Tessa Thompson with a glam waved bob

Tessa Thompson

(Image credit: Getty images )

Face shape: oval, square, or heart | Hair type: thick, wavy 


9. The French girl bob 

Claire Danes with French girl bob

Claire Danes

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval or heart | Hair type: medium to thick


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, à la Halle Berry or Jane Fonda’s iconic styles.


10. The short cut with choppy layers

Jane fonda with short cut with choppy layers

Jane fonda 

(Image credit: Getty images )

Face shape: oval, square, or heart | Hair type: thick


11. The short layered shag cut with bangs

Lisa Rinna with a short layered shag cut with bangs

Lisa Rinna

(Image credit: Getty images )

Face shape: round or oval | Hair type: fine to thick


12. The tousled bob with long layers

Kerry Washington with tousled bob with long layers

Kerry Washington

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval or square | Hair type: Fine to thick 


13. The layered crop

Charlize Theron with a layered crop

Charlize Theron 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: Heart, oval | Hair type: Medium to fine


14. The layered french bob haircut 

Alexa Chung with layered french bob haircut

Alexa Chung

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: all, especially oval and heart | Hair type: thick


15. The long layered pixie with side bangs

Phoebe Waller-Bridge with long layered pixie with side bangs

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval or heart | Hair type: fine to medium


16. The bob with choppy layers

Greta Gerwig with bob with choppy layers

Greta Gerwig

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any, especially oval or square | Hair type: thick


Short hairstyles with bangs

Pretty much everybody gets bangs at least once in their lifetime—even 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.


17. The pixie cut with sweeping bangs

Joan Smalls with pixie cut with sweeping bangs

Joan Smalls

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shapes: square and heart | Hair types: fine to medium


18. The short bob with French girl bangs

Jessie Buckley with a short bob with French girl bangs

Jessie Buckley 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shapes: oval, square | Hair types: fine to thick


19. The crop with side-swept bangs

Gillian Anderson with crop with side-swept bangs

Gillian Anderson

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shapes: all, particularly oval and heart | Hair types: fine or medium


20. The short curly bob with bangs

Sophia Roe with short curly bob with bangs

Sophia Roe 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shapes: oval, square, or heart | Hair types: curly, thick


21. The blunt bob with bangs

Anna Wintour with blunt bob with bangs

Anna Wintour 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shapes: any, particularly oval and square | Hair types: fine to thick


22. The '20s-inspired bob with micro bangs

Halle Berry 20s-inspired bob with micro bangs

Halle Berry

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: thick


23. The curly shag with bangs

Sandra Oh with urly shag with bangs

Sandra Oh

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval, square, or heart | Hair type: Curly


24. The short crop with side bangs

Irina Shayk with short crop with side bangs

Irina Shayk 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: square or oval | Hair type: thick


25. The curly bob with bangs

Yara Shahidi with a curly bob with bangs

Curly bob with bangs

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shapes: oval, heart | Hair type: thick, curly, coily


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 after—including tons of braided hairstyles, like box braids. Lupita Nyong'o and Viola Davis are great examples of celebrities embracing shorter natural hair. 


26. The close-cropped natural hairstyle

Lashana Lynch close-cropped natural hairstyle

Lashana Lynch

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly, coily and kinky


27. The undercut top crop

Jada Pinkett-Smith with undercut top crop

Jada Pinkett-Smith

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any, particularly heart and oval | Hair type: curly, coily, kinky


28. The ultra short buzz

Adut Akech with ultra short buzz

Adut Akech

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: Any


29. The high puff hairstyle 

Issa Rae with high puff hairstyle

Issa Rae

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any, particularly oval and heart | Hair type: coily, kinky 


30. The short cut on natural coils

Viola Davis with short cut on natural coils

Viola Davis

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: coily 


31. The short tapered haircut

Lupita Nyongo with short tapered haircut

Lupita Nyong'o 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: coily, kinky


32. The statement afro

Solange Knowles with a statement afro

Solange Knowles

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly, coily


33. The short braided style 

Alicia Keys with a short braided style

Alicia Keys

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: thick, curly or coily


34. The natural bob with bangs

Tracee Ellis-Ross with natural bob with bangs

Tracee Ellis-Ross

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: coily, kinky


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. 


35. The "thick on top" layered pixie cut

Kris Jenner with a layered pixie cut

Kris Jenner

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: thick


36. The French girl pixie

Olivia Colman with a French girl pixie

Olivia Colman 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval, square, heart | Hair type: fine to thick


37. The "side slick" pixie crop

Zoe Kravitz with a "side slick" pixie crop

Zoe Kravitz 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: medium to thick


38. The pixie crop with micro bangs

Judi Dench pixie crop with micro bangs

Judi Dench

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: round, heart | Hair type: any


39. The classic short pixie cut with feathered bangs

Sharon Stone short pixie cut with feathered bangs

Sharon Stone

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: round, square, heart | Hair type: fine


40. The sleek pixie crop with side part

Lea Seydoux with leek pixie crop with side part

Lea Seydoux

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval, square | Hair type: thick, straight


41. The super short pixie crop

Anok Yai with super short pixie crop

Anok Yai

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: heart, square | Hair type: thick


42. The curly pixie 

Julia Garner with curly pixie cut

Julia Garner

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: heart, oval | Hair type: curly


43. The classic pixie crop with quiff

Megan Rapinoe with classic pixie crop with quiff

Megan Rapinoe

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: square, heart | Hair type: Fine to medium


44. The slick "behind the ears" pixie cut

Emilia Clarke lick "behind the ears" pixie cut

Emilia Clarke

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: fine, straight


Consider your crash course in the best short hairstyles for women complete.

How to care for short hair

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 protection for hair is still just as important, whatever your hair length,” Adam stresses. 

Image

L’Oréal Professionnel Pro Longer Lengths Renewing Cream | RRP: $28.63/£11.90
"This is perfect to not only provide heat protection but also nourish hair," says Adam.

Adam also emphasizes the importance of the best hair masks in your routine.

Image

L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Absolut Repair Mask | RRP: $33.99/£25.20
Contains gold quinoa and protein to keep your hair strong and healthy, Adam recommends using this once a week,


woman&home thanks Adam Reed, Zoe Irwin, and Sam Burnett for their time and expertise.