Short hairstyles for women—60 ideas from shag cuts to French bobs and pixie crops

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

Collage of three short hairstyles for women on Cynthia Erivo, Irina Shayk and Serena Williams
(Image credit: Future/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. "A good haircut is definitely a short, strong bob. It helps to frame a face, and looks effortlessly chic," says Zoë 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, hairstylist 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 that suit you

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. 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. After that you can start having fun adding in texture, gloss, or even an accessory, there are beautiful headbands for short hair out there to suit every occasion.

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)
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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 Italian 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)
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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)
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Square faces look great with extra height to their hair; lots of soft, rounded layers are your friend here, as displayed by Dame Judi Dench with one of the best short hairstyles for women over 50, a soft pixie crop. “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)
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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.

60 short hairstyles for every hair type and texture

From Twiggy’s pixie cut to Princess Diana’s layered style, there are so many iconic short hairstyles that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to ideas. And while hair type plays a part too (so the most flattering short hairstyles for thick hair will be different from those that suit finer types) there are no hard or fast rules—find a look you love and a good stylist will tailor it 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 ultimate blunt bob

Serena Williams

(Image credit: Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

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


2. The slightly asymmetric bob

Irina Shayk

(Image credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images)

Face shape: heart, oval, square | Hair type: any


3. The classic long bob

Cate Blanchett

(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

Face shape: any, especially oval | Hair type: fine to medium


4. 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


5. 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


6. 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


7. 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


8. The asymmetric bob

Sarah Snook with an asymmetric bob

Sarah Snook

(Image credit: Getty images)

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


9. 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


10. 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


11. The tousled bob

Debbie Harry with tousled bob

Debbie Harry

(Image credit: Getty images)

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


12. 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 


13. 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.


14. The softly layered ends 

Nicola Coughlan

(Image credit: Joe Maher/Getty Images)

Face shape: any, especially round | Hair type: fine to medium


15. The asymmetric crop with lengthy layers

Halle Berry

(Image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: medium to thick


16. The slick layered lob

Kourtney Kardashian

(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: medium to thick


17. 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


18. 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


19. 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 


20. The layered crop

Charlize Theron with a layered crop

Charlize Theron 

(Image credit: Getty images)

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


21. 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


22. 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


23. 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.


24. The volumized crop with side bangs 

Ariana DeBose

(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage via Getty Images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: medium to thick


25. The vintage-styled side bangs

Elizabeth Olsen

(Image credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: medium to thick


26. The piled-up curls with bangs

Tamera Mowry

(Image credit: Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage via Getty Images)

Face shape: any, especially oval | Hair type: curly, coily


27. 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


28. 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


29. 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


30. 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


31. 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


32. 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


33. 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


34. 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


35. 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. 


36. 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


37. 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


38. The ultra short buzz

Adut Akech with ultra short buzz

Adut Akech

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: Any


39. 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 


40. The ultra short coils 

Cynthia Erivo

(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage via Getty Images)

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


41. The 20s-inspired crop

Tiffany Haddish

(Image credit: David Livingston/Getty Images)

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


42. 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 


43. The faded curly style

Samira Wiley

(Image credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly, coily


44. The short tapered haircut

Lupita Nyongo with short tapered haircut

Lupita Nyong'o 

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: coily, kinky


45. The statement afro

Solange Knowles with a statement afro

Solange Knowles

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly, coily


46. 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


47. 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. 


48. The '20s-inspired pixie

Jodie Turner-Smith

(Image credit: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage via Getty Images)

Face shape: any | Hair type: any


49. The slicked down pixie 

Charlize Theron

(Image credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter)

Face shape: any | Hair type: any


50. 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


51. The slick pixie

Halsey

(Image credit: Daniele Venturelli/WireImage via Getty Images)

52. 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


53. 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


54. 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


55. 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


56. 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


57. 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


58. The curly pixie 

Julia Garner with curly pixie cut

Julia Garner

(Image credit: Getty images)

Face shape: heart, oval | Hair type: curly


59. 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


60. 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


How to care for short hair

Then once you've gone for the chop, the next question is how to care for short hair. The first and most obvious step is to ensure you go back to the salon for regular trims—as well as being good for your hair health, it's especially essential for shorter styles because they are characterized by their sharp length.

“Once you cut your hair in a short hairstyle it’s extremely important to keep up with regular trims to keep the shape,” says celebrity hairdresser Lorraine Dublin. “To keep it looking sharp I'd recommend a deep treatment every fortnight and a trim every six to eight weeks at the absolute least."

It's also essential that you have a good heat protectant in your kit. “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,” Reed stresses. 

Our beauty editor recommends...

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L’Oréal Professionnel Pro Longer Lengths Renewing Cream | RRP: $28.63/£11.90

Reed's heat protection of choice, "It's perfect to not only provide heat protection but also nourish hair."


You'll also need the right styling products, which will depend on your desired look day-to-day. “My go-to product for short hair of all textures would be a good leave-in conditioner cream or spray because it works so well on all textures,” says Dublin. 

Our beauty editor recommends...

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Camille Rose Coconut Water Leave-In Treatment | RRP: $14/£10.99

“My favorite cream is Camille Rose Coconut Water Leave-In Detangling Hair Treatment for every time you wash your hair—if you wear your hair naturally curly you can use it every day,” says Dublin.


“Use a Denman brush to blow dry your hair first in the direction you want it to sit before using your finishing products, as this will make it much easier to control and work with,” advises Sian Quinn, color ambassador for Headmasters salons. “The beauty of shorter hair is that you can create different looks by altering the texture of the hair with the use of hair products. You can create a wet short look for an evening event with a light hold pomade, or for a matte daytime texture you can use a dry wax."

Our beauty editor recommends...

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OUAI Matte Pomade | RRP: $24/£16

A great texturizing product for all sorts of short hairstyles for women, a little goes a long way. 


If you still have a bit of length but aren't adept with styling tools, there are some great options for heat-free styling too. "To style shorter hair without heat, a secret tip is to spray and crunch damp hair with a salt spray and allow to air dry, in order to emphasize texture and create a beachy carefree wave," says Headmasters' artistic team stylist Jonny Sheppard. "Another tip to style shorter hair (e.g. bobs) without heat is creating braiding looks, such as a halo braid at the front of the hair or by creating a half-up style."

Our beauty editor recommends...

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Bumble and bumble Surf Spray | RRP: $29/£23

Such an easy way to add grit and tousled texture to short hairstyles. Add to damp or dry hair and scrunch.


woman&home thanks Adam Reed, Zoë Irwin, Lorraine Dublin, Sam Burnett, Sian Quinn and Jonny Sheppard for their time and expertise