You may assume that people with long-hair have all the styling fun, but that's definitely not true. From chic chignons at the nape of your neck and playful space buns, to romantic waves and beachy texture, there are plenty of ways to style short hair. Whether you've been part of the short hair fam for a while and are simply seeking a little inspiration, or you're new to the game and aren't quite sure how to style your new 'do, you'll find a winner in one of these easy hairstyles for short hair.
Slicked-Back Wet Look
"Wet hair has made a comeback and it works so well on short hair," says Richard Marin, a celebrity hair stylist who's worked his magic on Nicole Kidman, Anne Hathaway, and Claire Danes. To keep your hair looking wet—and never crunchy—he says to use a quarter-sized dollop of conditioner. "Break it up in your palm, distribute on your wet or dry hair, and then comb into place," he advises. "It gives you wet-looking shiny hair, plus you're conditioning it at the same time."
'60s Inspired Flipped Ends
This retro hairstyle is a nod to 1960s Jackie O—only with a chic, modern twist. It's especially perfect for anyone with shoulder-length short hair. "You'll want to start by making sure your hair is as dry, and then getting it as straight as possible with a flatiron," advises celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons. "Next, give the ends a little [outward] curl using a 1.25-inch barrel curling iron. Part your hair wherever you want and take your favorite gel and a fine-tooth comb to ensure the product is evenly distributed on the ends." The sleeker, less voluminous approach takes this retro style right in the new '20s.
Cornrows (or Tight French Braids)
Short hairstyles lend themselves to braids as well. The possibilities are endless, really, plus it's an easy way to style your hair on casual days. "Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, I would suggest trying out French braids. If you're more experienced, cornrows are also a great style to try," says celebrity hairstylist Annagjid "Kee" Taylor. "Start at the crown of your head and part as you like. Braid normally, but add in pieces as you make your way down. Once finished, add Jamaican Black Castor Oil to the scalp and braids for extra moisture and conditioning." She adds that you can even add little embellishments to the braids once finished to add sparkle on more glamorous nights out.
Low-Key Wavy Lob
"I love this hairstyle so much because of how natural and effortless it is," says Fitzsimons. "It gives the wearer a beautiful, lived-in look." For this one, wrap one-to-two-inch sections of hair around a loose barrel curling wand, making sure to leave the ends out for that done-but-undone look. "The next step is flipping your head upside down and misting on a light-hold hair spray to make sure it holds and to give it a nice texture," says Fitzsimons. Give it a little tousle, and you're golden.
Chic, Low Chignon
For a truly timeless short hairstyle, try on this low, sleek chignon. It's simple enough for anyone to pull off and can be dressed up or down depending on your outing. "I find it easiest to start with damp hair, then using a round brush and a blow dryer to dry and smooth the pieces around the edges of your face and neck. The rest of your hair can be damp or dry," says Kali Ferrara, a NYC-based stylist. From there, choose your part—down the middle, on the side, or slicked completely back. "Next, use a light-hold gel and a bristle brush to slick the hair down in the direction of where you want the hair to lay," says Ferrara. "Once all of the hair is gathered, tie it off into a tight ponytail." For an extra twist, set aside a small section of hair, braid it, and then wrap it around the base of your ponytail to conceal the hairband.
Heatless Beachy Waves
Give your curling iron a break with this summery, beach-inspired style. "This is pretty much the same hairstyle I accidentally created as a kid after a day on the beach," says stylist Jill Turnbull. Start by coating clean, damp hair with an even layer of leave-in conditioner. Next, part your hair down the center and create a few thick French braids. You can either sleep on them or wait for them to air dry throughout the day. "Gently unravel them [when they're dry] and give them a comb through with your fingers," she says. A smoothing serum can help tame any flyaways.
We've got both beachy and romantic texture covered—now let's add a little finger wave action to the mix. Taylor says this is one of her favorite ways to add elegance to short hairstyles. "You'll need your favorite mouse, a rat tail comb, and some patience to really mold the hair how you want it to look for this style," she says. "Coat your hair with a good amount of mousse so it has enough hold, but [still] enough give that it can be shaped later. Take your rat tail comb and start your 'S-shaped' curves using your fingers to evenly space it out from the crown of your head to the nape of your neck." Once you have your hair coiled to your preferences, place a silk scarf on top and let your hair air dry until it's completely set.
If you've got short hair, the addition of a jeweled clip can really elevate your look. "It gives short hair a great focal point," says Marin. "I especially like a short bob with a side part and a jeweled bobby pin." To pull it off, start by blow drying or air drying your hair and then create your part. Marin says you could have fun with it via a zigzag part, or you can keep it low-key with a super straight middle or center part. Using your clip of choice, scoop a small section of hair from the front—just above your ear—and pull it back slightly upward before securing. A touch of hairspray and a couple covert bobby pins can help keep your clip in place.