8 Rules to Picking Your Perfect Short Hairstyle

01
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Why Face Shape, Hair Texture & Personality Are All Important

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Actress Ginnifer Goodwin. Getty Images left by Michael Buckner, right by Frederick M. Brown

Some of the most stylish women are cutting their hair short in honor of a life change, perhaps, or just a new look. The good news is almost every woman (with very few exceptions) can wear short hair. The secret is finding the right cut for your face shape and hair texture. Your personality also plays a role.

In this slideshow, figure out which short hairstyle trends suit you best.

First: Can You Get Away With Short Hair?

If you have super curly hair, you may be better off with a longer hairstyle. All other hair textures work with short hair.

Here are the basic rules for short hair:

  • If you have an oval face, you'll definitely look good with short hair.
  • ...as long as your hair isn't super curly. Women with curly hair need to wear their hair at least to the chin when hair dried.
  • If you don't have an oval face, there will be short haircuts that work on you. You just have to find the right ones. The goal is to create the allusion of an oval face.
  • Fine hair works exceptionally well short, but you may need products so it doesn't fall limply like helmet on your head.

02
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Which Styles Best Flatter Your Face Shape?

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Julianne Hough. Jason LaVeris and Ray Tamarra for Getty

Check out these photos of Julianne Hough, who has a long face. In the left image, she wears her blonde hair long, which emphasizes her long face shape. But in the image to the right, she sports a shaggy long bob, which adds width to her face, making it appear more oval. 

That's the key to finding a great hairstyle: You want to create the illusion that you have an oval face. You don't want to highlight roundness if your face is round, or your chin if it juts out.

This brings us to rule number one when choosing a short hairstyle: Choose a cut that flatters your face shape. Short cuts are popular because they make your features the center of attention. Here are a few tips that should help you:

  • If you have a square face, show off your strong jaw with a bob that hits you at the jawbone, like this cut on Keira Knightley. Make sure to ask your stylist for a "graduated bob" which is shorter in back and angles longer towards the front.
  • If you have a round face, you have many options, including the long bob, the shag, the pixie and the edgier cuts like the pompadour. 
  • Many women with long face shapes have a high forehead. Cover up your large forehead with blunt or side-swept bangs like these.

03
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Which Short Styles Work With Your Hair Texture?

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Audrey Tautou. Getty Images

Here are a few tips to consider when it comes to short hair and hair texture:

  • If you have straight, fine hair, you're in luck. A short hairstyle will be easy for you to maintain with little fuss. Invest in a good volumizer so your hair doesn't fall flat. There's nothing worse for your hair texture than hair that falls to the head like a helmet.
  • If you have wavy hair like actress Audrey Tautou pictured here, you may require a blowdryer and flat iron on occasion, but many short styles look amazing naturally wavy (including the pixie!).
  • Coarse or curly hair? Reconsider your quest for short hair. Curly hair tends to frizz up when cut short and it can make hair too triangular. Coarse hair needs length to weigh it down. Try to stay a couple inches lower than the jaw.

04
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Can You Get Away With a Bob?

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Emma Roberts with a long bob hairstyle. Getty Images

The bob continues to be one of the most trendy of hair styles of the moment. Almost everyone can wear a bob, except women with super curly hair.

This style works best on straight hair but looks fantastic on naturally wavy hair as well. With the right hair cut, a bob will grow out nicely. Chin-length bobs last about three months. It grows out into the cutest long bob.

05
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Want to Try a Short, Edgy Cut?

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Scarlett Johannson. Getty: Jon Kopaloff and Frederick M. Brown

When Rihanna went from blah and long to super short, the fashion world perked up. Soon, other celebrities followed suit with Scarlett Johannson and Miley Cyrus making the chop. Edgy cuts make the most dramatic statement and symbolize strength. Pink's cut is one of the most popular haircuts on the Beauty site.

So who can get away with a punk cut? The key here lies in your personality and your hair texture. You've got to have a bit of edge in your dress and in your personality to pull off a funky cut, otherwise you can look like a woman with a really bad haircut. As for hair texture, if you see a cut you like, you should consider if your hair texture can handle it. Fine hair will fall flat without some products and curly hair will pouf up if cut too straight. Consult with a stylist before you commit to a funky cut.

06
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Love the Pixie? So Do I. But Can You Wear One?

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Michelle Williams pixie haircut. Chelsea Lauren (l) and Frazer Harrison (r) for Getty Images

Ahhh, the pixie. When Ginnifer Goodwin cut off her shoulder-length hair for the pixie (see her cut here), it was big news on beauty blogs. Other celebs followed suit and now there are enough gorgeous pixie cuts for a few photo galleries.

Not everyone looks good in super-short hair, however. Women who are petite look great with super-short cuts. Avoid this style if you are very overweight. You want more hair to balance out your body. It's also not a great look for women with long faces or super curly hair.

07
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The Long Bob Works Great on All Face Shapes

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Freida Pinto. Venturelli and Jennifer Lourie for Getty Images

The long bob, popularized by celebrities, including Emma Stone and Sienna Miller, is a trendy, flattering option for all face shapes.

Bobs make your features the center of attention. They look best on women with good bone structure and work on all hair types except super coarse and curly hair, which needs more length so as not to pouf out.

08
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Consider Your Maintenance

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Coco Rocha's sleek sophisticated bob. Getty Images

Not all short haircuts are low maintenance. They're actually the hardest cuts to maintain, which is something to consider when getting your hair cut. You must get them trimmed every 6 weeks; they take styling products to keep them in check (hello, all the products you need for a pixie!), and you may have to invest in a flat-iron to keep waves at bay.