6 Hot Trends in Short Haircuts for Women

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Trending Pixies, Shags, Bobs and More

Charlize Theron in a pixie, Kate Mara in a shag & Scarlett Johannson in an edgy pompadour
Photos by Getty Images

The hottest short hairstyles are edgier and more modern than ever. Stylish looks include long bangs with shorter sides, mussy shags, and long bobs. Many women, including celebrities, are also going for the natural look with less styling and more tousled, lived-in hair.

If you're thinking about making the short hair plunge or just changing up your hairstyle, these trends are sure to please. That's especially true if you like a minimal or wash-and-go style.

Would Short Hair Suit You?

The great news is that almost everyone can get away with a short hairstyle. Some styles work better with certain face shapes and hair textures, though.

The general goal is that your hair gives you the illusion of an oval face. That means you'll want to choose a cut that elongates your face if it's round or one that softens your jawline if your shape is a bit more square.

Coco Chanel said it best in her famous quote, "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” It's true and if you're ready to take the plunge, let's explore some hot styles to consider.

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The Pixie Hairstyle

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

Audrey Hepburn was the original celebrity with pixie hair and Mia Farrow popularized the look in the 60s. In the past years, pixie hair has cropped up on a host of stylish singers and actresses including Michelle Williams, Ginnifer Goodwin, Emma Watson, Carey Mulligan, Halle Berry, and Anne Hathaway.

While many pixies are traditionally short all over, the modern pixie tends to be choppy and texturized with longer bangs that give you a ton of styling options.

Best Hair Texture

The pixie works best on women with thick, naturally wavy hair. The cut may not have enough length and volume for women with fine, straight hair unless you use a lot of products to give it some boost.

Best Face Shapes

Pixies are great cuts for women with heart-shaped, square, and oval faces. It's a good one for women with round faces, too. You may want to keep your bangs long and style them forward or up to create the illusion of length.

Best Hair Products

A decent molding paste or wax can make your pixie look amazing and keep your look all day long. Oribe Hair Care Fiber Groom is a great option. You may also need a small plated flat-iron to tame your short hair. The BaBylissPro Nano 1/2" Mini Iron is a favorite.

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The Shag, Modernized

Kate Mara shag
Getty Images

Shag hairstyles have been around for decades. However, there's a big difference from the hair band shags and mullets of the 1980s and today's super cool modern shag.

The shag today is all about a mussy, tousled look, choppy ends, and gentle layering. It's the perfect quick styling cut that's often worn just above the shoulders. It's also one that flatters every face shape and works on both fine and thick hair, whether it's straight or wavy.

Best Hair Products

Shags are all about creating texture and this style is best with minimal styling. To get that mussy, choppy look, you'll want to use a salt spray or texturizing spray and can scrunch your hair as it dries.

Bring out your natural wave with a sea salt spray like Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray spritzed onto towel-dried hair and then air-dry or lightly blow-dry it. You can do the same with a texturizing spray, such as Oribe Hair Care Dry Texturizing Spray.

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Natural Crop or Sleek Pixie

Emayatzy Corineald
Getty Images

For black hair, the trends remain with rather short crops. You still have the choice to go natural or with a sleeker, relaxed look. What they have in common is volume on top, which can elongate your face and show off a long neck.

The natural hair trends are leaning toward a few inches of hair that is picked out or twisted into a not-so-perfect afro. It's a fabulous look that's hassle-free and ideal if you're in the mood to embrace your natural hair texture.

On the sleeker side, a great pixie with lots of layers is hot and super sexy. You may need to relax your hair to get this look, which means you want to keep it very healthy. Yet, this cropped pixie leaves you with less hair to mess with. It can also be adapted to any natural hair texture. Just ask your stylist how a pixie can work for you.

Best Hair Products

No matter which trend you follow, it's always important to use great moisturizing products on black hair. That could be hair milk or something as simple as shea butter to boost the hair's oils.

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The Bob, Unstructured

Emma Stone's graduated bob
Getty Images

The bob is a classic hairstyle that never goes out of style. The trendiest bob is mussy and unstructured and has a bit of edge to it. These tousled bobs seem to end at the chin or just below it. You can add blunt bangs or fringe for a really edgy look.

Anyone with a nice jawline and neck will look good in a bob. If you have a round face, a longer bob may be a better option.

As for hair texture, bobs work best on thin to medium hair. With the right amount of layers and a skilled stylist, even women with curly, thick, or coarse hair can pull off a bob, though.

Best Hair Products

For this roughed-up look, a salt spray like Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray is a great choice. If you have wavy or curly hair that you want to straighten, try something like John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Fixation Styling Crème.

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The Long Bob

Model Jourdan Dunn
Samir Hussein for Getty Images

The long bob (also known as a lob or demi-bob) is a great short haircut that leaves you with just enough length to play with. According to Vogue Magazine, which named the demi-bob a hot trend, it's a bob that falls anywhere between the mid-neck and the shoulders. It's also been spotted on many actresses and models.

Everyone looks good in a long bob, so have at it. Just be sure to abide by the rules of this haircut:

  • Longer bobs can be bland if too blunt. Stacked layers in the back with a bit of backcombing while styling add dimension. Add fringe or thick bangs for a retro-70's look.
  • A bob can't be too layered, or it's not a bob. The demi-bob can be a bit edgier if your stylist thins out the ends with scissors or a razor. Leave it wavy and mussed, blown dried under, or flipped out 60's style.
  • The long bob works best on straight and wavy hair but it looks good on all hair textures (even curly). It's a versatile cut because you can wear it air-dried or flat-ironed and style it as much as your feel like doing.

Best Hair Products

Bobs can be perfectly smoothed or roughed up a bit. The mussy look comes, again, from salt spray and air drying.

For a smooth hairstyle, you'll need a round brush as well as a flat brush to finish the look. Two that come highly recommended are the Luxor Pro Royal Citrus Thermal Ceramic Round Brush and Sephora's Paddle Brush.​

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Super-Short, Edgy Cuts

Skip Bolen / Contributor

If you're a woman who loves some edge in your look, super-short cuts remain at the top of the trends. While the pompadour and spikes are great, the look is trending toward long, straight bangs that are flipped all over.

Many of these looks are very much like a pixie, with short layers in the back and along at least one side. The real difference comes up front. Keeping super long bangs allows you to slick them back, wipe them to the side, or drape them over an eye for a mysterious look.

If you have the personality, head to your favorite stylist and see what he can do to freshen up your look. Don't forget to play with color because you can never go too bold.

Best Hair Products

Edgy cuts often require molding pastes and styling cremes. You can get good ones at the drugstore and don't rule out products formulated for men, such as American Crew Fiber Pliable Molding Creme For Men.