The Best Short Haircuts: Envy-Inducing Styles

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Which Short Cuts Work With Your Face Shape

Jennifer Lawrence blonde bob
Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2' hand and footprint ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre on October 31, 2015 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

So you want a short haircut. Or you want a better one. Or maybe you just want to know which short hairstyles will flatter your face shape.

You've come to the right place. In this slideshow, see the top short hairstyle trends of the moment, including cuts like the pixie, the bob (pictured here on actress Jennifer Lawrence), the shag, the pompadour and the edgy cuts that we're seeing all over the place.

Short Hairstyle Trends

The hottest short hairstyles of the moment are edgier and more modern than in years past. They include:

  • Long bangs with shorter sides on the pixie
  • Mussy bedhead shags
  • Pompadours (razor short sides and long tops)
  • Unstructured bobs
  • Long bobs, worn wavy or straight

Why Your Face Shape Matters

Whether you have a roundlong, oval, square or heart-shaped face, there will be styles that look great on you and others that simply aren't as flattering. The good news is that almost every trend will work with every face shape, you just have to get the right cut. For example, the pixie typically doesn't flatter a round face, but if you can elongate the face by wearing short bangs sticking up or grown down in a side-sweep, then the pixie can be gorgeous on your face shape. 

And Your Hair Texture Matters, Too

Your hair texture plays a starring role in the drama that can be choosing a flattering haircut. Your hair's density and texture may dictate your hairstyle, your hair length and how your stylist cuts your hair. Curly hair won't work with all short hairstyles, but neither will super fine, flat hair. 

Don't Forget Your Personality

When it comes to short cuts in particular, your personality plays a huge role. Think about what goes through your mind when you see a woman with a structured bob or an edgy haircut. You are probably passing some sort of ​judgment on her, whether you like it or not. Many automatically think a woman with a great edgy cut must be cool. And a woman with a structured bob is sophisticated.

Consider also that short hair tends to draw more attention than long hair. If you're going to get a platinum pompadour, people are going to notice.

Now, onto the fun. Let's get started with the pixie....

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The Pixie: Perfect for Nearly All Face Shapes

Charlize Theron in a new pixie. Getty Images. Clockwise from left: J. Countess, Michael Stewart, Mireya Acierto

Pixie haircuts have been popular for a while, but the pixie of the moment tends to be longer on top, allowing you to style your hair in a myriad of ways.

While it may seem with super short hair that you're stuck with a monotone look, that isn't the case with the pixie -- as long as you keep hair longer on top. Sweep hair to the side, create a deep side part, part hair in the middle, sweep hair back in a pompadour or curl hair around a small barrel curling iron for a bit of wave.

The Best Face Shapes for the Pixie

While almost all pixie hairstyles look great on oval, square and heart-shaped faces, this particular style looks great on round face shapes because it visually provides angles, softening the roundness of a round face.

"All those little pieces help emphasize the cheekbones and eyes; it's almost as if you build in cheekbones with this cut," says stylist Jimmy Paul in Allure Magazine.

What about a long face? The cut can make a long face look even more oblong, so avoid this particular style.

What About Hair Texture?

This particular look works best on petite women with wavy or straight hair. If you have curly hair, you can still wear your hair short, but it won't look like this without massive help.

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A Shaggy Long Bob Is Hot, Hot, Hot

Julianne Hough. Jason LaVeris and Ray Tamarra for Getty

So many celebrities are cutting off their long locks for the shaggy long bob, and there could not be a better case for chopping off your locks than Julianne Hough.

The secret to the shaggy long bob is in the choppy ends. Think imperfection. Bedhead. Air-dried and finger-curled fabulousness.

Which Face Shapes Does the Shaggy Lob Flatter?

The shaggy long bob works on all face shapes. It's the ideal cut for women with long faces because it's not too long and not too short. Plus, when it's wavy, it adds body to the sides of your face, making it appear to be wider than it actually is. 

It's all about softening the edges when you have a square face. This wavy shag works beautifully with a square face shape. If you have waves, let them go (most people have some natural wave in their hair, simply scrunch hair as it dries naturally).

How to Get This Look

Ask your stylist for a soft, tapered bob that hits right at the chin. Then when styling, make sure to scrunch hair so you have some natural wave in it. Try not to wear hair back behind ears.

Add texture to hair with a dry shampoo spray, then ​flat iron the ends.

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Oval Face? You Can Get Funky

Pink the singer. Getty Images

If you have an oval face, you can wear virtually any hairstyle, including short hairstyles. A funky cut is perfect on oval faces. A woman who sports a haircut (and tats, too) like this one is asking for attention, which is not only daring but sexy. A good stylist will take into consideration the shape of your head when cutting an edgy cut. Just as we all have different face shapes, we have different head shapes.

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Bobs With Bangs: Great for Almost All Face Shapes

short hair with bangs both mussy and sleek. Getty Images

Bobs are great with all face shapes. You just have to watch which type you get. This particular cut looks great on oval, heart and long face shapes.

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Keira Knightley's Bob: Great for a Square Face

Keira Knightley bob. Toby Canham, Getty

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.

"A bob works with, not against, bone structure," salon owner Rodney Cutler said on MSN's Glo Website.

The length at the front should be longer than your jaw, otherwise, the cut would bring too much attention to your strong jawline.

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The Mussed Bob: A Great Style for All Face Shapes

Nicole Richie's bob, two ways. Stefanie Keenan & Paul Zimmerman for Getty Images

Mussy, imprecise long bobs are very trendy at the moment. Nicole Richie's pastel colored bob is cut just an inch or two below the chin and worn in a shaggy style.

Long bobs work on all hair textures and with all face shapes. So this is a great option for pretty much everyone and is a perfect short cut for women with round faces. Just make sure if your face is round that you wear your hair at least a couple inches longer than the chin.

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Long Bobs Are a Great Choice for Heart-Shaped Faces

Model Jourdan Dunn. Samir Hussein for Getty Images

Model Jourdan Dunn cut her trademark long hair into a lob, pictured here. The length is perfect for a heart-shaped face. If it stopped at her chin, it would have called out how pointy it is.

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Angled, Side-Swept Bangs Are Great for Round Faces

Cameron Diaz. Tim Whitby for Getty

You want to create angles to offset the roundness of your face. This cut on Cameron Diaz, who has a naturally round face, is gorgeous. The side-swept bangs add the perfect amount of angles to her look. Blow dry or flat iron hair to get any curl out, which adds width to a short haircut (you don't want that).

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Round Face? Try a Long Bob, Parted Down the Middle

Getty Images

Long bobs are a gorgeous, safe bet when it comes to short hair and a round face. The length helps make a round face appear thinner. 

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Long & Oval Face Shapes: Volume Is Key

Camilla. Dan Kitwood // Getty Images

Just because you're over 50 doesn't mean you have to cut your hair, but this haircut (which isn't really short, but rather sort of medium-length) is very flattering on oval and long face shapes. The body adds width and the length is universally flattering. (Don't let your hairstylist remove too much bulk from shoulder-length hair if you have long hair; you'll be left with limp, stringy, flat hair).

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Long Faces: Curls & Waves Add Width to a Thin Face

Ali Larter. Jason Merritt // Getty Images

If you have a long face, you should consider adding waves to your hairstyle, no matter its length.

The woman with this haircut actually has straight hair cut into a classic, angled bob, which is a great cut for women with long faces. She curled her hair, which adds width to an otherwise thin face.

If you have a high forehead, try long, side-swept bangs (you'll see an example in this gallery) and if you have natural waves, let them go. Stay away from extremely long or short cuts. These elongate your face.

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The Sophisticated Bob: Great for Long or Oval Face Shapes

Agyness Deyn. Jamie McCarthy // Getty

Oval faces can be on the long side. If you have a long face or an oval face that is long-ish, consider a sophisticated bob such as this one. The angles show off a strong jaw and the long layers add some movement to the bob isn't too boxy or helmet-like. Long bangs will mask a high forehead. Ask for layers cut in at the eyes and cheeks.

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Long Face? Get Blunt or Side-Swept Bangs

Elisa Nalin. Kirstin Sinclair for Getty Images

Many women with long face shapes have a high forehead. Cover up your large forehead with blunt or side-swept bangs like these.

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The Shag: Awesome on Heart Shapes

Karlie Kloss. Dimitrios Kambouris for Getty Images

This is another haircut that would look great on all face shapes, but it's amazing on Karlie Kloss' heart-shaped face.

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Cameron Diaz's Bob: Awesome for Round Faces

Cameron Diaz. Tim Whitby for Getty

Cameron Diaz is proof rules are meant to be broken. Usually, bobs don't look good on round face shapes, but this particular bob looks fantastic on Cameron Diaz, who has a natural round face. Why? Her side-swept bangs add angles to her hairstyle and her hair is very straight so it doesn't add width to the sides of her head.

Note the absolutely gorgeous blonde hair color she has here. It's not natural. But going short isn't for the faint of heart. Diaz revealed in early 2012 that she wasn't very happy with her short bob when she first got it. Turns out it was much shorter than she expected.

"I just burst into tears and started crying, and I felt so vulnerable," Diaz told Jay Leno. Apparently, Diaz was so upset, she yelled, which made her stylist cry. "I ended up writing her a few emails after, the next couple days, assuring her I wasn't going to kill her," Diaz said.

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A Great Short Haircut on a Long Face

Tabatha Coffey in her signature platinum pixie. Beck Starr (l) and Astrid Stawiarz (r) for Getty Images

Notice how Tabatha Coffey's face is much longer than it is wider, yet her hairstyle is very flattering and stylish. This is a great cut for a woman with naturally pin-straight hair texture and a long face.

The style might also work on women with thick, slightly wavy hair.

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A Great Short Cut for a Square, Round or Long Face Shape

Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood. Getty Images

This cut works well on Evan Rachel Wood, who has a naturally square face shape. This cut would also work well on someone with a long face. If you have a round face and covet this hairstyle, you're also in luck, as it would work on your face shape, too.

Avoid this cut if you have a heart-shaped face. The long bang hits right at the chin, which would highlight yours, typically something you want to avoid if you have a pointy chin like many women with heart-shaped faces.

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So Very Cute on a Heart-Shaped Face

Camren Bicondova
Camren Bicondova. Cindy Ord for Getty Images

Camren Bicondova successfully breaks the rules by cutting her curly hair short. Curly hair often looks better longer.  

So many women go to their hairstylists with a request to cut their hair into a pixie or an edgy cut, and the hairstylist refuses because the "rules" say a pixie won't work with a round face or the edgy cut won't fall correctly with the woman's hair texture. And then the woman goes somewhere else and gets the cut and BAM! She looks amazing.

Here's to breaking the rules.

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How to Wear a Chin-Length Bob if You Have a Round Face

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence. Photo Credit: Getty images: Mike Marsland and Stuart C. Wilson

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken and this is an example of one. Typically women with round faces are urged to stay away from the classic bob that hits right at chin. It can make a round face appear rounder. But here, Jennifer Lawrence shows off a bob that falls at the chin and looks absolutely gorgeous on her round face.

So what gives? Well, there are a few things to consider here:

  1. In the first picture, Lawrence wears her hair parted in middle so it falls like a curtain hiding the roundness of her face.
  2. You typically want to avoid jaw-length bobs if you have a round face, especially if you were also blessed with a short neck. Any blunt cut at the chin will accentuate roundness. Note that Lawrence's cut here falls a couple inches below her chin (if blow-dried straight).
  3. The waves deflect the roundness of her face.

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Great for All Face Shapes, Except Long

Judi Dench lets her hair go platinum white. Karwai Tang for Getty Images

What I love about this hairstyle on Judi Dench is it's edgy and cool and could suit a woman at age 15, 25, 40, 65 or 85. It works great on all face shapes, except long faces because the volume up top would make a long face appear longer. 

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This Cut Works on All Face Shapes

Yolanda Foster. Frederick M. Brown for Getty Images

If you are thinking of going short and like this cut, you're in luck because it would work well on anyone.

But before you cut off all your hair, keep in mind that short hair has to be trimmed about every month if you want to maintain your style. 

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The Shag: Great for All Face Shapes

Julianne Hough shag hair. Barry King for Getty Images

Earlier in this gallery, we pointed out a shag hairstyle on model Arizona Muse that was perfect for her square face shape. The truth is, the longer shag, such as this one, would look great on all face shapes.

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The Shorter Shag: Perfect for Oval and Long Faces


Shorter hair is trickier and won't work as well on all face shapes. This is a great shorter shag hairstyle which works best on oval and long face shapes.

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The Pompadour: Avoid This Cut if You Have a Long Face


The pompadour is super trendy. But while this super trendy and edgy cut looks great on round, heart and square faces, it will make a long face look even longer.

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The Curly Bob: A Great Look on Anyone

Getty Images

If you have naturally wavy hair texture, like Jennifer Lawrence's, this is a great short hairstyle for you and it works on all face shapes.

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Anne Hathaway in a Pixie

Anne Hathaway. Jason Merritt for Getty

Again, the pixie works on all face shapes. But this particular pixie, with long, side-swept bangs, works especially well on every face shape.

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A Stylish Cut That Works on All Face Shapes


This cut on magazine editor Joanna Coles is fabulous on all face shapes. But it doesn't work with all hair textures. It's best for hair that's thin and straight.