There are a lot of reasons you might want a haircut that takes little-to-no maintenance. All these styles need is a quick run-through with the fingers or five minutes with a curl sponge if you have coily-textured hair. Cropped cuts can work for many different face shapes.
But the best route to easy, low-maintenance hair? A simple cut with soft edges. "Long or short, haircuts with softer edges and more basic shapes are going to last you longer and take less maintenance," says stylist Benjamin Mohapi, of Benjamin Salon.
Here are 24 examples of cropped cuts for women, along with tips for styling them.
Tapered Cut With a '90s Flair
Lupita Nyong'o can rock any style without hesitation. Her cropped look can work on a variety of hair textures and will require a bi-weekly shape-up to keep the look crisp. If you have natural hair, you're in luck. You may not be able to say goodbye to washday entirely, since keeping coily hair washed and conditioned to maintain moisture is a must. But, our guess is, you'll be able to cut your dedicated styling day in half.
Casual Tousled Style
Kristen Stewart's look can be replicated with a dab of finishing cream like JVN Complete Air Dry Cream ($24) and a quick run of your hands through your hair. And if you want real volume without all the hassle of using product, tell your stylist to use a razor. "Softening the edges on your cut either by point-cutting or using a razor to break up the cut line can also promote volume and texture," says Mohapi.
Short Textured Style
This particular style is a great option for someone looking for style with almost no work. The hair is cropped short all over the head but a bit of extra length is left on top. Just apply a dab of pomade and simply run it side to side over the top of the head, to add texture and separation—15 seconds and you're done.
Regina King's highlights and asymmetric cut add definition to her classic and voluminous bob. To achieve the look, apply a bit of finishing cream to dried and styled hair, to smooth flyaways.
Cut with a number three blade all over the head, this classic crewcut is super easy. A bit of pomade adds shine but isn't necessary for the look. This is a great style for people who want a look like Kristen Wiig (i.e. one with almost no maintenance) or for those who don't leave home without a hat in tow.
"For short, low-maintenance hairstyles for women and men, buzz cuts are definitely in," says Leela. "The only thing that makes them higher maintenance is that the back hairline tends to grow out quickly." That means more time in the salon chair, with Leela recommending those with buzz cuts visit their salon "every four weeks to get a cleanup on the neck." To style a buzz like Amandla Stenberg, simply blow-dry hair and add some paste to tame any frizz.
When you're looking for a low-maintenance style, short is almost always the best way to go. For this simple faux hawk style, the hair is made to stand up with a ton of hairspray and a dash of pomade.
Short Sides and a Longer Top
For this cut, the hair is about three-fourths of an inch on the sides and back with about six inches of length on top. To achieve any kind of slept-in look, apply a bit of texture cream or finishing cream to dry hair and toss it around a bit with the fingers.
Great Texture and a Little Wave
For someone with a little natural texture to their hair, Hailey Bieber's damp, slightly-waved lob is a perfect style. "These cuts always look good a bit tousled, so there’s no need to make too much effort," says Mohapi. "A bit of texture spray and a smidge of moisturizing cream will always look sexy." Simply throw a little styling cream into damp hair and run your fingers through it until you achieve the desired effect. No comb required.
Jennifer Hudson's classic crop shows off her features, leaving her hair off her face and styled with a bit of product. To achieve the look, hair is cut or clippered short on the sides and back and lifted at the roots to create volume.
With this style, even hair that is in need of a trim can look put-together. This is also a great way to show off an undercut—set the style with pomade and a comb to slick back or to the side (as seen here on Keke Palmer).
Ruby rose wears a classic tapered haircut well, in which the hair is clipped short on the sides and back and tapered to zero on the neckline. The hair is left about 2.5 inches long on top and can be worn casually swept back with the fingers (as she's wearing it in the photo above) or neatly parted and combed for a formal look.
This is your typical number five or so buzzcut. No product or maintenance is required to pull it off, but running pomade through your hair can give it a great sheen.
Leela says the old-school undercut is the ultimate in low-maintenance hair because it grows out so well. "The reason the undercut is so great is that, by the time your hairline on the neck needs to be cut, the hair on the top of your head has already grown," she says. In other words, the short 'do seen here on Scarlett Johansson can grow into a trendy bob—no haircut required.
"This is great for men, too—the mushroom undercut (think Nick Carter in the 1990s with the middle part) has definitely come back and again, it’s so easy to maintain and looks great growing out," says Leela.
Zendaya's pixie cut is short in length and long on style, with slightly textured layers that frame her face. If you're looking to experiment with a new hair color, this is an especially appealing style, as there's so much less hair to dye.
One way to add a little extra oomph to a classic crewcut? Ask your barber or hairstylist to fade the sides á la Idris Elba. Though the crewcut itself can likely go without product, a little pomade will work wonders to smooth the sides.
Short and Flipped-Out
Phoebe Waller-Bridge's look is textured, with bangs and layers throughout. Style the look with hair gel like Pete & Pedro Hair Putty ($20).
Another variation on the short bob, this cheekbone-grazing style works great on hair that is naturally straight, like model Kaia Gerber's. Throw in some texturizing cream to battle frizz, and your hair is styled for the day.
Katy Perry's two-tone pixie is super-stylish, thanks to a razor-cut length that adds texture on the ends.
Actress Jodie Turner-Smith's short fro is stylish and simply to maintain. The trick here is to ensure hair remains moisturized at all times.
Alia Shawkat's natural curls take center stage in this longer variation on a pixie. Here, accessories (like a headband or barrettes) can make a big impact. Try a product like Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Leave-In Defining Cream ($22) to add further definition to curls.
Ruth Negga proves just how gorgeous minimal curls can look with a cropped cut. The key here is to work with your natural texture straight from the shower by letting it air-dry.
This classic cut on Zoe Kravitz all comes down to product. Ask your stylist to use a number seven or number eight blade to allow for a bit more length on top than a standard buzz cut. To style, comb it forward with product or just use a bit of paste and your fingers to roughen the fringe up a bit.
Are short haircuts lower-maintenance than long hair?
In terms of styling, yes, though short hair will require more trims to keep everything nice and tidy.
Do you need to have a specific face shape for a short haircut to look flattering?
Short haircuts work on a range of face shapes — it's all about how you style it and the angles and layers your stylist adds.
How often do you need to visit the salon if you have a short haircut?
If the hair is super-short (i.e. a buzz) you'll need to get trims every four weeks. A little longer, and 6-8 weeks should be fine.