The decision to cut off more than an inch of your hair or get bangs should not be undertaken lightly. To do both at once seems almost masochistic. But sometimes you just need a change, damn it, and after (careful) thought, if you're ready to go for it, we wholeheartedly support that decision. Especially when there are so many ways to wear short hair with bangs. Just ask celeb stylists Marcus Francis and Nicola Clarke who shared their favorite of these looks with pro styling tips to match. From edgy pixies with baby bangs to classic bobs with eye-grazing fringes—and everything in between—let our #hairspiration gallery guide you.
Keep reading for our top short hair with bangs picks.
Meet the Expert
- Marcus Francis is a celebrity hairstylist. His clients include Julianne Moore, Emma Roberts, and Olivia Colman.
- Nicola Clarke is a celebrity stylist and Virtue brand ambassador. She is based in the UK.
Whether she's rocking a pixie or embracing volumized natural curls, Kerry Washington can do no wrong when it comes to hair. Here, rather than wear just any old lob, she goes for an edgier interpretation. Francis explains, "The choppy bangs give another dimension to the choppy lob. It’s a youthful look, framing the face, but keeps its cool-girl touch with the length and texture." To get her glossy tresses, he recommends Better Natured Shine Glaze ($22).
Keeping the ends of the bangs from feeling rounded or too “perfect” allows for the cool, effortless look of the choppiness of this cut. Flatter at the roots throughout the hair, and flat iron S waves for an easy day to night look.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you, a mullet has made the number two spot on our list because, well, haven't you heard? Mullets are cool again. Creds for this rocksteady cut go to magician/alchemist/shaman?—or so says his insta—hairstylist Sal Salcedo.
This look is flattering—and not just because of Olivia Roserberg's amazing bone structure—but also thanks to her soft and feminine bangs, notes Clarke. They serve to complement the edginess of her mullet nicely. She adds, "You could take this look to another level and bleach the ends leaving the roots dark which would make it very rock."
Coily Volumized Bob
DJ and model Soo Joo Park opts for curls and volume with her blonde bob. In good form, she incorporates layers for added texture and movement. By leaving her hair straight on top, she emphasizes her coily bangs and mane below.
Model/actress Hannah Glasby has captured the epitome of sexy bedhead hair: tousled, messy, and throwing just woke up vibes. While you may be tempted to replicate her look by sporting actual bedhead, we recommend Jen Atkin's technique which is simple, yet effective. You'll nail the perfect off-duty hair every time.
Updo With Blunt, Wispy Bangs
Sienna Miller proves that bangs and updos are a match made in hair heaven. Not only do they help to frame her face, but Francis adds, "Bangs add to the ponytail making the look much more stylish and interesting. This style also draws attention to the eyes by grazing the eyebrows."
He comments, "These bangs are blunt, but styled in a wispy way. Styling with the fingers and blowdryer allows for it to be flat and not rounded. If you need to smooth out the texture a bit, use a medium-size round brush and even a mini flat iron at the roots." In terms of product, Francis suggests applying a small amount of Better Natured Strengthening Leave-In Cream ($22) to clean, damp hair.
Tapering bangs on the sides is the trick for having them feel soft yet sexy, connecting to the rest of the hairstyle.
Thanks to their versatility and the fact that they require minimal upkeep, side-swept bangs are ideal for lazy girls—and those with diamond-shaped faces—while also adding depth to a short haircut. Combine with layers to pump up the volume.
Gray Mushroom Cut
KeKe Palmer's thick mushroom cut really allows for her gray color to stand out. Bangs here are front and center, creating a look that is bold, sophisticated, and a surefire way to make a statement. By just barely brushing the tips of the lashes, these bangs also effectively showcase the eyes.
Pictured: another flawless It-girl haircut from Salcedo. This ombré style achieves a color melting effect of dark roots to blonde bangs, mids, and ends that is ah-mazing. Add a beach wave for a casual-cool finish.
Tousled Bob With Micro Fringe
Micro fringes are trending, but are they easy to pull off? The trick is balance. Ursula Corbero complements her bold baby bangs with a tousled chin-length bob to create softness and not come off as being too severe.
Cara Delevingne has had some stellar hair moments, but we're fawning over this understated chic pixie cut with bangs. And since it has a bit of length, you can play with ways to style it. It's proof of how versatile a short hairstyle can be.
Bob With Long, Wispy Bangs
Although a short bob can appear severe at times, when paired with long, wispy bangs, it takes on a lighter tone. This take on Nicole Richie is undeniably sultry and makes us wonder why we never opted for this bob-bang combo sooner.
Maisie Williams's shag with thick bangs is effortlessly cool and edgy. Texture is key when it comes to this mussy 'do, so invest in a good texturizing spray like Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Texturizing Styling Spray ($20) infused with matcha green tea because, why not? Pair with the Huji filter and your layered look is insta gold.
"The Halle Berry"
Zendaya captioned this photo of her short hair with bangs "Halle Berrrrrrryyyyyyy Halle Berry" and tbh, that feels incredibly accurate. To emulate Zendaya—or Halle Berry—keep sides shorter and retain some length up top. This will give you more room to style as well as highlight contrast.
Curly Bob and Curtain Bangs
Speaking of Halle Berry, here she is with a gorgeous head of curls and curtain bangs to match. "The curtain bangs have such a 'wow' factor because they have so much versatility to them," says Francis. To style, "Part them in the middle to frame while blending to the sides or keep them covering the forehead more to allow for natural movement while framing the face. This also works for any updo, just bring them back completely, or let effortlessly fall out."
Although we're showcasing short hair, Francis points out that curtain bangs work on any length. Since moisture is essential when it comes to well-defined curls, he recommends treating them with Better Natured Hydrating Leave-In Milk ($22).
A soft bob and bangs go together like coffee and oat milk. This haircut works great if you've got thick hair—wavy or straight—since it will remove some weight and add movement. We're into how both bob and bangs work together to frame the face gorgeously.
Bowl Cut With Choppy Bangs
Jennifer Hudson keeps it short and sweet, serving up a contemporary bowl hairdo. She plays up texture with her choppy bangs, which work to soften her minimalist mushroom cut. Très chic, Ms. Hudson.
Short Pixie With Barely-There Bangs
Super short bangs look super chic when paired with closely-cropped hair. Case in point: Zoë Kravitz (who else?). If your lifestyle is go-go-go, you may be tempted by this cut since it's both low-maintenance and lovely.
Since "A healthy scalp is the foundation for beautiful hair," says Clarke, she uses Virtue Scalp Scrub ($46) as it "gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells, dirt, oil, and product buildup which will help combat dandruff and dryness. I like to finish this look with a texturizing product to create definition on the ends." Our recommendation? Oribe Rough Luxury Soft Molding Paste ($39) to texturize and tame.
Edgy Crop With Asymmetrical Bangs
If you're not looking for anything serious, take a cue from Shannyn Sossamon and consider asymmetrical bangs. They're low-commitment, fun, and totally DIY. The best part? If you mess up, nobody will bat an eye.
Piecey Side Bangs
Expert celebrity hairstylist Ahn Coh Tran does it again with another hit look. This time it's his modern interpretation of the classic lob. Piece-y side bangs and layers keep things fun and fresh, perfectly complementing the gorgeous gray color.
Curly Bob and Bangs
Curly-haired girls, listen up: You too can rock bangs. Yara Shahidi is living proof. She lets her curls run wild à la bob and bangs and we applaud her. "This look is very flattering for all face shapes," comments Clarke.
Since curls need moisture, Clarke recommends starting with a mega treatment, her favorite being Virtue ColorKick Restorative Treatment Mask ($35) that is now available with their new Color Revival Kit ($35). She also notes that Virtue Un-Frizz Cream ($20) is a must, just simply apply to hair and twist in small sections.
Is Paris calling? Cut short near the jawline and paired with bangs at brow level, this French-girl bob is blunt on the cut and heavy on the texture. "The French girl chic effect has become such an enviable style choice for women around the world because of how it has a timely sexiness to it without a lot of fuss," says Francis. Francophile or not, this is a haircut that you will obsess over.
Updo With Heavy Bangs
For those of you who struggle with limp strands and stubborn cowlicks, you are in for a treat. According to Francis, "A heavy bang like this one on Taylor Swift creates a fullness at the top if you suffer from lack of volume. It is also great If you have a cowlick and want to wear bangs. It makes any updo look chic and pulled together."
To replicate this style, Francis instructs, "Using a small round brush, and possibly a mini flat iron at the roots help to get this look, keep the bangs as one full section and with a slight sweep to the side. A natural, pulled back texture makes for this sleek yet soft look."
Big '80s Curls
Hailey Bieber is channeling the '80s in a modern way with big curls and bangs that are tossed to the side. Keeping hair slightly mussy allows her to achieve a more lived-in, cool-girl aesthetic. To get this style to hold all day, hair spray is key.
Kiersey Clemons may have been inspired by '90s alternative rock queen Courtney Love with this shaggy blonde lob and red lip. In keeping with the spirit of grunge, she lets her dark roots show and goes for an unkempt finish. Choppy ends and layering help her to achieve this style.
Salcedo brought out the natural texture of his client's hair using a texturizing spray and his best styling too: his hands. The transformation is unreal, a shag-bob hybrid of sorts that is equal parts edgy and effortless (translation: rock-and-roll chic).
Oh, Alex Chung, is there any non-Parisian who pulls off Parisian style quite like you? Francis says, "This chin-length bob is a trendy cut because of its effortless vibe. The bangs and the chin-length also help achieve a graphic no-fuss style." To keep hair healthy, consider using a conditioning treatment like Better Natured Hydrating Leave-In Milk ($22).
He stresses, "Make sure the length is cut at the chin, keeping it layer free. Don’t fuss over the styling as it isn’t supposed to be worn as a sleek blowout, but rather a way to embrace the natural bends and texture your hair already has. Avoid using a round brush to dry the bangs, but rather opt for using your fingers with the blowdryer aiming down to help them lay flat and frame the face."
Blunt and Tousled Bob
Can we talk about how perfect these blunt, tousled bangs are on Haley Bennett? They're face-framing and flattering. Sprinkle with flowers for added whimsy or your hair accessory of choice.
Clarke gushes, "This Is my dream color and modern bob. The waves and soft bangs make it very wearable for wider shaped faces as in heart, square, and round." Since the color needs attention, she suggests cleansing with "Virtue Recovery Shampoo ($15) and Conditioner ($16) and to style, Virtue Volumizing Primer ($36), which gives it a great base for the texture finished with the Virtue Dry Shampoo ($36)."
Curly Bob With Side Bangs
If you're not ready to commit to full-on fringe, take a cue from Nathalie Emmanuel's natural curly bob. Her side bangs are low-maintenance and simply put, don't get in the way. A subtle detail that makes all the difference. To give your curls some TLC—and to keep frizz at bay—work a small amount of AG Hair Curl Re:coil Curl Activator ($22) into strands.
Blunt Bob With Bangs
But seriously, the mod bob with bangs Selena Gomez wore in her Back to You music video is all kinds of perfection. It pays homage to the '60s, which, if we're being honest, is one of our preferred decades for sourcing hair inspo.
Platinum Blonde Pixie
Pro tip from Katy Perry: A pixie with bangs looks incredible when you're platinum blonde. This minimalist cut exudes confidence and lets you show off your face. Just be forewarned: "This needs high maintenance and TLC with regular cuts to keep the cut fresh and healthy," says Clarke.
She adds, "To keep this blonde clean and pure, use Virtue Purifying Shampoo ($28) followed by mixing the Restorative Treatment Mask ($30) and ColorKick combo that you leave on for five minutes. Then finish with a leave-in conditioner spray and Virtue Polished Un-Frizz Cream ($20)." Part bangs to the side for a sleek and polished finish using a dab of Living Proof Amp² Texture Volumizer ($27) for good measure.