There comes a time when a trim no longer cuts it. Whether your hair is damaged from a few too many dye jobs or you're bored with a style you've rocked for the past five years, sometimes a new short 'do is not only wise but necessary. And for those of us with fine hair, we can't help but wonder whether a fresh chop will flatter our locks or completely wipe out the little volume we have.
However, according to our sources, hairstylists Corey Tuttle, Marcus Francis, and Laura Rugetti, whether your texture is curly or straight, a short cut has the ability to lift volume and make hair look fuller. As for which hairstyles, in particular, help feign a thicker mane? Well, our experts gave us the skinny. Needless to say, they had quite a few styles to recommend along with pro styling tips to match any and all occasions.
Keep scrolling for their top picks for short haircuts for fine hair.
Meet the Expert
- Corey Tuttle is a Honey Artists hairstylist. His celebrity clients include Isla Fisher, Diana Gordon, and Judith Light.
- Laura Rugetti is a stylist and owner of The Beauty Can. She is based in Los Angeles.
- Marcus Francis is a celebrity hairstylist. His clients include Julianne Moore, Emma Roberts, and Olivia Colman.
Heavy Bangs and Long Layers
Dakota Johnson shows us how to keep fine hair from falling flat. Try heavy bangs and long layers, as it "gives the overall illusion of fuller hair," says Tuttle. To keep bangs from looking piece-y, generously spray the roots with Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo ($25).
Deep Side-Parted Pixie
Michelle Williams is one of our favorite pixie muses. Tuttle says this celebrity-favorite cut "can be very cute and progressive if you are confident in your facial shape to pull it off." Dress up your new pixie like Ms. Williams, and rock a deep side part. To keep flyaways at bay, use Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream ($38) for a flawless finish.
Blunt Bob With Retro Curls
Soften a bob with retro curls like Lily Collins. To keep large finger waves in place, use a strong hold hair spray like R+Co Vicious Hairspray ($32). Ensure that the cut is blunt since a razor-sharp edge will make fine hair appear thicker.
Not short enough to be a pixie but not long enough to be a bob, Kiersey Clemons's sleek 'do is absolutely stunning. To get Clemons's high-shine hairstyle, use this rose gold Vernon François Dazzling Spritz Shine Spray ($14). Pair with a bold red lip, and you'll be red carpet ready, too.
Try a shoulder-length blunt cut like Lucy Hale's, as it "makes the hair look thicker and healthier," says Tuttle. To modernize the classic bob, add some waves with Herbivore Botanicals Sea Mist ($20). Not only will this bring some texture and volume to flat hair, but thanks to a mix of coconut and vanilla oils, your strands will smell like you just left the beach.
Give texture to fine tresses with a heavily layered asymmetrical pixie. For a voluptuous style à la Ruby Rose, rub a bit of Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse ($31) into your roots. The lightweight formula will style hair without the heaviness, stiffness, or crunch.
Tousled, Face-Framing Layers
Ready to make the cut but not ready for a drastic style change? Tuttle suggests adding "face-framing layers with a structured blunt edge" as it will "bring out your facial features." To create a tousled model-off-duty style like Zoe Saldana's, spritz your locks with Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray ($26).
Wavy Colored Bob
Katy Perry proves that a short cut can do wonders for volume. To get Perry's voluptuous tresses, use a lifting mousse at the roots, like L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Boost It High Lift Creation Spray ($4). As for her purple color, while it's only optional, it's also highly encouraged.
Bob With Wispy Bangs
Embrace your fine texture and rock a pair of wispy bangs with a blunt bob à la Karlie Kloss. If you're feeling daring, you could even try cutting your bangs yourself. For smooth locks like Kloss, use Living Proof No Frizz Conditioner ($28).
Sleek, Tapered Bob
Don't want a simple bob or bangs? Look no further than Jourdan Dunn's slightly asymmetrical 'do. To get Dunn's sleek hairstyle, smooth out your tresses with this GHD Classic 1-Inch Styler ($149).
Pixie poster girl Audrey Tautou is inspiring us to go full-on chop with her short, textured 'do. "A pixie is a timeless favorite that is super chic and feminine, a style that is easily achieved. The youthful twist on this look comes from the wispy texture that is playful and effortless," says Francis.
To replicate this look, he adds, when hair is damp, apply a small amount of product like Better Natured Leave-In Cream ($22), which both styles and repairs damaged strands—then simply let air-dry. However, if you're in a hurry, you also have the option of blow-drying hair. "Put the dryer on low speed, use your fingers to style [hair] into place while the dryer is aimed at the strands your touching," instructs Francis.
Long, Wavy Layers
Margot Robbie proves that you can rock waves with a short hairdo. The combination of Robbie's long layers and dimensional highlights creates just the right amount of fullness. Want to get the look? Run a curling wand like the Beachwaver Pro Rotating Curling Iron ($199) through your shoulder-length hair.
Similar to a blunt bob, a blunt fringe gives the illusion of fuller tresses. The lash-grazing length is super sultry as it highlights the eyes. To get Swift's perfectly blown-out 'do, dry your fine strands with a volume-enhancing blow-dryer like Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer ($199).
Tousled Bob With Deep Side Part
A tousled bob will give your hair the volume and body you're looking for. Not to mention its off-duty appearance makes it effortlessly cool. Add some extra dimension like Cameron Diaz by sweeping your bangs over for a deep side part and give it a nice bend using a one-inch flat iron.
By tucking the ends of your short hair under, you can give the illusion of a glamorous updo. It's the perfect look to transition from day to night. Let a few strands hang loose because everything looks better a little undone.
In case you're looking for some pink hair inspo, look no further than Nicole Richie. Although she has pulled off many hair colors in her day, we're ranking this bubblegum pink in her top five, hands down. This piecey cut frames her face so perfectly and can be easily styled with a just a dab of product like Kenra Professional Platinum Texturizing Taffy 13 ($22).
We call this look the ultimate cool-girl cut. How effortless does Kate Mara look in this asymmetrical style? A lob in the front and a bob in the back gives her the best of both worlds. Bonus points for the soft waves that add texture.
Want a chin-length look like Kristen Stewart? (Sidebar: Team Byrdie is always fawning over her ever-changing hairstyles—they get better and better every time). This bob, for example, became even more photogenic because of its slicked side paired with a party in the front. You can achieve this slightly damp style with a texturizing spray.
Layered Lob With Blonde Highlights
Take your lob up a few notches with blonde highlights like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Incorporate layers for added texture and movement. We're also very into this volume that makes fine hair look fuller than it actually is.
Take your flat iron and give your hair a slight bend starting from the root and stopping at the mid-shaft. Straight ends will create more structure.
Wavy, Layered Lob
We adore Emma Stone's gorgeous red tresses, but that doesn't mean that she can't also pull off a platinum blonde mane. This wavy layered lob gives limp strands body. Any time you add layers to the mix, your hair will look thick and healthy.
A topknot will never ever do you wrong as proven here by Karrueche Tran. It's the no-fuss hairstyle that's equal parts glam and chill, and you really can't ask for much else. Slick your short hair back into a pony with a pomade for more of a hold. Wrap your hair around into a tight coil for the perfect bun (a messy bun will look cool, too).
Sometimes growing out your hair can be awkward, but bad girl Riri proves that that doesn't always have to be the case. "It's a flirty and youthful cut. The grown-out pixie cut allows for the curls to actually curl and be manageable to style. Long enough to frame the face, tuck behind the ear, and give volume," says Francis. He recommends styling with Better Natured Damage Repair Strengthening Leave-In Cream ($22).
To allow for the natural curl to take shape, opt for air-drying. Just apply product to dampen hair, and make your desired part before immediately styling with your fingers.
Side Bangs and Long Layers
Hailey Bieber never fails to amaze us with her hairstyle hits. This one, in particular, is ideal for fine hair since "Side bang layers and long layers will make a great cut for volume," says Rugetti. "The one product I love for volume is Puff.ME Volumizing Power ($22). It’s a volume powder that keeps hair volumized and works as a root plumper."
Maggie Gyllenhaal's chin-length inverted bob is a versatile cut that can be worn sleek or tousled. "The barely-there layers give it movement while the length is easy to recreate looks at home yourself," says Francis. And how exactly do you do that? Well, you can start with either air-dried hair or diffused hair and from there, "use a small curling iron to accentuate any curls that need extra definition. Making a side part gives this look a natural lift in the front while giving it a graphic finish," he notes.
With fine hair, it's best to choose blunt ends over feathery ones since the former will give the illusion of thick, lush tresses. Jamie Chung nails this blunt bob with a length and cut that is oh-so-flattering. Tuttle also offered this bit of sage advice: "Straight hair shows scissor marks, so look for a good hairstylist with talent in precision cutting."
Teased of Volumized Roots
Rita Ora evokes old Hollywood glam with her shoulder-length 'do. Teasing hair at the roots adds height to limp strands while a retro wave contributes to overall body. Va-va-voom.
Lived-In Shoulder Length
Did you think we would include a hair inspo roundup without Alexa Chung? With her shoulder-length, lived-in look, she shows us how not trying too hard is not only convenient and easy to pull off but also strikingly cool. Try this style with second-day hair.
Wavy Lob With Wispy Bangs
Rashida Jones is known to sport bangs, and for good reason. The length and wispy nature of this fringe is not only flattering but also a great option for those that don't want to invest in a thicker style. Adding a wave to her lob also creates body.
Natural Hair Bob
China McClain looks gorgeous with her natural hair à la bob. While those with thicker strands might opt for a longer bob to keep hair from poofing up and out, those with fine locks can rock this cheekbone-skimming length easy peasy.
Side-Parted Textured Bob
Even if your hair is stick straight, you can still get the perfect waves. To All the Boys I've Loved Before's Lana Condor rocks this long-layered textured bob to a T. Finish with a hair flip to build volume and to add a flirtatious vibe.