14 Chic Ways to Style Short Hair

Updated 05/19/19

For the two-plus decades that I sported long hair, I always assumed that length made my mane more versatile. It only took two weeks with a freshly chopped bob to understand that exactly the opposite is true. In addition to having far more styling options than I could have anticipated, the major difference was that it also required so much less effort. Gone were my unwieldy, dry strands, which took such a significant amount of time and effort to tame that I usually just relied on a messy bun or ponytail to get me through the workweek.

As a result, there were many days when I didn't really feel like I was presenting my best self.

But now I know that it really is about quality over quantity. Think about it this way: Even if you have less hair to work with, it's so manageable and healthy that you want to work with it. You just might need a little inspiration. This list of short styles—two weeks' worth—ought to do it.

Short Hairstyle Ideas

What's easy like Sunday morning? Letting your strands do their own thing. Hair is easier to style when it's a little lived in, so use this day off to wash yours and air-dry. You'll put in (a little) more effort for the office tomorrow. (And for what it's worth: Switching up your part is a really low-maintenance way to get playful with your look.)

Still, there are a few quick steps to ensuring you make the most of your own natural texture, sans frizz. For starters, make sure you're using a microfiber towel to soak up excess water—the fabric is much kinder to your hair cuticle. (We love Aquis Lisse Hair Towel, $30). After that, work a leave-in mousse, balm, or cream into your hair with your fingers, and let it dry. 

Here's How to Style Short Hair

Now that your hair is freshly washed, kick off the week by fully embracing your natural texture—from the boardroom to post-work drinks.

How to Style Short Hair

If your hair texture is fine, these sleek, bended waves are another great option for dressing up hair for the office. Just keep in mind that the key to this 'do is choosing the right curling iron for your hair—and we have a lot of recommendations for short strands.

Short Hair

The sleek, low, middle-parted chignon: always low-maintenance, always lovely.

Short Hair Ideas

Creating some tousled volume is a deceptively simple approach with a lot of impact. Try fluffing up your roots with some dry shampoo (like Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam, $28), running your fingers through your hair in a backward motion, and finishing the look off with a good dose of flexible hair spray.

Style Short Hair

Our approach to greasy roots is to disguise them with a conditioning treatment that doubles as a look: Slather on a heavy-duty mask or nourishing oil, slick it back, and go. (It also makes for a head-turning style at the bar, just saying.)

Short Hair Braid

When in doubt, part your hair to the side, tuck it behind your ears, and create a simple Dutch braid on the opposite side of the part, pinning it behind your ear. Pair with a red lip and no one will know the whole thing only took five minutes.

Wavy Short Hair

Deep side part + loose fluffy flat-iron waves = très très chic. This style works best on freshly washed hair.

Blunt Bob

A perfectly straightened blunt bob pushed back and secured in place with a matte pomade is never a mistake. 

Vintage Short Hair

We are obsessed with vintage coifs inspired by men's styles like this on women with short hair—like Cary Grant made modern.

For a more classical take on retro hair, try an S-wave. This style evokes Old Hollywood glamour. For this, you'll want to use hot rollers, like these volumizing ones from T3.

Here's a style that works best on second-, third-, or fourth-day hair: Tease the living daylights out of the hair on top of your head and then smooth it back.

Flower crowns are long since out, but jeweled metal hair accessories (like this one from Anthropologie) are all the way in. They look especially whimsical on short, curly, or wavy hair and would work perfectly for a wedding, holiday party, or another formal event.

Short Hairstyle Ideas

As you run from errands to brunch to errands again, a braided look is an infinitely cool way to keep your strands out of your face.

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