14 Chic Ways to Style Short Hair

Updated 08/07/19

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.

Woman with short dirty blonde hair
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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 Luxe Hair Towel ($30). After that, work a leave-in mousse, balm, or cream into your hair with your fingers, and let it dry.

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

Woman with short wavy hair
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If your hair texture is fine, these elegant 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.

Woman with hair parted in the middle and pulled back
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The sleek, low, middle-parted chignon: low-maintenance and lovely.

Woman with short hair teased back
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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.

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

Woman with dark short hair braided
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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.

Woman with short blonde wavy hair
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A deep side part paired with loose, fluffy flat-iron waves is très chic. This style works best on freshly washed hair.

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

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

Woman with short hair in S-waves
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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 T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe ($119).

Woman with short blonde hair teased back
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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.

Woman with short hair wearing ornate headband
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Jeweled metal hair accessories look especially whimsical on short, curly, or wavy hair and would be perfect for a wedding, holiday party, or another formal event.

Woman with braided short hair
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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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