Short Hairstyles That Will Stun You

A short hairstyle can change up your image suddenly and dramatically. You might think your hair too thin or too thick to rock a cropped cut, but hairstylist Nick Arrojo says any type of hair will do — as long as your stylist uses the appropriate "cutting technique." The hairstylist confirmed to Allure, "The right cut will give structure and volume to fine hair and looseness and movement to thick hair..."

Oh, and if you're worried that you don't have the right face shape for short hair, Chase Kusero, cofounder of the haircare line IGK, says that's a bit of a misnomer. "It's less about the shape of your face and more about your attitude and confidence — anyone can pull it off if they own it." Whether you're thinking of getting a sleek and sexy bob, a smart and chic pixie, or a playful and pretty pompadour, we promise there's a perfect short 'do just waiting for you. Need inspo? Here are the most stunning short hairstyles, according to hair experts.

A modish shag

If the '90s have scared you off from trying another shag haircut, now's the time to reconsider. "This cut works for a wide range of face shapes," Zak Mascolo, creative director of British hair salons TONI&GUY, told The List. "It is one of the most versatile cuts with lots of layers to frame and flatter most face shapes." Nexxus celebrity stylist Lona Vigi agrees. "It looks great on thick hair and thin, curly hair and straight," she revealed to The List. "It adds volume, and you can decrease where needed."

The shag is also as easy as it is versatile. Celebrity hairstylist Devin Toth of Salon SCK recommends styling your cut by spritzing sea salt spray throughout and tousling the ends of your hair with your fingers — that's it! Yes, the shag is basically magic. The stylist noted that this style works to open up the face and bring attention to the jawline, which means you'll only want to avoid trying a shag if you're not looking to accentuate your jaw.

Choppy lob

If you're looking to achieve a flawless choppy long bob, aka a lob, it's imperative you communicate with your hairstylist. In fact, Nexxus celebrity stylist Lona Vigi recommends bringing your stylist a picture of your ideal lob so you can discuss your hair texture and face shape before committing to the cut. Thankfully, though, the lob is super adaptable. "It can be worn by mostly any face shape because you can vary the length of the layers or the bottom length that's right for each client and still achieve the choppy look," Vigi added.

Celebrity stylist Devin Toth further explained that choppy lobs are especially great for women with heart-shaped faces since this style adds visual balance. It is important to note that this cut can be pretty high maintenance, requiring more salon visits "in order to prevent [your] cool choppy ends from becoming shapeless split ends," according to Toth.

If that's no biggie, this cut can be a perfect segue to other short hairstyles. "A woman who is flirting with going short but doesn't want to fully commit — this cut gives you an elegant shape," KMS California hairstylist and Global Style Council member Simon Miller told The List.

Shoulder-length chic

If you've never cut your hair short, it can be intimidating to picture yourself with chin-length or shorter hair. Instead of jumping straight into the deep end, why not just dip your toes? That is, you might want to experiment with a sleek shoulder-length cut before trying a bob or even a lob.

"It's a strong chic style that is perfect for women who want to have a more professional persona," celebrity hairstylist Devin Toth told The List. "[This] cut is perfect for someone [who] got a promotion and wants to show that they are stepping up their game." This elegant cut would also be a great choice for you if you have a round-shaped face and are looking for a cut that will elongate your face. If you have naturally straight hair, you'll have an easy time maintaining this style, but if you have wavy or curly hair, it's worth noting that it can take quite a bit of time to get this streamlined 'do.

A textured bob

If you prefer a tousled look, a messy textured bob is going to be your friend. Nexxus celebrity hairstylist Lona Vigi said this style works well on those with a round, oval, square, or heart-shaped face. Hairstylist Devin Toth added that a textured bob — a "cut that typically comes down to about an inch under the chin" — works especially well for women with round faces. Although you can rock this style with thinner hair, textured bobs are better suited for thick hair. This is because the more hair you have, the more dimension that can be created with the layers. 

Holly Pistas, artistic director, makeup artist, and master hairstylist at Gordon Salons in Chicago, Ill., speculated one reason for the increasing popularity of textured bobs. "People want a haircut that is easy and not too structured," she once told The List. "They have better things to do than spend too much time styling their hair and want something they can scrunch and go!" If you opt for this textured cut, your hair will not only look carefree, it will actually be carefree. To style, simply work in a little bit of volumizing mousse. Yes, that's it.

Blunt bob

If you want a hairstyle that is as sleek as a shoulder-length cut but not quite so long, hairstylist Devin Toth recommends going for a blunt bob. Though, we should warn you, this isn't a style you should half-a**. "Commit to the statement haircut all the way," the hair guru explained. "It should be short and precise." He opined, "There's nothing worse than a kind-of-sleek, whatever bob."

KMS California hairstylist Simon Miller detailed the style further when speaking to The List. "The ends of your hair with a sleek bob act as an arrow pointing at the jaw..." he explained. Because of this, the cut works especially "well on a heart shape face," according to the expert. Similar to the maintenance a sleek shoulder-length cut requires, a blunt bob demands some dedication — like frequent visits to the salon to keep the length at chin level — to keep it looking fresh.

Asymmetrical bob

Thinking of having your hair cut into an asymmetrical bob? Sam Brocato — renowned hairstylist, founder of Brocato haircare, and owner of the Sam Brocato Salon in New York City — told StyleCaster that this style is best suited for "smooth straight hair." However, he noted that "a well designed and executed asymmetrical cut can conceivably suit any texture of hair."

An asymmetrical bob also makes the perfect statement cut. Celebrity hairstylist Devin Toth told The List, "I think the asymmetry in a bob provides the same amount of appeal and drama as a deep side part does for a red carpet event and can actually add a very feminine touch to the style."

Still, this style can be a little difficult to rock in everyday life. When speaking with StyleCaster, Edward Tricomi, famed hairstylist and co-owner of Warren-Tricomi salons, cautioned, "In order to be able to pull off an asymmetrical hairstyle, you need to have the 'hipness factor.' It's about how you put together clothes, makeup and hair; it's about the attitude and personality."

Asymmetrical pixie

Soon after cutting Miley Cyrus' hair into an asymmetrical pixie, celebrity hairstylist Chris McMillan told Allure that he was approached by an acquaintance. He recalled, "She pointed at me and shouted, 'Why?' I pointed at her and said, 'Nineteen!' We laughed, but the message was that when you're young, you are supposed to take risks." Yet and still, it's not just 19-year-olds that can rock the style. In fact, McMillan himself lists the look as one of his top seven favorite short haircuts. It is true, though, that asymmetrical pixies are not for the faint of heart. 

"I think of a confident woman who has an edgy yet touchable hairstyle," hairstylist Devin Toth told The List. As severe as they may look, these pixies actually compliment the face, drawing attention to the cheekbones. If you add in an accessory like a headband, you can easily pump up strands at the crown, adding some volume while maintaining its chicness. For everyday wear, lightly tease with a comb and mist with light-hold hairspray.

Chin-length bob with bangs

The chin-length bob — complete with bangs — is back and better than ever. Melissa Timperley, the director and stylist of Melissa Salons in Manchester, England, told Refinery29 ahead of 2019 that she started noticing a huge increase in the number of clients asking for this style. According to Timperley, this type of bob is cut at lip-level with bangs that rest just above the eyebrows and features gradually longer bangs at the temples before seamlessly blending into the rest of the cut. Sam Burnett, founder and creative director of Hare & Bone in London, described it as a "blunt, jaw-length bob." Think 1920s flapper.

This look is certainly chic, but Timperley told the publication that it's important to get the proper cut. "You have to take the corner off or it just becomes a normal bob, which can be a bit harsh," she revealed. "It's a strong statement, and it shows that the person wearing it is confident and that their idea of femininity is not necessarily expressed by having long hair."

Lob with side-swept bangs

Side-swept bangs may have been all the rage in the early to mid-aughts, but that's not to say they can't make a comeback. Actually, as it happens, they've already begun rising in popularity once again. Hairstylist Christian Wood told Refinery29 in late 2018 that he expected them to be particularly trendy throughout the 2019 year. 

Without a doubt, Taylor Swift is your go-to gal for this look. "The secret to her look are the teased ends to add volume and body," celebrity hairstylist Vanessa Collington of Louis Licari salon told Today. She recommends asking your stylist for a "deep, side-swept bang" and said to "ask for teasing on the ends of [your] hair for extra volume."

When styling this cut at home, celeb hairstylist Devin Toth recommends keeping it simple. This means you'll want to stick to blow-drying sans brush and only use a small amount of hairspray as needed to keep your side-swept bangs in place.


Don't think you can pull off a pompadour? Think again. To nail this edgy, undercut style, you should focus mostly on the color of your hair as opposed to having the "right" face shape. Hairstylist Devin Toth told The List, "When the color of the pompadour is similar to the color of your skin tone, the hair becomes a visual extension of your face and actually elongates it — which can be very flattering." But the reverse is also true.

"When the color of the pompadour is completely different from the color of your skin tone," the expert cautioned, "the hair style looks like it was just plopped on top of your head and appears kind of silly instead of chic." Maintaining the color is imperative for this look as the close cut will pretty much immediately show any roots. This style is also not the easiest to grow out. But, if you're into making this dramatic change, the work will be well worth it.

Bowl cut

We know that bowl cuts may not immediately cause you to think "stunning haircut," but this once-unflattering style has been modernized to become edgy and fun. "This hairstyle is great for a petite or long face shape and can be styled many different ways," hairstylist Devin Toth revealed to The List. "It looks most dramatic when it is just smooth and flat ironed."

Fae Norris, a professional hairstylist at Neighborhood Salon in California, also told The List that this style doesn't necessarily have to be severe. The stylist explained that this "architectural" hairstyle "can be softened by a subtle layer preventing anything resembling a mushroom from occurring."

Toth's preferred bowl cut is similarly subtle and calls for undercut sides that are overlapped by long hair that then cascades into blunt bangs — much like the hairstyle Rihanna debuted. You know, the one that convinced pretty much all of us that we needed to try a short hairstyle immediately.

Classic pixie

Although there are many iterations to the pixie these days, there's nothing wrong with sticking with the classic cut. In fact, Zak Mascolo, creative director of British hair salons TONI&GUY, says women who opt for this timeless pixie "are a little more daring with their style." Still, according to what multiple stylists told The List, you should know that less hair doesn't necessarily equal less work. "It may seem more low-maintenance than a long or mid-length hair cut," Mascolo said. "But it still requires work to make it look exactly the way you want it." Although it's true that you'll likely be able to shave off a little time with short hair, stylist Devin Toth said you might just "end up spending a smidge more time on [your] makeup because a pixie brings out all your facial features."

When it comes time to style your classic pixie, the experts recommend sticking with wax or pomade. Just make sure to rub the product into the palms of your hands before applying directly to your hair. This way, you'll be able to avoid crunchy bits.

Baby bangs

"Baby bangs bring a lot of edge to any style," Brenna Fletcher, senior hairstylist at Antonio Prieto Salon, revealed to The List. And they just so happen to look particularly amazing with short hair. You can try out some choppy forehead fringe, à la Marion Cotillard, or you can experiment with an even fiercer style: blunt bangs.

Rooney Mara may be the first name you think of when it comes to this look, but she's not the only one that has embraced the trend. "Always have fun with your looks, hair is one of the greatest accessories," hairstylist Adir Abergel advised to his followers on Instagram when sharing a photo of Charlize Theron's 2019 look. As the stylist explained, he fixed the actress up with some faux blunt baby bangs for the Long Shot premiere in May 2019. Hmm, who knows, it might just be a matter of time before Theron gets a more permanent version of this hairstyle. In the meantime, she's inspiring all of us to go all in and try this trend for real.

Piecey pixie

A piecey pixie is a fun take on a classic cut. It's also a great style for almost any face shape or hair type. "Keeping soft and long swoop bangs will flatter rounder or more youthful face shapes," senior hairstylist at Antonio Prieto Salon, Brenna Fletcher, told The List. To up the playful factor of this feminine cut, Fletcher recommends using a texturizing spray.

The hair guru also provided a neat tip for applying just the right amount of product. Instead of misting the spray directly into hair, the expert advised spraying into the air just above your head and allowing the mist fall onto your hair. After the product lands, simply run your hands through your hair to give it some movement. Doing this will help prevent product from building up or becoming sticky in your short locks.

Texturizing spray isn't your only option, though. When speaking with Allure, hairstylist Anh Co Tran recommended using "beach spray," saying she likes to spray it "on dry hair to add grit and make hair look a little bit dirty and sexy." 

A buzzed or undercut pixie

There's no denying the power of a perfect pixie cut. Carolyn Aronson, hairstylist, CEO, and founder of It's a 10 Haircare, told Allure, "Pixie cuts bring attention to the eyes." She's not wrong. But, if you want a style that's even more daring than your average pixie, you might want to try one that incorporates more length on top and buzzed sides, like the style Katy Perry debuted in 2017. If you want to kick this cut up another notch, you could even opt for an undercut pixie, like Halsey's iconic look.

"This will bring instant edge to any look," hairstylist Brenna Fletcher confirmed when speaking to The List. You may be surprised to learn that although these shorn pixie styles are all kinds of bold, they're also versatile and very easy to style. That said, you should schedule regular haircuts to maintain the clean-lined look.

Fashion mullet

"If you're looking for a badass cut that doesn't take itself too seriously, a fashion mullet is for you," hairstylist Brenna Fletcher informed The List. No, this isn't a joke. Ahead of 2018, Shaun SureThing, co-owner and lead stylist at Seagull hair salon in New York City, confirmed to The List that the "style venturing into mullet territory" was once again becoming en vogue. Fabio Scalia, a famed stylist of the New York and London Fashion Weeks and owner of two salons in New York City, agreed. In a prior interview, he told The List that "what we used to call the mullet" was indeed on the fast track to popularity.

Although not everyone will be jumping aboard the mullet train, there may be no better time to try this daring style. To keep the cut looking intentionally undone and carefree, Fletcher recommends using a styling paste and working it through the mid-length and ends of your hair. You don't even have to blow-dry your locks because air-drying will give you an effortless, lived-in look.

Lines and fades

"This works best for someone who is daring and risk-taking," Devin Toth said of faded haircuts when speaking to The List. "Especially if there is some rainbow color added to them." Toth revealed that these sorts of cuts do tend to be very high-maintenance as the buzzed-in lines will need to be continually recreated. "In other words, it's a very dramatic look that will either grow out or need upkeep within a week," he explained.

If you want to try this look, you'll actually be better off making an appointment with a barber as opposed to a stylist at your local hair salon. Tahirah Carter, whose beautiful cuts and fades are routinely featured on Instagram, advised women to look for a barber "who is knowledgeable about the softness of women's cuts." She continued, telling StyleCaster, "Always talk over with them in detail about what you want and have a picture available."

Complete buzz

After having a pixie cut for years, Refinery29 writer Kelly Dougher decided to take the plunge and buzz her entire head. "Women tell me they love it, but that they aren't brave enough to try it themselves. I always tell them they should..." she wrote. Dougher believes every woman "should try a buzz cut at least once" in their lifetime because it's liberating, and, you know, incredibly easy to maintain.

Cara Delevingne, who shaved her head for a role in 2017, agrees with both sentiments. The actress-model told USA Today that it was "nice to not have to maintain [her] hair" and added that it was "really liberating to realize that you don't need hair to be beautiful and to feel like a woman."

For those who want to give this look a go, hairstylist Devin Toth cautioned that it does take a lot of time and effort to do it right. Also, if you're thinking you'll later grow it out into a short hairstyle, you should know that takes even more time and, of course, patience. Still, this look is killer.