35 short hairstyles inspired by celebrity 'dos
Take inspiration from these celebrities who know how to rock shorter styles — plus, get a few styling tips and tricks from hair experts.
This cut works great for someone with finer hair, because it creates more body and volume. “It’s a blunt cut that’s shorter in back with some texture, making the waves appear softer. The texture is also evident through the dimensional blond color,” says hairstylist Bethann Sheridan at SalonCapri in Newton, Massachusetts.
This is a great cut for girls with straight hair, says Jennifer Penny, an expert stylist at Butterfly Studio Salon in NYC, because it provides the most volume and makes it seem like you have more hair than you actually do. In other words: Layers are fabulous illusion artists.
Jessica Alba's classic, one-length bob has some texture through the ends that gives a nice, piece-y look toward the bottom. "To style, first blow out with a round brush and then apply texturizing mousse through the hair. Use the curling iron to create gentle waves on mid-lengths to ends of hair and finish with texturizing spray for an effortless look," says hairstylist Ashley Mason of SalonCapri.
The cut here, although simple, is elevated through styling techniques. By curling and isolating the side bangs (an incredibly versatile type of bang to try if you’re scared to make the full chop), it creates a simple but elegant look, says Penny.
This classic style perfectly flatters Emma Stone's face shape. "The cut is slightly shorter in the back which adds a touch of edginess," says hairstylist Cathe Nunes of SalonCapri.
This cut is almost a throwback to the Victoria Beckham bob, with longer pieces in the front and a shorter length in the back. To get Cuoco’s look, Savannah Fincher of Blo in Austin, Texas, suggests using a big-barreled curling iron to create waves, alternating directions to get a messy, undone look. Spritz in some sea salt spray for extra hold and body without crunch.
A chunky bang like Zimmer’s is great for those with small faces, larger foreheads or delicate features — it adds edge, says Chanel Peraza-Munoz, corporate style director at Blo Blow Dry Bar in Miami. She recommends creating bend in the hair with a flatiron while piecing out the bangs with a styling cream.
With a short bob like Lovato’s, Peraza-Munoz says the key is to have lift in the roots: Otherwise, the cut will accentuate the roundness of her face rather than complement it. Try ReGenesis Micro Targeting Spray ($149, revitalash.com) to hit spots that tend to fall flat for all-day volume.
By parting her hair in the middle and leaving bangs long, Chung effectively softened the length of her face with her cut, says Penny.
"This cut is great for girls who have curlier or thicker hair and want to wear it short. It's a good to have a cut with no layers when you have thick or curly hair because layers would create a pyramid silhouette," says Sheenon Olson, celebrity hairstylist and creative director of ATMA Beauty.
Hough’s style is full of body, but the cut itself is relatively simple. The key to this look is volume, says Penny. “Use a styling cream on the roots, then turn your head upside and blow dry” to achieve a fuller look.
The "Modern Family" star proved that shorter does in fact mean sexier when she recently lopped several inches off her blond hair in favor of this adorable bob. Volume is key here, but ask your stylist to texturize your hair — perhaps even with a razor — to get this choppy look.
To get a fresh style like Nyong'o’s, ask your stylist to cut your hair when it’s dry and natural, never straightened, and to cut off only what you need without going too short. “Apply a softening mousse and blow dry hair on low heat, using a wide-toothed comb to pick out the curls,” says Fincher.
A long pixie can be a bit high maintenance, since the cut almost always requires some styling time, but it is positively elegant when styled accordingly. Penny suggests blow drying this kind of cut with your fingertips and finishing with texturizing spray; Fincher recommends working with a one-inch curling wand and finishing with a pomade like Garnier Pure Clean Finishing Paste ($3, walgreens.com).
Collins’ bob gets its youthful feel from a choppy cut, says Penny. “To achieve her look, curl each section towards the face, the exact same way as best as you can. After finishing your full head, let it cool and brush it out, then apply gel at the roots,” she adds.
Jennifer Lawrence recently went with an icy blonde, nearly silver hue with this A-line bob. "This offers a youthful look that is great for anyone that is naturally light,” says Olson. To achieve the style, ask for a few face-framing angles below the chin.
Cynthia Nixon’s cut is great for women with fine, straight hair who are looking for a no-fuss style. To achieve the level of smoothness seen here, while also giving strands some separation, Penny suggests using a styling paste such as Shu Uemura Art of Hair Clay Definer ($39, shuuemuraartofhair-usa.com) on dried strands.
This razor-sharp bob requires precision with scissors, so make sure you head to a stylist you trust. When drying bangs, use a boar-bristled brush to help soften a strong jawline like King's, suggests Penny.
A sleek, simple cut like Kate Hudson’s will prove to be very versatile. Whether sleek and runway-inspired or curly and sweet, the options are endless.
The key to getting a cut like Sarah Hyland’s is to find the precise imperfection. Try asking for a dry haircut and a bit of layering without losing too much length. When styling, “wrap small sections of hair one to two times around a curling iron, starting at the midshafts,” says Penny.
"This asymmetrical look has balayage caramel highlights, graduated layers and a heavy side-sweep bang. A chic style that would be easy to take from day to evening," says Kelly Burmester, color expert and owner of ColorFX Salon in Kirkwood, Missouri.
This classic bob has a touch of whimsy thanks to face-framing angles and light layers through the ends. If you have this cut "ask your stylist about a silkening polish for smoothness and shine that will keep your hair beautiful all day long," says Wood.
To get Swift’s trendy look, ask your hairstylist for blunt bangs and an edgy bob that falls just below your jawline. When styling, use a generous amount of sea salt spray on damp strands and blow-dry with head upside down. If you’re looking to add a bit more definition, curl a few strands with an iron randomly and mist with a moisturizing salt spray, suggests Penny, such as Bumble & Bumble Surf Infusion ($29, sephora.com).
For a style like Aduba’s, make sure to have hair freshly straightened and blow-dried before snipping to get the graduated look. “The rounded bob softens her square face shape,” says Penny.
Although Zendaya is known to be a chameleon with her strands, we love her short, precise cut here. Blunt bangs and a heavy bob work well for the young star and are great for making a statement. To style, “use a round brush and aim the blow dryer down the hair shaft for a smooth and shiny finish,” says Sharp. Also, the exact length of the bangs here are key — she’s showing off, rather than hiding her strong brows.
Curls, curls, curls! In order to keep ringlets frizz-free, avoid cutting layers, says Peraza-Munoz. Instead, “use a curling cream and twist strands of hair around your finger to separate and define each curl,” she says.
Kristen Bell's deconstructed lob is a winner! "This is a great cut to create volume. Plus, the longer layers hang down, creating the illusion of a thinner face,” says Olson.
This is an edgy, shorter hairdo that’s surprisingly flattering for all. “Anyone could wear this look, but it’s definitely a style I’d recommend to younger people or someone going for a youthful feel. Ask for a cut that’s tapered on the sides and longer down the middle,” says Sheridan.
Naomi Watts' classic textured bob is cut to chin length with a sharp line. "It is not much shorter in the back than the front, which is what gives it that classic appearance. Modern variations on the bob are usually short to long from front to back," says Steven Lightfoot, artistic director and vice president of product development at Peter Coppola Beauty.
Her short, fun pixie doesn't need to be over worked! Plus, "it's supposed to look messy, so have fun with it," says Nunes.
“Want instant glamour? You need a little heat. Nothing says polished liked well-defined ribbons created with a flat iron. And don't forget: hair needs protection from thermal appliances to stay healthy,” says Luis Alvarez, co-founder of Aquage.
“I love the way that Kate Mara has taken the classic bob and made it edgy and fresh by tailoring and cropping it in at the nape of the neck. This really accentuates her jawline and her stunning dress,” says Olson.
“Vanessa Hudgens has taken this classic bob and given it an old Hollywood feel with a very classic S-wave pattern. S-waves are great when you’re really going for a glamorous and formal look,” says Olson.
“This is a classic undercut made to look chic and edgy. It shows off her neckline, draws attention to her eyes and keeps her hair off her face," says Olson. "This is great for people with strong features: a strong jawline, cheekbones, eyes that stand out, etc. You want to have a strong face to match the strong haircut."