11 Game-Changing Tips for Styling Short Hair

Suns out, length's off.

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As humans—and as women—we're sometimes emotionally attached to our hair, and oftentimes this connection is inextricably linked to its length. Long hair is like a safety blanket. But hair, by nature, grows back—and it's our firm belief that every women should chop it off at least once in her life. Whether you're currently cropped or considering it for a change-of-season reset, let these pro stylists educate you on how to cut and style it in cool-girl fashion.

Pro Tips for Short Haircuts

Comfort and suitability are key. "Contrary to popular belief, most people can wear short haircuts," says Redken celebrity stylist Rodney Cutler. "Comfort is about doing it at the right time—when you feel empowered and ready for a change. When it comes to suitability, it's about not getting too literal with the inspiration and customizing according to your face shape through length and details, like the addition of a sweeping side part or bangs."

Often times, less is more. "The most beautiful short haircuts are usually the most simple and chic," insists Cutler. "Don't make it too busy and work with your natural texture to get the right cut." This is all to say: Never be a slave to trends.

Chin-length bobs are versatile. "They can be worn in many ways—styled sleek and smooth for a classic, sophisticated look or playful with added texture," says Edward Tricomi, co-founder of the Warren-Tricomi Salon.

Pixie cuts are modern and great for different textures. According to Tricomi, pixies are also very versatile in the texture department. "Highlights are great for creating even more dimension on this short style," he adds.

Swag up your layers. The Swag is essentially 2017's answer to the '70s shag with more modern feathery waves and wispy bangs. "This style is all about enhancing texture and volume with lots of layers," explains Tricomi, adding that he loves to create highlights on the ends to enhance the shape and draw attention to the layers.

If you have curls, have fun with them. Hairstylist and natural/curly texture expert Vernon François believes that your short cut should center around what's going to liberate it. "Play around with different ways of wearing your hair," he advises. "The beauty of natural hair is that there are so many different curl patterns. Limiting yourself to one style doesn't allow your curls to show their versatility."

Pro Tips for Styling Short Hair

Always moisturize before styling. Particularly if you've got wavy or curl texture. "To show off light and airy curls, and maintain your style a little longer, a moisturizing product is better to utilize than something that's heavy and greasy," says François.

Separate and add dimension to your texture. It's the key to making short hair feel fresh and effortless. Cutler's go-to cocktail for this look is mixing Redken's Rough Paste 12, a dewy texturizing hairspray that creates separation and dimension, with the brand's Work Hard Molding Hair Paste for lighter separation. "By mixing some hairspray into the paste, it becomes slightly liquefied to make it more moldable, while the addition of the hairspray adds a moderate hold," says Cutler.

Trust in a side part. Both Tippi Shorter, Aveda's global artistic director for textured hair, and François agree that a deep side part is your cropped 'dos best friend—especially if you've got textured hair.

"On the go, an easy trick I use to style hair on the fly is to part the hair on one side and pull the rest of the hair behind the ear," explains François. "It's a really chic style and an easy way to accentuate your bone structure to help put your face and texture front and center."

Maximize volume by concentrating on the roots. According to Shorter, the key to bombshell volume is the way you dry and apply product to the roots. "Allow hair to dry with lift at the roots for a fuller look, then apply product to the root area only as this will keep the ends from getting super flat," instructs Shorter.

Run sprays or mists through the hair with your hands. Spraying hairspray, like Aveda's Air Control, into hands and smoothing through hair will be more effective than spraying onto hair due to over saturation, says Shorter.

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Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.