19 Genius Styling Ideas Just for Short Hair

Finally, some short hair hacks you'll actually find useful!

Short hair styles
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

1. Spray dry shampoo or texture spray on your bobby pins before insertion to prevent slippage. Sometimes short hair slips out of bobby pins more easily than longer hair does, so to keep your strands in place, spritz a dry texture spray, like Oribe Dry Texture Spray, on the inside of the bobby pin to give it a little more grip.

2. Keep your pixie smooth and sleek all day by crisscrossing two headbands over your hair.

Short Hair Styles

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin, Kathleen Kamphausen)

Stubborn short strands are a pain in the ass to keep down. To ensure your pixie stays put, layer your bejeweled headbands for a ***flawless look with the help of this tutorial.

3. Pin your bangs back with a cool ombré chevron bobby pin design.

Bangs

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Pin your bangs with one bobby pin, pushing the open end toward the ceiling. Complete the "V" shape by sliding one leg of another bobby pin at a downward angle through the looped end of the first pin. Repeat as many times as you'd like to get the look you want.

4. Keep a cold cream in your bag in case you need to tame your tresses on the go. One like Nivea's Creme in a travel-size tin fits perfectly in any clutch and can be used to fix flyaways or frizz if your hair wigs out when it's humid.

5. Create a faux bang by making a deep side part, sweeping the hair across your forehead, and securing it behind one side of your headband.

Short style

(Image credit: Kathleen Kamphausen)

6. Not all hair textures are suited for all hairstyles and cuts. For example, if you have super-fine hair, you might fare better with a pixie because it will create the illusion that you have thicker hair, and if you have a slight wave to your hair, layered and one-length cuts may work better, since wavy hair tends to hang a bit looser and longer (compared to curly hair that coils up). To find out the best short style for your tress texture, read on here.

7. Make your own salt spray with seltzer water and a teaspoon of sea salt to give your short hair beachy texture.

Hair Hacks

(Image credit: Kathleen Kamphausen)

You might have a salt spray that you love, but if you don't or you want to create some texture in a pinch, mix together 20 ounces of seltzer water and a teaspoon of sea salt in a spray bottle to make your own ocean spritz at home. (Tip via celebrity stylist Ryan Trygstad.)

8. Create a pompadour by teasing a section of hair from temple to temple, and then pushing it against where you normally part your hair to increase lift.

Hair style

(Image credit: Kathleen Kamphausen)

Creating a pompadour on short hair can be tough, but by twisting the hair you've gathered and pushing it against your part, it will make building this style that much easier. Secure with two bobby pins in an "X" formation and go.

9. Blow your hair dry 50 percent of the way and then let it air dry. Not only will this cut down on heat damage, it will leave you with a natural #IWokeUpLikeThis kind of texture that you would otherwise have to use a salt spray or other styling product to achieve.

10. Braid your hair from back to front, since any layered shorter pieces in the front might be hard to weave into a plait.

Braided hair

(Image credit: Kathleen Kamphausen)

If you have shoulder-length hair, this style's for you. Start by French braiding your hair at the nape of your neck all the way up to the crown of your head. Secure with bobby pins. Then, deeply part the front and take the section of hair to the left of your part, braid it, and wrap the loose ends in a pin curl, bobby pinning them into place. Next, take the loose hair to the right of your part and either braid or pin curl them with bobby pins. Voil: a braided updo that you never thought was possible.

11. Avoid weighing down your short hair by applying root lifter or volumizing mousse to your roots, and pomade and wax to your ends only. Too much wax and pomade, which tends to be heavier than a lightweight mousse, too close to your roots can flatten your hair and even clog the pores on your scalp.

12. Create natural curls by alternating wrapping your hair over and under the barrel of the curling iron.

Textured hair styles

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin, Kathleen Kamphausen)

Changing up the way you wrap your hair around the iron gives awesome, #IWokeUpLikeThis curls that look 100 percent natural. Want to learn how to create this texture? Click here.

13. Keep your bangs, or any shorter layers, out of your face by braiding them into a headband braid.

Headband braid

(Image credit: Kathleen Kamphausen)

If you part your hair to the right, grab a two-inch section along your hairline to the left of your part and create an inverted braid (this is when you braid the pieces of hair under each other rather than over one another), so the braid pops instead of blending in with your hair. Continue to do this until you reach the hair toward the back of your ear and secure it with bobby pins.

14. Pull the hair off your neck and create a slimmer, chic bob by braiding the undersides of your hair.

bobs

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin, Kathleen Kamphausen)

By French braiding the underside of your hair on both sides of your head, you can pull a major portion of hair off of your neck. This is the best tip to use mid-summer. Find out exactly how to do it here.

15. Avoid using a brush while blow-drying, since it will create a puffy, dated feel. Instead, use your fingers to move it around a bit and then let the power from the dryer blow your hair around. Then, once your hair is dry, you can create your shape.

16. Boost volume by parting your hair and crimping the layers of hair underneath.

Hair parting

(Image credit: Kathleen Kamphausen)

After you've parted your hair where you normally do, clip up a half-inch section of hair on both sides of your part, and use a micro crimper to add texture to the layers underneath to give them volume. Then, let the rest of your hair down. By crimping multiple layers, you're creating zig-zag patterns piled on top of each other, which ends up adding overall body underneath the smooth hair on top. Try the Sebastian Micro Crimper.

17. Whip up an updo on super-short hair by creating a pompadour, and then twist and pin your loose hairs haphazardly.

twist and pin

(Image credit: Kathleen Kamphausen)

This style is super-easy since there's no method to its madness, other than first creating a pompadour by teasing a section of hair from temple to temple, and pushing it against where you normally part your hair to increase lift. Then, grab one- to two-inch sections of hair, twist them, and lock them into place with bobby pins by inserting them into your hair, and then rotating them the opposite way to hide the pin. (See below for the how-to.)

18. Use the "locking" technique to hide your pin and ensure that it stays in place all day.

Locking technique

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

To achieve the end goal of a tighter style, aim the open end of the pin against the direction that your hair is pulled. Next, rotate the pin so the open end is now facing the same direction as the hair, and push the pin in toward your head to secure it. If inserted correctly, the pins will pull your hair tighter and be unnoticeable. Repeat these steps until your style is completely secure. (Tip via Matrix artistic director https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVYuibnRXAU.)

19. If you have long hair, make it short instantly by using a foam wrap-up roller and bobby pinning it into place.

Watch this magical hair tool aka The Wrap Up by Sarah Potempa transform your long hair into a short style.

Photo Credit: Corbis; Elizabeth Griffin; Kathleen Kamphausen

Carly Cardellino
Carly Cardellino

Carly Cardellino was the beauty director at Cosmopolitan. If you follow her Instagram, then you know she'll try just about any beauty trend or treatment once (the pics of her purple hair are on IG to prove it). But her favorite part about being in beauty is finding the most effective products, and then sharing that intel with others—because who wants to spend money on stuff that doesn't work? No one, that's who. Her most recent discovery: De La Cruz Sulfur Ointment, which will change your blemish-clearing game! Hopefully through the beauty stories she writes—and the experiences she shares—you can see exactly why she's in this business.