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14 Stunning Short Layered Haircuts You'll Love

two women with short layered haircuts
From childhood to adulthood, women get told one single message: Long hair is beautiful. It’s feminine, romantic, and sexy. Women throughout history have happily worn their manes down to their heavily corseted waistlines, and so can you (corset optional, thankfully).

However, we’re here to make a pretty strong counterargument to that blaring cultural message. You know what’s sexy on dark brown hair or blonde? Wearing your hair however you want to, especially in short, layered haircuts. There’s no reason to keep your mane long, unless you really enjoy styling it on the daily.

If that means you’ve always secretly pined for a bob, now is the time to make it happen. Say goodbye to ponytails, girl, because you’re going short. You won’t even miss all that extra hair, and the breeze on the back of your neck will feel extra sweet.

How can I look cute with short hair?

Besides the freedom of life without 12 inches of extra hair, layers will do wonders for your style. If you have fine hair, layers can help create volume by ridding you of dead ends. For ladies fighting coarseness or dense texture, layers are the only way to beautifully shaped curls.

The trick to mastering layers—and not ending up with the dreaded triangle head you remember from middle school—is a routine of styling products and techniques that will keep your mane in check. The best way to customize a routine is by asking your stylist for his or her take. After all, why wouldn’t you consult the very person who created your cut?

Is short hair easy to maintain?

To keep your cropped ‘do, you’ll have to finally commit—to a regular salon routine, that is! Most short hair looks (particularly those involving layers) need trimming to maintain their shape. When it comes to styling, however, you’ll really be saving time if you’re used to a time-intensive shampoo session, blowout, and maybe even more heat styling on top of that. Short hair only needs a little coaxing to fall right in line, particularly if you have a wash-and-go cut.

What are the best hairstyles for short hair?

A-Line Bob

If the A-line bob seems dated to you, it’s time to update your mental image of the cut. Although this look was extremely popular just past the millennium, it’s recently been given a modern update. Instead of strands that are curled under to frame your face, this iteration of the cut features messy beach waves on an angle.

Although the A-line has traditionally been marketed as a volume-boosting style for ladies with fine hair, we recommend seeking it out if you’re struggling to style coarse, wavy hair. The angled shape of the style lends itself to natural waves. Without all that extra weight on your strands, your natural curls can spring into place.

Layered Bob

We’re forever advocates of the layered bob, which is a miracle worker if you’re trying to beef up thin strands. Instead of hanging limply around your face, those fine hairs can be shaped into the illusion of a full mane. With a good blow dryer and volume boosting spray, you’ll be surprised at the change in your own ‘do.

For an extra boost, ask your stylist for stacked layers at the nape of the neck. This look will free your hair from extra weight. Thanks to progressively shorter layers in the back of your head, you’ll get extra height at the crown as well as additional thickness.

Asymmetrical Bob

Chances are good that you know at least five women who have an asymmetrical bob. The style was extremely popular last year, probably because celebrities made it a red-carpet staple. Instead of a single length ‘do, your stylist will treat your hair to an off-center cut featuring a deep side part. You’ll have the benefit of a long, dramatic swoop that’s flattering to nearly all facial shapes.
If the cut feels dated or dry to you, we recommend asking your stylist for a blunt fringe—the shorter, the better. Baby bangs are the newest callback to the ‘90s, one that creates a punk vibe. Instead of feeling like you’re headed to pick up the kids from preschool, you’ll be giving off rock star vibes.

Long Pixie

Want short hair but afraid to lose that ultra feminine feeling? A long pixie has all the chic vibes of its more traditional sister but you’ll be able to run your fingers through it and style a face-framing piece or two. If you’re trying really short hair for the first time or hoping to play up natural waves, a long pixie is the right choice.

Curly Layers

Girls with curls know that layers are basically miracle workers, taking a whole head of uncontrollable ringlets and turning it into something flattering. If you have really tight ringlets that seem to defy every technique you attempt, a better haircut may be what you need. Don’t be afraid of dramatic layers, which can sculpt a modern look out of even the most unwieldy curls.

Curtain Bangs

Point: Curtain bangs are not layers. Counterpoint: Curtain bangs can be used like layers If you know what you’re doing. Landing just at the jawline on either side of the face, curtain bangs add definition and a sophisticated flair to even the shortest hair.

Bouncy Bangs

Bangs and bobs are like two peas in a pod—two styles that are totally meant for each other. Whether you’d rather obscure your hairline or you’re just looking to personalize your short cut, bouncy bangs are both slimming and youthful looking.

Blunt Chop

Layers and sharp lines are one of our favorite pairings for short hair. Sneaky, subtle shorter pieces in a blunt bob can help create extra volume at the crown of the head and make it look like you have more hair than you really do without ever popping in extensions. Who doesn’t want that?

Voluminous Layers

Go big, girlfriend! If you often find your straight hair falling flat throughout the day, your stylist can help you achieve effortless height with the help of strategically placed layers throughout your bob.

Layered Undercut

It takes a daring woman to choose a haircut that incorporates multiple lengths, but we’re increasingly seeing ladies with stylish undercuts. Instead of cropping your full mane into a bob, your stylist will buzz the area above the neck.

The technique accomplishes two aims at once: You’ll create a space for artistic techniques (buzzed designs or pastels) and take a step out of your comfort zone. While bob-length hair will still frame your face, you’ll have the flexibility of a gender-bending hairstyle that can be worn in multiple ways. Plus, you’ll feel a lot cooler during steamy summer afternoons.

Pastel Lob

It isn’t only length that you should experiment with when you’re trying a new cut! 


The pixie cut is an ultra-short style, one that’s been modeled by endless celebrities and ‘90s supermodels. If you’re working with a strong facial structure and feel confident in your jawline, the pixie cut is the move you should make. It’s breezy, choppy, and timeless.

For a layered pixie cut, you stylist will leave you hair several inches long at the hairline and gently taper it closer to the back of the head. The added length leaves room for you to play with texturizers and pomades, maximizing the volume of your hair as you go.

Wedge Cut

We love a good gender bending cut, and the wedge style is no exception to that rule. Think of every heartthrob you loved in early ‘00s chick flicks, then copy that style. Instead of cutting your hair in a single length, your stylist will hold it away from your head. Then, he or she will slice away at a downward angle.

Instead of a traditional bob, which can fall flat, you’ll be treated to tons of volume at the crown and a close-cropped neck portion. It’s a flattering style, one that’s summer appropriate at any age. Paired with blonde highlights, it’s a sure win.

Short Shag

The shag is a style that’s recently come back into fashion. Channeling the heady days of the ‘70s, your stylist will feather out your ends with the end goal of boosting volume at your crown. The resulting style is textured with tons of movement throughout the ends.

We usually recommend this style for women who really invest in their hair color. The different lengths and directions here show off beautiful blonde and brunette highlights to maximum effect. Plus, the style grows out to an effortless-looking lob. No awkward stage, no problem.

Interested in trying a short cut? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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