Short hairstyles for women: the best short haircuts for fine and thick hair

Sibelle Mehmet
·10-min read
 Isabella Rossellini with a short hairstyle
Isabella Rossellini with a short hairstyle

Short hairstyles for women have never gone out of fashion, but they are definitely having a big moment right now.

Thanks to a certain global health crisis, many of us haven't been able to see our hairdressers nearly as often as we would like in the last 12 months. After spending months with grown out cuts and styling at home (laborious work - even with the best hair dryer) many women craved a total refresh and switched to short hairstyles.

Internet searches for hairstyles for short hair, from bob haircuts to super short pixie hairstyles, have soared  in the past year and this is set to continue, according to SALON64 stylist Dylan McConnachie.

“After the public being held inside for so long and desperate to experience all life has to offer, we will see a massive surge in impulse cuts," he says. "Taking away a huge amount of length and restyling into a new bold shape. Strong dramatic changes with be walking out of the salons in just a few months.”

Whether you've been inspired by world events or simply fancy a change from long hairstyles, here is everything you need to know before going for a short haircut, from the cuts that suit your face shape, tips for styling short hairstyles and the celebrities who wear them best. Happy haircutting! 

Will I suit short hair?

Ensure your next cut looks fabulous with our edit of the best hairstyles for women in their thirties.

Short hairstyles for round faces

Round faces look great with longer layers or graduated bobs. They can also pull off blunt styles if a sharp bob style has caught your eye.  When it comes to pixie crops, Hare & Bone founder Sam Burnett warns that, "round faces find this cut difficult to pull off as it can accentuate the roundness, throwing off the balance of the face."

Square faces look great with extra height on top or added length at the bottom of a style to soften the jawline. Lots of soft, rounded layers are your friend here.

Short hairstyles for oval faces

Lucky you, practically any short hairstyle will look fabulous, especially super short crops. "The most flattering face shape for a pixie crop is oval with petite features to balance out the sharpness of the cut," explains Sam Burnett, owner of Hare & Bone. "Cowlicks and double crowns are stubborn characteristics that have an impact on the way a cut sits.”

Short hairstyles for curly hair

Many curly haired women think they can’t pull off short hairstyles, but a long bob hairstyle (or lob) can be incredibly flattering on textured hair. For more tips, tricks and inspiration, read our guide to curly hairstyles

Short hairstyles for straight hair

The heavy-fringe look will be easier for you to pull off f you have straight hair. If your hair is thick you can make it more manageable by getting rid of some with length and adding in hidden layers.

"Undercover layers are super popular as they can be done on most hair types and textures," explains Katie Allan, Hair Stylist Founder of MAYFIVE Hair. It’s a versatile style that adds movement, texture and volume into the hair and removes weight. 

"The technique involves very subtly taking out weight without adding shorter hairs throughout the top and it achieves a natural looking result, which is almost invisible to the eye when expertly cut."

The best short hairstyles for women

Cynthia nixon
Cynthia nixon

Cynthia's strawberry blonde colour and pulled back style give a modern twist to her cropped cut, while layers throughout help add volume and movement. With a Sex & The City TV reboot on the horizon, we can't wait to see if she returns to character Miranda's trademark bolder red shade.

Cynthia Nixon

Charlene white
Charlene white

Charlene White

Journalist, newsreader and the latest addition to the Loose Women line up Charlene white shows off her natural texture in this flattering style. Making the most of all that natural volume, this style is pulled back from her face with flattering height to frame her eyes. 

Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton

We can always rely on Tilda to do something exciting with her hair. This short style sits just far enough on the right side of edgy for us to want to try it at home. The classic closely-cropped style is longer on top, shorter through the sides and back and perfectly set off by her copper shade.  

Ellen Degeneres
Ellen Degeneres

Ellen Degeneres

Talk about a signature style, Ellen has worn her hair short for decades and with good reason - it suits her perfectly. A heart shaped face like Ellen's can carry off very short pixie cuts down to slightly longer crops like this. The side parting finishes just above her brows to frame those striking blue eyes. 

Emeli Sandé
Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sandé

Emile experiments with her style but is known for her signature blonde quiff with closely shorn sides. We particularly love this version of the look which forgoes straightening out the top section to display those gorgeous natural coils. 

Naga Munchetty
Naga Munchetty

Naga Munchetty

Journalist and newsreader Naga makes the most of her delicate features with this super short and stylish crop. Her naturally glossy textured hair perfectly suits such a short and simple style – you'll need regular trims to keep this looking great. 

Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

Michelle has worn her hair in a variety of short hairstyles over the years, from the tightest crop to shoulder-sweeping bob. This jaw length cut is perfect for anyone who wants to go short but can't quite bring themselves to go full pixie - ask for a short bob with blunt ends to replicate the style. 

Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o

Actor Nyong'o wears her natural texture in this short crop for a cool, modern style. It's a little longer on top which perfectly displays those glossy coils. 

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Charlize's signature blonde hair has become shorter as the years go  by and it suits her so well. Here she enhances her layered jaw-length crop with light waves and pinned back sections for an up-do effect without the hours of work that go into pinning up longer hair. Genius! 

Isabella Rosselini
Isabella Rosselini

Isabella Rossellini

Isabella always looks amazing. Her beautiful skin and high cheekbones help her carry off this naturally tousled, pulled back cropped style.

Phoebe Waller Bridge
Phoebe Waller Bridge

Phoebe Waller Bridge

The Fleabag star shows how to make cropped hair look special for a party. Create a deep side parting, blow dry straight then use a little bit of styling cream to create this slicked back short hairstyle.

Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett-Smith

Actor Jada's blonde locks are bold and super stylish. Her soft side fringe offsets the close shorn sides to balance out the style perfectly. By taking the weight out of the sides, Jada has also made her hair lighter and easier to style.  

Judi Dench
Judi Dench

Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench is a champion of stylish short hairstyles and has been for years. Her petite features really suit a super short chop as does her silver shade. If a super short fringe is a bit much for you add aa youthful edge to your crop with a long, side-swept fringe instead. 

Kristen Wiig
Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig

Here, the comedian swaps her longer bob for a short, slicked-down cut that looks both smart and sophisticated. This slightly longer short hairstyle that grazes the ears would be great for anyone with fine, straight hair that doesn't want to go for a full pixie crop. 

Viola Davis
Viola Davis

Viola Davis

The award-winning actor frames her beautiful face structure with this side-swept  short hairstyle. Pick a deep side parting to give your crop a more modern look. Adding a long fringe and some layers towards the crown ensures the look is flattering and stylist. 

Scarlett Johanssen
Scarlett Johanssen

Scarlett Johannsen

Straight, medium to thick hair would suit Scarlett Johannsen's cool volumised crop. Run mousse through damp hair and blow dry with a paddle brush for added volume and shine.

Emma Wills
Emma Wills

Emma Willis

TV Presenter Emma brings a rock and roll edge to her short hairstyle with an androgynous quiff. This hairstyle will work fabulously on long crops.  Blow dry your hair back and up towards the crown, backcomb at the front and use hairspray to hold your new style in place all night.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

Duchess of Cornwall

Camilla is known for the signature flicks on her trademark short hair style. Sitting just above her shoulders and styled with a round brush, this is easier to maintain than a very short hair cut. 

Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney has always worn a bob well and this shorter style is no exception. Cut just above the shoulder with a long, soft side fringe, the style is ideal for fine hair and perfectly befits Sigourney's classic image. 

Samira Wiley
Samira Wiley

Samira Wiley

Emmy Award-winning actor Samira Wiley's close side crop do is accented by a longer top section that perfectly displays her natural texture – the result is sexy and stylish.

Jamie lee Curtis
Jamie lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis has rocked her tight short crop for years, and no wonder - it's one of the most low-maintenance cuts out there for styling! Keep it slightly longer on top with shorter sides - fabulous silver colour optional, but definitely encouraged. 

Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson

Style your short hairstyle with a sweeping fringe like Emma here, which can brilliantly soften a crop. This fringe is versatile too, as you can wear it pulled forward like Emma here or sweet it back or to the side. Mimic Emma's look with varying shades too - a lighter blonde in the front and a darker colour in the back can look very chic. 

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren is the queen of short hairstyles, and has been able to maintain her look over the decades while always looking fresh and modern. Here she wears her layered fringe pulled back into a glamorous quiff with flattering height and  slicked back sides, plus,  her glistening shade helps any cut look fabulous.

Vicky Mclure
Vicky Mclure

Vicky McClure

Actor Vicky McClure's cropped hairstyle is a modern take on the classic cut. We love the highlighted quiff on the top with the short sides. This style looks cool and contemporary - it may not be the most low maintenance but you can keep it in chec with the best styling products.

Kris Jenner
Kris Jenner

Kris Jenner

Super business mogul and 'mom-ager' Kris's volumised crop is the perfect power hair cut. Think short but thick and choppy on top, with a gentle side parting and soft wisps falling across her face -  flattering and stylish.

Sharon Osbourne
Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne

Sharon loves to make a statement with her striking red hair. Fancy changing your look up with a red shade?. We love a bright copper or magenta red to perk up mature skin and brighten features.

Will you be taking the plunge with one of these short hairstyles in 2021?