How to Style Short Hair: Celebrity Hairstyles

There are plenty of pros that come with having short hair; the main one being that you save a lot of time in the morning – you can pretty much get up and go if you need to. What’s more, it cuts your blowdrying regimen in half. Shorter styles also have the cool-factor; they can be chic (Audrey Hepburn), gamine (Twiggy) or edgy (Agyness Deyn). So yeah, short hair has lots of plus points.

But as everyone knows, the same old can start to feel a little uniform; sometimes you just want to style your hair differently. Think braids and updos are off limits? Think again. We’re here to prove that short hair can be just as versatile as longer ‘dos. With a few clever (and super easy) styling tricks, you can have just as much fun mixing up your look as anyone with Rapunzel-length locks.

The key to any good hairstyle starts with the basics. There are a few common missteps people take when styling short hair though, so take heed of the following to avoid making them as well:

  • You should start to blowdry your hair once it’s about 50% air dry (and always apply a heat protectant spray). Even though it should be cut more often (see below) – thereby getting rid of split ends – short hair tends to show damage faster than long hair. As such, it’s important that you keep your hair as healthy as possible. Leaving your hair to dry naturally is a great way to get that slightly messy, tousled finish too.
  • Make regular trips to the salon. Since short hair is so much more evidently styled than long hair, you should be getting it cut every 6-8 weeks to maintain its shape. There’s nothing worse than an unruly hairstyle that’s neither one thing, nor another.
  • Don’t pile on too much product. Whilst styling products are absolutely the trick to keeping your short hair looking great, avoid slathering it on – you’ll only weigh down the hair and cause build up on the scalp. Plus, overworking the hair can leave it looking flat and lifeless.
  • Embrace your natural texture. Whatever the length, your cut should always suit your hair type and texture. Since hot styling tools like straighteners and curling tongs can wreak havoc on your hair, it’s important that you’re able to wear it naturally too. Thinking of going shorter? Speak to your stylist before getting the chop to find out which cuts are going to work well for you.

Short Hairstyles to Try

Accessorise with a Headband

No matter how short your hair is, you can instantly make your crop look red carpet ready with a delicate headband. Actress Lupita Nyong’o’ adds a subtle hint of sparkle with a chain headband – we love that it matches her earrings too!

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Add Texture

Make like Agyness Deyn with an edgy pixie cut. Add a hair clay or pomade to create this matte and messy look; simply rub a small amount between your hands and apply to dry hair. Pull at the ends of the hair to create a shape you like, but don’t overwork it. Finish by tweaking a few sections to add movement and mist over with a light hold hairspray.

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Slick it Back

Bring some oomph to cocktail hour with a sleek, slicked-back ‘do á la Rita Ora. To create this look, simply spritz over towel dry hair with a texturizing spray before blow drying it; blow dry your hair upwards and back at the roots (with a small round brush) to add volume. Using a strong hold hair pomade, comb or run your hair back with your fingers; you might want to add a few strategically placed bobby pins at this stage to secure any rogue strands that won’t stay put. Try not to be too neat with it though; the reason this look works so well is because it appears effortless. Mist over with hairspray to finish.

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Get a Pixie Pompadour

Evan Rachel Wood’s perfect pompadour is both edgy and feminine. It’s a great way to switch up your look if you’ve got some length at the front – all it takes is a bit of backcombing. Since it’s easier to style when the hair has a little grit to it, the pompadour is ideal for those days in-between washes. If your pixie is freshly washed, add a texturizing spray before blow-drying. To achieve the pixie pompadour, simply backcomb the front sections of your hair before pinning back with a few bobby pins. Apply hairspray for an all-day hold.

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Leave Some Length at the Front

We love the way that actress Úrsula Corberó styled her pixie cut for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Having left some length to the front, she’s got something to play with (it also frames her face). This lightly layered cut has plenty of texture; clever use of tonal colour adds depth. To achieve her look, spritz over damp hair with a sea salt spray before leaving to dry naturally; this will add more movement (especially if you’ve got wavy hair). To finish, run through with a light pomade or hair clay, working in sections with your fingers at the front.

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Side-Sweep Your Fringe

Queen of the pixie cut Michelle Williams proves how ladylike short styles can be. Her gently sweeping fringe falls at just the right spot above her eyebrow, framing her face beautifully. When blow drying the hair, use a round brush to create the perfect sweep. A little styling spray will help you to manipulate the hair (and add volume), but overall, you should keep things on the sleeker side here. Secondly, we have to mention that colour. Michelle’s almost-white blonde looks cool and contemporary; speak to your Rush colourist if you fancy living the platinum blonde life too.

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Do the Twist

Yes, even short hair can be braided (as Carey Mulligan proves here)! Her twisted mini braid adds a new dimension to her slightly flicked bob. By sticking to her natural texture (and adding more depth with highlights), the overall look has an effortlessness that’s oh-so modern. Braids are a favourite of ours here at Rush, simply because they’re so versatile – you can wear them anywhere. Braids or twisted sections are also a great option if you’re growing out a pixie cut, since you can conceal difficult lengths or sections of the hair. To recreate Carey’s simple but sweet ‘do, plait the front section of hair and tuck behind your ear, securing it in place with a bobby pin.

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Go Half-Up, Half-Down

Newcomer Kate Mara is fast becoming one of our red-carpet icons. Whether she’s got it slicked back, slightly tousled or worn in a messy bun, Mara manages to give us hair envy every time. Here she gives her cool-girl updo a polished edge with a blunt, angled cut. And whilst you’ll definitely need at least a bob to make this work, it’s proof that half-up, half-down top knots aren’t just for long-haired ladies.

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