The 10 Most Inspiring Short Haircuts

Cutting your hair takes a certain amount of courage. But once you’re over the hand-wringing, a short crop can sharpen your whole look, bringing definition to your cheekbones and showing off the curve of your neck, which you never noticed hiding under all those layers. (Added benefit: your blow-out will take .5 seconds). Click through our picks for the most flattering options to request right now.

Rihanna’s Choppy Lob

Why we love it: This “lob” (i.e. long bob) strikes the perfect balance between wild and tame. The flippy, uneven ends around the face add body and movement, while the clean, simple lines on the sides and back lend control to the look. Flaming red color optional.

Evan Rachel Wood’s Nouveau Mohawk

Why we love it: With its closely shorn sides and voluminous top, this cut owes a lot to the Mohawk. While it’s slightly less punk than its predecessor, it works on any hair texture, especially wavy since the ends will curl up on their own.

Alexa Chung’s Asymmetrical Bob

Why we love it: It’s intentionally imperfect—the jagged lines add a quirky feel to an otherwise playing-it-safe bob. All that’s needed for styling is a quick run-through with your hands, and a little messy frizz is welcome, too.

Emma Watson’s Sleek Straight Cut

Why we love it: It’s stark and chic with hard lines—definitely a bold look that’s not for those who hide behind their hair. Consider how you want to wear the cut before you’re in the salon gown. For example, if you plan on tucking the front pieces behind your ear, like Emma does here, the length of the ends needs to reach your nose.

Keira Knightley’s Geometric Bob

Why we love it: With its crisp, sharp lines, this graduated bob can be tailored to your features. Ask for your stylist to cut it longer in front than at the back to slim a square or round face or request a softer angle to add fullness to narrow or oval face.

Ginnifer Goodwin’s Oblong Pixie

Why we love it: The underside of this pixie is actually shaved—a trend that’s still going strong from last summer—while the top is left long and wispy. For those who think short hair is boring, all you need is some gel or mousse to realize you can take this cut in endless directions—messy, slick, tousled, you name it.

Scarlett Johansson’s Breezy Cut

Why we love it: This cut disproves the rule that if you have thick or curly hair you can’t go short. The key is to keep the length at least to the chin level and cut the ends with a razor to control the volume. Then toss the brush—it’s better to finger comb hair to lend a piece-y quality that resists any pouf.

Carey Mulligan's Layered Bob

Why we love it: Whether slicked back or brushed forward, this tiered bob has amazing body and shape to it. Ask your stylist to incorporate layers that hit at various points—at the nape, cheekbones, and then around the eyes.

Michelle William’s Definitive Pixie

Why we love it: What’s not to love? Williams paved the way for the modern pixie when she lobbed off her hair. The texture is what keeps it from looking vintage. Ask your stylist to cut hair shorter around the face and longer toward the nape.

Arizona’s Graduated Bob

Why we love it: It’s striking enough to actually steal attention away from Arizona’s famously thick brows. The appeal is all about the bounce, which is achieved by having some pieces cut straight across while others snipped on a diagonal.


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