The 20 Trendiest Short Wavy Hairstyles To Try In 2018 |
Popular Cuts for All Lengths

20 Trendiest Short Wavy Hairstyles To Try In 2018

25 May 2018
photo of blonde woman with short wavy hairstyle

Emily Arata

Senior Editor

Of all the styling options out there, waves will always have a place in our hearts. Whether you’re headed to a formal event or just hoping to spruce up your ‘do a bit before happy hour, waves have your back.

One of the most challenging times in a woman’s hair journey is when she first cuts her hair short. Learning to style waves in your bob can mean the difference between hair that feels like a shapeless wig and a look that flatters you. For the trendiest short wavy hairstyles on the market now, keep reading.

Mega Volume

Big hair, don’t care—especially if you’re headed out on the town. Volumizing mousse and a blow dryer aimed right at the roots can help you pump up your mane.

Short Fringe

Many of the most popular kinds of bangs are floaty and ethereal, but we prefer a fringe that has presence. To take inspiration from this look, ask your stylist for thick, short bangs (and make sure you get a styling tutorial, as well).


Cuts aren’t the only way to define your short, wavy ‘do. An electric fantasy shade will help you stand out. If you’re new to hair color, be sure you have a full consultation with your stylist and voice any potential concerns beforehand.

Frizz-Free Curls

OK, so these curls edge a bit past simples waves. We’re of the belief that you should flaunt the texture if you’ve got it—even when you cut a bob.

Blunt Waves

A blunt edge to a bob adds an instantly modern vibe. While the upkeep on this sharp line can mean you’re visiting the salon every few weeks, it’ll be worthwhile for all this fantastic drama.

Pompadour Pixie

The much-maligned pixie cut has had the reputation of being boring and “mom”-like for years. No more! Voluminous takes on the cut make this pixie a youthful, chic style.

A-Line Waves

Getting an A-line bob is a surefire way to emphasize the look of your jawline. It’s basically contouring that happens with your hair.

Space Buns

Space buns are best known for their place in festival season, but ladies with short waves can put them to use nearly all the time. They’re a smart pick for days when your roots aren’t looking so clean but your overall texture is too good to wash.

Barrel Curl

Barrel curls are the worn-in jeans of the hair world: Everyone knows how to wear them and how to make them work, but that doesn’t stop them from being the best skill in your arsenal.


Sometimes called the “social media wave,” these flat waves are famously seen on the heads of models and influencers. Instead of simply wrapping hair around the curling iron barrel, give it a few twists first, wrap it, then tug on it slightly to create a more relaxed S-shape.


Not ready to dive into a full head of color just yet? Start with an ombre, which will leave your hair with subtly blended color throughout the mid lengths and ends. As an added bonus, the new shade will grow out without a visible line of demarcation.

Braided Half Ponytail

Half ponytails are some of our favorite styles because they can be tweaked to match the vibe of any outfit or occasion. If you’re headed out for the night, try this pin-enhanced braided updo instead of your standard curls.

Neat Waves

If we had to give this soft wave style a nickname, we’d call it the “good girl” curl. Instead of full ringlets, you’ll want to use a flat iron to attain bendy waves that add dimension to freshly colored hair.

Wavy Pixie

Texture can be a little harder to maintain within the bounds of a very short cut, but the result is always worth it. We love this wavy pixie, which brings all the glamour of long waves into a chic cropped ‘do.

Waterfall Braid

Don’t fall victim to a dreaded case of second day bedhead. Instead, braid those wonky pieces away from your face using the waterfall technique. Unlike a French braid, waterfall braiding involves dropping one piece and picking up a new one to create the look of a plait that floats just below your part.

Glossy Texture

What’s a wave without some shine to go along with it? A glossy finish makes at-home waves look so polished they could’ve been done by a professional in the salon. A shine spray is all you need to feel like your style is totally complete.

Bouncy Blowout

No one does waves quite like a professional stylist. The combination of skill with a brush, styling angle, and tension on the hair will leave you with weightless volume and flattering waves that make your bob feel fresh.

No Heat Waves

Most of us lean on our blow dryers like expensive crutches, relying on them instead of experimenting with natural texture. Armed with a frizz-busting product, try to air dry your hair without touching it until there’s no moisture left.

Voluminous Pixie

Fighting the urge to chop off all your hair and run wild? Do it. This volume-amplified pixie cut is all the style you need. The more texturizing spray you add to this one, the better.

Bangs And Waves

Don’t believe anyone who tells you bangs and waves can never coexist. We love a heavy fringe with short, piece-y waves—just be sure you’re taking a blow dryer to them so you don’t end up with unwanted kinks and creases.

Double Braids

Another way of styling your hair without looking like you don’t have any: the double braid. Part your hair down the middle, then use your favorite technique to braid the front section of your hair away from your face.

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