From childhood to adulthood, women get told one single message: Long hair is beautiful. Women throughout history have happily worn their layered haircuts down to their lower back. The fact of the matter is that long hair feels romantic and feminine—but it’s not always the most practical.
Styling long hair takes a lot of time and effort, and if you’ve always secretly pined for a bob or a pixie cut, now’s the time to make it happen! To make sure your chop perfectly accentuates your face shape and hair type, we recommend trying out a short layered haircut. Like custom jeans or a bandage dress that fits just right, layers will help your stylist tailor the cut to make sure it’s the perfect fit for you.
Interested in learning more about short layered haircuts? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know, plus 24 of the best ways to wear the look.
Are layers good for 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, well-placed layers can help create volume and give your strands a thicker appearance. For ladies fighting coarseness or thick texture, layers are the perfect way to reduce density and beautifully shaped your texture.
How do you style short layered haircuts?
The trick to styling layers is finding a routine of styling products and techniques that will help keep your mane in check. If you’re a fan of a blown-out look, you’re in luck! Layers give natural body and bouncy movement to your blowout, but be sure to always use a heat protectant like Kérastase L'incroyable Blowdry Hair Lotion.
If you’re searching for a quick way to give your cut style without using heat, invest in a texturizing spray like Redken Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray to give your strands effortless, beachy texture. If you have a super short chop like a pixie, use a hair gel like Matrix Vavoom Hold My Body Forming Gel to create a piece-ey look with definition, volume, and shine.
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 definitely save time if you’re used to a time-intensive shampoo session, blowout, and maybe even more heat styling on top of that.
Ready to try a short layered haircut for yourself? Keep scrolling for 24 of our favorite looks.
The Best Short Layered Haircuts To Try Now
Good hair day by @hairbyjero.
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.
Good hair day by @gerilynghaisarzadeh.
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.
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.
Good hair day by @jordy.brechkoff.
Chances are good that you know at least five women who have an asymmetrical bob. 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.
Good hair day by @caitlintyczka.
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.
Good hair day by @qfutrellhair.
If there's one single texture the layered bob was invented to put on display, it's curly hair. Weightless layers mean your ringlets will be springing up with less effort. Plus, you'll spend fewer pre-work minutes in the bathroom with a curling wand trying to get those stray ends to behave.
Good hair day by @harishair.
Landing just at the jawline on either side of the face, curtain bangs add definition and a sophisticated flair to even the shortest hair.
Good hair day by @susancartercolorist.
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?
Good hair day by @marcelosferraz.
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 lob.
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 androgynous hairstyle that can be worn in multiple ways. Plus, you’ll feel a lot cooler during steamy summer afternoons.
Good hair day by @maya_kimchi.
Length it isn’t the only thing you should experiment with when you’re trying a new cut! Opt for a fun, on-trend color like pastel pink to really switch things up.
Good hair day by @sorayahstyles.
The pixie cut is an ultra-short style, one that’s been modeled by countless 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.
Good hair day by @mel_thehairworx.
Layered Mushroom Cut
If you’re shocked that the mushroom cut has made the list, hear us out! While classic mushroom haircuts are the same length all the way around, modern variations of the throwback ‘do feature well-placed layers with natural movement. If you’re brave enough to take a risk with your cut, we recommend giving this one a try.
Good hair day by @anhcotran.
Middle Parted Layers
While sleek middle parts work perfectly for a longer length, we’re obsessed with messy, textured layers paired with a middle part on short layered hair.
Good hair day by @courtgannhair.
Wondering how to try a wedge cut? 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.
Good hair day by @emerson_hair.
The shag is a style that’s recently come back into fashion. To create this look, 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.
Good hair day by @anhcotran.
Now here's a cut for the (semi) bold and the (always) beautiful. Ear length layered bobs stray dangerously close to the pixie cut, but a walk on the wild side will be good for you. This cut is best for ladies who are hoping to show off their chiseled bone structure, not disguise a round face.
Good hair day by @hairbyatellez.
Still a little afraid of the ear-length bob? That's okay—we won't tell! Instead of shearing all your hair away, keep it fresh with a cut that falls right at the shoulders. You'll have all of the benefits of a bob and still be able to tie off a ponytail once in a while.
Good hair day by @chelseahaircutters.
It's a harsh world out there for those of us who didn't get blessed with jawlines seemingly carved by the gods. Just like the way you'd apply concealer to hide dark circles under your eyes, however, the layered bob can be a quick fix.
Good hair day by @ajaonyourmane.
If you desire a look that’s extra piece-y and edgy, the razor is key. Your stylist will shear away at your blunt length, creating a timeless and textured look that can add a hint of punk rock to any layered bob.
Good hair day by @browsandstyles_.
Don't tell anyone, but the “graduated” in this style doesn't exactly mean you're on the next level of the bob lifestyle. In fact, we'd go so far as to recommend the flattering, simple look for bob beginners.
Good hair day by @designsofcomposure.
If there's one cut currently ruling social media, it's the shaggy lob. In this stylish 'do, undetectable layers created the appearance of added volume. Who doesn't want thicker-looking hair?
Good hair day by @haironthefloor.
Not entirely on the curly spectrum, but hoping to encourage movement nonetheless? Wavy girls, the layered lob is the solution you've been missing. Less length means more texture, volume, and wave without time-intensive styling or gobs of product. Plus, your second-day texture will be out-of-this-world good.
If the lob was the winning style of the last two years or so, then the shag is the absolute incoming champion. This ’70s cut boost volume at the crown while tapering away to feathered ends. In short (see what we did there?), it's the ideal spring or summer style.
The inverted bob is probably closest to the one you remember from the early millennium (especially paired with an edgy hair color). Expect a horseshoe-shaped cut that's designed to frame your face.
Interested in trying a short cut? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.