Many, many years ago, it was customary for women to grow their hair as long as possible; this was considered a purely feminine trait, whereas a short haircut was intended for men, who needed to work and would therefore need to avoid difficult to maintain hairstyles. Thus, having long hair represented femininity, delicacy, and a special care for the aesthetic. Today, things have evolved in a completely different direction, and it is no longer socially unacceptable for women to wear short haircuts of all shapes, sizes and colors.
In fact, the 21st century, and the past couple of years especially, have seen a major resurgence in short womens hairstyles popularity in women. Finding inspiration in early 1950s, late 1960s and even centuries’ old French fashion, these haircuts have proven once more than women can keep their delicacy and refined looks with shorter hair as well. Women of all types will be able to find new facets they didn’t know they had, they will be able to reinvent themselves, or even take advantage of one of the best things about short haircuts: they always make you look younger and fresher! Keep reading and you’ll find out what are the haircuts you can choose from:
The Shingle cut
Like we mentioned earlier, short haircuts started to be popular for women in the 1920s, and the shingle cut was one of the first. Sported by celebrities like Louise Brooks, Bessie Smith or Colleen Moore, it featured straight bangs over the forehead and a tapered back. This usually meant that the hair was the same length in the back, and sat almost like a helmet on the head. You can still adopt this haircut today, and fashion it by opting for asymmetrical edges, or by combining it with a daring hair color.
The Eton crop
This haircut, preferred by women in the 20s and 30s, was the most daring at its time because it implied cutting the hair very, very shortly and combing it over the head with pomade or other hair products. The hairstyle was finished with a few faux sideburns twisted over the cheeks, and similar twirls on the forehead. Singers like Josephine Baker wore the Eton crop, but you could see it on today’s celebrities like Rihanna or Kate Moss as well.
The finger-wave short haircuts
Popularized by Hollywood actresses like Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford, the finger wave has always been associated with class, refinement and mystery. Although it is not very popular today, we like to include it because today’s trends allow for a lot of revisiting old fashions, and a good stylist can always create a unique haircut just for you based on retro inspiration. The finger weave can be added to haircuts of almost all lengths, but on a shorter haircut it can look more dynamic and therefore modern. So if you’re looking for some wedding hairstyles for short hair, the finger-wave is one of the most elegant and exquisite hairstyles, and it matches somptuous dresses ideally.
Short bob haircuts
The bob haircut first appeared in the 1930s, but it only became iconic in the 1950s, when Audrey Hepburn amazed us all with her elfish yet sensual look. Her hairstyle featured very short and choppy bangs, whereas the rest of the hair was swept back, highlighting her neck and shoulders. If you like the retro look, you can still go into a salon and ask for an “Audrey Hepburn”, but there are numerous other variations as well, some of which are very modern. Moreover, Audrey usually opted for a very short cut, but you can choose a length that is fitter for styling.
The pixie cut
Two women are most famous for their pixie cuts: actress Mia Farrow and fashion model Twiggy. The pixie cut is generally a very short, boyish haircut, with short or no bangs. This haircut is usually not styled, precisely because of the shortness of the hair, but you can adopt more modern versions like Emma Watson’s, who opted for slightly longer bangs swept to the side, and even faux burns. Nevertheless, you have to be very confident for this haircut, and make sure that the shape of your head allows it because it exposes all your features. For these reasons, it is not generally recommended to women with asymmetrical features, but a good stylist should be able to make it work in most cases.
The short choppy haircut
This kind of haircut is great for dynamic and daring women; there are countless variations of short choppy haircuts, and they all are both versatile and feminine. Celebrities like Meg Ryan, Sharon Osborne, Jennifer Aniston or Victoria Beckham have all sported choppy haircuts at one time. This style is very appropriate for older women, because it makes them look youthful and sexy; moreover, you can add choppy edges on various types of haircuts like bobs or other short and medium short haircuts.
The Pompadour haircut
This is a 1940s haircut popularized by the likes of James Dean and Elvis Presley, but the truth is that it has its roots further back in history. The name of this haircut was given by Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV in the 18th century. She wore very tall wigs, where the hair in the front formed a huge bun, and was swept tightly to the sides. More modern variations were used on shorter hair, and both women and men adopted it. Nowadays, it can be seen on celebrities like David Beckham, Justin Bieber, Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani or Rihanna. The pompadour can also be “faked” on long hair, by simply creating that large bun on top of the head and pinning the rest of the hair up, or leaving it to fall naturally on the shoulders. This hairstyle looks particularly well on African American women, but girls with fair skin can look great as well.
Short asymmetrical haircuts
Asymmetry is a very important trend in short haircuts these days; this asymmetry can be applied to the bangs, or to the entire hairstyle as well. It works perfectly with bob and pixie variations, and you can opt for a haircut that is very short on one side and much longer on the other. Another popular variation is opting for a pixie haircut with long, side-swept bangs; the shingle cut can be modernized by adding long faux burns and keeping straight, shorter bangs. The internet will be a good inspiration when searching for asymmetrical haircuts, because there are countless variations and the only limits are your imagination and your stylist’s skills. The haircuts in this style are usually seen in combination with daring hair colors and mixed nuances.
The short crop
This is another variation on the bob and pixie haircuts, or it can be a combination of the two. It usually refers to very short haircuts that seem a bit negligent. Halle Berry, Miley Cyrus, Emma Watson or Anne Hathaway commonly wear short crops, and the first is especially known for her variations along the years. Generally there are no rules to what a short crop has to look like, so you can basically choose a boyish haircut that suits the shape of your head and your features. The hair has to be very short on the sides, but it can reach five to six inches on top as well.
The short layered haircuts
These types of haircuts are ideal for women with very thick hair who want to get rid of some volume and give a more defined shape to their hairstyles. It can be applied to both short and long haircuts, but it has greater effect on the first type. What is truly great about layered haircuts is that, especially for short haircuts, they can be applied to those with fine or rare hair. On a short haircut, the layers can instead create the effect of volume, especially with the right amount of hair product.
There are many modern short haircuts out there that you can try; it is difficult to recommend a certain type, so the best option is always to know all your options, and draw inspiration from them. There is nothing stopping you from creating your own style, and becoming a trend-setter as well. Androgynous looks are very popular, and an experienced professional hair stylist can tell what is best for each woman in particular. Choosing a type of haircut just because it is popular often results in bad experiments because people just don’t want to take into consideration their particular features.
All in all, the examples above should be able to offer you the inspiration you need for a new hairstyle and inform you about what you should avoid.