Seventeen September 23, 2022



18 Cute, Short Hairstyles That You *Must* Try If You Have Thick Hair


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It's time to debunk the common misconception that people with short hair don't have a lot of hairstyle options, because they totally do.

Maybe you’re super adventurous with your styling and have been tempted to go for a drastic cut, but you’re trying to get a feel for what styling options you’ll have with your newly-short hair. Or maybe you’ve had short hair for a while, but you usually style it the same way every day and are looking to spice things up. And if you recently made the big chop and suddenly don't have the option of simply securing your hair into a messy bun, don't panic — there are so many cute, fun ways to style short hairstyles for thick hair. All you need is a healthy dose of inspo.

If you have short, thick hair, it's helpful to have some go-to hairstyles just in case your plentiful tresses decide not to cooperate one morning. Won't lay flat? Hit it with a side braid. Need something sleek, yet shiny? Straightener, heat protectant, and hair oil will do the trick. Woke up with a bird's nest on top of your head? Brush it out a little bit, and then make it purposefully mussed with texturizing spray. Confidence is key to pulling off that I-woke-up-like-this look and embracing your thick hair in all its glory.

And if you thought that thicker hair types shouldn't go short, think again — you just need to find the right style and cut. Chicago-based hairstylist Raven Hurtado from Maxine Salon explained that the best and easiest short styles for thick hair are shaggy haircuts like the wolf cut, the pixie cut, the medium layered bob, or textured layers. "By texturizing layers on thick hair, it removes weight which will give the layers flow and movement. It’ll feel light and easier to manage." Plus, shag haircuts are super hot right now — just look at Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, or literally anyone under the #wolfcut hashtag on TikTok.

Hurtado continued, "When you go to the salon, ask for a style that will be manageable and easy to maintain, as well as asking for texturized layers to remove bulk." With the right sort of haircut and styling tricks, you'll be out the door in no time each morning. Here are some of our favorite short hairstyles for thick hair.

Sleek Bob

A slick, blunt bob like the one Vanessa Hudgens' requires less skill than you might think. Straighten your hair with a flat iron (using a heat protectant, ofc) and flip out the ends of your hair to achieve that fun, flirty swoop. Finish with hair oil to tame flyaways.

Shaggy Bangs

According to Hurtado, the shaggy haircut is ideal for thick hair because it removes some of the weight and bulk of your hair from your ends. Use a texturizing sea salt spray to create natural beach waves for a rocker-chic look like this style that Taylor wore at the Met Gala in 2016.

Ethereal Headbands

Your shorter strands are the perfect canvas to show off a dainty headband. Style your hair in an artfully-tousled way with a little bit of pomade, and then rest a crown (okay, headband) of delicate gold stars, moons, flowers, or leaves on top for that ethereal vibe.

Piece-y Curls

Just because you're sporting a shorter hairdo doesn't mean that you can't get your curl on. Jennifer Lawrence went for loose curls to create a face-framing effect — use a 1.5 inch barrel and then brush out your hair to achieve similar results. If you're worried about using a curling wand on shorter hair, use a heat protectant glove to avoid any accidental burns.

Wolf Cut

The Internet-beloved wolf cut, as seen here on Miley Cyrus, is perfect for thick hair because the top volume and thinner lower layers naturally lend themselves to removing some of the weight of thick hair. Show your hairdresser a photo of exactly what kind of wolf cut you want, because they can range from shaggy lobs to full-on mullets.

PIxie Cut with Bangs

Ever wonder how a good pixie cut gets that chic sort of ✨ je nais se quoi ✨? The secret is in the amount of natural volume that your hair provides at the crown, which means that your thick hair is perfect for the pixie cut style. Add swoopy, sleek front bangs for extra polish.

Embrace the Volume

Sure, there are plenty of ways to tame, flatten, and relax your thick hair, but don't be afraid to lean into the beautiful volume you naturally have every once in a while. Zendaya rocked her bouncy curls to the Teen Choice Awards back in 2017.

If you have straight, thick hair and want to recreate this look, curl your hair with your favorite curling iron or wand, and then lightly brush out the curls once they've cooled.

Claw Clip Twists

New to the #shorthairgang and can't seem to figure out a fun way to get those strands out of your face? Even though a high ponytail may not currently be an option for you, you can twist those front pieces away from your face and secure them with several little claw clips placed at equal distances apart from each other. Practical and cute.

Structured, Curly Bob

Yara Shahidi embraces her natural curls in a bob that hits right between her shoulders and her chin. The strong, sharp structure emphasizes her jawline, and is balanced out with soft curls that artfully fall in front of her face.

Teased-Back Volume

Whether you're looking to show off your eye makeup or simply get your long bangs out of your face, this brushed-back 'do gives you volume while also getting your hair out of your line of sight. Work some light-hold gel into your hair, and then spray your favorite hairbrush with hairspray before brushing back your hair for maximum hold.

Slicked and Sleek

An edgy outfit like Cara Delevigne's utilitarian tank top is perfectly complimented by a slicked-back haircut. Start with slightly damp hair and saturate your short hair with gel before combing it backwards, to the side, or downwards depending on where your hair parts.

Bendy, Piece-y Waves

Add some texture to your naturally straight, thick hair by taking a straightener and bending it to the left and to the right to create light, subtle waves. It's a low-key look that adds dimension to your hair.

Side-Swept Mini Twists

You can still achieve a perfect twist out on short hair — micro-twists can be done on any hair over two-inches long. Use a twisting cream for extra definition. Bonus: a looser twist will be protective for your hair, which will encourage growth in the long run.

Cheekbone-Framing Bob

Highlight the natural shape of your cheekbones by rocking an extra-short bob that frames your bone structure by dancing along it at a sharp angle. The thickness of your hair will still allow for fun movement and texture despite the shorter length.

Spiked-Up Pixie

If you made the drastic chop and are now sporting a dramatic pixie cut, bump up the intensity by taking some hair wax or pomade in your hands and spiking up your hair to create an androgynous, edgy style.

Mini French Braid

Another way to gather your hair up and away from your face when it's too short for a bun or ponytail is adding a little french braid across your temple. Grab a small section of hair and pleat as you normally would, but go horizontally, braiding away from your face.

Close Cropped Sides

Show your thick hair some lovin' by letting that volume shine on top with shorter sides. Hurtado notes, "For natural hair, a faux hawk haircut that has tapered sides with the top longer with long bangs makes the hair look thicker and voluminous."

Soft Old Hollywood Glam

Take a leaf out of J.Lo's book and part your hair on the side before using velcro rollers or hot rollers on the ends of your hair to achieve soft, tight Old Hollywood-style waves. You can pin back one side with bobby pins for extra drama.