The 12 best short hairstyles ever

Ayesha Muttucumaru 9 September 2014
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The 12 best short hairstyles ever

Tempted to bite the bullet and swap long locks for short hair instead? We’ve all thought about it at one point or another, but which hairstyle’s best? Between pixie cuts, bobs and long bobs, undercuts, highlights and layers, finding The One can prove to be a pretty difficult and risky business.

To provide the perfect portfolio of hair inspiration  we’ve looked through the archives and compiled the 12 best celebrity short hairstyles of all time and asked a range of top hair stylists for their top tips too. Make sure to have these hair ideas at the ready to show your hairdressers, because finding your perfect short hairstyle has never been easier.

Pssst - see our inspiration compilation of the  best layered hairstyles here

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Jennifer Lawrence

Where? The 20th Annual Guild Awards 2014.

Speaking at a Google+ hangout , J-Law cited that the decision to cut her long locks short was partly due to it being overly damaged. They were “fried from being dyed too much,” she commented, which is an experience we can all relate to. Merging a sweeping fringe and plenty of layers for a look that’s modern and completely individual, no one in Hollywood could pull this style off better than Jennifer.

Expert Tip: Want to copy Jennifer’s style? “Above all, a detailed consultation with an experienced stylist is crucial,” says hair stylist Errol Douglas MBE . “Bring along any pictures that have inspired you. I often find it's a certain attitude or feel that clients seek when showing me looks they like as opposed to the exact cut. The cut should be an interpretation that is bespoke to the individual.”

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Keira Knightley

Where? 2010’s Never Let Me Go premiere.

If you’re looking for inspiration of what to do with your hair when it reaches that difficult in-between stage, then look no further than Keira Knightley’s short bob. A masterclass in how to style short hair, we love her high-gloss curls and rich brunette colour which makes the most of this tricky hair length and accentuates her features and skin tone perfectly.

Expert Tip: Make a short bob look more youthful by making a few simple tweaks. “To keep it modern, don’t leave it looking too stiff; leave some stray hairs loose and soft,” recommends hair stylist Adam Reed .

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Jourdan Dunn

Where? The GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2014.

Debuting a short hair switch up in true supermodel fashion, Jourdan Dunn’s long bob hairstyle was the haircut on everyone’s lips the morning-after-the-night-before. Shiny, healthy-looking ombre hair that was coloured to perfection to complement her darker skin tone , she made it look feminine, on-trend and playful but still red-carpet appropriate.

Expert Tip: “I often take clients from a longer length in two visits,” says hair stylist Errol Douglas MBE . “It really allows them to adjust if it's a big change and see the cut evolve while also learning to style it themselves too.”

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Charlize Theron

Where? The Christian Dior Haute-Couture AW14 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Sophisticated and elegant, if we had a face as beautiful as Charlize’s, there’d be no end to how much we’d experiment with our hair length, (because let’s be honest, she’d look great with a mohawk). We love her take on an updo complete with voluminous roots to give her short crop structure and style with a few flyaways left free to prevent it from looking too rigid.

Expert Tip: “The ideal face shape for short hair is oval,” says hair stylist Adam Reed . “If you have a long face this can be softened with a fringe. A square face can look great with extra length in the sides.”

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Kylie Jenner

Where? The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.

A gene pool that boasts some of the most wonderfully coiffed DNA on the planet , the youngest of the Kardashians is well on her way to becoming a style icon in her own right. Her shoulder-length hairstyle looks youthful but edgy and draws attention to her chiselled jawline and almond-shaped eyes beautifully.

Expert Tip: “Consider the texture of your hair, not just in the maintenance, but in how it will naturally fall and the styling products required,” recommends hair stylist Errol Douglas MBE  if you're thinking of cutting your hair short.

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Mia Farrow

Where? The 1968 film, Rosemary’s Baby.

One of the trail-blazers of the short haircut, there are few that have become as iconic as Mia Farrow’s elfin crop in the 1968 film, Rosemary’s Baby. The actress had however, worn it short since 1966. Speaking to The New York Times  the actress said, “I had literally cut it myself earlier that year — with a pair of fingernail scissors — while working on the ‘Peyton Place’ TV series at Fox Studios.” Trimmed from 1 ½ inches to 1 inch later by hair stylist Vidal Sassoon, her closely cropped coif has become the stuff of cinematic legend.

Expert Tip: Speaking about the ‘micro-fringe,’ hair stylist Adam Reed  said, “There is a strength that comes with such a short fringe that makes a very strong statement. They really can be worn by anyone who has time to make sure it looks perfect as they leave their house. Keep it as straight and blunt as possible, and to be totally on-trend keep it perfectly straight; do not add a concave when cutting.”

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Where? The 56th Grammy Awards.

When Beyoncé revealed her pixie cut on her Instagram account  last year, it made headline news. The poster child of diva-esque, show-stopping long locks had seemingly cut them all off, and everyone sat up and took notice. As they grew out, we’ve seen Queen B expand her hairstyle repertoire even further and our favourite incarnation came at the 2014 Grammys where she wore her long bob wavy, textured and tousled to prove yet again that Sasha Fierce can never put a foot wrong in the beauty stakes.

Expert Tip: Before going for the chop, Always consult with your stylist on lifestyle and the time you have daily for styling,” recommends hair stylist Errol Douglas MBE . “Especially regular gym sessions so that the level of maintenance required is reflected in the cut.”

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Sienna Miller

Where? The closing night gala for the film Casanova.

A Get The Gloss girl crush of the highest order, Sienna Miller never puts a hairstyle step wrong. When she traded in her boho waves  for a soft, high-shine feminine crop in 2005, the risk paid off and she solidified her status as one of our permanent hair heroes. We love her choice of warm, golden highlights here which perfectly complement her sun-kissed skin and accentuate her stunning blue eyes.

Expert Tip: “The most important thing is to ensure that, whatever your cut, colour or style, you keep your hair looking healthy and shiny,” advises hair stylist Adam Reed . “There are some great nourishing oils on the market that will maintain the condition of your hair between salon visits, and a weekly treatment is also essential to maintain the strength and moisture of the hair. Try  Percy & Reed Hair’s Best Friend Super Softening Range  to nourish, moisturise and soften your hair. Our  Percy & Reed Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish , £10 is also great for styling and defining shorter hair.”

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Olivia Palermo

Where? The 2011 Green Auction: A Bid To Save The Earth.

Olivia Palermo’s glossy, healthy long bob hairstyle, is one of those rare looks that suits any face shape and any age. Perfect for any season, while other short hairstyles can be less forgiving if you have broad shoulders, this style provides just the right amount of coverage on the décolletage to become your short haircut of choice if you have this body type.

Expert Tip: “Indeed, there’s little that marks the transition to autumn like taking the scissors to your strands,” says top session stylist, Stephen Low. “A short haircut is a standout statement, it also slices years off an aged shoulder length cut. It’s not something you do to disappear into the background.” With this in mind, Neville Hair & Beauty  has launched the Collarbone Cut which can be adapted to any face shape and worn in a number of different ways. Oh, and did we mention that Olivia frequents the Belgravia hair salon too? Book us in now.

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Halle Berry

Where? 2014’s Extant premiere.

There is no short hairstyle in Hollywood that’s become more of a trademark than Halle Berry’s short crop. The ideal accessory to her chiselled cheekbones, flawless face shape and perfect skin, this haircut looks just as good as when she was in her thirties, as it does now in her forties. Her secret? Subtle yet effective ways to modernise the look, as seen here at The Extant premiere with her mixture of understated and natural hair colours.

Expert Tip: “Make sure, when you are drying short hair, that you still promote lift in the root,” says hair stylist Adam Reed . “Do this by lifting the hair at the root while drying - using a small, round brush instead of just finger-drying will give a luxe finish to the hair.”

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Emma Watson

Where? 2010’s Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Premiere.

Growing up in the spotlight as the nation’s sweetheart Hermione Granger is a pretty hard character to move away from. However, Emma Watson made transitioning from child actress to Hollywood power player look easy thanks to some great acting chops and a hairstyle chop to match that left her Harry Potter days firmly behind her. An edgy and modern contrast to her delicate features, the phrase ‘opposites attract’ has never been better placed.

Expert Tip: Commenting on crops,  Bruce Masefield , UK Creative Director at Sassoon Salons said, "This short style needs minimal attention for a sleek and fabulous look." For a polished, glossy finish with natural, effortless movement, he recommends blow-drying hair in a downward direction and wrapping the hair around the head shape as you do.

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Where? 1967 – the filming of Twiggy In Hollywood.

One of the innovators of the mod bob which stood out in a sea of sixties bouffants and beehives, this classic short hairstyle was later simply just known as ‘The Twiggy.’ Sleek, minimalistic and effortlessly stylish, 50 years on, it’s still as timeless as ever. The same can’t be said for The Bowl Cut though. Thankfully.

Expert Tip: “Regular trims are essential to keep your hair in great condition - we recommend a cut every six weeks when you have a short style. Many salons also offer a free fringe trim service in-between appointments too,” says hair stylist Adam Reed .