The 18 best haircuts for every length
The 6 most stylish short haircuts
You don't need a breakup—or any excuse for that matter—to inspire a serious chop. The newest short cuts are feminine, flattering, and just plain cool.
Anne Hathaway's gamine style is rounded "like a modern bowl cut," says hairstylist Tommy Buckett, but with airy, razored ends to "give it a little more movement and softness." The volume at the top and on the sides balances out longer face shapes. Buckett suggests blow-drying with a paddle brush for a romantic, side-swept look and the perfect amount of body.
ALLURE TIP: Straight, blunt lines can look too masculine and severe on shorter styles. Keep the cut feminine with textured, wispy ends.
If you're on the curlier side of the spectrum like Audrey Tautou, embrace your natural texture with a shaggy pixie. Ask your stylist to cut it an inch longer than the classic style, with the sides and back slightly shorter than the top (don't be surprised if he decides to cut it dry—"the curls will be more free-flowing and sculpted, instead of having hard, thick lines," says Buckett).
ALLURE TIP: For added texture and hold, twist the ends with a tiny dab of pomade. We like Serge Normant Meta Form Sculpting Pomade.
In honor of the ultimate short hair muse, we dub this cut The Halle—closely cropped on the sides and in the back, with a longer, slightly layered top. "It's really versatile," Buckett explains. "You can flatiron it straight, wear it all spiky, or slick it back." To re-create Berry's "messy, texturized" look, prep damp hair with a beach spray, then blow-dry the layers straight.
"I love this cut. She looks like a celebrity," Buckett says of the "loose, whimsical" chop he did for Elisabeth Moss. "It's a softer, longer version of a pixie, so she still feels like she has hair." Buckett kept the bangs heavy and long, hitting roughly at the brow bone, and just "chipped into it" to feather the ends. This cut flatters most face shapes because of the extra length in the front, and wispy pieces over the ears soften a strong jawline.
ALLURE TIP: Go with intense, rich colors—like Moss's bright blonde or a deep brown—since medium shades can look dull and boring on short styles.
Michelle Williams's jagged cut is the perfect low-commitment look "for the girl who wants her hair short, but could grow it out superquickly," says Buckett. The sides and back are close to one inch long, but the top layers, cut at about six or seven inches, provide texture and make growing it out a breeze. In the meantime, "you can do anything with it," Buckett says. "You can twist it up, or if you want, you can hide the sides and back with all the hair coming down. It works on everyone and with a lot of textures."
ALLURE TIP: Short hair requires frequent trips to the salon for maintenance. See your stylist about every four weeks to keep your cut fresh—or to transition through a grow-out.
The award for Best Short Cut of 2013 goes to Miley Cyrus. It's dramatic. It's ballsy. It's way more versatile than we ever thought a short style could be. The sides are buzzed (Buckett recommends a #2 clip, no shorter) and the Mohawk section is a rough-cut two and a half inches long. Of all the short looks, "it's the most extreme," says Buckett, but "it's still feminine because it's not a skinny Mohawk. It spans from the outer corner of one eye to the other." Here, four of our favorite ways to style it:
* Pompadour: To get the styled height of this look, apply a handful of volumizing mousse—try Dove Style+Care Nourishing Amplifier Mousse—to damp hair, then blow-dry back and to one side, using your fingers to lift the roots and sweep the hair over.
* Spiked: "Get your hair a little dirty with this," suggest Buckett. Spike the hair straight up with a matte-finish pomade and add more to the ends as needed for a messy, piecey texture—"the more product the better."
* Smooth: For a sleeker look, smooth a light, heat-protecting serum, like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum Thermal Protection Formula, through damp strands. Then blow-dry with a paddle brush, directing hair forward and down toward the face.
* Updo: Although this isn't technically an updo, it is the most styled and polished of the looks. Use a small round brush to blow-dry the hair into a soft loop with plenty of body. "Just twirl it away from the face as it's drying, and finish with a light hair spray," says Buckett.
ALLURE TIP: Balance out harsh short cuts by playing up your most feminine features—eyelashes and lips. Keep plenty of mascara and lip gloss on rotation.
The 6 best medium haircuts
Shoulder-length hair: "It's the magical length," says hairstylist Harry Josh. "It has the flexibility of long hair, great for a bun or ponytail, but it can do its own thing down." Though you don't need a wand to pull it off, there are a few tricks involved—and the ones we've rounded up are way easier than pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
We start with something sleek: a one-length, collarbone-grazing cut that's insanely swingy—and glossy, too. "In a sea of beachy curls, this is so chic," says Josh, adding that the clean lines are especially flattering on round faces. While it's obviously perfect for those with naturally straight hair, curlier types can achieve the style with a flatiron—Sedu Icon Styling Iron is a Best of Beauty Award winner—and a shine serum like Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine Mist. "Don't forget the razor-straight part and subtle bend at the ends, which you can get by pulling the flatiron in toward your face," he says.
"What's cool about this is that the texture—natural, but a little rough—makes it look effortless," says hairstylist George Northwood, who cut subtle layers two inches from the bottom to create Chung's shaggy style. "That's where the movement and piecey ends come from, without it looking overdone." And the bangs keep it modern: If you have a round or oval-shaped face, ask your stylist for brow-skimming fringe that angles down near the temples ("This will help it blend into the rest of the cut," Northwood says). He recommends lash-grazing bangs for square or heart shapes.
Allover layers are ideal for fine, wavy hair—they make it appear fuller. Plus, it's a cinch to style. "All it takes is a little mousse, and you can let it air-dry," says Josh, who loves John Frieda Frizz-Ease Curl Reviver Styling Mousse. "Or, if your hair is curly, use a diffuser." He does have one warning: "If you're someone who loves to wear her hair up, be prepared for lots of loose pieces, since this style is so layered."
Long, loose layers
Thick, curly hair types will love Byrne's sexy, disheveled layers. "They frame the face nicely, and because they're below the chin, they thin it out a bit," says Josh, who recommends keeping layers longer in the back. "Anyone can pull this off, but those with rounder faces should ask their stylists for fewer layers. Otherwise, it will make the face appear wider." To style, wrap sections of hair haphazardly around a curling iron (we love T3 SinglePass Whirl Professional Styling Wand) and clamp the ends quickly with a flatiron for a piecey finish.