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Victoria turned her editorial skills into a career in content marketing and brand strategy. She is a former wellness editor and has held beauty and wellness editorial positions at ELLE, The/Thirty, and more.
Short Hairstyles For Thick Coarse Curly Hair
Skye Kim is a hairstylist with over a decade of experience. She currently works at Serge Normant at John Frieda in New York City.
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It seems like all the cool kids are rocking short hair these days, but while it’s tempting to follow suit, those of us with thick hair need to take a break. Without the natural heaviness of long locks, would our manes turn to frayed mud after a trim? See this article as evidence to the contrary. As a matter of fact, strategically chopping your hair short can take the weight off your shoulders and also cut down on maintenance time—all while highlighting your kick-ass natural texture. It’s all about smart layering and choosing a crop that works especially well with thicker strands. To show you what we mean, we rounded up 50 of our favorite short hairstyles and haircuts for thick hair, along with professional styling tips from experts Howard McLaren, Mandy Tauber, Kian Hoang, and Diane Macaluso.
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Michelle Williams is giving us full ’90s vibes with this simple, but breezy pixie cut. Her deep side part and voluminous top complement her round face shape perfectly. To keep straight hair from falling out, work in a small amount of Verb Volume Texture Powder ($18) followed by John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Styling Cream ($9) for a silky-smooth finish.
Lily Collins knows how to make a statement on the red carpet, and these Old Hollywood curls on her lob are no exception. The cut and style show off her thick hair perfectly. To create the look, use a large barrel curling iron to curl your ends. Finish with a shine hairspray, like CHI Shine Infusion Hair Spray ($6).
This short haircut for thick hair packs a serious punch. We love the short, tapered sides and voluminous top. This makes styling thick locks much easier because you only need to worry about the top section of your hair. To recreate Mary J. Blige’s hairstyle, apply a generous amount of volume mousse to damp hair (try Southern Belle Volume-Boosting Mousse Drybar, $29), then blow-dry hair for the perfect swoop. Blow-dry backwards.
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Anika Noni Rose’s pixie haircut is similar, with short tapered sides that make her thick hair easier to style. Instead of sweeping the top section of hair back, it comes to the front so that it hangs slightly over her forehead. For this look, use a small amount of Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray ($17).
Iman’s short and thick hairstyle is surprising. The retro look is a great way to style thick hair, leaving it sleek and manageable overnight. To find out how to recreate it, we turned to Tauber. For a straight, sleek look, start by spritzing hair with Oribe Invisible Defense Universal Protection Spray ($44) to protect it from heat and flat iron hair. “Apply Oribe’s Star Glow Styling Wax ($34) around the hairline and top layer for glossy shine and flexible hold,” she instructs.
Take inspiration from Dua Lipa for a slightly longer look. Her lob falls a few inches below her chin, emphasizing her sharp jawline. To mimic her hairstyle, first create a deep side part. Then, apply a small amount of Amika Supernova Hair & Moisture Cream ($25) to damp strands for the perfect wet hair look. If your hair isn’t naturally wavy, you can curl your hair with heat styling tools first or braid your hair overnight (and add product later).
Top Short Hairstyles For Thick Hair To Be More Manageable
Take it from us (and Miranda Kerr), you can’t go wrong with thick, short hair in a sleek low bun. Not only does this short hairstyle for thick hair look sophisticated, but it’s also a great way to hide oily roots from second (or third) day hair. Apply Bumble and Bumble’s Brilliantine ($25) to your hair before smoothing and securing in a tight low bun.
Torn between wearing your hair up or down? Sarah Hyland rocks the best of both worlds with this half up hairstyle. For the same carefree feel, loosen a few face-framing strands and add some tactile texture to your ends with Oye Hair Texture Spray ($26).
Rosie’s romantic updo is a beautiful way to style thick hair. First, part your hair down the middle and apply Not Your Mother’s Plum for Joy Thickening Hair Lifter ($7) throughout your hair to boost volume. Then, twist your face-framing strands toward the back of your head. Twist the length of your hair into a low, messy bun and secure with bobby pins. For an added touch, pull a few strands loose in front of your face.
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Another improvement, Emma Stone chopped her lob hair into a loose bun at the back of her head. To keep your hair the same way around your face, leave your fringe loose. Since bangs are the focal point of this look, spritz on Toddy Drybar’s Hot Heat Protectant Mist ($29) before using a curling wand to loosen your fringe.
Not ready to fully commit? Then follow Mindy Kaling’s lead and opt for this fake hairstyle instead. “Create a part that’s to your liking. Then, on clean hair, use R+Co’s RODEO STAR Thickening Styling Foam ($32) to add shine and hold,” instructs McLaren. Next, blow dry with a round brush for volume and use a curling iron set with R+Co’s Outer Space Flexible Hairspray ($32) and a one-inch iron. “Let the set cool and use your fingers to break up the set. Then roll the longer pieces down to reach your desired length, and pin using straight pins to secure the hair,” she says.
With short hair, it is sometimes difficult to get it right. But if you don’t feel like wearing your hair down, Lana Condor’s half up, half down look is a good compromise. To add a flirty touch and an effortless finish, flip the ends and create some messy texture with Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray ($28).
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Charlize Theron embraces her thick hair with an even thicker headband. “It’s a very strong look with a central part for added drama,” McLaren said. To start, comb R+Co Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion ($29) through your hair. Part hair down the middle and let it dry, keeping it flat with a hair net or bandana. “This is a great look for a haircut with a short nape and long front,” he adds.
Yara Shahidi turned her short hair into a stylishly placed fringe and we are in awe. To recreate this slicked back style, start with a strong side part and comb hair to the nape of the neck using a fine-tooth comb and flexible hair gel, then secure with an elastic band. “Either a small chignon or ponytail will keep this look very clean. Then for a little drama, use a ponytail comb to create kiss curls, or if you have longer hair on the front and sides, you can try a pin curl.” Or a wave,” McLaren says.
It’s safe to say that Kate Hudson can pull off any haircut, and this short haircut for thick hair is no exception. Blow dry your hair straight, then use Ouai Matte Pomade ($24) to bring back the sides and top of hair. Feel free to tease a few layers under the top of your hair for added volume.
Haircuts For Thick Wavy Hair To Shape And Alleviate Your Beautiful Mane
Thick strands give you the ability to play with layers and texture, as reducing your natural volume a bit is actually a great strategy for a bouncy, swingy lob or bob. Ask Your Stylist for a Flawless Finish
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