Who said that short hair is boring or has limited styling options? Try some of the following suggestions to take short tresses from everyday wash-and-wear to dressy elegance.
#1: Create Contrast
Mix textures to create a dramatic do. Partner sleek bangs and sides with a halo of crimped locks, tousled curls or loose waves.
Play with a variety of asymmetrical partings and uneven sides to create a completely different look in an instant.
Try experimenting with a range of hot irons to crimp, curl or smooth strands.
#2: Go Gamine
For a simple transformation go even shorter with an easy-care, wash-n-wear gamine crop that can be styled with just a dab of pomade, paste or wax.
#3: Perfect Partings
Create a hot new side part or experiment with your existing part to create new movement and hair flow. Play with very high or extremely low partings to add different dimensions to your current style.
#4: Bang It
Add or alter existing bangs to provide an instant new look to your current style. Try a super short Cleopatra fringe or longer asymmetric bangs.
#5: Crank Up Shine
Direct your blow dryer down the shaft of your hair from the roots to the end to smooth the cuticle. Switch to moisture rich products that enhance megawatt shimmer and shine like Phyto’s Defrissant Serum.
#6: Tease With A Hint Of Volume
Work mousse through damp locks. Use fingers to rake and crunch creating volume with just a hint of waves. For more pronounced curls use a medium barrel curling iron after hair is completely dry.
#7: Tighten The Screws
Create the tightest corkscrew curls possible by setting small sections of hair on bunches of old fashioned pipe cleaners. Spritz with setting spray to hold. Use fingers to softly arrange curls. For added interest, try using a small-barreled curling iron on random front sections of the hair.
#8: Diffuse Your Do
Accentuate natural curls or waves by using a diffuser attachment set on low heat with a power setting. Coax hair into simple twists as you diffuse, creating a soft, romantic finish.
#9: Boldly Go
Match a hot new zigzag parting with bold contrasting streaks of color for a striking finish. Try a messy center parting with alternating shades of highlights to create a choppy look.
#10: Add Fun Plaits
Try braiding tiny sections of hair right at the front of the hairline or around the nape of the neck to create a fun, funky and modern look.
Twist the hair as you braid to give the style a funkier flair. Leave a few inches of braid "tail". Spike the tail hair with wax or hair paste. Place braids randomly or in a carefully designed pattern.
#11: Exaggerate It
Craft an exaggerated quiff starting at your forehead. For extra height try backcombing then smoothing hair into place. If styling hair completely off your face is too severe, pull random tendrils around the hairline to soften the style.
#12: Rough It Up
Use a blow dryer and roughdry hair with fingers to create an up-to-the-minute turbo-tousled style. Style with the latest long and messy bangs.
Pin ruffled hair loosely around the top of the crown to provide an illusion of fullness.
#13: Fix A Faux Updo
Separate hair into equal sections of 1 to 2 inches. Loosely twist and pin each section towards the back of the head to create a casual, imitation updo. Use light hairspray to create a soft finish or heavy spray for a firmer hold.
#14: Add A Band Aide
Add height at the crown area by twisting small sections of hair at the roots and anchoring with hairpins in an upright position.
Use a Karina Twist n Clip headband to instantly create a similar row of upright twists across the front of the crown.
Apply a little wax or paste on the ends to add instant texture.
#15: Try Extreme Backcombing
Fashion a wildly splayed coif by backcombing the entire crown area and then overlapping alternate strands. Apply a dab of wax to give definition to ends.
#16: Random Crimping
Use a crimping iron to create random textures and edgy movement. Apply crimping iron to bangs or underneath hair near the nape of the neck for a casual yet styling look. Experiment for the ultimate random look.
#17: Add Mud
Soften moulding mud in the palms of your hand. Tease hair from the front of the forehead to the back of the crown into spikes. Add mud for super rigid hold.
Experiment with a punky faux Mohawk style. Finish with a firm spray formula to add ironclad hold.
#18: Double Dip
Tip the ends of your strands in a much darker or lighter hue, ala Christina Aguilera or reality queen Kelly Osbourne.
Try dark chocolate with vanilla dipped strands or deep burgundy tips with light brunette tresses. Use your imagination to create a double dipped hue extravaganza.
Go for shock value.
#19: Add A Pinch Of Stardust
Craft hair into soft curls or waves. Finish with glitter infused gel or spray. Punch it up to the limit with Swarvoski hair clips, magnets or clips.
#20: Play With Dreads
Add a liberal amount of gel and twist random sections into faux dreads.
#21: Add Instant Glamour
Add a jeweled headband, tiara, matching hair clips or hairpins to a sleek short style for instant dress-up glamour. Pin a fresh flower over one ear ala Drew Barrymore or Ashley Judd.
#22: Bend And Stretch
Create a head full of curls. Add either tight or soft ringlet curls by bending hair around tiny hot rollers or using a ” barreled curling iron.
When curls are completely cool gently loosen and stretch with your fingers to create soft movement.
#23: Pony Up
Use a rattail comb and separate hair into several equal sections. Create a series of tiny ponytails.
Pin them down against the scalp into Zulu knots or let the tails fly free. Finish with a small amount of styling cream.
#24: Gel It Back
Add a liberal amount of gel to hair. Brush it back off the forehead and behind ears into a super sleek look. Finish with a series of ultra thin headbands layered back from the hairline.
#25: Get It On
Do like Maya did at the American Music Awards and use contrasting color and add-on hair to create a completely different style.
Weave an instant new look by clipping on multi-colored braids, ponytails or other spectacular hair pieces for instant new style options.
Have hair extensions randomly added to create instant fullness.
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Original Publication Date: 3/2/2003 - Revised Date: 03/03/11