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Short Hair: Eight Hair Accessory Tips


Samaire Armstrong MTV Movie Awards

I recently received an email from a forelorn visitor that had traded in her long bob for a short shaggy bob for Summer. While she was generally happy with the new hairstyle, she was unhappy because she felt that she could no longer wear hair accessories which she dearly loved.

I emailed her back and reminded her that many celebrities with short hair ranging from Samaire Armstrong to Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson all wear short hair and are true hair accessory fashionistas.

Short hair is not a limiting factor for wearing any type, color and style of hair accessory that your heart desires. There are really only a few "rule" to consider and even these are very minimal in scope.

1. Select hair accessories that complement your hair style as well as your outfit.

Samaire Armstrong Ingenue Magazine Launch Party 2003

Samaire Armstrong who is famous for her sassy short bobs is a trend setter in the hair accessory world. She is willing to experiment with a dizzying array of accessories ranging from clip-on silk flowers to headbands, jeweled clips, bobbies and even a cute array of newsboy caps.

Although the blonde haired actress has shown a natural talent for looking spectacular in a wide range of accessories, she does select them to work with her hair color, style and outfit.

One of my favorite accessory looks on Samaire was in May of 2003 when she appeared at the MTV Movie Awards in a yummy lemon custard outfit with her super short choppy bob tousled into natural waves (see image at the top of the page). Perched on the very edge of her hairline were two gorgeous lemon yellow daisies that added a spectacular splash of color to her face. It was a brilliant coupling of floral hair accessories and short hairstyle. And yes, Samaire had super short locks. She looked absolutely stunning.

2. Select hair accessories that are scaled in size to your hair style, color and length.

Even though Samaire is obviously found of headbands, she keeps the size and shape appropriate to her outfit, hair length and hair style.

Samaire Armstrong Movieline's Hollywood Life Magazine Party

When she appeared at Movieline Magazine's Party in April of 2003 she wore her short cropped bob very sleek and smooth. Directing the short fringe to one side, she accessorized with a thin width lacy stretch headband that she slide seamlessly over the crown. She used the perfectly sized lacy headband to offset the rest of her short hair style.

The headband was a "bandeau" style which mean that it instantly adjusted to fit her head like a glove. It was stunning and worked perfectly with her California Chic strapless dress. The headband added just the right touch of dressiness to her overall look.

A larger, wider or more colorful headband would have overwhelmed her hairstyle.

While it is definitely possible that Samaire could look smashing in the current scarf style Charmeuse silk and satin headbands, she would definitely need to be sure and select headbands that are not too wide to avoid overwhelming her short hair and her elfin face. A headband that ranged in width from 1/2" to 1 1/2" would be idea. A 3" or wider headband might be too much.

While headbands with bows and other adornments can look cute with short hair, again, the scaling is key. A thin headband with a huge bow would be overwhelming.

Keep in mind that when you select the color of your hair accessory that it either complement your skin, hair and eye tones or constrast appropriately.

If you desire to use hair accessories as functional tools to help hold back overgrown bangs or cowlicks, you may actually do better to select accessories in colors that blend with your natural hair color.

Samaire Armstrong Toys For Tots - 12-05-03

3. Select hair accessories that are appropriate for the event you're attending.

Whether you want to snazz it up with a newsboy cap, an edgy headband, clips or hair flowers, the accessory should match the event. If you are doing a casual picnic with your sweetie, a tortoise inspired headband, hair clip or simple bobbies would be ideal. Of course if you are going to a formal event, pull out all the stops, keeping in mind that every hair accessory you select should first work with your hair length, color and style.

Samaire Armstrong looks adorable in Newsboy caps that she wears slightly tilted to one side. Her selection of caps look great with her face shape, her eye and skin tone and her hair length. She also is careful to select a cap that works with her outfit and the event that she is attending.

In the image to the left Samaire was attending a special Toys For Tots event that was sponsored by Motorola. She wore a white "wife beater" style tee shirt paired with a red ruffled short skirt and sassy black almost-to-the-knee boots.

Depending on which angle you focus on, Samaire appears to have a face shape that is a cross between oval and square. Her jaw and lower chin area seem more prominent and thus a cute Newsboy would provide a perfect balance between her squared off jaw area and the top of her head.

4. Select hair accessories that are classics or currently in fashion.

Samaire Armstrong With Jeweled Red Butterfly Clip

This rule works for all lengths, types, colors and styles of hair. While its OK to wear obviously outdated hair accessories like 80s pony scrunchies around the house or yard, it is definitely a fashion no-no to slap on an outdated hair accessory for a night out clubbing or at a top notch restaurant.

Classic hair accessories like simple but elegant black satin or silk ribbon headbands are always instyle for evening wear. White and some of the classic colors always work well when paired appropriately with your outfit.

Pearl or Swarovski studded skinny headbands are also elegant additions to short hair styles. The same can be said for carefully place small dressy flower clips or jeweled bobby pins. Note: In the image above Samaire Armstrong is wearing a jeweled red butterclip clip on the side facing the camera. It is covered with Swaroski clips and works with her red evening gown.

5. Other Hair Accessory Considerations For Short Hair

Besides weighing factors such as how hair accessories would work with your current short hairstyle, hue, outfit and event, you should also consider seasonal issues. While flower accessories never go out of style and can work, if scaled appropriately with short hair of any length or style, vibrant hair daisies might now work as well in the middle of a blizzard as a small dark rose. Bright paisley headbands might also have a seasonal reach. Keep this in mind when selecting your accessories for any event.

6. Consider The Shape Of Your Head

Samaire Armstrong March 26, 2006

Some people adore the skin tight du-rag (doo-rag) style headbands (shown on Samaire to the right). While these offer many advantages, they should only be worn if you have the right shaped head.

The advantages of du-rag headbands is that they usually cover a large area of the head and thus are ideal for covering up a multitude of hair sins from overgrown roots to out-of-control cowlicks and strands. However, du-rags do not look fabulous on every face and head shape or with every body type.

While du-rags or bandanas or scarves can work wonders for getting you out on errand day without first dealing with difficult strands, they may not work well for other dressier events.

If you adore du-rag headbands and you have short hair, consider going with a more narrow style bandeaus that does not cover your entire head and does show some strands.

7. Have Fun

Samaire Armstrong 2004

Regardless of the hair accessory styles that you select, remember to buy pieces that you feel good about wearing. Carrie on Sex And The City wore black matte bobby pins sprinkled along the edges of her bangs and sides when she wore her hair short during one season.

She enjoyed the contrasting bobby pin look. It was edgy and unusual. She would wear the bobby pins with her casual, hang out with the ladies outfits and she appeared to enjoy the style.

Be willing to take risks for your short hair within reason and as long as you feel comfortable.

In the image to the side Samaire wore her short blonde hair with black bobby pins looped along the hairline to hold back her side fringe.

8. Get Inspiration From Short Haired Celebs

I have had the great fortune to hang out behind the scenes of some celebrity photo shoots. It really is true that celebrities have the very best hair, makeup and stylists at their fingertips.

If you see a short haired celebrity with a hot new hairstyle adorned with hair accessories, take note. This may be the beginning of hot new trend that could look fabulous on your short tresses.


Short hair styles can be beautifully accented with a wide range of hair accessories as long as some simple rules are followed to make sure that the accessories complement the style rather than detract from it.

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