18 Short Hairstyles for Thick Hair

short hairstyles for thick hair

Designed by Yoora Kim

It’s time to debunk the common misconception that people with short hair don’t have many hairstyle options because they absolutely do.

Maybe you’re very adventurous when it comes to styling and have been tempted to go for a drastic cut, but you’re trying to get a feel for the styling options you’ll have with your newly short hair. Or maybe you’ve had short hair for a while, but you usually style it the same way every day and want to spice things up. And if you’ve recently made the big cut and suddenly found yourself unable to simply secure your hair in a messy bun, don’t panic – there are so many cute, fun ways to style short hairstyles for thick hair. All you need is a healthy dose of inspo.

When you have short, thick hair, it helps to have a few go-to hairstyles just in case one morning your ample locks decide not to cooperate. Won’t lie flat? Beat it up with a side braid. Need something sleek but shiny? Straightening irons, heat protection and hair oil are sufficient. Woke up with a bird’s nest on your head? Brush it out a bit, then purposefully mess it up with texturizing spray. Confidence is the key to achieving that I woke up look and embracing your thick hair in all its glory.

And if you thought thicker hair types shouldn’t be neglected, think again — you just need to find the right style and cut. Chicago-based hairstylist Raven Hurtado of Maxine Salon explained that the best and easiest short hairstyles for thick hair are shaggy haircuts like the wolf cut, pixie cut, medium bob, or textured layers. “Texturing layers on thick hair removes weight, allowing the layers to flow and move. It feels light and is easier to manage.” Also, shag haircuts are all the rage right now — just check out Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, or literally anyone with the hashtag #wolfcut on TikTok.

Hurtado continued, “When you go to the salon, ask for a style that’s manageable and low-maintenance, and ask for textured layers to remove bulk.” With the right haircut and styling tricks, you’ll be in style every morning Out the door in a jiffy. Here are some of our favorite short hairstyles for thick hair.

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A sleek, blunt bob like Vanessa Hudgens’ one requires less skill than you might think. Straighten your hair with a straightening iron (using a heat protectant, ofc) and flip the ends of your hair outward to create that fun, flirty sweep. Finish with hair oil to tame flyaways.

According to Hurtado, the shaggy haircut is ideal for thick hair because it removes some of your hair’s weight and bulk from your ends. Use a texturizing sea salt spray to create natural beachy waves for a rocker-chic look, like this style Taylor wore to the 2016 Met Gala.

Her shorter strands are the perfect canvas to show off a dainty headband. Style your hair artfully tousled with a little bit of pomade, then put a crown (okay, headband) of delicate gold stars, moons, flowers, or leaves on top for that ethereal vibe.

Just because you’re sporting a shorter hairstyle doesn’t mean you can’t get your curls done. Jennifer Lawrence opted for loose curls to create a face-framing effect — use a 1.5-inch barrel and then brush out your hair to achieve similar results. If you are concerned about using a curling iron on shorter hair, use a heat-resistant glove to avoid accidental burns.

The internet popular wolf cut, as seen here on Miley Cyrus, is perfect for thick hair as the top volume and thinner bottom layers lend themselves naturally to removing some weight from thick hair. Show your barber a photo of exactly the type of wolf cut you want, as they can range from shaggy lobs to full mullet styles.

Have you ever wondered how a good pixie cut gets that chic kind of ✨ je naiss se quoi ✨? The secret lies in the amount of natural volume your hair offers at the crown, meaning your thick hair is perfect for the pixie cut style. Add sweeping, sleek front bangs for added sparkle.

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Sure, there are many ways to tame, smooth and relax your thick hair, but don’t be afraid to lean into that beautiful volume you naturally have every now and then. Zendaya rocked her bouncy locks to the Teen Choice Awards back in 2017.

If you have straight, thick hair and want to recreate this look, curl your hair with your favorite curling iron or wand, then lightly brush out the curls once they have cooled.

New to the #shorthairgang and can’t seem to find a fun way to get those strands out of your face? Even if a high ponytail isn’t an option for you right now, you can twist these front pieces away from your face and secure them with several small claw clips, spaced evenly apart. Practically and cute.

Yara Shahidi embraces her natural curls in a bob that hits right between her shoulders and her chin. The strong, sharp structure accentuates her jawline and is balanced by soft curls that artfully fall in front of her face.

Whether you want to show off your eye makeup or just brush your long bangs away from your face, this brushed style will add volume while keeping your hair out of sight. Work some light hold gel into your hair, then spritz your favorite hairbrush with hairspray before brushing your hair back for maximum hold.

A quirky outfit like Cara Delevigne’s utilitarian tank top is perfectly complemented with a slicked back haircut. Start with slightly damp hair and saturate your short hair with gel before combing it back, to the side or down depending on your hair section.

Add some texture to your naturally straight, thick hair by taking a flat iron and curling it left and right to create light, subtle waves. It’s an understated look that will add dimension to your hair.


Side sweeps mini twists

You can still get a perfect twist on short hair – micro twists can be done on any hair longer than two inches. Use a twisting cream for extra definition. Bonus: A looser twist protects your hair, which encourages growth in the long run.

Highlight the natural shape of your cheekbones by rocking an extra short bob that frames your bone structure by dancing along it at a sharp angle. The thickness of your hair still allows for some fun movement and texture despite the shorter length.

If you’ve made the drastic cut and are now sporting a dramatic pixie cut, up the intensity by taking some hair wax or pomade in your hands and puffing up your hair to create an androgynous edgy style.

Another way to gather your hair up and away from your face when it’s too short for a bun or ponytail is to add a small French braid above your temple. Take a small section of hair and fold it as you normally would, but go horizontally and braid away from your face.

Show your thick hair some love by letting that volume shine with shorter sides. Hurtado notes, “For natural hair, a faux hawk haircut that tapers on the sides with the top being longer, with long bangs makes the hair look thicker and more voluminous.”


Soft old Hollywood glam

Using a leaf from J.Lo’s book, side part your hair before using hook and loop rollers or hot rollers on the ends of your hair for soft, tight waves with an Old Hollywood twist. You can pin one side with bobby pins for added drama.

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