By Baze Mpinja, Refinery29
Any woman who has ever contemplated chopping off her hair has probably asked herself this question: "Will I be stuck wearing the same style every day?" The answer is nope! Although it's hard to find short hair ideas when you're, say, flipping through the pages of a magazine, cute (and easy!) options do exist.
For proof, we enlisted the help of hair guru Adam Maclay to show us how to create four fresh looks in the comfort of your own home. The tutorial was a real eye opener for Katelyn Kappel, our model for this story. "At my current length, I've always felt like it wasn't long enough to do much. I'm amazed at how many looks we were able to create," she says. Not only are these chic styles fast, but you can whip them up with stuff you already own, such as bobby pins, hairspray, a rattail comb, and a flat iron. Who says long-haired girls have more fun?
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The Undone Updo
The Undone Updo First, grab a rattail comb and tease all over your hair. The tousled texture gives the style a slept-in vibe and helps secure the pins you'll be using later.
Part the back of your hair into four sections, leaving the lower back section of your hair hanging. Clip the front and the sides out of the way. Take the lower back section of hair above the nape of your neck; twist it into a chignon. Loosely pin pieces of hair over the bun so that you can still see the knot peeking through. "The wavy side of the bobby pin should be against your scalp. That's what actually locks the style in," says Maclay.
Release the side sections and scrunch them with your fingers to create even more chaos. Smooth the front section back and pin. Remember, the point is to look like you're not trying too hard. If little wisps are sticking out, leave them alone.
The end result is almost as easy as a basic bun, but so much sexier. Kappel couldn't stop raving about it. "This style makes my hair look so much longer than it actually is! It's a really modern updo for women with short hair. I love how undone it is, but it still feels completely polished. Now I have a great hair option for formal events," she says.
The Brigitte Nielsen
<small> <em><strong>Pencey Standard</strong> sweater; <strong>Suzannah Wainhouse</strong> studs.</em> </small> Whether you're overdue for a trim or want to transition into a longer style, brushing short hair back is a great way to handle in-between stages. "I'm growing my hair out from a pixie cut, so I'm trying to cut it as little as possible," says Kappel. "I absolutely loved having super-short hair, but I was just ready for a change."
First, make a deep side part with your fingers or the end of a rattail comb. Sprinkle your hair with a bit of volumizing powder (or dry shampoo) and work it into your hair before teasing section by section.
Short hair tends to fall so you want to make sure to amp up the fullness. Lift your hair up at the roots and spritz all around with hairspray.
Smooth your hair back with your fingers and add more hairspray if you need it. It doesn't get much simpler than that. "I could definitely incorporate this look into my everyday routine," says Kappel. "All it took was some hairspray and teasing in the right spots. It felt like a very elegant approach for short hair."
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The Braid n' Twist
<small> <em> <strong>Sandro </strong> sweater; <strong>Suzannah Wainhouse</strong> studs. </em> </small>There's something so irresistible about a style with split personalities. This look is equal parts girly and rebellious - love.
Separate the front, center section of your hair (think of it like a horseshoe) and hold it in place with a duckbill clip. Divide the hair that's left into three sections. Clip the right and left sections out of the way.
French braid the middle chunk of hair from the bottom to the top and secure it. Use bobby pins that match the color of your hair so that they're less noticeable. Undo the sides of your hair then apply a little styling wax to help keep them flat against your head. Twist them tightly, pin and then wind the ends of each one together. Yep, you guessed it - add more pins to secure the twists together at the nape of your neck.
Remember that front piece of hair we left hanging out? Grab it and do some light teasing. Then French braid the hair and merge it with the center braid in the back. Keep sticking in pins until you feel confident that the style won't budge. Finish with hairspray.
Voilà! You've got an edgy new take on the classic pompadour. "I think with the right cut, short hair is incredibly chic. It's like a good black pump that goes with everything," says Kappel.
The Rocker Girl
<small> <em>Obesity and Speed tee; <strong>Parker</strong> jacket; Suzannah Wainhouse studs.</em> </small> To create a sleek starting point, divide your hair into sections and secure the chunks with duckbill clips.
Working from the nape of your neck to the front, smooth out each piece with a flat iron. "It's best to work in small sections because you get more texture," says Maclay. "If you have super-short hair, use a micro flat iron."
To add a cool piece-y effect, rub a bit of styling wax between your fingers and apply it to the ends of your hair. Maclay likes Davines No. 5 Mat Pliable Stucco to get the roughed up definition you see here.
Now comes the fun part: To give your hair an extra bit of lift, flip your head upside down, shake it around then come back up. Want more volume? Apply a volumizing powder such as Osis+ Dust It Mattifying Powder to your roots and massage it in before you flip over.
Finish with a blast of hairspray for long-lasting hold. Kappel says, "I loved how quick and easy it was to create a rock n' roll look. The process reminded me that changing your entire hairstyle can be as easy as playing with texture."
Feel free to go about your day with a sexy-and-I-know-it expression on your face because, girl, you look good.