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What Are the Different Types of Short Haircut Styles?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff

Some of the most common short haircut styles include bobs, layered cuts, and pixies. Other styles popular for shorter hair are blunt cuts and short afros. Not all short haircut styles work for everyone, as a successful cut often depends on hair type. Thicker hair works best for some cuts, while other cuts are designed for people with hair that is fine and thin.

A bob typically refers to a hairstyle that is shorter in the back than it is on the sides, and this style may or may not include bangs. Some bob hairstyles may have the hair on one side of the face longer than it is on the other. This type of bob is usually worn without bangs, and is most suited for those with straight, thick hair. People with curly hair can also wear bobs effectively, though if they have wide faces, this type of haircut may not be advisable. When curly hair is cut in this fashion, it tends to balloon out from the sides of the face, adding a great deal of width.

Woman with short hair.
Woman with short hair.

One of the most popular short haircut styles is the layered cut. It works for both curly and straight hair, though with far different results. Layered haircuts that are straight often have a very sleek and sophisticated look, while curly layered cuts look more casual and romantic. Layered cuts involve cutting tiers of hair in different lengths beginning at about eye level, cascading down the length of the hair. In most cases, layered cuts are not recommended for those with thin, fine hair.

A hairstylist cutting a short bob.
A hairstylist cutting a short bob.

Pixie haircuts are usually very short, completely exposing the neck and ears. This type of cut is more suited to those with thin or very fine hair. Thicker, coarser hair cut in this fashion will have a tendency to spring up, often ruining the overall effect. Pixie haircuts almost always include short, layered bangs.

Short afros are suitable for curly hair only. This style is very similar to a pixie, though does not include bangs. Most of the time, this type of haircut is achieved by cutting the hair very short, with each strand the exact same length all over the head. This type of hairstyle can be either very dramatic or very casual, depending on length and styling.

A pixie cut is one type of short hair cut.
A pixie cut is one type of short hair cut.

Blunt cuts describe short haircut styles that extend just below the ears, with the length of the hair being the same all the way around the head. As with bobs, blunt cuts can be worn with both straight or curly hair, but those with very curly hair will find that blunt cuts add a great deal of width to the face. Blunt cuts seem to work well for both fine and coarse hair.

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Discussion Comments


I think there are more short haircut styles for men, like buzz cut, fade or taper cuts, flattop and bowl. Some of these cuts can also be used on women but they are usually not. Most of the short haircut styles I'm seeing nowadays are different versions of bobs. That's not too bad because there really are many different ways to cut a bob. The lengths wary, the cutting angles vary. Sometimes they're graduated and sometimes they're asymmetrical. So although they're all called "bobs," they can look fairly different.


@bluedolphin-- The difference is fairly straightforward. A pixie haircut is shorter than a short bob and the hair is usually the same length all across for a pixie haircut. As the article already mentioned, many short bob styles involve a short back and a long front. I can see why some pixies and short bobs look a like because many women with pixie haircuts brush hair towards the front or side which makes the top part longer than the back. There are short bobs that are the same length all around, but they're still much longer than a pixie haircut.

You might want to ask a hair stylist about these differences though because I'm not an expert on hair styles.


I don't quite understand the difference between pixie haircuts and short bobs. Some styles of both look very similar.

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    • Woman with short hair.
      Woman with short hair.
    • A hairstylist cutting a short bob.
      By: Rido
      A hairstylist cutting a short bob.
    • A pixie cut is one type of short hair cut.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      A pixie cut is one type of short hair cut.