The 7 Cutest Short Hairstyles for Black Women

Less hair doesn't mean less styling options.

The Cutest Short Haircuts for Black Women

Instagram @tiffanyhaddish/ InStyle

There's no question that '90s trends have made their way back into the beauty space.

Everything from long acrylic nails, bouncy blowouts, oversized scrunchies, and butterfly clips are taking over our Instagram feeds — many of these trends have even made it to the red carpet. However, one look that doesn't need a reintroduction is the short haircut: a style that nearly every Black woman sported back in the day.

So, whether you're more of a teenie weenie afro kinda girl, or you prefer a slicked back pixie, believe us when we say you won't have to compromise on styling options just because you've got a little less length. In fact, some of our favorite celebrity hairstylists agree.

Here, we reached out to celebrity hairstylists, Monae Everett, creator of Texture Style Awards, and Larry Sims to ask them to share a few of their favorite short hairstyles for Black women — all of which are so cute.

1. Layered Bob

The Cutest Short Haircuts for Black Women

Instagram @kellyrowland

If your hair is on the slightly thinner side, a layered bob is the perfect short hairstyle as the layers add volume and texture, making your hair appear fuller.

Layered bobs are versatile, allowing you to play around with different looks and styles, such as curling the ends of the layers or adding texture to the top layers. 

Key styling and maintenance tips:

“It’s important to start any layered bob with a great shampoo and conditioner,” says Everett. “I would recommend Sebastian Dark Oil Shampoo and Conditioner for shiny hair. Then add Potion 9 styling treatment to wet hair before blow drying.”

After blow drying flat, Everett says it’s best to straighten your hair with a 1 inch flat iron like H2pro 1.25 inch Vivace ceramic flat iron, to get it sleek.

“To make your hair more piecey and add more definition to the layers, spray Sebastian Zero Gravity Hairspray, and shake it out for a wearable look."

2. Side-Swept Pixie

black womens short haircuts

Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan

Both Sims and Everett are fans of the pixie cut, and what's great about this style is you can customize it to match your unique vibe. Take Regina King's 2021 Met Gala pixie for example, which was personalized with a splash of color and a bold cut.

"On Regina King's hair, we used a deep royal blue to accent the hair," Sims shares. "It looked really chic and complimented her designer Michael Kors look. I love the messiness and effortlessness of the pixie look. It can be dressed up or down, which makes it very easy and versatile."

That said, there's always a way to make a pixie cut work for you — even if you've never imagined yourself with short hair. "Black women look amazing with short pixie cuts," says Everett. "Short relaxed hair will never go out of style."

Key styling and maintenance tips:

Believe it or not, having shorter hair doesn't necessarily mean you need to use less products or even let go of your hot tools, especially if you prefer a slicked down finish.

"After cleansing and conditioning the hair, add a leave-in conditioner and wrapping foam to the hair to lay it down," explains Everett. "After allowing the hair to dry, add a light serum and use a small flat iron to curl and add detail. I recommend the BabylissPro Nano Titanium Mini Iron." Sims adds that the Flawless by Gabrielle Union Restoring Exotic Treatment can also be used to finish off the look for added shine and to avoid frizz.

As for the girls who want to keep their hair natural, we've got you covered as well. And Sims has a slew of product recommends from the haircare line he launched with friend Gabrielle Union.

"For upkeep, begin with cleansing hair with Flawless by Gabrielle Union Hydrating Detangling Shampoo followed by [the brand's] 3 Minute Restoring Conditioner. For tighter texture or color, use the 5 Butter Masque for extra hydration and moisture," says Sims. "Then apply Leave-In Detangling Conditioner to keep hair moisturized."

3. Tapered Cut

The Cutest Short Haircuts for Black Women

Getty Images

“The natural taper cut has got to be one of my favorite haircuts,” says Everett. “It’s great for curly and coily girls. Many women like their hair on the side and back taper closer, but enjoy some length on the top.”

Key styling and maintenance tips:

“Add a leave-in conditioner like Ouidad Coil Infusion Soft Stretch Priming Milk to hydrate and elongate coils before adding Ouidad Coil Infusion Give a Boost Styling and Shaping Gel to define the coils,” says Everett. “My go to tool with my celebrity clients to really define their coils is my Twist It Up Comb. You simply rub it around the hair in circular motions to get those coils poppin. Following this, diffuse or allow the hair to air dry, then add a serum like Qhemet Biologics Castor and Moringa Softening Serum to lock in moisture."

4. Smooth Stacked Bob

black womens short haircuts

Instagram @monaeartistry

"The short stacked bob is always a crowd pleaser," says Everett. "This is a bob that is between ear and chin length, normally the back of the head is shorter."

And she's not kidding. The bob is truly a timeless look, can literally be created on any texture, and looks good on virtually everyone. So, if you're thinking of getting a short cut but you're a little hesitant when it comes to taking the plunge, chopping your hair into a bob is one of the best ways to get your feet wet.

Key styling and maintenance tips:

"After shampooing and conditioning, add a thermal protectant like the Biolage Thermal Active Spray before blowdrying the hair straight," Everett recommends. "Then use a flat iron to smooth the style."

You'll also need to visit your hairstylist every few weeks to get regular trims, unless you're looking to try out a lob, too.

5. Retro Fingerwaves

The Cutest Short Haircuts for Black Women

Instagram @tiffanyhaddish

Looking for a glamorous style to jazz up your short hair? Look no further than fingerwaves. This chic retro look is easy to achieve and requires no hot tools - all you need is your fingers. This style add texture and volume to short hair, and with the right care, it can even stay in place for up to a week. 

Key styling and maintenance tips:

“It is easiest to achieve fingerwaves on hair that is less than three inches long,” says Everett. “Create a side part and apply gel to your wet hair. Working in “C” shapes, start pushing the hair in one direction, then on the next row push it in the opposite direction to create an “S” shape. Allow the hair to dry and apply a shine spray at the end.”

6. TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro)

The Cutest Short Haircuts for Black Women

Getty Images

Nearly every Black woman who has done the big chop has had a TWA, also known as a teenie weenie afro. This short crop is a great option for when you want less length but still want to show off your gorgeous natural texture.

"This is the perfect look for women who want to opt out of heat styling tools in general," Sims adds. "The sharp cut and shape also makes it easy for maintenance."

Key styling and maintenance tips:

"The Ouidad Coil Infusion Shampoo and Conditioner provide a strong foundation of clean and hydrated hair," says Everett.

In terms of styling, all you need are your hands and a few nourishing products. Sims likes to start off with Flawless by Detangling Leave-in Conditioner, and Defining Curl Cream. After, he recommends diffusing the hair and using your fingers to separate curls.

"Add the Flawless by Gabrielle Union Restoring Exotic Oil Treatment for a little shine," he adds. "Finish the look by slaying edges using our Repairing Edge Control."

7. Bowl Cut

This short, bowl cut is ideal for the no-nonsense woman who likes to keep every single hair in place. It makes a strong statement but is low maintenance and easy to style. It looks fabulous on women of all ages and can be worn in a variety of ways, from sleek and polished to messy and tousled.

Key styling and maintenance tips:

“To achieve this look, blow dry your hair with the Bio Ionic Graphene 53mm brush,” says Everett. “I love this brush because it has four flat sides which gives you more tension. You can use this brush to really pull the hair straight even if your hair is curly.” To really make this hairstyle sleek, Everett recommends using the Bio Ionic 10x flat iron to smooth one-inch wide sections of hair from root to end.

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

Related Articles