Short Story: Pro Tips For Finding Your Perfect Cropped Style

Although summer may soon be coming to an end (boo!), we are still feeling the heat — and humidity — that's making our long locks feel seriously oppressed. As a result, we are desperately craving some sexy, short-hair inspiration — just in case we get brave enough to chop it all off!
An upside of making the cut? Short strands can be super-versatile and a cinch to style...as long as you have the right products, tips, and tools for your specific cut. To give you short-haired ladies (or those considering the crop!) all the necessary details, we reached out to Garrett Bryant, the assistant education director and Kérastase tech stylist at the Antonio Prieto Salon for his expert opinion.
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According to Bryant, "Having short hair definitely is more of a fashion statement when done right.... Some short haircuts run the risk of looking soccer-mom-esque, or too butch, if not properly executed." Yikes! Read on to check out his tips on upping the sex factor (and avoiding any minivan connotations), then get inspired by some Hollywood hotties that are seriously killing it on the short-'do front.
Photo: Rex/Rex USA
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The Undone Flapper Bob

Can you believe how much sexy confidence Marion Cotillard is exuding in this pic? According to Bryant, it may be the haircut. "Short hair is very sexy because it really exposes the woman. It opens up the neckline and the back of the neck, showing off the face and eyes," he says.

Here, Marion demonstrates that just because you have a short cut doesn't mean that you are without updo options. "This haircut is a great example of the versatility you can get from a shorter cut like this. It's styled in a very '20s fashion with sleek waves that are almost a modern take on finger waves." To get this style, make loose waves with a curling iron, spray with texture spray while scrunching the waves, then roll under and pin, leaving the front section loose for extra hotness.

Photo: Rex/Rex USA
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The Rocker Pixie

We're loving how this edgy hairstyle (worn by the lovely Zöe Kravitz) complements her unique beauty. Just because you don't have smooth, straight hair doesn't mean that you can't get in on the short hair fest. "Almost all hair types can be a short style," says Bryant. "It’s just a matter of finding the right cut that suits the hair type." To make this look work on coarser hair, we'd advise investing in a narrow, professional straightening iron, as well as a good styling wax to get that perfect, piece-y texture.

Here, Zoe is rocking an asymmetric pixie that has longer, face-framing pieces in the front — which is flattering for most face shapes, according to Bryant. Don't you dig how it makes her look delicate, yet totally fierce at the same time?

Photo: Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press/Corbis
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The Sleek Crop

At this point, we’d say that Carey Mulligan is officially a member of the short haircut hall of fame. We’ve never seen an A-lister mix up her style as often — or as well — as Carey, who regularly sports new textures, colors, and parts. As a result, her look always feels new and on the cutting edge of style. Says Bryan: "[This style] is more of a layered bob that has been slicked back. It’s a great cut and definitely a sexy way to style a bob, giving it a more masculine feel, which complements her delicate features."

Bryant adds that Mulligan is a perfect example of the versatility of short cuts: “[Cuts like this] add instant style to any outfit. There are also so many different short styles to choose from, where with long hair it can be very limiting to switch things up, other than adding a fringe.”

Photo: Julian Makey/Rex/Rex USA
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The New Shag

The key to pulling off this edgy, sleek look (seen here on Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey), is tailoring it to your face shape. "The base of this haircut is often left blunt," says Bryant, "which is very important when deciding on a length. It should be flattering and not accentuate certain features you don’t want pronounced." For a cut like this, we'd recommend going to a stylist that specializes in short cuts — he or she will know how to shape your hair properly.

The key to this look is major shine, so we'd invest in a quality silicone serum (not an oil, which could potentially hinder the movement) to provide the glassy effect. Add some quick passes with the flat iron, and you're ready to go!

Photo: Picture Perfect/Rex USA
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Lovely Layers

For you ladies who worry that your hair might be too thick or wavy for a short cut, Vanessa Hudgens is here to prove otherwise. "This is simply a layered mid-length haircut that is tucked behind the ears," says Bryant. "The length hits above the shoulders, and it's layered throughout for lots of movement and shape." Check out the way this cut shows off Vanessa's cheekbones — va voom!

Bryant adds: "I love the way Vanessa has it styled here. It’s very sleek and glamorous in the front, and then more loose and natural in the back." For you girls with natural texture, the only products you'll need are a good styling cream and a light hairspray to keep the layers off your face.

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages
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The Soft Bob

Another great option for girls with natural curl in their hair: January Jones' cut is easy to execute and a cinch to style. Bryant agrees: "I feel this is a great all-around short style for someone to try who is nervous about going short. It’s flattering with most hair types and face shapes." Perfect if, like us, you're a little nervous about trying the full-on pixie!

What to ask for when you're in the styling chair? According to Bryant, it's all about the "lob," or long bob. Ask for one that hits below the nape of the neck and barely hits the shoulders — and go light on the layers, or it may end up looking too retro.

Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages
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The Natural Beauty

Leave it to the gorgeous Halle Berry to show just how fashionable and downright sexy an au-naturel curl can be. According to Bryant, the key to making this cut work is all about embracing what comes naturally for your mane.

With a cut like this, maintenance is key. Regular haircuts are required to keep the shape from morphing into an unflattering mushroom shape (hot, right?).

Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages
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The Fierce Pompadour

Of course, we couldn't put together a story on short hair without including our life coach/role model Tilda Swinton. According to Bryant, there was some strategy involved in creating the cut that supports this look: "This is a modern pixie cut that is styled into a pompadour. With Tilda’s pixie, it was left a lot longer on top, while keeping the sides very short and cropped." Once this shape is perfected, all that's needed is a quick blow-dry and some teasing to creating the cool, androgynous volume.

While we know not all of you are looking to rival Ms. Swinton in her badass short-cut ways, Bryant encourages us to keep an open mind: "If you have had long hair forever and it’s starting to drag you down, then it’s time to consider a shorter style." Sometimes, change is a good thing.

Photo: James McCauley/Rex/Rex USA
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