I have spent the past six years growing my hair back to waist length after I had a funny five minutes and decided to chop it all off in 2015. If you’re the sort of person who changes their hair every week, this might not seem like a particularly big deal to you, but having super-long hair is kind of my thing, so cutting it off at my shoulders was a really bold move.
And while I liked it at first, my hair is very fine, and I found the need for daily styling a bit of a fuss. Needless to say, the novelty of change soon wore off, and I became wholeheartedly committed to growing it again. Six long years later, I’m now back in my comfort zone with my hair brushing against my lower back. But finally having my strands back to how I like them has left me yearning for change once more. (I like a project—what can I say?)
In fact, I’ve become really quite taken by the idea of chopping it all off, perhaps even shorter this time. You see, my saved folder on Instagram appears to be filled with pictures of super-short, fringed styles. And that must be telling me something, right? I’m certain I need at least another six months of thought on the matter before I do something reckless, but I figured I should share my inspiration with you, just in case you’re in the market for a similar ’do. Here are the 12 short hairstyles with a fringe that I can’t stop looking at…
1. Grown-Out Pixie
This is a go-to product for lightweight texture, and scrunching this into a pixie cut will give that casually unstyled, effortless look you’re after.
2. French Bob
French bobs make me go weak at the knees, and it was Amy’s exact style that had me seriously considering booking in at the salon. Cropped at just about the jawline with voluminous, tousled texture and a full fringe to boot—what’s not to love?
This hair mask is the dream product for those with a French bob. It delivers ample hydration to leave lengths looking silky and shiny without weighing the hair down.
3. Curly/Coily Bob
Yara Shahidi is my number one beauty icon of the moment, and this fringed hairstyle is giving me life. It is full of volume, texture and bounce and frames her face perfectly.
Keeping curls and coils hydrated is more important than ever when you have a short, fringed style. However, it’s important to make sure your conditioning product of choice doesn’t weigh your hair down at the roots if you want to keep a full shape.
4. Bobbed Shag
The key to styling a fringed shag cut is making sure it’s full of texture to help those layers come through. This dry texturising spray is the best I have ever found for effortless “I woke up like this” hair.
5. Sleek Bowl Cut
I never thought I would be swooning over a fringed bowl cut, but my gosh, would you just look at the beauty of this hairstyle! Chopped to perfection and shiny beyond belief, it’s svelte minimalism at its finest.
Keep strands sleek and silky by treating them with a rich hair oil. This one from Gisou contains super-nourishing honey and smells beautiful.
6. Choppy Pixie
Pixie cuts seem to be having a moment. However, unlike past resurgences of the trend, in 2021, it’s all about keeping the fringed fronts pulled forward rather than sculpted upwards. It’s a softer, more playful approach.
Add lift and texture to your pixie cut by working a matte pomade into the crown and using any excess to style the face-framing strands downwards.
7. Side Sweep
Remember that a fringe can be incredibly versatile. Janelle Monae’s side-swept fringe, for example, can be styled out in a number of ways. Whether you want to flip it over, brush it backwards or part it in the middle, there’s a look for every occasion.
Hair spray is sure to be your best friend when it comes to a versatile style like this one. This classic product will keep your strands in place all day long and comes out with a swipe of a brush if you change your mind.
8. Heavy Waves
If your hair is naturally wavy, it’s only natural to want to keep your lengths tousled and flowing. However, this bob style shows just how great shorter waves can look with a fringe. Keeping the bob blunt and the fringe slightly tapered and feathered to take some weight out of it makes for the most elegant of hairstyles.
This foam is a staple for all hair types, but it’s particularly great for those with wavy hair that needs a little bit of hold and definition. It sits somewhere between a mousse and a styling cream, so just work the product into the roots for long-lasting volume and hold.
9. Side-Parted Pixie
This side-parted pixie cut is giving me all the inspiration right now. It’s choppy, sure, but sweeping the fringe over to the side at the front gives it a laid-back sense of cool that I’m here for.
This finishing cream is great for giving hair some flexible hold without turning it greasy or stiff. It helps to smooth strands and disguise split ends, too, for a super-sleek finish.
10. Block-Fringed Bob
Until I saw this hair look, I’m ashamed to say that I wasn’t much of a fan of blunt, blocky fringes. They are very high-maintenance. But do they also look unbelievably chic and fresh with a bob? Absolutely. It’s particularly perfect for those with heart- or square-shaped faces.
This stuff is a favourite amongst hairstylists for good reason. It coats strands in a humidity-proof sealant to prevent flyaways and keeps shine lasting for days. It’s the ultimate way to make sure your blunt fringe behaves in all weather conditions.
11. Feathered Lob
For those who prefer a rough-and-ready look like I do, opting for a super-choppy, feathered-fringed bob is the way to go. It won’t necessarily require daily heat styling (unlike more polished styles) and can be left alone.
While a choppy, feathered look is low-maintenance in terms of styling, it will need a little more TLC when it comes to treatments, especially if your hair is bleached or coloured. Keep strands healthy and hydrated with a bond-repairing mask like this one from Olaplex that gives dull hair some shine.
12. Overgrown Curtains
It’s no secret that fringes require constant trimming, which isn’t ideal if your hair grows quickly. However, Lucy Boynton’s curtained lob showcases the chicest alternative. If your fringe is getting slightly too long, simply part it in the middle and style it into a parted curtain. It gives off a retro vibe that looks totally intentional.
If you’re short on time or can’t be bothered to blow-dry your fringe into winged-out curtains, this air-dry cream is the perfect add-on to your routine. Just work the product into partially dried hair after you’ve washed it and scrunch lengths into the shape you want them to set.