Way too many people are of the opinion that unless a woman has long hair, she can’t do anything dressy, but that misconception ignores the vast world of formal hairstyles for short hair of all lengths. Short hair is more versatile than you can imagine unless you a. have short hair and b. have ever tried to style it. Short hair is far from boring, and the hairstyles associated with it are all over the board. After all, “short” is subjective, so short hair can refer to a pixie, a crop, an undercut, or cuts that fall the nape of the neck, such as bobs and pageboys. Since prom season is upon us and wedding season is fast approaching, arm yourself with possible ‘do ideas as early as possible—and if you’re thinking about getting the big chop, let this serve as the assurance that you can rock a fierce but formal short hairstyle.
Best Fashion-Forward Formal Hairstyles for Short Hair
Short formal hairstyles do exist. However, you have to think outside the box. Don’t look at the sea of braided updos covering every fashion and beauty website and magazine. Don’t pine for long locks to such an extent that you forget how to appreciate your short tresses. Short hair, don’t care, girlfriend—make that your philosophy because there is nothing lovelier than a short, curly bob, nor is there anything sexier than an androgynous punk rock crop. Show off your personality and your impeccable style with a formal hairstyle that brings out your inner fire.
1. Platinum Pompadour
Androgynous looks are so on-point that there are dozens of formal hairstyles for short hair designed to create a contrast between the masculine and the feminine. Pair a pompadour with menswear-inspired details in your ensemble, such as a tie or a tailored suit.
Formal and natural aren’t mutually exclusive. Embrace your natural hair for your next formal event. Let your curls stand out, each one beautifully shaped, the finished product sculpted to perfection. Try to say this whole look doesn’t slay. Just try.
3. Pretty in Punk
The spikes, tousles, and different textures create an edgy, punk rock style that’s ideal for any woman who feels like being a bit rebellious. It’s absolutely formal, but at the same time, it doesn’t conform to the traditional image of how a formal ‘do should look.
Watch this tutorial:
4. Finger Waves
Many formal hairstyles for short hair appeared—or reappeared, perhaps—in the 1920s. During that era, short hair was in fashion for women. It likely was at other points throughout history, as well, but the 1920s is the first period in modern memory to popularize short hairdos. The point is, finger waves were all the rage back then, and they’re just as stylish today. Splash out with a vintage-inspired hairstyle, and don’t forget the pearls.
5. Business in the Back, Party in the Front
The haircut seen here is kind of like a reverse mullet, being that it’s shorter in the back than it is in the front. It’s also sizzling—this is an effortlessly sexy formal ‘do. Not only is it surprisingly simple to style, but it also looks good on the daily. You can—and should—wear your hair this way whenever you want.
6. Braided Bob
Bobs count as short hair—at least, this one does. It’s easy to make a bob look formal, whether it’s a standard one or asymmetrically cut—and, no, you don’t have to wrestle your hair into an updo. A few well-placed, perfectly woven braids create the right amount of formal flair.
7. With a Flip
Sometimes, all you need is some volume and a strategically placed flip. Women’s formal hairstyles for short hair don’t have to be complicated or intricate. The coiffure she’s working here is alluring on several levels. Her hairdo gives her an air of mystique, and her visible eye smolders, so you don’t know if she’s serving looks or shade.
There are all sorts of hairstyles at your disposal if your hair is neck- or shoulder-length. A waterfall braid isn’t just formal, it’s whimsical, and you’ll get compliments all evening long. Curls help the braid hold its shape, plus sometimes curly hair is easier to plait, so if your hair isn’t naturally wavy or curly, you might break out the heat tools or hot rollers.
9. Formally Accessorized
Hair accessories are often utilized when it’s time to dress to the nines, but only if they add to your hairstyle and overall appearance. Here’s a divine example of a hairband that actually makes the style. It’s a retro-inspired ‘do, this one dating back to the mod trend of the early to mid-1960s. The pale lip and dramatic eye makeup are on-trend, too.
10. Short and Slick Formal Party Hair
Formal hairstyles for short hair that have an androgynous edge really are sexy. As you can see, all it takes is a subtle slick back, a faint side part, and the barest hint of a pompadour. Flawless.
More Fashionable Formal Hairstyles for Short Hair
Since women’s formal hairstyles for short hair come in various shapes, sizes, and lengths, there’s no way you won’t find a cropped coif that you love. Remember, you don’t have to hack off all your hair—but you can rock a fierce look if you do. What’s your favorite way to style short hair?