The Best Short Haircuts for Fine Hair

High impact, low effort.

Welcome to our Hair Consultation column. To request an online hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Bill Angst, follow the instructions here.

Q: Hi Bill, I have no idea what to do with my hair so that it looks amazing. I've had cuts that I loved in the past, but I've had no inspiration for a while and I'm feeling blah.

My hair is straight, thin and fine. It tends to flip under nicely on the right side and flip out on the left side, unless it is very short. When it's longer, it tends to get clumpy, stringy and tangled throughout the day. It's quite healthy: never coloured, and I rarely blow-dry.

Adrienne wants an awesome short haircut that is easy to style.

My current style was cut with bangs originally, but I started parting them again because I haven't been in for a trim. My routine: wash, towel-dry and comb (or finger-comb, depending on the length); then, I often tousle or fluff it as it air-dries for a little volume. The last time I had it shorter than this, I used a texturizing cream most days.

Keeping it simple is primarily a matter of me not having time for complicated styling—but I have to admit that when I do want to kick it up a notch, I simply don't know what I'm doing and it takes forever. I'd be willing to go back to chin-length in the future, but I prefer short hair in general, so for now, I'd like to stick with short.

How can my hair look amazing with little effort? I'm willing to learn some new skills, try new products, and even try a different colour, but my time will still be limited most mornings, so I'm primarily concerned with getting an awesome cut. Thank you so much for your advice! — Adrienne

A: Adrienne, thank you for your request about short haircuts that will be easy and super-cool. As with every design, it's all in the details, and those are what make the finished product.

For short hair, there are a few detail rules. The most important one, since there is not much hair to play with, is that there needs to be a major feature that stands out, such as a longer fringe, longer crown, longer nape or a few of these variations combined.

Let's start with the fringe being slightly longer than the rest of the hair.

Michelle Williams at the 2011 premiere of 'My Week with Marilyn'.

Emma Watson at the 2011 BAFTAs.

To go with this cut option, I would suggest colouring the tips of your hair to add depth to your colour. Always remember that tips cut out quickly, and are off-scalp for those who have sensitivities.

Then we have the option of a short back with a longer fringe in a darker, more dramatic colour.

Ginnifer Goodwin at the 2011 premiere of 'Something Borrowed'.

It does not need to be this dark on you for the drama; this is really about the cut. Combing your hair forward is the way to go with this style.

I would like to recommend using a product that I love for short hair, Oribe Rock Hard Gel.

Oribe Rock Hard Gel

It is a very concentrated cream-gel that dries clear. Be careful not too use too much. When styling short hair, it's best to get it to freeze-frame in your shape while wet with gel, and then leave to dry. Keep your hands off until it's completely dry, and then leave as is, or ruffle it and continue to step two.

At this point, you might want to define the ends or add more texture and volume. A molding paste should do the trick here.

Oribe Rough Luxury Molding Paste

Rub this product in your hands thoroughly before applying, and use what is on the tips of your fingers. Then rake your fingers through your hair for separation.

Here are some styling options with this cut that I'd like you to play with.

Emma Watson at the 2010 premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1'.

Halle Berry at the 2011 Oscars.

Now comes the option of a longer crown with possibly a longer fringe in your future. Seeing a little hair behind your ear will be quite attractive as well. On your way to a longer length...

Keira Knightley at the 2005 premiere of 'The Jacket'.

Kimberly Wyatt at the 2009 Hair Magazine Awards.

Please do not limit yourself with colour, because it can add so much character to a shorter cut. It's also easy to get rid of it when you are keeping it short. 


Bill Angst is one of Canada’s top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Angst Salon at 240 Queen Street East in Toronto. Call 416-360-5942 to book an appointment.

Related Articles