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Styling Short Hair


If the latest catwalks are anything to go by, crops are having a moment – and with good reason. As well as being easy to style they also have a “super effortless feel for busy girls on the go,” says Collette McGee, Live Educator for Bumble and Bumble. We reveal the tricks you need to know to style every kind of covetable cut…

All About That Base

Short styles can be a statement in their own right, and as such it’s important to inject a little personality into them. That means preparation is key, so look to impart some texture from the off with a shampoo and conditioner that contain texture-enhancing ingredients, like Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Shampoo. Created with a mineral-rich formula that includes magnesium sulfate, this everyday hero boosts hair’s natural, beachy texture and also ensures hair is perfectly primed for styling and further product application.

For very fine or thin styles that need a little extra volume, opt for a specialist formula — Living Proof’s Full Shampoo contains a PolyfluroEster molecule, which works to lift limp lengths while the Full Conditioner nourishes hair without weighing it down.

Texture, Texture, Texture

Another key prep step is ensuring hair has optimum texture pre-styling. Think of it as adding control; fine hair is given a boosted base on which to start styling, while thick, coarse strands become are left looking polished and tamed. If you’re used to adding oomph with a texture spray post-blow dry, it’s time to switch things up. For the ultimate hit of texture, try Oribe’s Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray misted generously through damp hair.

Then when hair is fully dry, apply a wave salt spray or a waxy pomade to add a final, tousled flourish. “Waxes are a common choice for short hair,” notes Colette, “and the great news is that there are new formulations and advances in technology meaning hair doesn’t become sticky.” Use your chosen wax sparingly by warming it between your fingers and gently wiping off any excess on a towel first, before lightly working through the mid-lengths to ends.

Up The Volume

If your shorter style is showing up a lack of volume, fear not. First up, ensure you’re using a volumising shampoo and conditioner every time you wash – many modern formulas contain ingredients that help swell the hair shaft, helping to add bounce and body to even the most lacklustre locks. Next, forget preconceptions about crunchy, stiff formulas and get yourself a mousse, fast.

Simply apply a large blob into the crown of your head and work in with your fingers before blow drying your hair upside down until 80% dry – a sure-fire way to add volume to your locks right from the root. If you’re still not swayed by the idea of a mousse, there are plenty of options to give shorter styles a decent bouncy boost. Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Volumising Paste contains pure rassoul clay and rose extracts which help to enhance hair’s natural volume, while surf sprays like Bumble and Bumble’s original Surf Spray are perfect for adding both volume and texture.

Tame Your Mane

If you’ve got very thick or curly hair you might think short styles are unachievable, but with the right kind of prep, we beg to disagree. To make a choppy crop work for you, first invest in products dedicated to taming frizz and larger-than-life hair, such as O&M’s Frizzy Logic Shine Serum. The serum contains a concoction of oils from argan to evening primrose, which when combined guarantee smoother, more manageable hair.

You’ll also need to commit to extra time for drying your hair by using a hairdryer alongside a brush specially designed for thicker hair types; we love the Tangle Teezer Thick & Curly, which has bristles 4mm longer than its original counterpart and is designed to achieve tangle-free hair for coarse, frizzy or afro textures. Once hair is dry, apply a smoothing oil to lock in the sleek effect, such as Rodin’s irresistible Luxury Hair Oil and finish by spritzing a salt spray infused with a shot of moisture. Colette’s recommendation? “Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Infusion is great on dry, thick, short hair.”

Top Of The Crops

Master these three classic short styles for a good hair day every day…

Classic beachy waves: Dry hair with a diffuser before adding in loose, subtle waves in haphazard sections with the T3 Whirl Convertible Styling Wand. Finish with a mist of salt spray such as O&M’s Surf Bomb and scrunch through hair.

Half-up, half-down bun: An easy style that’s the perfect off-duty look for short hair. Tong hair loosely in random sections, then take the top section of your hair from your forehead back to your crown, and pin it into a mini, messy bun. Finish with a light spritz of hairspray to hold it in place.

Halo Plait: Think bob-length hair can’t be braided? There are actually plenty of chic options when it comes to plaiting short styles. To add a halo braid detail, start by misting a texture spray through hair, then take a section from one side of the front of your head and flip it over to the other side, plaiting as you go along, before securing with a grip behind your ear.

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