Skip to main content

Ask a Hairstylist: The Best Haircuts for Thick, Straight Hair

These styles won't hide your pretty face.
Haircuts for thick straight hair

Q: Hiya Bill! I'm at a bit of a crossroads with my hair. It's generally quite well-behaved—I'm half Chinese and naturally, it's very dark brown, heavy and straight. 

From The Styling Edit Archives

Two years ago, I had what in retrospect was wonderful long hair, with a fringe. 

Haircuts for thick straight hair

Lauren used to have long hair with bangs.

I decided I wanted a pixie cut, but on the day, got talked into this bizarre square-edged bowl cut, which I instantly hated. 

Haircuts for thick straight hair

Lauren's hairstylist gave her a bowl cut instead of a pixie.

Since then, I've been lurching between weird haircuts, most recently, this horrible, stripy, mega-light, shaggy nonsense. 

Haircuts for thick straight hair

Lauren had stripy highlights added to a layered shag cut.

I've now got it down to the collarbone, but I don't know what to do with it from here.

Haircuts for thick straight hair

Lauren's hair has now grown out to collarbone-length.

My question (before I panic and go to yet another new hairdresser, who will do something disappointing to me!) is what would you do, given absolute free rein? 

Is the pixie crop an idea best forgotten? Should I settle in and wait for it to grow without messing around with it constantly? What would you go for colour-wise? Mold me, Bill! Thank you very much! — Lauren

A: Lauren, thank you for your consultation request. You have amazing bone structure and cheekbones. Wow! The way your cheeks pop out is so pretty. 

I think that long hair without bangs will be the best way to work with your hair type while showing off your beautiful features.

Kristin Kreuk CW Upfront 2006

Kristin Kreuk at the 2006 CW Upfront.

I know you don't like the photo of your highlighted hair, but those shades work really well with your skin tone and eye colour. 

If you were to go lighter again, I would suggest moving away from the chunky highlights and doing a soft Ombré. Be sure to keep the roots darker, and consider adding some very fine, Balayage highlights to frame your face.

Maggie Q CW Upfront 2012

Maggie Q at the 2012 CW Upfront.

Jamie Chung Golden Globes 2018

Jamie Chung at the 2018 Golden Globes.

Of course, your natural dark brown or even black would also look great with this no-bang style. This will be a lot more dramatic.

Gemma Chan British Independent Film Awards 2014

Gemma Chan at the 2014 British Independent Film Awards.

Olivia Munn Cause for Paws An All-Star Dog Spectacular 2014

Olivia Munn at the 2014 Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular.

If you do go back to bangs, I recommend avoiding the heavy, blunt style that you had before, which hides too much of your face. I would do a long, curtain-style fringe with a split in the middle, and a softer colour overall.

Alexa Chung Alexa Manicure Collection launch 2014

Alexa Chung at the 2014 Alexa Manicure Collection launch.

This narrow, choppy fringe would also be a great look for you.

Constance Wu Critics' Choice Awards 2019

Constance Wu at the 2019 Critics' Choice Awards.

Although you are quite versatile with all your style changes, I am not a big fan of the rounded geometric cuts on you, especially in the dark colour.

If you want to go shorter, then a looser cut with long layers is what I recommend. It will be more flattering on you, and a lot more versatile.

Olivia Munn Contagion New York City premiere 2011

Olivia Munn at the 2011 New York City premiere of 'Contagion.'

Constance Wu Sex Tape Los Angeles premiere 2014

Constance Wu at the 2014 Los Angeles premiere of 'Sex Tape.'

As for the pixie, you definitely have the bone structure to pull it off. Here are two shapes that would work with your thick hair and not hide too much of your pretty face.

Sami Gayle Vampire Academy Los Angeles premiere 2014

Sami Gayle at the 2014 Los Angeles premiere of 'Vampire Academy.'

Anne Hathaway Late Show with David Letterman 2012

Anne Hathaway at the Late Show with David Letterman in 2012.

I hope this helps to give you a new direction with your hair, Lauren.