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Ask a Hairstylist: The Best Short Haircuts for Thin, Naturally Curly Hair

No blow dryer required.
Short haircuts for thin curly hair

Q: Hi Bill, I was hoping to get your opinion on a hairstyle that might suit me. I am a professional who likes to feel young and sexy on my own time. My hair is thin and naturally curly. These pics show my hair with some of the curl relaxed with product. 

From The Styling Edit Archives

Short haircuts for thin curly hair

Laura has thin, naturally curly hair that she dyes black.

My natural colour is medium to dark brown, but I started dyeing it black years ago. Now I only dye the roots black due to greys. I use semi-permanent dyes and only style my bangs to lessen the damage. (The rest of my hair, I air-dry.)

Short haircuts for thin curly hair

Laura has never had short hair and isn’t sure if it would suit her.

I was recommended a short, curly cut like Charlize Theron used to have, but I’ve never had short hair as an adult. I’d love your opinion. My hair depresses me and I am in need of a makeover, so to speak. Your input would be greatly appreciated! — Laura

A: Laura, thank you for sending along your photos and your request to receive a hair consultation. I love to help people see themselves from a different perspective.

Your long hair may be feminine, but it lacks shine and lustre—which is the “it” factor in a hairstyle.

So let’s address your colour first. As far as I am concerned, you should lighten up your hair to this softer, warmer brown. 

Nora Zehetner Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party 2008

Nora Zehetner at the 2008 Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party.

This shade will reflect the light and impart a healthy shine. It will also add a lot of depth, rather than appearing flat and one-dimensional. Overall, the effect is softer with your skin tone.

As for your cut, I agree with whoever told you to cut your hair shorter. Taking up the length will make your thin hair look and feel much fuller.

Any of these shapes would work with your natural texture, and will allow for air-drying all of the time.

Start with a jaw- or ear-length cut as your first foray into short hair.

Joey King Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2020

Joey King at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Vanessa Hudgens Elton John Academy Awards Viewing Party 2012

Vanessa Hudgens at the 2012 Elton John Academy Awards Viewing Party.

Once you're ready to go a little shorter, try a loose pixie, with longer pieces flicking out around the ears.

Nora Zehetner InStyle Diamond Fashion Show 2007

Nora Zehetner at the 2007 InStyle Diamond Fashion Show.

Audrey Tautou Coco Before Chanel premiere party 2009

Audrey Tautou at the 2009 premiere party for ‘Coco Before Chanel.’

Alia Shawkat Arrested Development Season 5 premiere 2018

Alia Shawkat at the 2018 Season 5 premiere of ‘Arrested Development.’

Cropping the sides to create one of these shapes would be the final evolution of your shorter look.

Halsey Billboard Music Awards 2016

Halsey at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.

Ruth Negga Ad Astra Los Angeles premiere 2019

Ruth Negga at the 2019 Los Angeles premiere of ‘Ad Astra.’

For styling, just use a molding paste on your wet hair. Comb it into place with a little finger tossing, and there you go.

Shu Umeura Ishi Sculpt Sculpting Paste

Shu Umeura Ishi Sculpt Sculpting Paste

Be brave—you will look professional and sexy rocking any of these cuts. Go for it, Laura!