how to cut short hair for women

How to Cut Short Hair for Women?

Short haircuts can be fun, sassy, and low-maintenance when done properly. Many women are choosing to go shorter with their locks these days. The right shortcut can frame your face beautifully, show off your best features, and give you an edgy, modern look. Cutting short hair yourself may seem daunting, but it can be easy with some basic tools and these step-by-step instructions.

Assess Your Hair Type and Face Shape

Before grabbing the scissors, take some time to assess your natural hair texture, thickness, and wave or curl pattern. This will help determine what type of shortcut will work best for you. Fine, thin hair often can pull off choppy, piece-y cuts very well. The natural movement in fine hair gives body and texture to shorter styles. Coarse, thick hair, on the other hand, will likely need some layering around the face and head in order to remove bulk and allow movement. 

It’s also critically important to consider your face shape when choosing a short style. An oval-shaped face is versatile enough to wear almost any type of short haircut. Whether it’s a pixie, bob, or crop, an oval face shape will complement the angles and proportions nicely. 

Round face shapes tend to look best with a little more length left around the face and chin area. This helps add the illusion of length to balance out the fullness of a round face. Opt for a longer pixie or bob cut with side-swept bangs. Layers longer in the front and chin area are also flattering.

Square and heart-shaped faces will want to avoid super short, cropped cuts, as these can exaggerate strong jawlines. Instead, choose longer pixie styles, preferably with side-swept bangs to soften the angles around your face. Leaving even just an extra half inch of length can make a big difference in balancing out a square or heart shape.

Gather Your Supplies

Quality haircutting tools will make all the difference in how your shortcut turns out. Invest in and use sharp hair-cutting scissors – regular household scissors will crush the delicate ends of hair and leave you with Split, ragged ends. Thinning shears are also handy for texturizing and removing bulk smoothly. 

You’ll also need:

  • A wide-tooth comb for combing through sections cleanly and evenly
  • Hair clips for sectioning hair 
  • A spray bottle filled with water to mist hair and check progress
  • A towel for wiping up cut hair

Make sure your hair is freshly shampooed, conditioned, and completely dry before cutting it. Any tangles or knots can interfere with the precision of the cut.

Cut in Sections 

Start by parting clean, dry hair down the center from forehead to nape. Next, clip up one side of the hair securely out of the way. 

Begin cutting the unclipped side into vertical sections that are a half-inch wide or less. Take each section and hold it between your fingers evenly to cut across the very ends. At first, point the scissors down to avoid taking off any extra length before assessing the cut. 

Take only a tiny bit of length off at a time, then check the progress and repeat until you’ve reached the desired short length. The back and sides of a shortcut are typically cropped quite short, while the top layers are longer. 

Once the sides and back feel roughly the right length, use the wide-tooth comb to lift and cut the top layers. Position the comb so these layers fall flatteringly just at or above the upper eyelashes. 

Texturize the ends of these top and side layers carefully with thinning shears. This creates softness and movement around the face without exposing the scalp. Mist hair lightly with water and check for any sections that seem uneven or heavy, trimming them as needed.

Repeat this entire process on the other side, regularly checking that both sides are symmetrically balanced. Once both sides are cut to the same length, blend and connect the two together so the shape flows naturally.

Curved layers that angle down towards the chin help frame an oval, round, or heart-shaped face in a flattering way. Tapering and thinning the hairline around the nape creates a feminine finish.

Add Bangs

Bangs can really enhance and soften a short haircut while drawing attention to the eyes. There are several types of bangs to consider:

Full bangs cut straight across the forehead to just above the eyebrows make a strong statement. They require more styling but can really transform a look.

Side-swept bangs are more subtle and versatile. Part them further to one side of your face and cut them longer on their far side before cutting the close side straight across. 

Angled bangs blend together full and side bangs. Cut them longer and at a sharp angle moving from one side of the forehead diagonally up towards the other.

To cut basic straight across full bangs, part of a 1-3 inch deep horizontal section at the front hairline. Pull the hair down forming a 90-degree angle and cut directly across using the comb to guide an even line. Make sure the edges blend into the side layers well.

For wispy bangs, thin and taper the lower edges slightly rather than cutting a blunt heavy line. Always cut bangs a bit longer than you ultimately want to allow for some shrinkage and styling flexibility.

Style and Finish

Blow dry short hair with a round brush, focusing on creating lots of volume at the roots. Turn ends under or flip them out lightly for shape. A touch of styling product like mousse, gel, or pomade will help control frizz and enhance texture while blow drying.

To complete the style, work a small amount of matte wax, styling paste, or cream through the ends. Scrunch and mess them up with your fingers to achieve that undone, piece-y texture that looks so great in shortcuts.

When cutting your hair super short at home, take it slow and carefully check your work as you go. It’s always best to cut off a little at a time rather than take off more length than desired. If you do make a mistake, call your stylist right away to have them remedy it, rather than trying to correct it on your own.

With the right tools on hand, a plan of action, and these detailed steps, you can achieve a trendy, face-flattering short hairstyle all on your own. Embrace your new short locks with confidence and enjoy the sassy, low-maintenance nature of your new ‘do!


Cutting your hair short can seem like a big change, but with the right tools and techniques, you can create a trendy, flattering look right at home. The most important first step is assessing your hair texture and face shape to determine the style that will be most becoming for you. Invest in quality shears for precision cutting. Work carefully in small sections, taking off just a little length at a time. Adding bangs can further soften and enhance the final look. Overall, embrace this fun change and enjoy rocking a sassy, low-maintenance short hairstyle!


How short should I go for my first time cutting my hair short?

It’s generally best to be conservative the first time you transition to short hair. Try a longer pixie or bob before going super cropped for the most versatility.

What are the best short styles for thick, coarse hair?

Layering is key for thick hair to remove bulk. A pixie with lots of texture and movement throughout works well.

How short can I go if I have a round face shape?

It’s best to keep some length around the face and chin if you have a full, round shape. Aim for a longer pixie or bob cut.

What’s the advantage of cutting in sections?

Sectioning lets you work precisely and maximize control over the length in different areas like the sides vs top layers.

Should I get my haircut professionally fixed if I make a mistake?

Yes, see your stylist right away if you cut your hair unevenly or shorter than desired. Don’t try to fix it yourself.

How often do I need to get my short hair trimmed?

Plan to see your hairstylist every 4-6 weeks to trim and shape short hair as it grows out. The frequency depends on your style and hair growth rate.

The Salon Team
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