Hairstyles for Short on the Top & Long at the Bottom

Mary J. Blige wears a long bob to a 2011 Hollywood concert.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If short hair on top and long hair on the bottom makes you think "mullet," think again. You have a world of options when it comes to multi-length hairstyles. Some of them highlight the contrast between very short hair on top and long or full hair on the sides or in back. If you have coarse textured hair, your short hair on top may thicken and fuzz out quickly. Keep it healthy by trimming it every few weeks.

Long Layers

Short hair on top and long on the bottom is the perfect combination for layers. Go with a few short segments on top that you can slick down to flatten, run mousse through to create waves, or comb forward for bangs. Rather than introduce other short layers, integrate a longer layer that falls around your jawline and let your bottom hair hang long past your shoulders. Women with tight waves, coarse curls and corkscrews do well with this look, as it gives them some length without bulk and frees the hair underneath the short top layer to develop a fuller curl.


The lob, or long bob, is not a single length of hair like the traditional bob. Instead, the top layers are cut shorter and the longest section is at or above your shoulders. Keeping the top layers shorter keeps coarse, wavy or curly hair from getting too bulky, as with a classic bob. Play with the angle of your lob by slanting it longer as it approaches your face, or chop the ends slightly different lengths to give your lob movement. Smooth the top flat with pomade or sculpt small waves with mousse or gel.

Deconstructed Curl

Women with very curly hair or corkscrew curls can rock an on-trend look that emphasizes their hair's volume. Keeping the topmost layer short gives this look some dimension, while the longer segments showcase your natural curl. Wash and dry your hair according to your usual routine, or work with second-day hair. Rub volumizing mousse through your roots and the short top hair. Turn your head upside down and shake out your curls. Flip back up and use your fingers rather than a comb or brush to push your hair away from your face and outward.

Maintain Your Hairstyle

Styles that are super-short and defined on top do not stay that way for long, particularly if you have hair with lots of wave or coarse texture. Use thinning shears to subtly shape your short locks and to keep your longer locks from getting too bulky. Rub pomade or conditioning oil on any rough ends to keep them looking sleek. Spritz your 'do with shine serum to up the glam factor.

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