The boyish haircut is something we can say that’s been around for decades, depending on what your definition of “boyish” is. In the 1920s, it was short, bobbed cut known as the Flapper hairstyle that fell under the umbrella; years later, in the 1980s, the title fell on punky, alt-culture looks such as the mohawk and mullet. We then saw the boy haircuts for girls, also known as the boy-cut pixie in the 1990s, and since then have been playing around with variations on a theme: short and relatively straightforward, with a confidence like no other. Today, a boyish haircut simply refers to a short hairstyle that typically exposes the ears and tapers in the back.
Scroll on for a bunch of our favorite tomboy hairstyles, depending on what you’re vibin’ for:
47 Gender Neutral Haircuts
A lot of us might remember this adorably retro, slightly geeky haircut from the ’80s. Well, as with most things awkward and previously regrettable, it’s experiencing a cool new hipster revival. A few tweaks to its traditional rounded shape—some textured bangs here, a dip-dye platinum color job there—is enough to modernize the look and hopefully do away with any awful yearbook PTSD triggers.
1. Piecey Fringe
Cute pixie-inspired bangs update the traditional roundness of a bowl-cut. These feathered bangs add a soft effect to what are usually edgier short haircuts. This style requires minimal styling and zero product usage, simply blow dry or air dry your hair and go!
2. Proper Bowl-Cut
A full-on bowl-cut was one of the trendiest looks in recent seasons, especially when juxtaposed with graphic accessories. This multi-length style is an excellent example of a modern take on a throwback trend. We love how this cut looks on thick strands as the contrast between the lengths of the look really stand out.
3. Bowl Undercut
A two-toned version of the bowl-cut is on-trend for ladies who want to play with both proportion and color (and is such a crisp 1990s throwback!). This style is darker on the bottom and lighter up on top, giving us a contrasted multi-dimensional look we can’t get enough of.
A cowlick version that has you favoring one part over another gives a bowl-cut more versatility. This style is messy and chic and super easy to style on the go.
5. Soft and Wavy
We obviously love a good throwback, especially when it still resonates to today’s trends. And can it get any more charmingly ’80s than this wavy style?
6. Big Waves
The waify ingénue look doesn’t get any more charming than this gender-neutral haircut. This is another look that depends on natural texture and minimal intervention!
7. Clean and Damp
Hair that’s tightly curled but not coarse or afro-textured, a.k.a. level 3B on the hair chart looks really trendy and chic when cut with a slight taper and styled with a semi-wet finish.
8. Gelled Pixie
Infuse a bit more control into those corkscrews with a moisturizing hair gel. This will set your curls into a defined style that’s guaranteed to have an impact.
9. High Top Fade
A fave of guys everywhere, a fade haircut can also work for women provided the temples are clipped smaller and softer, in proportion to your forehead.
10. Soft Mullet
A thick and subtly tapered mullet again hints at the glory days of the ’80s but with way more sophistication. Run a tiny drop of shine serum through your strands to give this look a little gloss.
The Afro is the Great Equalizer between the sexes, especially on natural-textured hair. We’re loving the Teeny Weeny Afro, or TWA, for this season.
12. Tousled Waves
Big, mussed-up curls give the right amount of weight and personality on the crown of this boyish haircut. This is a great short-hair option for anyone with thicker strands looking to lose some length.
13. Relaxed Cropped
Minimize the damage on relaxed natural hair by opting for a boyish haircut that’s super clean and short. This style is clean-cut and easy to care for.
Have your stylist clip each side of your head evenly, leaving a thick strip of hair down the middle that tapers slightly towards the back. To style, blow-dry hair upwards after washing and hold in place with a gel, like TRESemmé TRES Two Mega Firm Control Gel.
The closest, most confident shave you can get, next to taking it all off. Ideal for hot summer days when you just can’t deal with longer strands, this short cropped style is as breezy as they come.
The grungy grown-out root plus that definitive middle part is textbook ’90s. Wearing a middle part on a short style is decidedly 90s in the very best way.
For the woman who likes duality, rocking two hues in one go—with a rock ’n roll texture to boot—is so of-the-moment. This two-toned look is edgy, cool, and one of our favorite styles of the moment.
18. Gelled-Up Pixie
Similar to the curtained look but this time treated with some gel for hold, this look can easily transform from masculine to feminine in minutes with the addition of some accessories (and a bold lip).
For those that really want to go there, make sure you do it right! And by this, we mean a wispy neckline and a slightly longer, heavier fringe, to give the overall look more structure.
A regular boyish haircut that’s longer up top can be edged up with a flipped-out style and some bright, unorthodox color. This pumpkin-spice hue is perfect for fall but also works all year round!
21. Platinum Pomp
This awesome pompadour features an impeccably bleached blonde hue that’s made to make a statement. Pair this platinum hue with some major volume for a truly memorable haircut and style.
Spike out the front layers with some texturizing wax, like Bed Head by TIGI Wax Stick, for that telltale parakeet quiff.
A trendy high-contrast haircut with an equally striking hue makes for a unique look. This look is simultaneously sleek and edgy, professional and street style-ready, and one of our favorites of the collection.
24. Traditional Pixie
Clean and rounded with a longer, tuckable front, this is a classic boyish haircut that will never go out of style.
A ruffled-up version, this haircut works best with those with a narrower forehead (or for those who can do with some extra height at the front).
Popular during the 1960s, the smooth, rounded pixie was a huge mod trend and emphasized the smoky makeup look of the era.
Lighter highlights on the fringe area give a playful touch to a long pixie bang. Play with color and cut with this unexpected style!
28. Silver Crop
This crisp, no-nonsense crop flatters women of all ages. Embrace your graying strands and go with a short cut for a chic and sophisticated style that works for women of all ages.
A spiky boyish haircut is best styled with hair wax, like Bed Head by TIGI Manipulator Matte Cream. This cream will give your strands some shape and hold and a subtle matte finish too!
30. Spiky, Platinum
It’s easier to protect hair from bleaching damage when maintained at a shorter length. Lighten up your strands and keep them short with this universally flattering androgynous style.
31. Thick and Wavy
Maximize your hair’s fullness with a cut that’s a bit rounded at the temples. This cut is perfect for anyone hoping to soften up a short style and stay away from harsh edges.
32. Volumized Pixie
Blow-dry the hair on your fringe in an upward direction, gently tugging at the root, to infuse it with volume and a bit of hold.
If these following looks are any indication, it’s that a feminine boyish haircut isn’t at all an oxymoron. Characterized by longer, softer layers and barely any razoring, the results are universally flattering—long, square, oval, even heart-shaped face shapes can get away with these proportions, as long as the tops are thinned out to avoid any top-heaviness.
Ask your stylist for longer front layers at your front parting that can help soften the look of a traditional short crop. This multi-length look is flattering on a range of face shapes!
34. Blown Out
The go-to proportions of a boyish haircut get some uptown polish in this crisp, blown-out version. This runway style works just as well for a day-to-day look and requires minimal styling!
Flippy layering blends well with a soft fringe in this French-girl fave. We love this style for a range of ages.
36. Relaxed Boy’s Cut
This sweet, delicate hairstyle is best for those with cowlicks farther back on the head. Brush your strands forward and use a soft hold gel to keep them in place without overdoing it on the product.
37. Slick Bob
Utilize a drop or two of your favorite gel and run through the front hairline. Brush to refine any globs and to smoothen it out. Ideal for anyone hoping to keep their hair out of their face and look chic doing it.
38. Classic Boy’s Cut
The standard proportions of a boyish haircut are perfectly showcased in this look: Subtly longer crown, exposed ears and a short length that tapers down the neck, with light to no sideburns.
39. Square Bob
A bit longer than the classic cut, this look retains the same neck-hugging layers of a boy’s cut, only softened with a longer fringe.
This rumpled short bob that was first big in the 1990s is going strong today, thanks to its flattering layers and ease of wear: It’s equally fabulous rough-dried with your fingers and a blowdryer, as well as air-dried!
One of our favorite iterations of the boyish haircut features a side-parted crop and sides that are tucked behind the ear. Keep your strands out of your face with this adorable cropped style.
42. Slicked and Short
If you’re already rocking a shorter hairstyle then we highly encourage you to try giving it a slick and shiny texture. The slicked-back style is perfect if you have longer layers up front that you need to get out of your face, in style.
43. Headbands on Shorter Styles
Just because your hair is short doesn’t mean you can’t still wear fun and fashionable accessories. Bandanas are a great way to add spice to your style because they look cool and flow better with your hairdo more than a standard headband might.
44. Longer Pixie Cut
We adore this longer pixie style! This cut is the perfect mix of edgy yet flirty because of the soft layers and longer bangs that frame the face. This style deserves some high shine and needs to be blow-dried to perfection. Before blowdrying, use some TRESemmé Repair and Protect 7 Pre-Styling Spray to prevent split ends and get that highly coveted, silky smooth finish.
45. Sharp Side Shave
There’s no style quite as cool and fitting of the tomboy characterization as a sharp side shave. This style is dramatic and beautiful. Play around with the amount you shave and the length of the rest of your hair. Keeping your length much longer than the side shave adds a strong contrast.
46. Textured Bob
Style your bob haphazardly to achieve this carefree and tomboyish look. Instead of highly stylizing your bob, try letting it air dry and embrace your natural texture.47. Feminine Pompadour
The feminine pompadour is super extra and high fashion, and we are living for it! If you can successfully create this look then you will have mastered one of the ultimate tomboy hairstyles. Put your hair in a smoothed down and a tight ponytail and leave the top section of your hair free. Comb the top section forward and apply gel and hairspray to create this twisted and highly constructed look.
Are you thinking about trying out one of these styles? Be sure to tag us @AllThingsHairUS!