12 Sporty Hairstyles for Short Hair That Are Pretty and Practical

Got short hair? Gym looks may seem hard to come by, but with our edit, you'll beat your PB in style!  

Gym bunnies, listen up! Gone are the days when sporty hairstyles for short hair came down to sweaty locks swept haphazardly off your face. Instead, they have been replaced by a wealth of stylish and durable looks that will see you through your HIIT class and on to brunch with ease!

So, if you’re seeking cute gym hairstyles for short hair, you’ve come to the right place. Grab your green juice and have a scroll through our gallery to discover how to stay stylish while you squat, lunge, spin or lift!

The Pinned-Back Pixie

Gym hairstyles for short hair: Black woman with a pinned pixie boxing
Get ready to try out the pinned back pixie.

If your hair is a tad too short to gather up into a ponytail, fret not, as there are plenty of other sporty hairstyles for short hair that you can do. We believe simplicity is the key to a great gym style, so if you’ve a cute crop, streamline your ‘do by pinning back your pixie cut to keep your hair away from your face.

Get the look: All you need to create this look are bobby pins and a stronghold hairspray. Spritz the TRESemmé Extra Hold Hairspray over your crop (a tiny bit will do the trick) to make double-sure it stays put, no matter how hard you train!

The Gym-Ready Ponytail

front view image of a woman in the gym lifting weights with her hair in a ponytail
Rock a gym-ready ponytail, for a sleek update on a classic look.

It may seem a little been-there-done-that, but nothing beats a classic ponytail when it comes to sporty hairstyles that mean business. And even if your hair is too short to do a high ponytail, you can adapt and then create a hun (AKA a half-up bun) instead.

Chunky Cornrows

side view image of a woman with braided hair in pigtails
Brush up on your braiding skills and create this stunning look. Credit: Instagram.com/byangelasalon

You know it, we know it, everyone knows it: when it comes to gym hairstyles for short hair, you simply cannot go wrong with braided styles.

As one of our favourite hairstyles for the gym, chunky cornrows not only look fantastic, but will also keep all your hair neatly off your face. Credit: @byangelasalon

Style tip: Keep those braids tight and you’ll be able to rock this style post gym, too. Alternatively, unravel your braids for gorgeous beach-like waves – either way, it’s a win-win situation. 

The ‘No Band’ Braid

front view image of a woman with a halo braid hairstyle and purple hair
The ‘no band’ braid hold is a really pretty gym hair ‘do. Credit: Instagram.com/emilyandersonstyling

Are you the type to always be without a hairband when you really need one? Well you no longer have to kick yourself at your forgetfulness, because with this lovely ‘no band’ braid, it’s no longer an issue! 

Just tease the end of your plait with a comb and spritz your mane with the VO5 Ultimate Hold HairsprayWe aren’t guaranteeing it’ll hold tight during a high-intensity dance class, but it’s certain to make the yogis envious. Credit: @emilyandersonstyling

The Hun (Aka Half-Up Bun)

side view of brown shoulder length half-up, half-down bun
You can whip this look up on the go. Credit: Instagram.com/tanimotoshouta

We don’t like to show favouritism, but in our books, the half topknot bun is the ultimate ‘do for short hair. Gym hairstyles that will keep you looking stylish and sporty aren’t easy to come by, but with a little spritz of dry shampoo before creating your topknot, you’ll slay your sesh and keep greasy tresses at bay! Credit: @tanimotoshouta

The Short Hair Gym Quiff

front facing image of a woman with short quiff hairstyle stretching - gym hairstyles
Give the quiff a whirl, for your next session at the gym.

Clips, hairbands or pins not really your scene? Then this edgy alternative will be right up your street. The secret behind the success of this sporty hairstyle is a good wax to hold it all in place.

Headband Updo

Gym hairstyles for short hair: Brunette messy bun with sporty headband
The short-haired girl’s messy bun. Credit: Instagram.com/abbyyxelizabeth

If you’re a morning gym veteran, then we can only presume a quick and easy hairstyle is all you want for your gruelling gym session. Stop any stray short strands or flyaways from getting in the way of the body of your dreams by adding a headband to any updo. Credit: @abbyyxelizabeth

Style tip: Sometimes, the messier the hair, the more chic your look will be, so don’t worry about faffing about creating a perfectly smooth finish.

Double Buns

front view image of a woman with her hair in two messy space buns - gym hairstyles
We love double buns as one of the most stylish gym hairstyles. Credit: Instagram.com/mina1003

Why wear one bun when you could be rocking two? Channel your inner gym bunny with this half-up hairstyle and create two mini buns, leaving your hair loose at the back.

When it comes to hairstyles for the gym, double buns are great for keeping your tresses up and out of your way, so you can focus on your workout (or your gym selfie). Credit@mina1003

Double Dutch Braid

side view of model with red shoulder elgnth hair in double dutch braids
Double up your braids for an intense workout class. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

As you might have gathered by now, we have a thing for braids – but seriously, they’re one of the best sporty hairstyles for short hair out there!

There are plenty of ways to mix them up and we’re particularly loving these double Dutch braids that merge into low pigtails. Just think how cute you’ll look in pilates!

Stacked Buns

Brunette woman with short hair in stacked mini buns
Stacked buns are fun. Credit: Instagram.com/ca_makes

While most girls with longer tresses will wear their hair in an Insta-perfect messy bun, those with shorter hair have to be a little more clever with the way they style their strands.

After seeing stacked bun hairstyles both in and out of the gym lately (not to mention it’s the style the character Rey wears in Star Wars), we think it’s the perfect look to take you from cardio to coffee! Credit: @ca_makes

The Low Textured Pony

back view of blonde woman with short hair and low ponytail
Gym hair, don’t care! Credit: Instagram.com/velvetclubs

We love this low ponytail as an option for sport hairstyles for short hair – sans hair cuff ofc! Ideal for any kind of workout, go for sleek and smooth locks, or build up volume and body. Credit: @velvetclubs

Editor’s tip: If you hate using products pre-workout, we feel ya. No one wants that sticky feeling while at the gym, but with a dusting of the TONI&GUY Root Lift Sculpting Powder, you’ll build body and texture without any horrible residue.

The Retro Sweatband

sweatband on short bob hair
Gym hairstyles for bobs: The headband. Credit: Instagram.com/hailsalexander

When it comes to sporty hairstyles for short hair, it’s safe to say that the headband (or in this case, sweatband) is unofficially the saviour of all gym hair dilemmas.

Tap into the look by drawing inspiration from the 1980s and use this pretty and practical hair accessory to help prevent strands falling into your eyes while you’re pumping iron. Sweatcuffs are optional! Credit@hailsalexander

So, now that you’ve selected your next workout hairstyle, it’s time that you learn to look after your tresses post-gym. How you ask? With our golden rules to gym hair care, of course!

Shop the article

  1. TRESemmé Extra Hold Hairspray
  2. Dumbbells
  3. Running armband
  4. Yoga mat
  5. VO5 Invisible Ultimate Hold Hairspray
  6. TONI&GUY Root Lift Sculpting Powder

*At All Things Hair, we want to help you navigate our modern world with ease. All our market picks are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. 

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