If you hopped into the new year with the goal of changing up your look to feel more like you, you’re probably on the hunt for a new haircut. Short crops are huge for the year, and we just love the look of short androgynous haircuts that don’t subscribe to what’s hot and trendy, or even what’s considered feminine or masculine, for that matter. Thankfully, we live in a place and time where there are virtually no limits to the androgynous hairstyles or cuts anyone can wear.
After all, short hair on women revolutionized the beauty sphere in the ’20s. This feminine/masculine hairstyle can be seen in a variety of different looks including mushroom cuts, buzz cuts, undercuts, shags and more! All styles are super creative and allow you to express yourself while eschewing traditional gender roles. So after looking at dozens of hairstyles in history, we’ve finally whittled it down to a shortlist of androgynous haircuts we love. Check out our fave gender-neutral androgynous haircuts that are sure to inspire your new look this year:
1. The Afro
The natural hair movement of last year still holds steady this 2016, and as if you haven’t noticed, we’re all about celebrating those curls in a big way. Afro hairstyles are actually quite low-maintenance in hot weather. Most importantly, not many looks can boast of such a rich cultural identity and look equally hot yet unique on both guys and girls. For those just getting into their groove: When is too much hair just too much? Unofficially, never, but you can always ease your way into the look by starting with a more tapered variation, or a smaller baby ‘fro, called the Teeny Weeny Afro. Be sure to use some hair gel, like TRESemmé Two Mega Firm Control Gel, to smooth out any wayward strands.
2. Top Knot
How did this style make the list? Buns are gender-neutral and if you have short hair that’s long enough to tie up into a top knot, this is your new go-to style. This über-democratic look has been around for centuries for both dudes and dudettes, and with good reason: It kept your hair out of your face in crucial times, whether during an ancient samurai duel, at your best friend’s outdoor wedding in August or while walking seven blocks across Manhattan. Extremely easy to achieve—all it takes is an elastic and hair that’s at least four inches long—it’s also the off-day look du jour of gym rats, yoga fans, brunch regulars and undercut enthusiasts everywhere.
3. The Shag
Some call it looking pretty in punk; we just call it a great idea. Finally shedding its dated reputation of decades past, the shag has been making rounds this year in an updated, less messy version of its old, confused self. Blended layers as well as a softer, more seamless bang area have taken the place of zigzaggy ends, which aren’t as forgiving on finer hair. Now rockstars of all hair types can partake in the light, swingy silhouette of this cut, which borrows the flattering look of long layers but in a shorter, summer-friendly version. For androgynous haircuts like the shag, be sure to have some Suave Captivating Curls Mousse Cream on hand to help you to hold and define your waves.
Speaking of #throwbacks, welcome to the mother lode. Probably the most maligned and misunderstood look of our generation, the mullet, is back to make amends, via more blended layers at the backside. Modern versions now boast of a pretty cute, hipster-y fringe—instead of that weird-looking buzz cut—up top too. The sides are also more rounded and thinned out with scissor-shearing rather than clippers. Fans of the cut’s headbanging potential need not shy away though; it’s still a relatively unique, top-heavy look, which means round, triangle and heart-shaped faces fare best, as well guys with thinner features who are looking to rock a slightly retro-punk vibe.
5. Bowl Cut
Mom knew best, after all: That infamous apple-shaped cut of our childhoods has come back to haunt us all, but in the best way. This cycle’s version comes with more nuanced details, which can mean more point-cutting for the guys near the hairline and sideburns, or soft fringe detailing for the ladies. Straight, healthy-looking hair wear this look easiest, as it’s meant to be really shine-reflective. And it’s not your imagination, either—it’s definitely a youthful look, and much like a pixie cut, complements those with bigger foreheads, round, fleshier faces and lively eyes. Or, you know, yourself, at two years old.
6. Short, Fringy Mushroom Cut
If you have curly hair, try out this extra short mushroom cut. This cut could be ideal if you want a cut that’ll allow you to style your hair every now and again. It’s also a great option if you’re seeking more volume and thickness to your hair.
7. Long Pixie
If you want to make your pixie cut have the look of androgynous short hairstyles, try shaving down the sides. This gives your cut a little more edge, taking the feminine sweetness out of your pixie cut. You could go all in and do a pixie with a total undercut too. Style the longer, top part of your hair with S Factor by TIGI Creamy Molding Wax for moldable hold with some perfectly undone texture.
8. Long Buzz
Buzz cuts have become one of the most popular androgynous short hairstyles. They are great for a whole host of reasons. First, with the help of a friend and a set of clippers, you can totally do this cut at home, which is also super helpful because it saves you money and time on upkeep. Secondly, these cuts can be worn really short or slightly longer, depending on how you want to wear your hair.
9. Curly Top Crop
For a super curly short style, try out androgynous hairstyles like this curly crop! It’s similar to how the long buzz looks on straight hair, while keeping your gorgeous spirals intact. These short cut works avoids overall length and bangs, which looks awesome with your androgynous style.
10. Parted Bob
Those with longer hair can also rock androgynous haircuts like this bob. Consider getting a bob that focuses on one length that falls right by your cheekbones. Opt for a ’70s middle part for a style that’s a quasi-blend of masculine and feminine.
11. Choppy Bob
Turn a classic blunt bob into an androgynous hairstyle by asking for a layered look. The choppiness will add an extra edge to the bob.
Spiked styles are a great way to make a statement when you’re sporting a cropped style. Use Suave Max Hold Sculpting Gel to create this androgynous style. We love this gel because it’ll give you the long-lasting hold you’re looking for, without weighing your hair down.
13. Long Pixie Cut With Bangs
Maybe you’re growing out a pixie cut, or you don’t want to commit to an extremely short style? Try a longer pixie cut with bangs!
14. Curly Pixie Cut
If you have naturally curly hair, a short style like this can actually make your hair appear bouncier and less weighed down. Show off your curls by keeping the front section a little longer than the rest of your hair.
15. Short and Natural Style
16. Swept Back Pixie Cut
A short, swept-back style is a great way to show off an androgynous look. Start by asking for the sides of your hair to be a shorter length, and then tell your stylist you want the enter section longer than the rest. To create the swept-back look, use TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Boost Hold Level 3. This hair spray will lock your style in place without leaving your hair crunchy.
17. Completely Buzzed Style
18. Front Flipped
Add a twist to your short ‘do by flipping up the front. Start by blow-drying your hair with a diffuser in an upward motion. To lock the style in place, use Suave Max Hold Sculpting Gel.
19. Shaved Side
Want to be daring? Keep one side of your head cropped at an angled bob and then shave the other side for an androgynous look.
20. Shaved Undercut
Want a head-turning androgynous style? Opt for this shaved undercut. Once your pixie cut is all set, ask your hairstylist for a shaved look starting just about level with your ear. If you’re feeling daring. you can even have a pattern shaved into this section!