14 Fancy Hairstyles for Short Hair for All Your Parties

Pony up with these romantic updos for short hair that can update any basic crop.

Nothing compares to the tummy flurry we get every time we get an invite to a dressed-up occasion. Sure, we’re super excited, but the mini-panic attacks these things induce are also a very real thing, particularly when actual glam is involved. So much so that we put together a compendium of fancy hairstyles for short hair to help out with this conundrum (because, you know, getting creative with five inches of hair is not exactly the easiest thing!).

Whether it’s for a wedding, swanky brunch or hot date, there’s no reason to not think out of the box with your short hair every now and again. Read on for a roundup of some romantic updos for short hair that we can see you slaying—yes, even you there with the cute pixie cut:

14 Fancy Updos for Short Hair

side braided fancy hairstyles for short hair
Add an accessory to brighten things up (and hide your pins too).

1. The Side-Braid

Perhaps one of the easiest elegant updos for short hair, a small side braid doesn’t require much length to build into a regular boys’ cut. Simply create a side part and start a regular three-strand braid from the hairline downwards towards one ear. Secure this look with some carefully placed bobby pins, affix a sparkly barrette to hide any seams and tame any flyaways with a frizz-fighting hairspray, like Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Anti-Humidity Hairspray.

bunned fancy hairstyles for short hair
Twist hair into a rope to make for easier bunning. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

2. The Low Chignon

Elevated low buns are a definite go-to for nights that call for fancy hair. For short hair like bobs or lobs, this look entails first gathering hair into a low ponytail then twisting it around itself to form a chignon. Secure any loose tendrils on the sides with some pins, and employ the help of some firm-hold (yet non-sticky) hairspray, like TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Firm Hold Hairspray, for insurance.

braided fancy hairstyles for short hair
Fancy hairstyles for short hair: Use as many (or as few) braids as you wish. Photo credit: Dvora

3. The Accented Pony

Need something that’s kicky enough for an outdoor fête (barbecue season is around the corner, yaaas!), but don’t want to look like you tried too hard? Go with a braided ponytail. Section off the top half of your hair and start a skinny accent braid down the center, then incorporate it into the rest of your hair into a mid-height pony.

pompadour fancy hairstyles for short hair
A volumizing hairspray also works wonders in affixing this height.

4. The Pixie Pomp

There’s always a way to dress up any hair length, and pixie cuts are no exception. Backcomb the hairline and crown area with a fine-toothed comb, and gently smooth it back over with the help of some cream (we like Bed Head by TIGI Manipulator for this look). You can choose to slick down the sides, or affix them to your scalp with a couple of bobby pins and a volumizing hairspray, like TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray, for true staying power. Achievement unlocked!

braided fancy hairstyles for short hair
Double braids spiff up your regular low bun. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

5. The Double-Braided Bun

What’s better than one braid, you ask? Making it a double. Pinch two strips on opposite sides of your head and create a skinny accent braid with each (helps with cowlick issues as well!). Secure with pins at the end, or if you have enough length, directly incorporate them all into a low bun at your nape. Works as a bushy low pony too.

half-updo fancy hairstyles for short hair
A wet look keeps it modern. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

6. The Half-Pony

Upgrade this no-brainer with a runway-approved wet finish. Use a dime-sized amount of shiny gel, like TRESemmé TRES Two Mega Firm Control Gel, and rake it through the top half of your head using your fingers (très chic when a bit undone!). Affix in a half-ponytail with an unobtrusive hair tie or minimalistic barrette.

natural fancy hairstyles for short hair
Use a fine-toothed comb for a smoother base. Photo credit: Dvora

7. The Fluffy High Pony

For ladies with natural texture, a puffy ponytail is a super-cute way to wear your locks if they fall chin-length or thereabouts. Comb hair up into a refined high pony and allow your curls to naturally spread over your crown. A firm-hold gel, like TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Firm Control Gel, helps smooth down any halo frizz, pesky flyaways and loose tendrils at the nape area.

twisted fancy hairstyles for short hair
Fancy hairstyles for short hair: The herringbone detail of the twist is love! Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

8. The Faux-Braid

A charming throwback to the ’80s (you know it’s party-approved!), this twisted half-updo is also quite easy to master. Just twist sections from either side of your head inwards and tie off. Continue for however many rows you like—or as many as your hair allows—and you’re on with your day.

vintage fancy hairstyles for short hair
Fancy hairstyles for short hair: A vintage-inspired ‘do always saves the day. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

9. The Inverted Rollup

For those truly in need of a wowing look, a turn-of-the-century-inspired roll is something to get in on. Essentially an exaggerated flip, this requires the help of some bobby pins and smoothing serum (we like S Factor by TIGI Smoothing Lusterizer for that glamorous sheen). Apply a dot of product onto strands, brush through and roll hair outwards and upwards, section by section, securing each onto the scalp with pins on the inseam. Takes practice, but the payoff is stunning.

beehived fancy hairstyles for short hair
Fancy hairstyles for short hair: A baby beehive can be achieved with a few minor tweaks.

10. The Bouffant

A mod baby beehive is another confident fancy updo, and yes, there are ways to hack around this look without losing your marbles. First section off the front fringe area and clip aside—you’ll need space for backcombing your crown. Tease hair at the top of your crown area from ends to roots, and smooth the fuzz over towards the back using the lightest of touches. Secure at the back of your head with some pins, and smooth down the fringe area with some gel or serum to further tame any flyaways on your newly formed bump.

fancy hairstyles for short hair with a headband
The easiest of ’em all (also super on-trend for S/S 2018).

11. Waves with a Headband

After curling hair using a flat iron (here’s how), muss up your bends with your fingers. Push up an embellished headband right where your curls start for a faux beehive effect.

knotted fancy hairstyles for short hair
Perfect for summer parties and outdoor jaunts!

12. The Half-Bun

You can also coil wavy or texturized hair into a fun little half-top knot. This looks better without any visible elastics, so try to secure with bobby pins or a hair-colored hair tie looped at the very base. This hairstyle looks more interesting when done on rougher, more matte strands, so use a salt spray, like Suave Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion Texturizing Sea Salt Spray, to help create added texture to your short hair.

twisted fancy hairstyles for short hair fringes
Fancy hairstyles for short hair: Twist once or multiple times, depending on how loose you want your look to be.

13. The Twisted Fringe

In the mood for love—and some quick romantic updos for short hair? Never underestimate the power of a twisted look, especially for date night. It’s a polished way of updating your regular pixie or bob, but with almost zero effort (and a whole lotta cuteness). All it takes is a literal flick of the wrist while you’re smoothing back your fringe, and voilà. Affix with a bobby pin and flirt the night away.

fishtailed fancy hairstyles for short hair
Fancy hairstyles for short hair: A fishtail braid is a cute step-up from a normal half-pony.

14. The Fishtailed Fringe

Flex those braiding chops and work it on your fringe area, but this time using bigger, shorter links. Secure with an elastic or a barrette clipped on at the end of your fishtail.

Loved these elegant hairstyles for short hair? Check out more trends in our roundup of the latest looks for 2017.