You’ve picked out the perfect wedding dress (or suit), booked a makeup trial and found a pair of comfortable heels that will let you rage on the dance floor. Now, all you need to figure out is what to do with your hair. Weddings are marathon events, so it’s key to find something that both complements your outfit and won’t be completely undone by the time you make your sparkler exit. Don’t have long locks? That doesn’t mean you’re out of options. From buns to braids and everything in between, get ready to say “I do” to these 35 wedding hairstyles for short hair, recommended by stylists.
35 Wedding Hairstyles for Short Hair, From Old Hollywood Glam to Boho Chic
It’s a lot of Old Hollywood glam
Meet the Experts
- Trace Henningsen is a hairstylist, Leonor Greyl brand ambassador and founder and owner of Henningsen & Co., a bespoke hair accessories line. Henningsen has been in the beauty industry for over a decade, having worked with brands like of Rodarte, Dior and Céline.
- Fabio Scalia is the owner of Fabio Scalia Salons in New York City, which has salons in Soho and Brooklyn Heights. Scalia has been working in the industry since he was 12 and is an expert in hair growth and trichology. He has trained at multiple academies, including Aldo Coppola, Vidal Sassoon and TONI&GUY, in addition to working in top salons from Milan to Monte Carlo.
- Jennifer Korab is the owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa and Revival Barber Shop in New Jersey. Korab has extensive experience working New York Fashion Week and celebrity photo shoots.
- Jacelyn Bautista is a stylist at NYC THE TEAM hair salon in New York City. Bautista specializes in cutting and styling and has been in the industry for over 10 years, having worked with Whoopi Goldberg at The View. She trained with AVEDA and Vidal Sassoon.
- Tanya Bures is the founder of Page Beauty, a wedding hair and makeup studio based in Los Angeles. Previously, she was the West Coast National Artist for NARS Cosmetics before launching Page Beauty in 2013.
- Sydney Staehle is the lead hairstylist at Page Beauty who has been working in the wedding industry since 2015. She joined Page Beauty in 2021 and has since traveled across the U.S. and Mexico servicing brides on their multi-day wedding events.
- Sarah Potempa is a celebrity stylist and co-founder of The Beachwaver Co. She is known for designing the first-ever rotating curling iron, the Beachwaver, and uses the tool to create waves for her clients. She has also worked on editorial shoots for publications such as Vogue, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue and Vanity Fair. Her celebrity clientele includes Camila Cabello, Jennifer Garner, Ana de Armas and Lea Michele.
- David Cruz is a celebrity hairstylist and brand ambassador for Colorproof. He specializes in runway and editorial, and you might’ve seen his work in New York Fashion Week and the Met Gala, as well as in Vogue, W Magazine and Elle Magazine. His previous clients include Alexandria Daddario, Kristin Chenoweth, Chrissy Teigen and Hilary Duff.
- Larry Sims is a celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Flawless by Gabrielle Union. He has over two decades of experience doing editorial, red carpet and brand campaign looks. He has a long list of credits including Vogue, Allure, Essence Magazine and Elle. His previous clients include Janet Jackson, Zendaya, Regina King, Kerry Washington and Tracee Ellis Ross.
- Michelle O’Connor is the global artistic director of Matrix, a haircare brand that specializes in hair care, coloring and styling. O’Connor is a five-time winner of the North American Hairstyling Awards and educator who has been featured in Allure, Byrdie and InStyle, among others.
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1. French Roll
When it comes to wedding hairstyles for short hair, it doesn’t get more chic than the French Roll. According to Henningsen, this updo is best done on second-day hair refreshed with texture spray or dry shampoo, which will add to the “undone” look.
To style, gather hair at the nape of the neck like you would for a low ponytail, before twisting the ends upward. “Once you reach the crown, start to coil the twisted hair into a roll,” she explains. “Allow the roll to be loose and tousled and use hair pins or bobby pins to secure the roll in place, crisscrossing the pins for added stability. Gently pull on the sides of the roll to create a softer, more casual appearance. Don't worry about achieving a perfectly sleek look; the charm of a French roll is in its effortless style.”
2. Soft Low Bun with Waves on Top
If you have shoulder length hair, this wedding hairstyle is a fun way to give you a volume boost. Those with straight hair will need to start by adding waves throughout. (Henningsen recommends using a barrel waver.) If your hair is already wavy, this is a great way to embrace your natural hair texture, which can be enhanced with texture spray. Then, part your hair as desired, pulling it into a low ponytail and swirling it into a bun. To create the top, “Gently pull on the hair at the crown to create a bit of volume and soften the waves at the top,” Henningsen explains. “This adds to the overall relaxed and romantic feel of the hairstyle.”
3. Low Swirl and Bun
Wedding hairstyles for short hair don’t have to be boring or complicated. Here, a delicate swirl of hair in front adds just the right amount of flair, and it couldn’t be easier to do. Prep your hair with a styling product of your choice—Henningson likes to use a mousse on short hair. Section off a front portion of your hair for the swirl and curl it, leaving it out of the bun to frame your face. Alternatively, you can work it into the bun by twisting the piece into a small coil towards the nape of your neck, Henningson explains.
“Use bobby pins to secure the swirl in place. If your hair is short and some ends stick out, you can leave them loose for a slightly messy and playful look.”
4. Chignon with Crown
Buns and chignons can be great wedding hairstyles for short hair, just keep in mind their size will depend on the length of your locks. The key to this hairstyle, according to Scalia, is creating a soft ponytail that will give the illusion of more volume. That, and some mousse if your hair is on the finer side. To create the crown, tease or curl pieces of hair at the top of the head (what Scalia calls the “horseshoe” section) to create texture as you tuck and pin them around the bun. Finish with hairspray.
5. Wavy Bun
For this hairstyle, prep your strands with a product that will add shine and definition. (Scalia recommends Kérastase’s L’Huile Originale.) Before creating the bun, separate some sections of hair and curl them for a wavy texture. Then, pull it all into a ponytail and pin the ends in place to create the bun shape.
6. Swirled Bun with Teased Top
If you want some lift on top but your hair is short, Scalia says you’ll need an extension piece and a volumizing blow out to achieve the style. Be sure to prep your hair with texture spray to help create additional volume. A leave-in conditioner will help give definition to the sections of hair used to create the swirl effect.
“Tease or backcomb the top part of the hair and make a base at the bottom of the nape,” he says. “With your extension(s), wrap around the ponytail and from there create the bun.” The swirl is created by taking two sections of hair from either side and crisscrossing them over the bun.
7. Short Updo with Hairpins
The updo is one of the simplest wedding hairstyles for short hair—and you can probably do it yourself. “Using a soft finish hairspray, smooth and tuck the sides and back. Then, secure the ends with bobby pins,” Korab says. “Use decorative hair pins to enhance the look.”
8. Looped Updo
To achieve this style, Korab advises using an oil or cream to help the hair loop through smoothly. She also finds it helpful to loop the hair through a bobby pin to guide it during the weaving process.
9. Wavy French Roll
The secret to the waves in this French Roll is a large curling iron. After you’ve curled your hair, run a comb through to soften the ringlets into waves. To construct the hairstyle, Korab explains, “Comb the hair to one side, placing pins to hold it in place. Wrap the hair around your hand to create the roll and use large hair pins to secure it.”
10. Simple Chignon
“Chignon” is just the French term to describe a bun. (It may bring to mind Brigitte Bardot.) Depending on the length of your hair, the bun can be high or low. To create the look, Korab advises prepping the hair with a soft-finish hairspray before combing it into a ponytail and securing the bun with hair pins.
11. Low Bun and a Delicate Hairpiece
12. Small Chignon with Floral Accent
Korab’s secret to nailing the floral accent is to use an odd number of flowers and keep them to one side of the chignon. "Lightly spray the base of the flower with hairspray to create some tack,” she adds. Secure them with pins.
13. Messy Bouffant with Loose Bun
A good bouffant is all about volume, and for that you’ll need texture spray and paste, Korab says. The first step is to create a messy bun (the hair donut comes in handy here as well), and then use the paste to piece out the ends for a messy-cool look.
14. Tousled Chignon
The tousled chignon is one of several wedding hairstyles for short hair that works better on second day hair. To create the look, Bautista says to curl the hair, before setting it with a light to medium hold hairspray or texture spray. Gather it into a low ponytail, but instead of pulling the hair all the way through on the last pass, create a doughnut shape and let some of the curls hang loose. Pin the bun on both sides to hold.
15. Voluminous French Roll
Anything French has us saying “oui, oui” and this updo is no exception. It’s got that inexplicable charm that makes it elusively chic. “To create this look, blow dry the hair smooth and tie into a low ponytail,” Bautista explains. If desired, you can use a 1.5-inch curling iron to loosely curl the ends. Then, twist the hair upward, tucking it against the head and securing with pins. "To set the French roll, spray with medium to strong hold hairspray.” Top with an accessory and you’re good to go.
16. Volumized Waves with Low Loop
Here’s proof that something doesn’t have to be complicated for it to be good. With some volume spray, a curling iron and quick bun, you have a sophisticated wedding hairstyle that makes the most of locks at any length. Bautista advises applying a volumizing spray to your roots before blow drying to get maximum lift. Then, finish with a 1- to 1.5- inch curling iron to create the loose waves.
17. Sleek Low Bun
If any of these wedding hairstyles for short hair are the definition of “low maintenance,” it’s the sleek low bun. “There’s nothing more beautiful than showing off the features of your face with a sleek, chic updo,” Staehle says.
18. Side Updo
The secret to this romantically swoopy updo is to swirl the hair as you pin it up, Bures explains. Securing the style with hair pins will give it additional detail. “This works especially well for brides with chin-length hair,” she says.
19. Boho Bun with Loose Ends
“This is the perfect ‘done but undone style’ for the bride who wants to appear effortlessly chic,” O’Connor says. To start, she asserts that it’s important to build texture and volume before pulling your hair into a bun. “Follow your eyeline to create a mid-height ponytail,” she advises. You want a billowing, loose ponytail. Secure the bun and then pull out pieces until you have your desired shape, then set with hairspray.
20. Teased Updo with Hairpins
This updo is open for interpretation: make it a bun or a ponytail or a variation that suits your fancy. O’Connor recommends pearl or embellished hair accessories to elevate the look beyond the basic bobby pin.
21. Chignon with Tendrils
Pulling out a few tendrils gives this classic chignon a playful, undone vibe. To create the look, O’Connor says a good base is important, especially if you want a sleek look. (Though, the above photo shows that tousled is also a solid choice.) If your hair is too short (it’s best if you have five inches of length or more), go for extensions. For shiny locks, apply hair oil before tying the hair in a ponytail at the nape of the neck.
22. Messy Waves with Mini Buns
Whether you want one topknot, dual space buns or a cluster of baby buns, this wedding hairstyle is fun. Use a 1.5-inch curling iron to give your hair loose curls, leaving the ends straight. O’Connor recommends spraying the curls with wax spray for added texture and lift. Then, pin your bun(s) into place and accessorize to your liking.
23. Bridal Bob with Barrettes
The bob is one of the wedding styles for short hair you can easily do yourself. According to Korab, all you need is heat protectant and a hot iron to add waves, plus your favorite hair pins. She loves the convenience of a hair waver, while we’d vote for the T3 Ceramic Curling Iron). For additional volume and texture, give your hair a spritz of texture spray before securing it with barrettes.
24. Vintage Bob with Deep Side Part
If there’s one wedding hairstyle for short hair that will always remain a classic, it’s the vintage bob that brings Old Hollywood glamour. Take a page from Zendaya at the 2023 SAG awards and add a dramatic, deep side part. The key to obtaining the sensual “S” wave of the hair is, according to Bautista, a one-inch curling iron. Make sure to pin and set the curls in the same direction. After they’ve cooled, use a wide-tooth comb to brush them out gently.
25. Fun and Flirty
If your directives are “fun and flirty,” try this unfussy style that’ll hold its own on the dance floor. Staehle styles this look by starting with a volume or texture spray and then using a beach waver or curling iron for an “I woke up like this” look.
26. Tuck One Side
“Whether you wear it straight or curly, tucking one side brings a little drama to a short hairstyle,” Staehle says. Secure the tucked side of your hair with a decorative pin or fun twist to hold.
27. Blunt-Cut Bob
While it seems like the shag is everywhere, you can never go wrong with the blunt-cut bob. Plus, you have plenty of styling options to choose from: blown out, sleek and shiny, curled, wavy, half-up, the list goes on.
Half Up/Half Down
28. Twisted Half Updo
We love the sweet simplicity of a twisted half updo, which provides just the right balance of structure and flow. To achieve the look, Henningsen advises starting with dry hair and applying a texture spray or dry shampoo. Create a high ponytail with a section of hair from the crown of your head. Loop the hair through the ponytail for the twist effect and set with hairspray. (Her favorite is the Leonor Greyl Laque Souple.)
29. Half-Up Wavy Lob
Wedding hairstyles for short hair can’t get much easier than this. If your hair is lob length, curl it with a large or medium barrel curing iron and give it a few spritzes of shine spray, Scalia says. Then, take two pieces of hair on either side of your head and pull them back into a half-up ponytail, creating a knot that’s secured by a pin.
30. Twisted Shoulder-Length Half-Up with Balayage
We love a good half-ponytail, and this wedding hairstyle is a fun way to show off your balayage. Korab recommends prepping your hair with a serum to create a sleek, shiny look. “Take a diagonal back section on the side and loosely twist back and secure with a pin,” she explains. “Do the same on the other side. Loosely pull the twist out to create a relaxed look.”
31. Half-Up Bouffant with Tight Ringlets
Retro wedding hairstyles for short hair are always sure to infuse timeless elegance into your bridal look. For the half-up bouffant, use a medium or large round brush to blow out your hair. Bautista uses rollers to set the sections and ensure the volume holds. She says that you can either back-comb and tease the hair or use a hair piece to create the bouffant. Then, use a curling iron with a small barrel to create tight ringlets throughout.
32. Half-Updo with Side Tresses
When it comes to wedding hairstyles for short hair, it’s safe to say none are short on the Old Hollywood glam. O’Connor creates this look by blow drying hair that has been prepped with a mousse to ensure volume and hold. Use a one- or quarter- inch curling iron to add curls and then pull up half the hair, teasing the back and securing with hairspray. “Cover the teased hair with a strand to make sure everything looks smooth for your wedding photos,” O’Connor advises. “Finally, pull out your desired face-framing pieces and use your curling iron to redefine the hair.”
33. Tousled Side Braid
This messy, lived-in look is great for a boho or woodland fairy wedding and is easy to style. Start by parting your hair and using a brush to smooth out the tangles. Then, choose the type of braid you want. Options include the Dutch braid, French braid, fishtail or the traditional three-strand.
“For a tousled look, a loose three-strand braid or a fishtail braid works well,” Henningson says. “Gently pull on the sections of the braid to loosen it and create a more voluminous and textured look.”
34. Half Braid
Another good option for lob-length hair is this half braid. The trick, Scalia explains, is to create texture by prepping your hair with mousse, blowing it out and curling it.
“Don’t curl those ends, otherwise it will lose some of the length and the shape,” he cautions. Secure the half-braid with pins before combing out the strands. If your hair is dry, he recommends finishing with hair oil to give it more shine and polish.
35. Relaxed Waves with a Dutch Braid
You don’t need extraordinarily long hair for this wedding hairstyle, even shoulder-length hair will do. “Start by adding a wave to the hair for texture,” Korab explains. “Next create the Dutch braid.” To finish the look, gently pull out a few strands for a more relaxed look.
How to Choose Your Wedding Hairstyle
When it comes to one of the most important days of your life, you want to make sure you choose a wedding hairstyle that will make the day seamless.
“When we help brides decide on a hairstyle, we consider the environment of the ceremony, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, and if it’s outside near the ocean air, inland where there’s less humidity or high on a hilltop where wind plays a factor,” Bures explains. “If it’s indoors, there’s more flexibility in the controlled environment for glam waves or a simple down-do, and there’s less worry about the waves falling, getting tangled or losing their shape early on.”
- Take the theme into consideration. “It’s important to choose a hairstyle that suits the full vibe of the wedding,” says Korab. Ask yourself, is this a black tie, garden-inspired event, or a tropical wedding? The dress code can help you decide which hairstyle to rock for the celebration.
- Pick a hairstyle that complements your dress. “An updo allows you to show off the top or back detailing of your dress, while leaving your hair half up or all the way down [may be] a more comfortable option,” Potempa says. “Then, there are braids, twists and other styles that can reflect your personal style."
- Keep your accessories in mind. Cruz adds, “If there is a veil, where do you want it placed? Be sure to have someone assigned at the wedding and reception to help you take off the veil to minimize any hair mistakes later on.”
- Choose comfort over trends. If you’re the one getting married, it might be tempting to pick a popular look without considering how it will make you feel on the big day. “[Your] wedding day is so personal. Your hairstyle should be something [that makes] you feel comfortable and not add more stress to your day,” says Sims.
- Think about your face shape and hair type. From straight to curly hair and oval to round shape, these factors can play a big role in your decision. “Consider your face shape to help determine which hairstyle best complements your features,” adds Sims.
- Book a consultation with your hairstylist. If you have a designated hairstylist for the wedding, Cruz recommends scheduling a consultation with them beforehand. “When you set up a hair trial with your hairdresser, be sure to bring pictures of your dress from the fitting, so they can see what you're wearing and how it looks on you,” he says. While bringing pictures of celebrities and models can be helpful, be open-minded if your hairstylist has a personal suggestion. “They have likely seen and done dozens of weddings and can make really great recommendations that will make your hair look amazing for your special day.”