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21 Short Haircuts for Thick Hair | Airy, Lightweight Ideas

Thick hair can be heavy, bulky, and unflattering in certain short styles, but there’s no need to skip out on trendy short haircuts if you’re blessed with an extra-full mane. You just need to know the best short haircuts for thick hair!

We’ll show you the haircut elements to use – like layers, tapering, slide cutting, and bangs – to make thick hair look super chic and stylish in a lightweight, airy short style.

Learn all the basics to getting a flattering short haircut with thick hair and see tons of cute examples below! 

The Basics of Short Haircuts for Thick Hair

  • Chic crops and tousled pixies are great super-short options for thick hair
  • Layered bixies, bobs, and lobs with or without asymmetry work well
  • Layers, tapering, bangs, and slide cutting make thick hair more manageable

They say the grass is always greener on the other side, right? If you’re blessed with a thick, lush head of hair, you know that’s true. Everyone oohs and ahhs over how dense and full your mane is.

But they probably don’t realize what an absolute pain it can be to dry, style, and cut into a short style without getting the dreaded, poofy “triangle” effect! Short haircuts for thick hair do require a little finessing.

You can’t get it chopped off into just any short cut and expect beautifully lightweight, perfectly shaped results. But if you know the types of short haircuts that work best for thick, full hair, you can guarantee a beautiful result. 

Thick hair can be worn in almost any short hairstyle when it’s cut properly with the right techniques to flatter a thick mane. Crops, pixies, bixies (pixie bobs), short bobs, two block cuts, and lobs are all gorgeous options for thick, full hair.

You just need to ensure these short haircuts are done with the right cutting techniques and style elements to look their best in thick hair! 

4 Keys to Gorgeous Short Haircuts for Thick Hair

Woman getting a short haircut for thick hair in a salon while closing her eyes


You can make a short haircut better suited for thick hair by working in a few different haircutting techniques and elements. Layers, tapering, bangs, and thinning techniques are all great ways to make thick hair look amazing in a short and trendy haircut. 


Getting layers removes heavy bulk, revives wave and curl patterns, and adds a little more texture and lightweight movement to thick hair. The type of layers you choose is very important, though.

What you don’t want are heavy, choppy layers – this will only make your hair look bulkier in spots and thin/stringy in others. For thick hair, getting internal layers (also known as invisible layers) is a great choice.

This type of layer removes interior bulk and weight from thick hair without looking obviously layered and choppy on the outermost layer of hair. Long, blended layers are also flattering for short, thick hair.

Long layers that blend into the cut well won’t appear shaggy or rough and will encourage your strands to lay properly, blending into the layers underneath for more movement and swing. You’ll achieve more height and volume at the crown with less bulk and heaviness at the ends.

Read Next: How to Activate Curls and How to Braid Layered Hair


Short tapered haircuts for women are absolutely ideal for thick hair. Tapering removes all the bulk and weight at the bottom of your cut by clipping the bottommost layers of hair in progressively shorter layers toward the neckline.

If you want to avoid a bottom-heavy short haircut with thick hair, tapering is a surefire way to achieve a more airy, lightweight cut. Tapered haircuts can be tweaked to create the look you want.

Tapering can be done on super-short styles, like crops and pixies, to keep the look neat and tidy. When you taper the bottom, short haircuts better follow the shape of your head for a sleek, airy look that isn’t too heavy. 

You can also taper a slightly longer bob or two block cut to remove interior bulk at the bottom and/or sides of the cut. If you want, you can make your tapered sections invisible by letting longer layers of hair fall over the shortest tapered sections.   


Bangs are like a secret weapon for super-thick, lush strands. If your hair tends to hang in your face or crowds out your facial features by adding too much volume on the sides, bangs will be your saving grace. 

Bangs take those frontmost strands and cut them short so they perfectly frame your face instead of obscuring it. They’re also a great way to keep your short haircut looking full and healthy without as much bulk since the bangs are shorter than the rest of the style. 

Opt for bangs that best suit your face shape with thick hair for the most flattering look.

Blunt bangs across the forehead work well with heart and oval face shapes, while long bangs that skim the cheekbones or jawline look great on round, square, and oval faces. Split French bangs can be a great fit for any face shape. 

Slide Cutting/Thinning

Slide cutting and other thinning techniques are a must for super thick hair when it’s cut short. Thinning out your full mane will help your hair adopt a sleeker look with less bulky volume.

You can avoid the dreaded triangle or bell-shaped look by having your strands slide-cut or thinned with thinning shears. Slide cutting is the best thinning technique to use with thick hair because it won’t look awkward as your hair grows out.

With slide cutting, your stylist will slide the scissors along thin sections of hair at a steep angle to remove bulk and weight almost invisibly. 

With thinning shears, the open sections of the scissors are designed to capture and cut about 15% of your strands to leave behind a thinner, less bulky section. It works well and really removes a lot of weight, but it can be awkward and unruly during the grow-out phase if you don’t plan to keep your hair short. 

21 Stylish Short Haircuts for Thick Hair

Want more movement, less bulk, and all the compliments? Then you need to try one of these gorgeous short haircuts for thick hair.

Each one is designed to take out excessive weight and heaviness to leave behind airy, lightweight strands that still look healthy and full. You’ll see tons of pretty, short haircut options for thick hair below! 

1. Shattered Chin-Length Bob

Shattered Chin-Length Bob for a piece on the best short haircuts for thick hair

Sofia Zhuravetc/Shutterstock

Internal layers, long layers blended into the cut, and long face-framing bangs make this short haircut a must for thick-haired ladies. Styling it with a side part imparts extra volume on top while the interior layers keep the sides from being too bulky. 

2. Edgy Tapered Pixie With Burst Fade

Edgy Tapered Pixie With Burst Fade, a great short haircut for thick haired women

Eugene Partyzan/Shutterstock

Take a walk on the wild side with a super-short pixie cut that’s very flattering for thick hair. This cut is tapered around the bottom of the back and sides and includes a shorter burst fade around the ears for a sleek, no-bulk look. Length on top creates a little crown volume, which is ideal for short, thick hair. 

3. Tapered Coily Crop

Tapered Coily Crop, a featured short haircut for thick hair


Cropped styles can be a great fit for thick hair when you use that blessed volume on top and bring the shape inward on the sides and back. Tapering with scissors or clippers allows you to rock short length down the back and sides before blooming out into a lifted, voluminous longer section on top. 

4. Collapsed Bob With Cheekbone-Skimming Bangs

Collapsed Bob With Cheekbone-Skimming Bangs for a piece on short haircuts for thick hair


Collapsing a bob refers to adding internal layers that “collapse” the shape of the bob and flatten it out a bit at the sides. This is the ideal method to use for thick hair cut into short styles.

Whether you go with thinning shears or slide-cutting to remove the extra bulk hanging around the sides and back of your head, this is a gorgeous look for thick hair.

5. Feathery Tapered Pixie With Long Bangs

As an image for a roundup of short haircuts for thick hair, a woman wearing a Feathery Tapered Pixie With Long Bangs cut


If what you’re looking for is a light, feathery look that is free from bulk and heavy weight, a pixie is perfect! This pixie is tapered in the back with layers that progressively shorten toward the neckline for a sleek silhouette.

In the front, a side part shows off longer bangs that are styled up and over with tons of volume for lift where you want it. 

6. Thinned Inverted Bob With Face-Framing Layers

Thinned Inverted Bob With Face-Framing Layers for a roundup of the best short haircuts for women with thick hair


Keeping a bob sleek and far from bulky is a challenge with thick hair, but it’s possible with slide-cutting down the sides and back! This cut has a lot of internal bulk and weight taken out with the slide-cutting technique and features lightweight layers around the face for an airy, floaty feel. 

7. Airy Bixie Cut With Side-Swept Bangs

Airy Bixie Cut With Side-Swept Bangs


The bixie cut looks best with volume and height on top, which thick hair is perfectly suited to provide! Smoothly tapered layers on the bottom half of the cut bring the shape of the cut inward to concentrate all that volume on top and still take on a sleek shape.  

8. Collapsed Bob With Subtle Face-Framing Layers

Collapsed Bob With Subtle Face-Framing Layers, one of the best short haircuts for thick haired women


This sleek, collapsed bob has no bulk and looks ultra airy and lightweight. Not possible for thick hair, you say? The secret is in the slide-cutting technique! Scissors are glided down small sections of hair to reduce their volume and bulk for a sleek, head-hugging style that really flatters all face shapes. 

9. Tapered Pixie With Side Bangs

Tapered Pixie With Side Bangs as a piece on the best short haircuts for thick hair


Extra length on top is an opportunity to let your thick hair do what it does best – create tons of flattering volume. This pixie layers the top softly to add movement and tapers the bottom portion for a head-hugging shape that is free from heavy weight and bulk. 

10. Chin-Length Wavy Layered Bob

Chin-Length Wavy Layered Bob

Dan Gutu/Shutterstock

Layers make wavy textures really stand out and take shape in a short haircut, especially on thick hair. This kind of cut shapes the natural waves by cutting layers at the proper points in the wave pattern. The layers remove weight from the ends to add movement and a lightweight look to this pretty bob.

11. Shattered Bob With Long Layers

Shattered Bob With Long Layers


With the uneven ends of a shattered bob, you can make a short haircut for thick hair look undone and casual with a touch of poise and class. Long layering through the top section of hair adds a little more texture and movement, while internal layers de-bulk the cut for a smooth, flat finish. 

12. Top-Heavy Layered Pixie Cut

For a piece on the best short haircuts for thick hair, a woman wears a cut titled Top-Heavy Layered Pixie Cut


Since your mane is already full, thick, and lush, you may as well put it to work! Leaving the top portion of a pixie cut much longer gives you more style options and helps you achieve big volume and lift on top.

The back and sides are tapered short to focus the volume on the top for the most flattering silhouette. Style the layers with mousse and your fingers for a tousled, messy look. 

13. Chic Softly Layered Rounded Bob

Chic Softly Layered Rounded Bob, a great short hairstyle for women with thick hair

ShotPrime Studio/Shutterstock

This polished bob gives us major Dana Scully vibes – full, perfectly styled, and oh-so-chic. Soft layers on top curve back away from the face with interior layers managing the thickness on the sides. The rounded bottom props the length up and shapes it nicely for thick hair. 

14. Thinned Lob With Tucked Ends

Thinned Lob With Tucked Ends

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

When you thin out thick hair with thinning shears or the more subtle slide-cutting technique, the hair is able to lay down a bit flatter without appearing bulky or triangular in a bob or lob haircut. This style is parted just off-center and tucked under softly at the ends to frame the face. 

15. Airy Tousled Pixie With Long Top

Airy Tousled Pixie With Long Top

Nataliia Melnychuk/Shutterstock

If you’re craving an airy, lightweight cut that feels freeing and releases all the weight of your thick strands, it’s hard to beat a pixie. This version features a longer top so you can style it up with tousled, messy texture and waves. The back and sides taper in to keep the cut feeling light and full of movement. 

16. Tapered Curly Bob With Full Bangs

Tapered Curly Bob With Full Bangs, a featured short haircut for thick hair

Look Studio/Shutterstock

Curls can pose an even more challenging issue with thick hair – they create more volume and easily slip into the bell or triangle shape in bob cuts.

This bob is nicely shaped and thinned out a bit with internal layering and tapered ends that shorten near the bottom. Full bangs round it out and keep thick strands from obscuring your face. 

17. Lightweight Bob With Soft Face-Framing Layers

Lightweight Bob With Soft Face-Framing Layers, a women's short haircut for thick hair


Very thick and full hair makes a beautiful foundation for a bob with side bangs when it’s properly layered and cut. Long, slide-cut layers around the face help the thick bangs feather back while internal layers keep the bob manageable without too much heft around the sides.

18. Long Pixie With Tapered Undercut 

Long Pixie With Tapered Undercut , a featured short hairstyle for thick hair


A long pixie cut is ideal for thick hair because it needs a little fullness to create volume and lift on top. It also keeps the bottom portion and sides very short so you get the benefit of a sleeker silhouette with no extra poof! Tapering around the bottom and sides gives this cut a seamless, polished look. 

19. Sleek Collapsed Asymmetrical Bob 

Sleek Collapsed Asymmetrical Bob, one of the best short hairstyles for thick hair

George Mayer/Shutterstock

A little asymmetry is a great trick to balance the weight of thick hair and instantly adds interest to a short haircut. This bob is both inverted (longer in the front) and asymmetrical (longer on one side) for a one-two punch! Collapsing the bob with internal layers in the bottom portion keeps it sleek, even on thick and unruly strands. 

20. Side-Swept Pixie Bob With Crown Volume

Side-Swept Pixie Bob With Crown Volume, a great short haircut for thick haired women


Longer than a pixie but a little shorter than a classic bob, this pixie bob is a great look for thick hair and easily hides internal layers.

Layering around the crown with long tapering in the back stacks the hair for extra crown volume (so flattering). Style it swept over to the side with piece-y texture for a casual look that’s lightweight. 

21. Tapered Short Inverted Bob

Tapered Short Inverted Bob, a featured short haircut for thick hair


Instantly take off tons of weight and bulk in the back with a little tapering near the neckline. Clippers can give you a gradual, smooth length transition that lifts the top portion while keeping the bottom half of the bob sleek and polished. Go crazy with purple tones to really make this look unique! 

Tips and Things to Consider

Managing and styling thick hair isn’t such a chore when you know all the secrets. Check out these tips and considerations for short, thick hair – you might learn something that turns out to be a game-changer! 

  • Find out your hair type for custom care. Healthy hair always looks better, whether it’s super thick or baby-fine. Determining your hair type will make it simple to track what your hair needs, from how often to wash to which products are best for it. Check out our hair type chart to learn your hair type (1A straight, 3C curls, etc.) to help your mane look and feel healthy in a short haircut. 
  • Say no to razoring your hair. Razor cuts used to be really popular and a common way to thin out very thick hair. The problem is that sliding a razor down the length of your hair leaves you with frizz, damaged strands, and an unruly look that can make thick hair appear bulkier. Let a skilled stylist slide-cut your hair or use extra-sharp thinning shears instead of razoring and you’ll have better results in the long run. 
  • Pump up the volume on top. Even if you don’t want to thin out your naturally thick hair (and we don’t blame you!), you can still minimize the bulky look with a short haircut by maximizing your volume on top. This creates the illusion of a sleeker silhouette down the sides, plus height and volume on top is flattering on every face shape. Volumizing spray, powder, or even dry shampoo can help you achieve that beautiful lift. 
  • Use the right products. Thick hair is dense – there’s a lot of it – and may be fine, medium, or coarse in texture. To make thick hair look its best in a short haircut, you’ll want to minimize frizz with anti-frizz serum and ensure your mane is properly moisturized to prevent frizz and dryness. A hair mask once or twice a week is perfect for this! Look for styling products made for your hair texture (fine, medium, or coarse) to ensure your products are working with, not against, your hair.  
  • Don’t thin your hair at home. Seriously. Thinning out thick hair can easily get out of hand when you’re not sure what you’re doing. Professionals know the proper angles to cut, where to slice the hair, and how thick each section should be for thinning. While it’s fun to DIY some stuff, thinning your hair at home is not worth it.

So, Which Short Haircuts for Thick Hair Are Your Faves?

Not all short haircuts work for super-thick hair, but thankfully, there are tons of cute options for the most substantial strands. Keeping the basics in mind will help you land on a gorgeous cut that optimizes your thickness strategically while shaping it in the most flattering way. 

Opting for layers, tapering, bangs, and/or thinning will turn any short haircut into one that works well for thick hair. You don’t have to include all of these elements and techniques – even just choosing one or two will make a big difference in how good your mane looks. 

Avoid choppy layers, super-blunt haircuts, and styles that prioritize volume on the sides over volume on top. For the thickest hair, you want sleek sides, internal or blended long layers, and concentrated volume on the top and top sides of your hair. 

Yes, thick hair can be a total chore to manage and style on a daily basis. But once you’ve got the right haircut, you’ll see that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages to being the owner of one massive mane. 

And you better believe that others are pining away for strands as healthy, full, and lush as yours – especially when you’re rocking one of the best short haircuts for thick hair!