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5 Ways To Style Short, Wavy Hair If You Got A Fresh New Cut

In 2024, it’s time to learn how to style short, wavy hair! I’m not sure about you, but I feel like my hair has had three different personalities in my lifetime: pin straight, inconsistent curly, and now, wavy. While I love fashion and experimenting with my makeup, styling my hair has always felt like a chore. But, once I learned how to style my hair and invested in a few accessories, doing my hair has been much easier — I now feel like it adds to my outfit, instead of taking away from the whole look! So here are some ways to style short, wavy hair if you got a fresh cut to start the new year off right. 

The best way to start styling your hair is to make sure you love the cut. For me, I know I like face-framing layers and curtain bangs, with slightly aggressive layers throughout. Since I have thin hair, it adds volume and enhances my hair’s natural wave. For others, a blunt cut and long pieces in the front of your face might suit your style better. Make sure to find a hairstylist you like — one that will help you determine which cut would work best for you. This is one of those things that feels overwhelming at first, but once you understand, it’s much easier to go back and ask for the same thing again and again! Once you love your cut, it’s time to learn how to style it yourself.

The first step in learning how to better style your short, wavy hair is making sure you have the right tools and products. While many of us wish our hair would air-dry perfectly after every shower, many people require a little more maintenance to achieve their desired look. Firstly, make sure the shampoo and conditioner you are using is geared toward your hair type —- even slight waves can be enhanced by the right wash! When you get out of the shower, avoid using a brush and instead use a wide-tooth comb (I comb my hair through in the shower). Then, take some curl product to your hair to help enhance waves, make them last longer, and look more uniform. If you’re going to use a blowdryer, attach a diffuser and push the ends of your hair up toward your scalp to reduce frizz, and help your waves bounce! Remember —- just because you have wavy hair doesn’t mean you can’t use products with the word “curl” in them. Those products will mostly just enhance whatever curl you have!

If you don’t have curly hair and want to embrace some waves for the day, you can always make your own! Hair wavers are an easy-to-use tool to help you achieve the look, but I think they can be harder to use on shorter hair because of how large and bulky they feel. Instead, I like to curl my hair (or wave it, because I know that curl won’t last) with my straightener. It’s super easy, and then you have one less hair tool to find room for in your dorm and apartment. Now that you’ve achieved your best wavy hair, here are five easy ways to style your short, wavy hair!

Half-up, Half-down

This is my personal favorite way to style my hair quickly and neatly. It’s also a great in-between for when you want to look like you tried a little, but not take too much time or effort. Run your thumbs from your ears to the center of the back of your head to part your hair. Then, the possibilities are endless. Tie the top half up in a scrunchie, use a claw clip to twist the hair up, or clip it back with a bow (I refuse to acknowledge that the bow trend will ever end — I am holding on forever). Use a texture spray or dry shampoo to add some volume to finer hair.

Mini Pigtails

This is a great way to keep your bangs or front pieces out of your face throughout the day. First, part your hair down the center. On one side, grab a small section and pull it into a ponytail with an elastic. Repeat this on the other side. If you want to add some more interest, flip the pony through itself, as shown in the TikTok! This style will last you all day, no touch-ups needed!

Matching Clips

For this look, pull back a small piece of hair on either side of your face. You can use matching barrettes, or small bows for a statement look! If you have curtain bangs, you could even leave them out and add the clips in behind them. This is a great way to show off your waves and cute cut!

Headband Braid

For another easy-but-unique hairstyle, try out this fun headband braid. Part your hair down the center and braid a small piece on each side. Bring those two pieces together in the back, and pull the hair on the top of your head over each side and the back. Make sure you are pulling your hair back when braiding, so that it lies flat when you tie them together!


Headbands are an instant outfit-maker. You could be wearing jeans and a plain button-down, and the second you add a cute headband, you look put together. Find a style you like for your hair and face shape: puffy, embroidered, knotted or plain.

Chloe Parkins is a Her Campus National Writer for the Style section. Her favorite aspect of Style is fashion! Her jobs as both a Bridal Stylist at BHLDN in college and at Anthropologie post-grad have taught her even more about the world of fashion and styling. She graduated from American University in 2022 with her bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in sustainability. Currently, Chloe works as a manager at Anthropologie and as a Barnes & Noble Bookseller. She recently began volunteering with Books are Wings, where she assists in their mission to provide children with regular access to books. This includes reading to kids in classrooms which she loves doing. Chloe grew up in Rhode Island; she loves spending time at the beach and swimming in the ocean. In her free time, she loves reading Sarah J. Mass, watching Dancing with the Stars, baking Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread, and spending time with friends (which post-grad can look like a lot of FaceTime calls to long-distance friends!). Chloe grew up dancing and continued in college through classes and clubs. Now, she looks for adult dance classes when she can!