Hairstyle Ideas for Petite Women

By Jennifer Eblin

For petite women, the key to successfully pulling off any hairstyle is focusing on the proportions. Most hairstyles work well on petite women with the exception of extremely long hair that is all one length, which can overwhelm smaller frames. The best hairstyles for petite women draw the attention toward the face and complement smaller frames by ending at defined points on the body such as the chin, shoulders or collar bone.

Long Hair

Some women can't imagine not having long hair, and there is no reason that they should ban themselves from a hairstyle they love. A word of caution: long hair can make petite women look shorter due to the vertical lines of the hair drawing the eye downward. For petite women set on longer locks, the key is to draw attention toward the face using face-framing layers and around the head 1 to 2 inches shorter than the longest layer. These tapered layers create movement so hair is swingy and full of body rather than long and limp. Vanessa Hudgens' and Sarah Hyland's long locks don't detract from their petite frames because both celebrities incorporate layers and textured waves to ensure movement and body. Bangs can also break up the length and draw attention toward the face, creating a similar result.

Shoulder-Length Hair

Hair that hits at or slightly below the shoulders is a great compromise for petite women who want enough length to have some freedom with styling but are aiming for a length that will elongate their frame. Shoulder-length hair is flattering on all face shapes. The long bob, or "lob," has grown increasingly popular with petite celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Hayden Panettiere, because it allows for hair that is long enough to put up in a and short enough to still reap the benefits of a gamine, blunt, figure-flattering bob. Paired with blunt, straight-across or side-swept bangs, this versatile cut is flattering and fun to style. To avoid looking too '90s, avoid lots of layers at this length and go for simple and blunt ends.

Collar Bone-Length Hair

Petite celebrities Nicole Ritchie, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Rachel Bilson have all embraced collar bone-length hair at various times, and it is likely because it is the perfect compromise between shorter bobs and longer locks. This is a perfect cut for petite women with oval and heart-shaped faces since the longer length frames both face shapes perfectly. For round faces, try a with longer layers which will draw attention away from a rounder jaw line. Long enough to style into , or to wear all or half up, this style provides endless styling options. Try a brighter hue of your natural hair color, go for a subtle ombre to create a more modern look or stick to classic face-framing highlights for a classic approach.