Does Short Hair Make You Look Fatter or Thinner? Plus Tips

Stylish African American woman with an oval face shape and short hair length wearing a blue jacket.

Although short hair gives you the flexibility to create endless looks, some people are hesitant about trying short styles. This apprehension stems from the idea that short hairstyles make you look fatter.

If you’re wondering whether this widespread belief about short hair is true, we’re here to enlighten you. In this article, you will discover how changing your hair’s length affects your appearance, which styles make your face look slim, and more.

So, without further ado, does short hair make your face look fatter or thinner? Let’s get into it.

Does Short Hair Make You Look Fatter?

Your hair’s length determines how it frames your face. Changing your hair’s length from short to long hair can reveal or hide facial curves and angles. Additionally, depending on the length, texture, and style of your hair, certain features will be emphasized, changing how long or wide your face looks.

Key Takeaways

  • Face Shape and Hair Length: Shorter hairstyles like chin-length bobs and blunt cuts can accentuate rounder faces, while long layers and styles like asymmetrical bobs help elongate and slim a chubby face. It’s essential to consider your bone structure and face shape when choosing a new haircut.
  • Style and Texture Considerations: Hair type plays a crucial role; curly hair might fare better with layered cuts for volume, while straight hair might benefit from blunt bangs or a classic bob for a more defined look. Asymmetrical cuts and deep side parts can also help reduce the roundness of the face.
  • Impact of Hair Color: Hair color can influence the perception of face shape. Dark hair, especially in shorter styles, can emphasize a rounder face, while highlights or softer tones can create a slimming look. Consult a hair stylist to find the best color to complement your skin tone and face shape.
  • Hairstyling Techniques for Face Slimming: Utilizing styles like high buns or messy ponytails on top of the head can create a vertical line, offering a slimming effect to the face. Long side-swept bangs or loose waves can also frame the face attractively, balancing a round face shape.
  • Choosing the Right Hairstyle: It’s not just about the hair length or style; the suitability of a hairstyle depends on individual features. Whether it’s a shorter hairstyle or a longer one, the right style should highlight your best features and suit your lifestyle. Regular consultations with your hair stylist can ensure your look stays fresh and flattering over time.

In the next section, we will explain how different styles can round out or slim your face.

Hip black woman with a chin-length bob and red lipstick standing against a graffiti wall.

Some Short Hairstyles Can Make Your Face Look Fatter

Certain short hairstyles can highlight your facial features in a way that makes your face appear rounder than it is. Read on as we reveal these hairstyles and how they subtly change the appearance of your face.

Teeny Weeny Afros

“Teeny weeny afros” or TWAs are simply small afros. These low-cut afros make the face look plump. TWAs leave no hair on the sides of the face, which completely exposes the cheeks and jawline.

When these areas of the face are exposed, they become the center of attention and make your head look more circular. In addition, without shadows from hanging hair, there is no slimming effect to add dimension to the face.

The texture of TWAs also determines how round the face appears. TWAs with tighter curls tend to highlight the circular features of the face more than looser curls.

Moreover, afros that are not tapered on the sides fail to accentuate the features. The result is a full-looking jawline, which leads to a rounder appearance overall.

Sleek Ponytails

Smooth ponytails that are pulled to the back provide a neat look, but they put all of your facial features on display, including your cheeks, chin, and jaws.

Moreover, if your face naturally lacks sharp jawlines and chiseled cheeks, a sleek ponytail will not provide structure or dimension to your face. In fact, this style will do the exact opposite, making your face appear more circular.

Bone Straight Styles

Bone straight hairstyles lack the volume needed to give the face structure and dimension. Your facial features are not highlighted effectively without this lift, making your face look round.

Blunt Haircuts

Blunt haircuts refer to styles that are cut evenly all around. These haircuts shorten and round out the face.

Furthermore, the shorter the blunt cut is, the more facial features are exposed, contributing to the circular appearance. Blunt haircuts that are jaw length or shorter tend to have the most noticeable rounding effect on the face.

Straight-Cut Bangs

Bluntly cut bangs shorten the appearance of your face, making it look wider than it truly is. They also highlight the fullness of your face, making the roundness of the cheeks and chin more apparent.

Some Short Styles Can Lengthen Your Face

Stylish black girl wearing her hair short and a bit messy in a bob hair style.

Short hairstyles can be manipulated to frame your face in a way that makes it appear slimmer. In this section, we will explore these styles and how they give your facial features more depth.

Box Braids

Box braids are a flattering style for those looking for that iconic slimming effect. These braids partially cover the jaw and cheeks, casting shadows that frame and elongate the face. Additionally, box braids that are shoulder length or longer are best for elongating the head.

Top Knot

Top knots or buns add height and volume to the head, making your face look longer. You can style all of your hair into a bun, or you can try a half-up, half-down top knot.

Plus, you can add a few tendrils on both sides of your head at the crown. However, you choose to style your bun, the more volume, the better.

Side Part

Styling your short hair into a side part is an effortless way to add volume to limp hair while instantly slimming the face.

To create a perfect side part, line up the part with the arch of your eyebrow, then tuck the smaller section behind your ear. In addition, you can add extra lift by teasing your hair at the roots and setting it in place using a lightweight hair spray.


Layers add dimension to your face and lift to your styles. They help to sharpen the look of your cheekbones and jawline for a “hair contouring” effect. Various textures create stunning layers, including curly, wavy, and straight hair.

Moreover, you can create layers by cutting your hair or using heat-styling tools such as curling irons or flat irons.

Loose Curls Loose curls add height rather than width to the hair, which thins out the appearance of your face. They also cover your cheeks and jawline to perfectly frame your face. You can achieve loose curls by using Flexi rods, a curling iron, or perm rods.

Messy Ponytails

If you shy away from wearing ponytails because you have a full face, a messy pony may be an alternative for you. Messy ponytails give you the confidence to show off your natural features.

Unlike slicked-back ponytails, messy ponytails lift the hair at the crown of the head for more height. This instantly thins the appearance of the face.

How to Choose the Right Short Style for You

Before picking up the scissors or calling your stylist, you need to choose the perfect short style for you. When selecting a style, there are several things you’ll want to consider. So, keep reading as we share tips on how to select a short style that best suits you.

Consider Your Hair Texture

Cute plus-size black girl wearing casual clothes with choppy layers and a long-side swept bang.

The texture of your hair will determine the final look of your short hairstyle and how well you can maintain it long term.

For instance, if you have naturally kinky, curly, or wavy hair, a bone straight bob may not be the best option for you because it would involve constant straightening and could lead to hair damage.

So, it is crucial to choose a hairstyle that is compatible with your texture to preserve the health of your hair.

Consider the Shape of Your Face

Stylish African American lady wearing a "one length" bob with choppy strands framing an oval face on dark hair.

Faces come in various shapes, so no one style will look the same for everyone. But some styles pair better with certain face shapes. Here are some suggestions to help you out: 

  • Blunt cut bangs usually look better on someone with a square or oval-shaped face rather than a round face. 
  • Layered cuts pair well with a heart-shaped face. 
  • If your face is round to begin with, try a pixie cut! 

Consider Your Facial Features

Black woman with a warm skin tone and oval face length wearing a long bob style and a dark brown hair color.

Short hairstyles allow you to accentuate the facial features that you love. On the other hand, if there are features that you don’t particularly like, you can strategically pick a style that will hide them.

For instance, if you have prominent cheekbones, you can choose a short hairstyle that exposes them. Or, if you loathe your forehead, you can try a bang to keep it out of sight.

Key Takeaways

Welcome to our FAQ section, where we address common queries about the impact of short hair on your appearance. Discover straightforward answers to help you decide if a short haircut is the right choice for you.

Do Chubby People Look Better With Short Hair?

Chubby individuals can look attractive with a short haircut, but it greatly depends on their face shape and hair type. Short hairstyles like blunt bobs and chin-length bobs can highlight the roundness of the face, sometimes making a chubby face appear fuller. However, if styled correctly with face-framing layers or an asymmetrical cut, a short haircut can also enhance the overall appearance by emphasizing the facial features. When choosing a short haircut, it’s important to consider individual face types and personal style preferences.

Does Short or Long Hair Make You Look Thinner?

Long hair generally makes a person look thinner than short hair. This is because long tresses or hairstyles with length tend to draw the eye vertically, creating an illusion of a longer, slimmer face and upper body. On the other hand, short hair, especially styles like blunt bobs or round cuts, can emphasize the width of the face and might make a person appear fuller. However, choosing the right style, such as an asymmetrical bob or layers, can help minimize this effect in short hair.

Does Short Hair Look Good on Chubby Faces?

Short hair can look good on chubby faces, especially when the hairstyle complements the face shape and hair texture. Hairstyles with deep side parts, asymmetrical cuts, or choppy layers can create a balanced look, enhancing the facial features of a chubby face. A common misconception is that short hair uniformly accentuates chubby cheeks; however, the right short hairstyle can provide a flattering and stylish look for those with round face shapes.

Does Short Hair Make Your Head Look Bigger or Smaller?

Short hair can make the head appear bigger without the right style and volume. Shorter cuts, particularly those that are uniform in length, like blunt bobs, can emphasize the width of the head and face, potentially making it appear larger. However, opting for short haircuts with layers, asymmetry, or volume at the top of the head, such as a high bun or wispy bangs, can create an elongated effect, making the head look smaller and more proportionate.

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Some short hairstyles can make your face look rounder, but this does not mean that you shouldn’t wear short hair styles and bangs, or that you should avoid all short styles.

Feel free to experiment with the short styles outlined in the article to find the right look for you. We hope this article gives you the confidence to step out of your comfort zone and go short!

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