17 Haircuts That Rarely Work for Most Women (and What To Go For Instead)

Choosing a haircut is a big decision that can significantly impact our self-confidence and the amount of time we need to get ready in the morning! A great cut can transform your face, while an unbecoming hairdo can highlight your least flattering features. Here are 17 haircuts to approach with caution, plus some alternative suggestions that are more universally suitable.

Blunt Shoulder-Length Cut

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Blunt ‘straight-across’ cuts with no softening layers can look severe and lack dimension, especially if you have thin hair, and can make your locks look limp and lifeless. Pantene asserts that layers are the easiest way to add more interest and texture to your hair, so consider adding some around your face or opt for a long bob with a slight angle for a chic, modern look.

Micro Bangs

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Very short bangs are a daring style choice that doesn’t suit most faces, particularly rounder or fuller ones. They can make wide faces look even larger and expose too much of your forehead. They are also a high-maintenance style that can easily fall into disarray on a busy day! Try side-swept bangs that soften the face or long, parted ‘curtain’ bangs instead.

The “Rachel” (Very Short Layers)

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Popularized by Jennifer Aniston’s character on Friends, this ‘90s cut features short, choppy layers of slightly wavy hair. Despite its popularity, the cut can be tricky to style and unflattering on most face shapes. To avoid an unbecoming and outdated look, try longer layers that blend more seamlessly—this cut will be more versatile and much easier to maintain.

Super Short Pixie

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This low-maintenance cut can be incredibly chic on the right person but generally only flatters women with dainty, ultra-feminine features—like Halle Berry, for example! If you have a square face or a strong jawline, a pixie cut can make you look unnecessarily masculine. Opt for a less severe, longer pixie cut with textured layers on top to soften your silhouette.

Blunt Bangs

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Very straight, thick-cut bangs only suit specific face shapes and hair types, so be careful when opting for this style. If you have wavy or curly hair, blunt bangs won’t maintain their shape and will either look messy and uneven or require a lot of maintenance each morning. Try longer, less defined, wispy bangs that will blend better into your hair and require less work.

Bowl Cut

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This blunt, helmet-shaped cut is unflattering on almost anyone, even when executed perfectly! It will make your head appear rounder and more prominent and may even overwhelm your facial features. If you want a shorter haircut, opt for a textured crop with a side parting or fringe for a more modern and becoming cut that works well with most face types.

The Mullet

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The Guardian calls modern mullets “weird, cool, sexy and liberating,” but it’s really a style for people wanting to make a statement rather than look their best! This ‘80s throwback features short hair on the sides with a long, disconnected section at the back and can be tricky to pull off. You could try a ‘shullet’ instead, which is a choppy, less severe take on the mullet.

Triangle Cut (Very Short on Sides, Long on Top)

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This dramatic cut is very short on the sides and long on the top of the head but requires a high level of expertise to cut and maintain and is tricky to pull off successfully. The severe contrast in lengths is unflattering for most faces. Consider a textured shag with layers throughout for a similarly edgy vibe that is less extreme and universally becoming.

Super Short Layers

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Short, choppy layers aren’t recommended for anyone with thick or curly hair, as this will result in an unattractive, overly volumized ‘Poodle’ look. Without hours of maintenance, you may end up looking like a scruffy lollipop. If you have thick hair, go for longer layers that thin out the hair toward the ends or a blunter cut that won’t put the bulk of your hair on top of your head.

Buzz Cut

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This military-inspired cut might be easily achievable but requires total commitment. If you don’t like it, you’ll have to wait months or even years to re-grow your hair! Buzz cuts arguably don’t suit any woman and are best reserved for those seeking practicality above all else. Opt for a shorter, less severe cut, like a pixie cut of appropriate length.

The Asymmetrical Bob

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This jaw-length style features a side parting and different hair lengths on either side of the face. While women with heart-shaped faces might be able to pull it off, it’s an edgy and modern cut that can look silly, especially if improperly maintained. If you want a cut of similar length, we recommend something more classic, like a standard symmetrical or layered bob.


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Unless you’re a teenage punk rocker, this cut might not be the best choice. Britannica says it involves shaving the sides of the head to leave a row of hair that is typically gelled into a spike. While indeed a bold and original choice, consider the maintenance requirements and lack of versatility. If you love the style, perhaps opt for a ‘faux’ hawk instead, which has longer sides.

Full Undercut

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Thick, voluminous hair can benefit from some undercutting (trimming hair underneath the top layer, close to the scalp), but brutally shaved undercuts don’t suit most women. Unless your priority is to keep cool, consider a partial undercut or some soft layers to reduce the bulk of excessively thick hair without dramatically shaving most of it off!

The V-Shaped Bob

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This bob cut has a shorter length in the front that gradually gets longer toward the back, creating a defined V-shape. While it can work well on some face shapes, it requires hair that is exceptionally straight and free of split ends, or else the result will look messy and undefined. If you’re not confident, request a softer, layered cut that tapers at the back.

Very Long and Straight

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While not technically a ‘cut,’ this hairstyle involves very long, unlayered hair with a middle parting. Such a look may show off the impressive length of long hair, but you may end up disappearing behind it like Cousin It! City Magazine says peeking out from behind a uniform curtain of hair isn’t flattering for anyone, so ask your stylist to add some layers or consider a shorter cut.

Short Perm

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Unless you’re above a certain age, we don’t recommend going for super-short curls. This style can make you look older than you are and isn’t flattering for most face shapes, especially square or fuller ones. If you want a perm, request a looser, longer set of curls and choose a cut that will flatter your face shape and complement your features.

The Nape Undercut

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A less dramatic version of the full undercut, this cut involves shaving only a section at the nape of the neck, typically with the addition of patterns shaved into it. While it’s easy to cover up when your hair is loose, up-styles will reveal the nape and might not be suitable for stricter work environments. Unless you’re a trendy teenager, go for something more grown-up.

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