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The Best Short Haircuts and Hairstyles

Short haircuts can be intimidating, especially when it also means parting with your go-to gym ponytail. We asked Jen Atkin, a celebrity stylist for Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, to transform three FITNESS readers and prove that short haircuts can look just as amazing as long locks but with a lot less fuss. Get inspired to switch up your style!

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Sleek and Chic

Makeover motivation: "I've had long hair my whole life. I've cut it only a few times to donate it, so I've never had a real style. The long look isn't working for me anymore as a young professional, and I'm excited to get something more sophisticated."
-- Victoria Phillips, online editor

Works best for: Fine hair that is straight or wavy

Key to the cut: "The blunt lines make fine hair like Victoria's appear thicker. If your hair is wavy, as hers is, the cut is much more versatile -- you can wear it straight or go natural," Atkin says. "Ask your stylist to maintain blunt lines when she cuts it and to keep the length longer in the front."

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Styling Secrets

Get added lift by applying a spray, such as It's a 10 Miracle Blowdry Volumizer ($19, ulta.com), to damp roots and blow-drying with a medium-size round brush. Try Aquage Medium Round Brush ($20, aquage.com for salons). Smooth over your hair with a flatiron, like the Revlon Laser Brilliance Straightener ($30, Ulta stores), from midlength to ends. This will give you a sleek look while still maintaining volume at the root. Apply a dab of conditioning oil to your ends. We love Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($48, oribe.com).

Workout-proof it: Victoria's fave sweat session is kettlebell kickboxing. For knockout style, twist back the front pieces of your hair and secure them with a barrette on each side. Victoria's old hair ties were too thick, so she swapped them out for thin elastic ones to pull it all back.

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Pixie Perfect

Makeover motivation: "I've had a series of bad haircuts, so I'm finally ready to go short and get a cut that's fun and different."
-- Carolyn Gregoire, editor

Works best for: Straight, wavy, or relaxed hair

Key to the cut: "You need texture and layers to keep a pixie looking current," Atkin says. "Ask your stylist to use a razor or texturizing shears to cut layers for a fresh look."

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Styling Secrets

Spritz a wave spray through wet hair. Try L'Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle TXT It Tousle Waves Spray ($5, drugstores). Rough-dry it with a blow-dryer and your fingers; using a brush will make it look too polished. Then accentuate the layers by applying a pomade or cream, like Garnier Fructis Style De-Constructed Pixie Play Crafting Cream ($6, drugstores), with your fingertips, raking it through the ends for a piecey effect.

Workout-proof it: To keep hair out of your face, as Carolyn does during her daily flow yoga classes, roll your bangs off your forehead and secure them with a bobby pin. Slide on two skinny elastic headbands or try a Goody Athletique Slide-Proof Double Strand headband ($6 for a set of three, Target stores), which is two bands in one, to hold the various lengths of your hair in place during every pose.

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Waves That Wow

Makeover motivation: "I haven't had short hair since fifth grade. I'm planning to change careers and move to a new city, so this is the start of the next chapter in my life."
-- Evelyn Molina, luxury travel marketer and photographer

Works best for: Thick, wavy, or curly hair

Key to the cut: "The trick with curly hair is to tame its texture a bit and avoid layers, which will make the style look too round," Atkin says. "Ask your stylist to cut your ends bluntly and then to snip up into the ends to take some of the weight off and add movement."

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Styling Secrets

To lengthen curls, apply a styling cream, like Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Stretch ($8, Walgreens stores), to wet hair and let it air-dry. Next, smooth curls with a boar-and-nylon bristle brush. We like the Sonia Kashuk Golden Hair Brush ($16, Target stores). Use a flatiron, like the Sexy Hair Ultimate Control 1-inch Professional Flat Iron ($160, jcpenney.com), on the ends for a modern look. Finish by rubbing a dab of frizz serum in your hands and lightly finger-combing it through strands to add shine and tame flyaways. A classic: John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum ($10, drugstores).

Workout-proof it: If you do indoor cycling, as Evelyn does, pull your hair into a low bun to keep it off your face and begin securing it with a hair tie. On the last loop, pull the ponytail only halfway through to form a small stay-put bun. Bonus: When you undo it later, you'll be left with a soft bend.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

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lauraroberts53 wrote:

feel bad for the "offended".... hair can be fun and funky and a person who feels the need to judge is just showing how insecure and inflexible they are in life. Be FREE and enjoy a great and versatile short hair cut!

5/5/2011 11:15:08 AM Report Abuse
orangelibralad1 wrote:

you people are just rude, why freak? why disgusting? i think its cute for someone who is totally accepting of themselves, obviously anyone who said anything deragatory has some serious esteem and insecurity issues

3/3/2011 09:29:48 PM Report Abuse
Tobyandfrosty4m wrote:

My hair looks like this in the morning

6/8/2010 01:11:53 PM Report Abuse
hoovey66 wrote:

If I saw her walking down the street I would think, "WOW! Adorable hair".

4/2/2010 10:20:20 AM Report Abuse
pupdog241 wrote:

and dont you thinkn its offensive to call her a "freak" since shes not your ideal of normal? these are suggestions, not must do-s!

4/2/2010 10:16:35 AM Report Abuse
missmeaghan wrote:

What's offensive is all of you hating on this particular photo because she doesn't look like your version of normal. If you don't like the haircut, don't cut your hair that way!

4/2/2010 10:03:50 AM Report Abuse
eddiekamin wrote:

Please don't ever print another 'Freak' photo!! Offensive!

1/26/2010 09:48:32 AM Report Abuse
annjenks1 wrote:

Who would want to look like this? Seriously

12/7/2009 01:14:59 PM Report Abuse
barbmanson56 wrote:

my hair looks like this every morning, terrible

11/15/2009 12:59:22 PM Report Abuse
lford5052 wrote:

disgusting

11/15/2009 08:59:00 AM Report Abuse

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