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The best short haircuts achieve a balance between tailored and soft. If things get too fringy, short cuts can feel fussy; if they are too neat they can feel masculine. These cuts are tight and clean at the sides and back but soft and piecey on top and through the fringe. The thick, textured bangs draw attention to the eyes and give the otherwise serious cut a flirty feeling. Click the style notes for steps to achieving the shape. –– Laura Martin

Step: Use a razor to cut tight graduation, removing bulk and length through the nape and around the ears and gradually build toward a weightier top.

Step: Cut the fringe area, blending a square or rounded shape unto to length at the sides with an open blade, removing bulk and length simultaneously. Texturize through the top as needed.

Step: Apply a nickel of hair creme to damp strands and wrap dry with a paddle brush. Refine ends with a pea of defining cream.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA

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