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This spritely shape is youthful and playful, framing the face with a rounded fringe and lots of short, choppy layers that provide a wide range of styling possibilities. Exposed ears and a head-hugging shape give this cut a cropped feeling, though the longest tips dust the shoulders. The hybrid shape is short enough to feel gamine and long enough to pull into a ponytail; a perfect solution if you love crops but are scared to loose all your length. Read on for tips on getting the shape and styling it at home. –– Laura Martin

Step: Ask your stylist for a layered cut with no outline, this will allow the silhouette to take on the shape of the hairline, a common trait of short styles. The bangs can be customized to suite your features, but some sort of fringe is essential to getting the shape. Removing bulk is also important, ask for choppy ends, especially on the inside of the cut.

Step: A solid color will help to unify the various lengths and give a sleek appearance. Traditional highlights can look spotty on tapered cuts and are best avoided. The chocolate color shown here lends an air of sophistication to the playful style.

Step: Use hair creme to control and smooth; apply a quarter size through mid lengths and ends before drying with a round flat brush. Wrap the hair back and forth around the head in a spiral to create a smooth, low volume finish. Run a flat iron through ends for extra shine and control. Finish with a pea size of creme wax worked through tips for definition.

 

Special thanks to Laura Martin, senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, for sharing professional hairstyling advice with Style Noted

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