When it comes to celebrity hair chameleons who can pull off virtually any style under the sun, Zendaya is at the top of the list. From her platinum blonde pixie to her shoulder-grazing lob, the actress never disappoints—in the short hair department, especially.
Whether sporting her natural curls or rocking a wig, Zendaya always puts her distinct stamp on a look, making it ripe for inspiration.
Meet Our Expert
Kim Kimble is a celebrity hairstylist who works with Zendaya.
Ursula Stephen is a celebrity stylist who also works with Zendaya.
Here, we highlight 10 of our favorite shorter hairstyles that Zendaya pulls off effortlessly.
Bob With Micro Bangs
Zendaya and her hairstylists (she has a few on speed dial) often switch up her hairstyles with the help of wigs. Celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble, who works with Zendaya, says wigs, such as those from her Kim Kimble Hair Collection by HairUWear collection for textured hair, allow her to quickly transform Zendaya’s hair into a short style. “Even though Zendaya cut her hair recently, one thing about her is that she’s a fashion person and will do creative things with her hair,” Kimble says. Here, she sports a deep crimson wig featuring micro bangs that hit halfway down her forehead and a crimp-meets-curl style throughout.
Sleek and Slicked Back
To create this sleek, ultra-sophisticated short look, Kimble rolled Zendaya’s hair and pinned it up and back to give the illusion of shorter hair. When Zendaya wears her hair off her face, it shows off her gorgeous bone structure and chiseled jawline. Often, when the actress appears to have shorter hair, it’s really some expert styling that creates the appearance of shorter hair.
Wavy, Deconstructed Bob
Never one to lean basic, Zendaya’s long, heavy bangs and wavy, choppy bob exude the perfect amount of voluminous shagginess for a cool-girl aesthetic. Celebrity stylist Ursula Stephen, who often styles Zendaya’s hair, likes to use everything from clip-in pieces and wigs to extensions to take Zendaya’s hair from short to long. “A major step that I use in hiding Zendaya’s hair when she wears hairpieces is cornrows, also called a braid down, which is a braiding technique used to conceal the natural hair under a wig,” Stephen says.
Side-Swept Red 'Do
Not all of Zendaya’s short hairstyles are super short. She often goes for a bit of a longer style, like her copper red lob look, which suits her well. Her hair is blow-dried sleek and smooth with a deep side part and a modern-day flip at the ends for a fun take on a straight style.
Soft, Romantic Curls
Here, Zendaya wears her hair blown out super smooth and styled in pin curls accented with a deep side part. Loose tendrils are left out on one side, while the other features a ribbon of curls positioned just over her eye and cascading down her face for a beautiful yet unexpected look. “One of my favorite styling products to use on Zendaya’s hair is the LivingProof Curl Defining Gel ($32),” Stephen shares. “It’s lightweight and holds her hair without that crunchy finish. It is my go-to whenever we decide to do more of a textured look.”
Tight, Blonde, and Cropped
Zendaya is one of those lucky women who can pull off just about any short hairstyle—no matter how close-cropped—and any hair color, including super blonde shades. “She looks great with short pixie cuts and bobs, which bring out her bone structure and face,” Kimble says. “Honestly, all hairstyles look good on her.”
A retro, ‘40s-inspired hairstyle with finger waves looks fabulous on Zendaya. But what doesn’t? According to Stephen, the star’s beautiful neckline allows her to wear shorter-cropped hairstyles so beautifully. “I think her neck gives her the space to go as short, or as long, as she desires. She has options to play.”
Here, Zendaya pairs a black pixie-cut wig with wispy baby bangs precisely cut to frame her face. What is the secret to Zendaya’s quick, short hair transformations like this one? It's often a wig, says Kimble, noting that it can sometimes make the scalp feel itchy or uncomfortable. “The hair needs to be compact and flat when she wears a shorter wig, so I often braid her natural hair.” To reduce the feeling of an itchy scalp or the uncomfortableness that comes from wearing a wig or other hair pieces, Kimble recommends using a scalp relief product that helps prevent itchiness.
Perfectly Polished Waves
No short hairstyle is off-limits for Zendaya. For more of a full-on glam look, she wears her butterfly bob styled with her signature deep side part, which boasts ample volume at the crown. Her hair is curled all around in an outward pattern that showcases her face. A large barrel curling iron, such as Sutra Beauty Infrared Curling Iron ($99.99), is best for creating soft curls with a tousled texture.
Zendaya’s sleek and sultry auburn bob is, of course, accented with an off-center deep part. Her beautiful medium-length oversized curls show zero signs of dryness or damage. To keep hair as healthy as possible while using hot tools, a heat protectant, such as Color Wow Extra Strength Dream Coat ($32), protects the hair and blocks out humidity to help keep curly and wavy hairstyles silky, smooth, and more resistant to frizz—plus, the results last for three to four shampoos.
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