Though the pixie cut made its big debut more than half a century ago with beauty icons like Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy and Mia Farrow, this fearless hairstyle has made a comeback recently. Pixie cuts have been sported by some of the hottest celebrities, such as Jennifer Lawrence and Beyoncé.
While this daring and modern hairstyle can work with many face shapes, it’s sometimes difficult to determine if you can pull it off, and if you can, which type of pixie cut to get. If you’ve toyed with the idea of a serious trim, these three tips will provide you with the information you need before getting a pixie cut and how to rock it after!
1. Evaluate Your Face Shape
While you may think that some people can naturally pull off a pixie cut while others can’t, celebrity hair expert Angelo David Pisacreta of Angelo David Salon says that “anyone can pull off the pixie cut; it’s just about figuring out the dimensions, then working the hair to fit your facial shape. ... When asking for a pixie cut from your hairstylist, you want the cut to match the shape of your face to enhance your focal features.”
So if you’re considering a pixie, the first thing to consider is which face shape category you fall into.
Heart-shaped faces, such as Carey Mulligan’s, look best with side-swept bangs and shorter cuts to draw attention to the eyes and create a slimming effect on a wider forehead.
If you have a round face like Michelle Williams, get a slightly longer cut with more body at the top to lengthen and slim your face.
Square-shaped faces, like Keira Knightley’s, look best with front bangs and layers to soften an angular face and jawline.
Since oval faces can pull off a wide variety of styles, you have more room for experimentation with your cut. For example, Emma Watson’s versatile pixie cut is an interesting option that is shorter at the nape but features long enough layers to tuck behind her ears or bring forward for a different look.
However, every cut comes out different, so if you have a great facial feature that you’d like to emphasize, you can ask your stylist for a variation that will draw attention to it, such as layers that frame your fabulous cheekbones!
Another approach is to find acelebrity pixie cut you particularly love on a star with a similar face shape as yours. Bring in a picture and ask your stylist to recreate it. However, if there are aspects of celebrity pixie cuts you’ve seen that you especially dislike, it’s important to bring those in to your stylist as well so you can prevent them from recreating it on you!
2. Maintain Your Style
Although pixie cuts require much less effort on a day-to-day basis, you’ll need to invest in more frequent trips to your hairstylist (every four weeks or so) for upkeep.
It’s also crucial to purchase the right products for at-home styling. Pisacreta recommends using a small amount of a leave-in conditioning product, such as his Vital Complex Leave-In Conditioner ($21.50), which can be used on wet hair before styling to control unruly hair. After applying the product, you can either leave your hair wet or blow-dry it to keep your hair silky and smooth. You also have the option of using a styling mousse, such as Angelo David’s Foaming Sea Silk Styler ($21.50), to keep hair in place without weighing it down or leaving it rigid and stiff.
Even though shorter hair can be much less of a hassle when you want it to be, you still have other options when it comes to styling, such as changing the texture with a straightening or curling iron. You can start by using a styling cream or texturizing spray, such as Wella’s Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Hairspray ($16), before you use a curler or straightener, and complete the look with a fixing hairspray, such asJohn Freida’s Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hair Spray ($5.99), which will keep your sleek style in place.
3. Own It
As cool and fearless as pixie cuts come across, the only way to pull it off is with a ton of confidence. Pisacreta says a pixie cut is “a huge commitment. You just have to think of the outcome because of the re-growth process—it’s a lifestyle.”
It’s important to take some time to think about whether such a dramatic cut is really right for you. Even if you’re dying to get a pixie, its worth waiting at least a week or two to see if you still feel the same way after some time and consideration. If you have longer hair and you’re considering a pixie cut, it may be a good idea to shorten it in stages if you’re a little bit hesitant. Then, if you ultimately get a pixie cut and decide you hate it, it won’t take as much time to grow back into the bob you liked before you got the pixie cut.
The great thing about embracing the new lifestyle of a pixie cut is that without hair to hide behind, there’s extra emphasis on your face and all your features. For this reason, makeup can become your new best friend (if it wasn’t already!). With less hair in your way, you can make an even bigger statement when you try the latest beauty trends, and you can play up your best features in a more effective way than ever before!
In addition, certain accessories and clothes work particularly well with pixie cuts, such as long earrings and backless dresses and tops, since ordinarily these types of trends are overshadowed by longer, more distracting hairstyles. Pixie cuts also have the effect of making you look edgier overall, which can be important to consider when it comes to your fashion decisions. For instance, a bright, floral sundress may come across as sweet and feminine on its own, but when paired with a pixie cut, it becomes bolder and more intriguing, while pieces such as leather jackets and combat boots can look harsh alongside a pixie. A good way to balance out your look on a day-to-day basis is to always incorporate a feminine piece into your ensemble, such as a pair of bright heels, a cute skirt or lacy top.
Going through these three steps before you get a pixie cut will enable you to carefully consider your decision before you step into a salon. What’s most important is to take time to evaluate the pros and cons, because once you make the bold decision to get a pixie, there’s no turning back. Style challenge accepted!