13 April 2012

the pixie cut series, part 1: chopping it all off

This is Part 1 of The Pixie Cut Series. For anyone out there who could care less about short, cute haircuts... tune back in later :)


Part 1: Chopping it all off

A little over a year ago, I finally made the leap to a pixie cut. For months, my hairstyles had been getting shorter and shorter with each trip to the salon. One day, I brought in a cute photo of Carey Mulligan and an hour later, I walked out with a definitively SHORT hairdo. It was such a natural progression, I didn't even think about how short it was. If you have straight-up LONG hair and want a drastic change, that's even cooler! You've obsessed over Michelle Williams' short 'do for months now. You have a Pinterest board dedicated entirely to pixie cuts. You are ready to take the plunge. Here are my tips & tidbits before you get in the chair.


Think it through one last time. I am very pro-short hair, but think it through one more time to make sure it's right for you. Personally, I'm of the attitude that "Hey, it's just hair. It grows back." (Which, unfortunately is what some people told me after I got mine cut... even after I told them I was really happy with it...) But seriously, it's not permanent. Take a chance! Look back on this time in your life when you made a change and rocked a new look. That being said, if you are working the Rapunzel style now, it will be a big change. You can't just throw your bedhead hair into a ponytail and you do limit the number of ways you can wear it. Just know that, accept it & get ready.

Don't skimp on hair stylists. When I had longer hair, I'd go to any crazy person on the street for a haircut. When you're going super short though, go to someone you trust. That could be someone at SuperCuts, for sure, but really make sure you like that person's style & are confident in their ability. One slip of the scissors at this length could mean disaster.

Bring a photo.  This is probably an obvious one, but again, when I had longer hair it didn't seem as necessary to bring photo inspiration. There are so many variations of short hair, though, that it is essential to bring examples. Do you want a longer floppy cut like this one? (Sidenote: this was the photo I brought for my first pixie cut!) A really close crop like Michelle? An edgy mohawk type thing? Long bangs? An almost-buzzed Emma Watson cut? Figure it out & then bring as many pictures as you can. Try to get photos of the back of the head too, that's where the real pixie cut magic happens.

Personally, I really wanted to avoid the early Sex in the City Miranda look. I wanted the part near my neck to be really short, no long wisps reaching towards my collar. I wanted a nice round profile for the back, so that it wasn't too fluffy on top or too flat looking. For the most part, I kept my bangs and top on the longer side, just because.



It might take a few days for your hair to settle into its new cut. Sometimes hair just doesn't quite lie the right way when it's first chopped off. Maybe your hair will look awesome right out of the gate. It probably will. But I guarantee that it will look even better in a week. Have a little patience, play with it a lot in front of a mirror if you need to and settle in to your new, awesome look.

Just do it. My hairstylist asked me if I was sure my boyfriend would be ok with such a short haircut. Hmmph... Of course we all want to look good for our Special Someones, but... if you really want a pixie cut, then you should get one. That's what I think, anyway. My dude liked it, which is awesome, but more importantly, I really liked it. It's a bold move for a lot of people and sometimes you just need to take the plunge and not worry about what other people think. A pixie cut may not seem that crazy to some of you-- and that's because it isn't. But in our society, chopping your hair off can seem drastic to a lot of people. There will always be more photos of fashion models with long, flowing locks than there are of ones rocking a cropped cut. There will always be haters out there, but you will look so good that it doesn't matter. Rock it, sister, rock it.

Stay tuned for "Part 2: Rocking the Pixie" soon, wherein I talk about overcompensating with girly accessories and makeup, and also talk about how a pixie cut can actually be kind of freeing. Please feel free to chime in with your short hair wisdom in the comments!

The Pixie Cut Series
Part 1: Chopping it all off
Part 2: Rocking the pixie
Part 3: Growing it out
An Update- 8 Months Later

51 comments:

  1. i was so excited to read part 1 and you did not disapoint. you speak the truth lady- i hope you are inspiring women everywhere to go pixie.

    annnnnd your pics are fabulous, but i feel like there should be a disclaimer like:

    "fyi- not everyone can rock this look as effortlessly chic as miss christine"

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    1. Kind of makes me want to chop it all off really short again :)

      xoxo.

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  2. love this. I want a buzz cut like anne hathaway. that'd be wild!

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  3. I've had a pixie for several years and I love it! I've tried to gro it out a little once or twice, but I can't seem to make it past my earlobes. And, as a 40-something mom with kids from teens to two, I can tell you it's a lot easier to deal with! So go ahead~chop it off!

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  4. I got my shortest hair cut ever in December. I was thinking of trying to grow it out. This makes me want to go even shorter. My only concern with any haircut is that I don't know how to use a blow dryer (or at least can't seem to take the time to).

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    1. Right? Short hair is an addiction! I always want to go shorter with it.

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  5. thank you for this post! i have decided to get a pixie but i am totally terrified! i was looking online for pictures to boost my confidence and this series totally did the trick :) i think i will be referring back to it often leading up to and after the big cut...

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    1. Yes! Do it! Share your photos :)

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    2. here is an interview i did about getting my pixie cut on my friends blog. it has some awkward before and after pictures :)

      (in her defense, i always feel awkward getting photographed, therefore, i look awkward)

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    3. haha, forgot the link :http://thismummasstyle.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/going-from-long-to-short-a-haircut-interview/

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  6. Thank you!!
    You look amazing and given me helped push me out of my chicken like state! LOL
    I have been dreaming of chopping my hair like Michele Williams, but alas I have always used the excuse of the ponytail will always save me! I am ready thank you to this blog! I will have to share my photos when I go through with it! It really is exciting!

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    1. The downside of not being able to just throw your hair back in a ponytail is definitely balanced by how bad-ass and confident you will look with a cropped 'do. Go for it and share photos!

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  7. Thank you! i needed to read this. :)

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  8. This. is. awesome. Thank you thank you thank you for writing this and posting the photos. I have been thinking about doing this for months now and this has taken away all of the remaining doubt - you are fabulous!

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  9. This. is. awesome. Thank you thank you thank you for writing this and posting the photos. I have been thinking about doing this for months now and this has taken away all of the remaining doubt - you are fabulous!

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  10. Thank you! This is so perfect for me right now. I'm getting married on Saturday (yay!) and have been growing my hair out and at this point I fantasize about pixies like they are made of chocolate.

    My hair is currently down past my shoulder blades, so I will be donating the length to locks of love. I kind of get a kick out of the idea (cheesy as it may be) that some child gets to wear my wedding hair - hair that saw such love.

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    1. Aww congrats on the wedding! And that is so adorable that someone will get to wear your "wedding hair". You're going to rock that pixie cut.

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  11. Wow! It's like you know me! I've been obsessing about Michelle Williams' pixie for a loooong time AND most of my Pinterest hair pics are pixies...so I really think it's time. Thanks for inspiring me EVEN MORE to take the plunge! I can't wait for my family's reaction to the haircut...I'd be the first one to do it (from the younger generation, I mean) ;)

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  12. I LOVE your attitude and personality! Reading this makes me 100% positive about my decision to get a pixie cut. I have my appointment scheduled for Monday at 1:00 and I couldn't be more excited. I'm so ready for whole new look and I'm so done with my long hair. I have 2 kids and I just got a job working in physical therapy, so my hair is always in my way, and I feel this will actually be easier for me in the mornings. My hair is past my chest right now and I'm going for a pixie cut with long bangs!! I'm following you now because I can't wait to see your series on this! :)

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  13. My husband has been encouraging me to get a pixie cut for over 10 years. The problem is my father always told me how much he loves my long hair so I have kept it long for 40-something years. I have printed 4 different pixie cuts for my hair stylist but am hesitate to make this BIG change. Right now after reading your words of encouragement I am thinking "let's do this!" but then I start talking myself out of it immediately. My question is am I just too scared or should I just plunge off the deep end??

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    1. I say... just take the plunge! Hair grows back, so if you don't like it or if you get bored, you can just grow it out. Get a slightly longer pixie cut if you aren't sure, with longer bangs, and maybe it won't be such a shock. Good luck!

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  14. I forgot to update after commenting earlier - I did it!! Omg I love my hair now!! It's so fun and easy to wash and style and it makes my life so much easier. I went from my hair being past my chest to a pixie with long bangs. <3

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    1. Yes! Share photos, please :) I'm so glad you are loving the pixie cut, I actually just cut my hair short again too & will post an update here. Rock it!

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  15. I'm sick of growing out my hair from a pixie. It's really thick, fluffy and flicky, the sides are at my jaw and the back is almost chin length. I'm heading to Portugal at the end of May, so I'm cutting it all off again. My hair's thick and wavy, and I'm finding it difficult to find a cool pic to take with me to the salon, there are so many styles! I've decided I look and feel best with a pixie cut though, so I'm getting my third one (in 4 years) very soon!

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  16. Love this! I just cut my awkwardly-grown-out-bob into a pixie in a kind of impulsive decision based on carey mulligan pics... I came out of the salon a bit scared, because I did look very boy-ish the way my stylist had styled it, but I've been practicing with different cuter more feminine styles and am a bit happier. I was hoping though that you might be able to add another part to the series about styling it, like what techniques and products you use to get your pixie looking just right?

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    1. I recently re-chopped my hair into a pixie cut style again... I'll work on a styling post soon :)

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  17. You look beautiful with that hair! I got a similar haircut a few months ago (but it was longer than yours) and now it's over-grown and untidy. I've made the decision to get it even shorter than I had it before, about your length. Thank you for inspiring me to get hair like yours! :)

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  18. i love you hair cut its beatiful, I HAD an extreme hair cut before, went from shoulder length to chin length, to bob hair cut above your ears with undershave, and finnally to buzz haircut machine head #2.

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  19. This entire blog series just convinced me to go Natalie Portman short instead of growing it out. Hey it's hair - it'll grow out eventually ( ;

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  20. My hair is pretty long and I want to donate it. I've wanted to cut my hair as a pixie cut for so long. I'm a little nervous about finding a hair stylist though. I've never had a regular stylist b/c I didn't really like their work. I've ask friends but haven't gotten any definite leads. I've been looking online for reviews on nearby salons. I did find one that's promising, but do you have any more tips on choosing a stylist? :)

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  21. Sweet Vintage GirlJuly 31, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    I am thinking about this hairstyle, but my hair is wavy and I'm not sure I could pull it off. I sure do love the haircut though! Do you think that it would be worth it if my hair is wavy? Will I just have to straighten it every day?

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  22. getting hair cut exited

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  23. Yay! Fi-i-inally I've found the perfect pixie guide. This blogpost is what I'm bringing to my hairdresser today!

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  24. Thank you for writing this! I'v been pixie obsessed for months, but too scared to go through with it. I hate my long hair, it's always in the way, it's too long for anything, and sheds like crazy. I stumbled across this today, and I am making my hair appointment for this weekend. I'm finally going to do it!!

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  25. This is the first time I have ever seen a pixie hair cut on someone who looks like me, so now I'm seriously considering it! Question: do you have to blow dry it, or can you put product in it wet & have it turn out alright? I am the mother of a soon to be five month old, and not having to deal with long hair would be such a blessing!

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    1. Some days I blow dry it and some days I don't. I can rarely tell the difference between the outcomes, so I think you will be fine! Right now my hair is even shorter than that top photo, so it doesn't need much styling at all. I just rub a bit of Bumble & Bumble Thickening Balm on my hands and tousle it a little. I have a cowlick in the back that sometimes needs an extra patdown, but that's it! Super easy.

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  26. I'm getting a pixie cut in about a week. I was wondering if it was okay to bring in pictures of theis blog to the stylist? I'm really nervous, and your pixie is adorable.

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    1. Oh of course, I'm flattered! Your pixie cut is going to be great!

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    2. Thanks! These pictures and this blog is exactly what I've been looking for. I've never had any sort of bangs before, so I'm terrified on what that will look like, but hey, I'll style them. I love your attitude towards short hair. It's so uplifting. My hair is about an inch past my shoulders, so I'm not sure I'll be able to donate it, but I couldn't have waiting until right before Christmas (thank goodness my holdback is gone!)Fingers crossed it will turn out really well. I love your name as well. I'm super excited and nervous.

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  27. Thank you for this blog! I want to get a pixie cut, the jennifer lawrence style.
    I'm a bit scared to do it because I have very thin hair and I am scared that you will be able to see my scalp through my short hair. But then again, my long hair is so damaged from all the updo's that a drastic cut just might be the answer to all my hair problems.
    But I'm really inspired by your pictures because I also have your complexion and the shape of my face is also similar to yours.

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  28. I know this is an old post but I am considering it! Your hair is adorable! I love it!

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  29. Cute hair, I am growing mine out now and having difficulty with hairstylists, appreciate the tips!

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  30. I found this site after scouring the internet for cute pixies and short bobs and you are right when you say this: "You've obsessed over Michelle Williams' short 'do for months now. You have a Pinterest board dedicated entirely to pixie cuts". That's exactly what I'm doing now so I think you're right---I'm gonna do it at my next appt on weds and rock it!

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  31. I am growing out a really short (clippered in the back) pixie. My hair is fine yet thick, grows fast. Pixies are awesome, cute & emit a certain confidence that one's femininity is not all tangled up in her hair. Super easy to style, little to zero blow-dry time. I have decided I want to have more movement to my hair, & when it's blunt it just swings & bounces like an old Vidal Sassoon commercial. Your blog is great! When all is said & done, it is "just hair" & will grow back.

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  32. I know you did this years ago, but I just found it--this was HUGE in helping explain to my little girl that growing her pixie out into a bob again doesn't mean just "don't get her hair cut for a year." Thank you so much!!
    --J

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  33. I love your blog. I know this an old post but I got a pixie in July this year. I love it. It was gradual for me as well and I went from shoulder length to bob and then to pixie. I am on the fence about keeping it or growing it into an asymmetrical bob. Right now my pieces in the front are longer so I blow dry those with a round brush for a smooth look.

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Hi & thanks for joining in! I try to respond to comments directly at the post page, so check back frequently.