18 April 2012

the pixie cut series, part 2: rocking the pixie

This is Part 2 of my Pixie Cut Series. For anyone out there who could care less about short, cute haircuts... tune back in later :)

By now most of you have gotten yourselves a trendy little pixie cut and wondering how the hell to rock it. There are so many ways, dear pixies, so many ways indeed. In fact, I asked a few of my favorite short-haired ladies to chime in with their thoughts & photos. But first, here is my tried & true advice for rocking it.

Part 1: Rocking the Pixie

Research, or Obsessively collect photos of cute pixie cuts on Pinterest It doesn't sound like a good use of time, but it really helped me remember that there are lots of pretty ladies out there who are rocking the pixie cut. My personal collection is dominated by Michelle Williams and Carey Mulligan.

Accessorize. Once I had a pixie cut, I went overboard with big earrings, chunky necklaces and accessories. Embrace it. You already look fierce, but with some gigantic hoops or a crazy ass scarf, you are unstoppable. I also, interestingly, over-compensated for my short haircut by rocking frilly, feminine things more often than usual. Ruffled skirts, pink sweaters and the like. You don't need to do this, because I can assure you: you will not look like a boy. I promise. Unless that's the look you are going for, in which case that's cool. But if you want a cute girly pixie cut and you bring along some pictures of cute girly pixie cuts, you will not look like a dude.

Experiment. Granted, you don't have as many options as our long-haired sisters, but there is still room to mix it up. Sometimes I felt awesome with a headscarf, but when my hair was really really short I sometimes felt like a newborn baby whose parents dressed me in one of those headbands with a bow on it. You know what I mean. Anyway, give it a shot. Rock a fauxhawk. Slick it back. Get some bobby pins up in it.  Change up the color. Ditch the part. When I first hacked off my hair I kept parting it the same exact way I always had. Sometimes it made me feel like a little boy, dressed in his Sunday best, on his way to church. (I don't know, it's the visual that always popped into my head.) Try combing it all forward, going for a really deep sidepart or pulling the top part back into a poof if it's long enough. Even with my grown-out pixie, I comb my hair forward from the crown and then over to the side. Ya dig?

Be confident. Just rock it. You have a haircut that lotsa ladies would kill to have but are way too scared to take the plunge. Own it. Work it. I can't overstate this confidence part enough. Whether you buzz your hair off or are just inching closer to a pixie cut, you are freeing yourself from the constraints and trappings of the long hair standard. (By the way, I am also jealous of you long-haired vixens... I think my hair looks best above the shoulders but you ladies that can rock it halfway down your back... sweet!) Long hair does not a woman make. You can still be a sexy young thang with short hair. You can still be glamorous. You can be dressed up or dressed down. You do not need a ponytail or a top knot to be trendy. Once you learn this, you will become an unbeatable force. Break loose from the standard beauty paradigm. Be edgy. Be sweet. Be yourself & rock the hell out of that pixie cut.

A few of my favorite pixie cuts...

Pixie Cut Queen Jeannine says...

My love affair with the pixie started back in high school when I viewed it as yet another way to stand out in a crowd and define myself. I remember begging my mother to bring me to get my hair chopped at the posh new salon in town. She has always preferred my hair to be long saying things like “Oh, but you have such beautiful hair” (like it’s a shame that it’s short). She eventually relented and, picture in hand (probably Ashley Judd at that point), I went to my appointment at the fancy salon. Before the stylist commenced she made sure I knew what I was in for. With a thick Russian accent she warned “Now, you know this is verrry short!” Despite the concerns of those around me, I went home happy. That was the first time I had not only such a short haircut but also such an extremely intricate and textured one (my mall haircuts were far from complex).

When I got ready for school the next day my confidence eroded. Maybe it was too short? Maybe I needed to feminize it a bit? My solution was to throw a long scarf around my head like a headband, which would later become my standard high school look. My relationship with the pixie has evolved somewhat now, it being more out of convenience than about expressing my individualism. However, I do like that it’s not necessarily common and that it still insights some curiosity. Comments from women usually go somewhat like this “That must be so easy!”, “I've always wanted to go very short but never could do it!”, and “What does your husband think?” My answers are usually “Yes it is!”, “ You should do it- hair grows back!” and “My husband would prefer it long but it’s not his head.”

Jeannine's advice:
  1. Go to someone you trust and bring a good picture of what you want (front and back).
  2. Remember that hair does grow back.
  3. Believe me, you will not look like a boy. 
  4. Oh my gosh, think of how quick it’s going to be to get ready in the morning?! Those extra 10 minutes are golden! 
  5. Get a good texturizer or hair wax to define your layers. 
  6. Live it up and enjoy the pixie--play around with it and try a faux hawk!
Want more? Check out Katie's cute style:

Katie and I are pixie cut buds. Most of our emails and correspondences include the question "How's the pixie doing?" and updates on whether or not we have mini-mullets forming and are due for a trim. It's nice to have someone else to talk to about the ups and downs of pixie cut life. Katie has super curly awesome hair, and I was secretly hoping she would send me a picture of her 'fro as it grows out. Maybe next time? 

Lest you think I am delusional enough to think I own this trend, here is proof that hip ladies have been rocking the pixie cut for years.

Here are two of my favorite vintage cuts:

My Nan always worked her short hair really well. Look how hip she is here! The glasses, the necklace, the crocheted shirt... and of course, the short 'do. Perfectly executed.

My mom, a short hair pro. Adorable! Mom is another great pixie cut confidante because I can complain about the need to overcompensate with jewelry and makeup and frilly dresses and she knows exactly what I mean. But look how stinkin' cute she is with this short hairdo?

In my introduction to The Pixie Cut Series, I said that "Ever since I cut my hair short, it has been the #1 compliment I've gotten from strangers and also one of my top insecurities." I was relieved when the "Amen, sister!" comments rolled in here, on Facebook and by email. Turns out this is common. Even though my pixie cut elicited more compliments than any hairstyle I'd ever had, I was still plagued by constant worry that it wasn't cute or pretty enough. Well, let this blog series be a wake up call to anyone who's rocking the style: YOU LOOK AWESOME. YOU LOOK BOLD. YOU LOOK FIERCE. And? If you decide you've had enough of the pixie cut, that's ok too. Because hair grows back. Stay tuned for "Part 2: Growing it out", in which I walk you throw the growing out process and promise you that you will survive it, with your dignity intact. 

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


  1. entertained and inspired by your blogging, as always :)

    keep it up kiddo!

    1. well, gracias! i LOVE your yoga blog... i'm living vicariously through your teacher training.

  2. Ditto what Katie said.

    The fun thing is.......regardless of the kind of day I'm having at work (or wherever, when I stop by here to catch up I always leave with at least a smile on my lips. Today, though....a belly laugh escaped as I ate my lunch desk side. Thanks!

  3. I AM LOVING THIS SERIES!!!!!! I really think I need to rock a pixie this summer.......

    1. DO IT. Relive your pixie cut glory.

  4. Edith was sitting with me when I was looking at this. So now whenever she sees a girl with short blonde hair, she says, "That's your friend Christine!"

  5. I recognize those trees in the second pic... Eco-terrace, no?

    1. Indeed! Taken right before an afternoon of reading the Hunger Games and getting freckled out on the eco-terrace.

  6. I stumbled across your blog while googling pictures of pixie cuts to take to the salon tomorrow. After years of wanting a pixie, I've finally decided to forget all my insecurities and just go for it, and your blog has totally reaffirmed that decision. You will be my inspiration for rocking it with confidence! From one short-haired girlie to another, thanks! :)

  7. I got my hair cut in January (hello, scarves! Haven't worn y'all in a while!) after having it below shoulder length. I was in 8th grade then, where long hair is cool, but to my surprise everybody loved it and it was quite flattering. I've since gotten a different kind of pixie that I don't know how o style aside from geling and straightening (my hair is wavy which makes it stick up in ALL the wrong ways). I'm going to experiment though!

  8. Oh, my goodness. I cut my hair into an "Emma Watson" super-short pixie in May 2011 and I LOVED it. For some insane reason, I've now decided to grow it out. I don't really know what's possessed me into this attempt. Something about missing a pony tail, though constantly wearing a pony tail was the excuse I used for chopping it off to begin with. ANYWAY, I had to laugh and groan at the same time because your mom's vintage pixie cut is EXACTLY what my hair looks like now. I'm just trying to decide if all this fuss is worth growing it out or if I want to just give in and cut it all short again.

  9. I had a pixie cut in about the 7th grade. I also had a perm. It was awful. Once, at our local county fair, I was the brave friend to ride alone. The carnival worker said, "Next time, get a friend, Son." At 40, I'm going to take a giant leap in 2 days and get a pixie. Your series has inspired me!

  10. Love, love, love your blog and the whole pixie cut series! I took the plunge and went short a few years ago only to succumb to the long hair standard and grew it out to collar bone length. Unfortunately after all that work...I hated it. I have super thick wavy hair and just do not have the time it would take to style it into something glamorous when it gets that long. So tomorrow I am taking the plunge and cropping it to pixie length again. I am really excited and want to say thanks for inspiring me to embrace the look again and rock it with confidence.


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