Pixie cut
Anyone can do it. Honest! (Illustration by Jessica Shaklee, University of Georgia)

How to Know If a Pixie Cut Is Right for You

Is it going to look good? How will I grow it out? Everything you need to know before you make the big chop.

Thoughts x
Pixie cut

Is it going to look good? How will I grow it out? Everything you need to know before you make the big chop.

The thought runs through every woman’s head after a bad breakup, or upon seeing a picture of the stunning Emma Watson: “Should I make the big chop?” I’m talking about a pixie cut, ladies.

Of course, that comes with its own questions, like: How do you know whether or not you can rock it? Is it something you will be able to commit to? And, lastly, how do you grow that sucker out afterwards, without looking like Raggedy Anne? So, let’s get started with some answers.

1. Will my face be able to pull the look off?

This is the biggest question, and it’s crucial to ask yourself this before you make any drastic change to your look, no matter what it might be. It’s dangerous to assume that because Twiggy, a gorgeous supermodel in the ’60s, crushed the pixie cut look, it will look exactly the same on you; you could end up looking like Butters from South Park for the next four months of your life. Every face is different, and every look should be purposefully chosen to highlight your strengths.

First, get to know what those strengths are. Do you have handsome round cheekbones, or a beautiful, tall forehead? If you really like that freckle below your eyes and how it complements your face, show it off.

I’ll tell you a secret: Anyone can rock a pixie cut, and it doesn’t matter who you are or how much you think you look like the reincarnation of Lady Diana; as long as you have confidence in your look and understand your face, you can pull it off. The real trick is deciding a length.

The only way you are going to look like Butters is if you are insecure about the lack of hair on your head and don’t believe in your own beauty. Deciding on a length is completely up to what you are comfortable with; if you still want to present delicate femininity, a longer, smoother cut is your friend, or, if you want a hard-edge, no BS style, go for a short cut with a shaved neckline. It just comes down to personal style.

2. So, okay, my face can rock it, but what about my hair type?

A lot of people think that pixie cuts are exclusively for people with fine, straight hair, and that tight curls will just turn your hair into an afro, and you’ll need to use extensive products in your hair every morning to get that messy glam look to make it seem like you just rolled out of bed. The truth is, if you get a pixie cut, you’re going to need to use products no matter what type of hair you have. Left unattended to, fine hair will cling to your head like a sheet of plastic wrap; there is no life in hair at this length without a little juice.

Curly hair is a great pixie look as well, although many people doubt that their luscious curls will be able to support it. Take a look at Audrey Tautou, who nailed this look. In fact, if you have curly hair and want a pixie cut, you have more room to play around with when it comes to edgy versus cute looks. A longer, curled top with shaved sides is so much more powerful than the corresponding straight-haired undercut, with a swoop of hair always falling in your face, so don’t be afraid to get a little daring with whatever hair type you have. The pixie cut is for everyone.

3. Can I commit to this?

Before you get too wrapped up in the excitement of a pixie, think about whether or not you will be able to commit to it. A pixie cut takes a lot of work to maintain, and a lot of time to grow out if you decide you don’t love it. If you decide to keep the cut, you will have to return to your hairdresser every three weeks or so for maintenance, so it’s recommended you get to know how to keep up the look yourself, and remember, you can always ask a friend to touch it up if you don’t trust yourself with a pair of scissors around your face.

If you think you’ll really like the look but can’t be sure, think on it a little longer; a big chop like this isn’t something you should take lightly. Keep in mind that, depending on how fast your hair grows, it can take about four months just get your hair to reach your jawline again, so if you love having beautiful, long hair that comes down to your butt, it will probably be years before you see that person again.

4. Okay, so how do I maintain it when I’m ready to grow it back out?

With a pixie cut, your hair is shaped to the top of your head, which is different than the typical cut for longer hair that just goes straight across. This means that when it does start to grow out again, it’s going look sort of like a bowl cut; the back of your hair might be long enough to put in a ponytail, but the front strands of your hair are just going to brush your cheek bones. When you put it up, only half of your hair will stay in place, so you need to get ready to use a lot of hair clips, or you’ll look like Dick Van Dyke as the court jester in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

The key is never being afraid to try new looks. Think of this awkward stage as an opportunity to get creative, rather than a curse. Bobby pins and baby elastics are useful tools to make it look like your hair is longer than it is; if the back already has some nice swing to it, tie up two baby pigtails and clip away your front wisps. If you’ve never had bangs before, you will certainly have them now, so learn how to love and maintain them by regularly trimming them into a nice shape and keeping your forehead clean so they don’t get greasy and stringy.

The bottom line is that anyone can pull off a pixie cut, but not everyone knows how to find the right look. Think long and hard about the new look you are about to commit to, find products that work for your hair and give it the look you have in mind, and know that it is a style that takes work to have, but also to get rid of.

Make sure it is something you are really committed to before you make the cut, or else you’ll end up posting on your finsta about how much you miss your long hair and how you look like Joan of Arc now. No one wants to hear that. Remember, the key to a pixie cut is knowing and convincing others that you look fabulous, so be sure of it when you decide to rid yourself of your locks.

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