The pixie cut, made famous by Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s and Twiggy and Mia Farrow in the 1960s, can now be seen on everyone from Jamie Lee Curtis to Sharon Stone – and for good reason. The chopped ‘do highlights facial features like eyes and cheekbones, can hide forehead furrows, slim the face and more!
Even better? There are so many variations of the pixie cut that finding a version of the cut that will flatter your face is a cinch. Read on to find the one that fits you best, then run -don’t walk -to your nearest hair salon
What is a pixie cut?
A pixie may be an ancient mythological creature with magical powers, but the hairstyle that bears its name is very much real and in the present. “A pixie cut is a great low-maintenance style that is somehow able to look both classic and modern at the same time,” explains celebrity stylist Cody Renegar, who has worked on the famous tresses of Gwyneth Paltrow and Marie Osmond.
Best of all, a pixie cut is suitable for women of all ages. Gone are the days when women over 60 had to chop their long hair into a matronly looking mane. “The haircut can be sleek and subtle or bold and fabulous and works well with all hair colors,” explains celebrity hairstylist Jason Tavares, who works with Cynthia Bailey and Marysol Patton.
“It adds volume to thinning hair, and because it highlights the bone structure of the face, it makes you look more youthful, too,” adds Renegar. “It literally pulls your features up and creates a visual lift.”
If you get a pixie cut that’s super short and close to the scalp, it even helps you embrace those incoming silver strands (perfect if you’re considering transitioning to that trendy all-grey look). Sounds like a win to us! If you’re ready to take the pixie plunge, here’s what you need to know.
What are different styles of a pixie cut?
The pixie cut has several variations, each suitable for different face shapes and aging concerns. If you can’t picture what pixie cut will look best on you, here are 5 to consider.
Super short pixie cut — opens up an oval face
This bold cut that keeps hair closer to the scalp is tailor-made for oval faces. “It really opens up the face to enhance all of your features: eyes, cheekbones, and lips,” explains Renegar.
Ask your stylist for: A very short pixie cut that’s tightly cropped in the back and over the ears, and slightly longer on top and in the front.
Tousled pixie cut — helps make a round face look longer
A textured, tousled pixie cut is great for round faces. “The textured layers on top work to create height and volume that helps to elongate the face,” says Renegar.
Ask your stylist for: A pixie with short, neat sides adds face-framing angles that visually square off and counteract the fullness of a round face.
Sideswept bangs pixie cut — softens a square jawline
“The rounded silhouette of a sideswept pixie helps soften the harshness of a square jaw,” says Jackson Simmonds, hairstylist at the Julien Farrel Salon in New York City, who’s worked with Carol Burnett and Jill Zarin. And infusing the cut with full fringe cleverly conceals any thinning at the temples and along the hairline.
Ask your stylist for: A pixie with texture throughout the crown from blended, graduating layers and side-swept bangs that rest at the brows.
Banged, bob pixie cut — widens a long face
“Choppy, long layers on an ear-skimming pixie optically widen a longer face to help balance its length,” says Simmonds. Even better? Snipping in side bangs shortens the face even more while instantly masking forehead furrows.
Ask your stylist for: An ear-length pixie bob cut with wispy side fringe and textured layers that gradually become longer.
Layered pixie cut — balances a heart-shaped face
This cuts for you if you have a heart-shaped face. “It covers the forehead and draws attention to cheekbones,” says Renegar. Plus, the height created from stacked layers directs focus up and away from a pointy chin, adds Simmonds. And angled fringe “cuts into” a wider forehead so it appears narrower.
Ask your stylist for: A pixie with graduating side bangs and long, stacked layers that are cut at an angle so they stand out.
Ready to take the pixie cut plunge?
First, ensure you are fully committed before asking your stylist to pull out her shears. Besides the obvious (like how hair takes a long time to grow back), this style will require frequent trims every four to six weeks, and you’ll likely need to learn how to style it yourself as it doesn’t quite have the ease of long hair that you can just toss into a pony and go.
Also, anytime you decide to change up your hairdo, don’t walk into your salon without inspiration pics for reference, advises Renegar, because you could end up disappointed. “Just make sure to be specific with your stylist about how short you want to go, whether or not you want sideburns or bangs, and where you want it to fall.”
Jené Luciani Sena is a veteran journalist and internationally-renowned bestselling author of The Bra Book: An Intimate Guide to Finding the Right Bra, Shapewear, Swimsuit, and More! and Get It!: A Beauty, Style, and Wellness Guide to Getting Your #It# Together. She’s also a style, bra and beauty expert regularly seen on shows like Access Hollywood and NBC’s Today.