Go Pixie or Go Home: How To Rock Short Hair with Confidence


Jennifer’s just done it. Halle’s made a career out of it. Kaley’s on primetime killing it. It’s trendy, it’s chic, and it’s low maintenance. In short, the pixie cut could be your next mane move. But I will not lie to you. Chopping your hair is not an easy thing to do. The transition is huge. Culturally, a woman’s sexuality is very much tied up in her hair. For this reason and others, some women are emotionally attached to their hair. For those of you who fall into that category, it’s pretty scary to make such a drastic change.

I recently started considering going pixie. It wouldn't be my first time (third, actually), but I remembered all the hair styling and care tips that are essential for this big transition.

The emotional shift isn’t the only change you’ll need to make when going short and sweet. It’s nothing short of a beauty regimen lifestyle shift. You’ll need different styling products, you’ll need to pay visits to your hairstylist more often, your femininity will be challenged. Here, everything you need to know about snipping it short.

The basic facts about short hair

Firstly, I need to prep you in advance. In order to transition without the nervous breakdown, you must know about short hair behavior. For one, chopping it off means you’ll have a much looser hairstyle since hair loses weight when the length comes off. With that in mind, you’ll need a whole new slew of styling products (which I discuss below). And plan on taking more frequent trips to the stylist for regular trimming and shaping. You may think your hair doesn’t grow very fast while long, but you’ll soon see that a half an inch of growth per month is easily noticeable on short hair. The upside? Short hair is much easier and faster to style. Here’s to shaving time off your weekday morning routine!

Styling products

Styling products suit different hair types, but here are a few must-have basics for all walks of pixie. Definitely need some wax or matte paste—this creates those dramatic angles and shapes that withstand your eight-hour workday or those serious Saturday-night dance moves. Wet gel is another, as this will create smooth locks that stay controlled without frizz or crunch. Also important, volumizing products. Gel, mousse, shampoo and conditioner—these all work to amplify your look. Short haircuts need volume, otherwise they’re not the most flattering (think hair plastered to head in a wet-rat sort of fashion). Check out this awesome list of products specifically for short hair, courtesy of the gorgeous Christine Mikesell of 15 Minute Beauty. Oh, and if you’re prone to flakes, keep your dandruff shampoo handy, since dandruff is especially noticeable in short hair.

Styling ideas for short hair

Styling gets a whole new twist when you’re working with just a few inches. The short and sweet of it is, there is not much you can do with pixie-length tresses. Braids and buns become the thing of the past. But not all is lost. There’s a lot you can do with the right tools. Invest in a flat iron that’s designed for short hair, like Cloud Nine’s Micro Iron. Six inches long, this iron (international buyers, shop it here and here) features rounded edges, making it a go-to for both curling your hair and straightening it. Also, accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Headbands, hairpins and barrettes stand out and create fun surprises in short hair.

What to do when your haircut grows out

You can opt for a visit to a hairstylist or you can learn some tricks of the trade (YouTube tutorials are going to be your best friend). Here are a few quick ideas:

  • Slick your hair and tuck it behind your ears, using bobby pins to secure the style.
  • If your pixie is getting too long, curl your hair away from your face to create lift.
  • Grow from a pixie to a bob by curling your hair on one side and slicking back on the other.
  • Slick a long pixie straight back using wet gel or wax.

“Short hair is not feminine”

Be prepared for this kind of comment. Even though long wavy hair is considered classically feminine, short hairstyles are all the rage. Just pull up any recent red carpet event and check out the smoking short-hair styles on the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Kaley Cuoco and Anne Hathaway—all strong, sexy female leads, if you ask me. Feminine is about your entire look, being you, and owning your personality, not the length of your hair.

Be brave, chop your hair and show the world how beautiful, sexy and feminine you are!