6 Best Pixie Cut Ideas for Every Hair Type
This classic cut never goes out of style.
As we get older, our hair tends to thin out, and it can become harder to maintain the long hairstyles of our youth. If you’re struggling to style thin or frayed hair, fear not — there are solutions. One solution is choosing the right haircut, and one of the most stylish, flattering, and fabulously low-maintenance haircuts out there was MADE for thinning hair. Enter the pixie cut.
Whether you have coils of curls or thin, pin-straight hair, there’s a pixie haircut for you.
For Straight Hair: The Classic Pixie
Long locks are fine, but there’s nothing more glamorous and chic than the classic pixie. Picture Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday or Twiggy’s iconic ‘do in the ‘50s. Short layers on top create volume — meaning that this style is best suited for straight hair. You can style it pin-straight for an elegant and refined look or tousle it for a more bohemian feel. The key is to keep your cut above the ears and close to your head for a short hairstyle that will highlight and flatter your facial features.
Perhaps the best part of the classic pixie is how low-maintenance it is — simply roll out of bed and comb it into shape, or use a texturizing hairspray to create a more voluminous look a la Princess Diana’s blonde pixie cut. (You don’t need Lady Di’s blonde hair to rock the look, though — this cute pixie style looks wonderful in all hair colors.) It’s especially flattering on women with narrow faces or angular facial features because of the contrast it creates.
If you do decide to rock the classic pixie, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try a deep side part for a casual, trendy look, or update your pixie with long bangs to add some more dimension. Whether you’re going for a simple and elegant look or something with a little more volume, this cut’s got your back.
For Wavy Hair: A Pixie Shag
The difference between a pixie shag (also sometimes called a “shixie”) and a volumized classic pixie cut hairstyle is length. While a classic pixie should just skim your ears, the pixie shag has, as its name suggests, layers. Add some fringe with curtain bangs or longer choppy layers in the back for more of a rock ‘n roll look.
Just like the classic pixie hairstyle, a choppy pixie shag cut is wonderfully low maintenance. Celebrity hairstylist Arsen Gurgov told InStyle Magazine that most of the time, the pixie shag should be a wash-and-go hairdo. At most, you’ll need to add a touch of texturizing spray or pomade for volume. The less work and time required, the better, as far as we’re concerned.
For Loose Curls: An Undercut Pixie
You might think that curls and short hair don’t go together, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the most sophisticated pixie styles is the undercut pixie— short on the sides, long on top — and natural, loose curls make it pop.
To achieve the undercut pixie look, let your hairstylist know what you want from your day-to-day hair. They’ll take your facial features and hair type into account before recommending either a full buzzcut on the sides or a slightly shorter length for the sides and bottom.
If you’re looking for something a bit edgier and very low-maintenance, go for shaved sides. (Hair grows back, after all!) This curly pixie has been rocked by some of our favorite celebrities, like Jada Pinkett-Smith, who showed off her natural curls with an Instagram selfie in 2020. It’s a look that’s as red-carpet-ready as it is perfect for everyday wear. Katy Perry and Halle Berry are also known for sporting this short pixie cut to accentuate their naturally wavy hair.
To sport an undercut pixie, make your curls the star of the show. Style them the way you normally would, whether that’s a wash-and-go or a more intensive routine with mousse and volumizing hairspray. The key is bouncy, hydrated curls that spill over on the shorter sides and back of your head — they’ll turn your undercut into the perfect messy pixie look.
For Tight Curls or Natural Hair: Accessorize
We said there’s a pixie haircut for every hair type — and we meant it. For women with tight curls or natural hair, try a short, close-cropped pixie with accessories added in. Use a barrette, headband, or scarf to switch things up a bit. However you decide to style your pixie, keeping it short in a classic pixie or sporting an undercut pixie is the way to go. Curls have so much natural movement and volume that their grace would get lost in a a longer hairstyle.
If You’re Feeling Bold: The Platinum Pixie
Pixie cuts make a statement, but if you want to go even bolder, try a platinum pixie. This fun hair trend flatters every hair style, whether your locks are pin-straight, wavy, or super curly. The key to a platinum pixie is going all in — no half-natural, half-platinum pixie hairstyles here — like Charlize Theron did with her red-carpet pixie at the 2020 Oscars.
To style an Oscar-worthy platinum pixie, take a page from celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel’s playbook — he masterminded Theron’s red-carpet look. Abergel told InStyle Magazine that after blow drying Theron’s hair straight, he used a frizz cream and hair oil to achieve a clean side-part. Abergel also reportedly used a headband and tiny platinum extensions to hide Theron’s roots at the nape of her neck. That’s a bit too much work for me, but credit where credit is due — Charlize looked amazing, and her textured pixie cut was the perfect complement to her va-va-voom black dress.
Tips for Going Platinum
If you’re thinking about taking the leap and going platinum, consider the amount of maintenance involved. Pixies might be low-maintenance, but platinum pixies definitely are not. According to professional hairstylist Christine Thompson, going platinum — especially on naturally dark or thick hair — requires a lot of upkeep. Avoid volumizing products and heat treatment for as long as possible, and know that you’ll be back at the salon in just a few weeks for a root touch-up.
The great thing about taking a platinum pixie for a spin is that if you don’t like what it does to your hair texture, you only have to grow out a few inches of hair to get back to your baseline. Plus, depending on your skin tone, your hairdresser may recommend platinum with silver undertones — and what better way to transition to gray?
If You Prefer Having Long Hair: The Bixie
The bixie, also known as a pixie bob, is the perfect middle ground for women transitioning from long hair to short. It looks like a grown-out tousled pixie — think long choppy layers and side-swept bangs that add dimension. Not quite at your shoulders but definitely longer than a classic pixie, this versatile long pixie cut has more styling versatility. You might emphasize your naturally curly hair, chop it into spiky layers, or style it into a wispy, feathered look. It all depends on your natural hair type and face shape.
If you’re curious about trying a short pixie haircut but not quite ready to make the leap, the bixie might be for you. Talk to your hairdresser about length and style — they’ll be able to recommend the most flattering cut for your face shape and start your transition to a shorter hairstyle.
Faith, Trust, and Pixie Cuts
There’s something magical about the pixie haircut; it just never goes out of style. From Twiggy to Princess Di, this flattering hairstyle has been seen on nearly every red carpet in every decade. So rather than being discouraged by thinning hair, look at this as a chance to rock the most timeless and elegant hairstyle of them all.
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