How to trim your pixie cut

Proceed with caution, k?

How to trim your pixie cut

How to trim your pixie cut

Sooo, I know this probably isn’t the answer you were hoping for, but cutting your own hair is not freakin’ easy. There’s way more skill, technique, and practice that goes into it than you think, so unless you want to go viral on TikTok for a botched haircut (which, maybe that’s your thing?!), do yourself a favor and book an appointment with a professional stylist. But if you can’t make it into a salon right now, or you just don’t feel comfortable yet, you do have some at-home options. Just know that you’re gonna have to pick up the right tools (more on that in a bit) and meticulously study a few tutorials before you start snipping.

Now, keep scrolling for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cutting your own hair at home, including the exact shears you’ll want on hand, the best clips for separating sections, and more. Just promise me you’ll think twice before giving yourself bangs, alright? Speaking from experience here, people.

First: Some ground rules

New to cutting your own hair? Wait and see a professional

Okay, this is when you’re going to hate me a little, but I gotta emphasize it once more: There’s a reason hairstylists are professionals—a lot of skill and technique goes into a haircut, so if you can hold off, please consider waiting to see a stylist IRL. “Hair cutting is an art form, but it also requires a lot of geometry,” says Stephen Thevenot, senior stylist at David Mallet in NYC. “The most important thing is knowing what to cut and what to leave, and that comes with training and experience.”

Another reason to hold out until you can make it into the salon? “If you mess up, you’ll definitely need a professional—and more than likely, you’ll have to go shorter than you initially wanted,” says Thevenot. Which, uh, not fun.

BTW, if you’re dealing with intense split ends, there are things you can do at-home that don’t include taking a pair of scissors to your hair. Loading up on hair-smoothing masks and minimizing heat tool-use (or, at the very least, prepping with heat protectant spray) is a great way to treat and prevent damage while you’re riding out your haircut in-between salon visits.

Last Updated on September 7, 2020

How to trim your pixie cut

Although your hair is a huge part of what gives you your identity, it is also one of the easiest parts about you to change. One hour in your stylist’s chair can give you a new color, bold highlights, a fresh cut and a sassy style.

However, if you have been tied to one particular type of cut and style for years, it can seem difficult if not downright impossible to make a change. Cutting off a huge length of hair can be the hardest challenge of all but slightly easier if you constantly struggle keeping hair straight overnight.

Short haircuts for women are quite popular these days with many stars sporting them in films or on red carpets. Even though you might think other women look amazing when sporting these cuts, you may think that short hairdos are definitely not for you.

Instead of telling yourself that you cannot pull off a short hairdo, find out more about one of the most popular options, the pixie cut, and consider the changes this cut could bring to your life. Then you’ll be able to answer the popular question, “should I get a pixie cut?”.

Table of Contents

What Is a Pixie Cut?

A pixie cut is one of the shortest hairstyles you can get as a woman. This often boyish-looking cut is very short in the back and usually cut into layers along the tops and sides. Although the pixie cut has a variety of iterations, it often has shaggier bangs and shows off most of your ears.

Pixie cuts first came on the scene in the 1950s in America thanks to Audrey Hepburn. Since then, they have gone in and out of vogue through the decades but today are seen as a very daring style and a great option if you want to change your image completely.

Is Getting a Pixie Cut Right for You?

How to trim your pixie cut

Although pixie cuts are exciting game-changers for some women, you may be wondering if choosing this style could be right for you. After all, it can be difficult to imagine how you would look with a completely different hairstyle.

Before you head to your local Hair Cuttery or BoRics Salon, consider how these seven pixie cut facts could change your life.

1. Pixie cuts come in different lengths.

Before you start thinking that there is only one option when it comes to your pixie cut, check out some pictures in a magazine or online to see the many different pixie styles favored today.

You can go longer or shorter, have minimal bangs or very floppy bangs and have your hair layered evenly throughout or styled with longer layers on top.

Consider starting with a longer length if you are a little nervous to chop off all your hair.

2. You will need to get used to styling your hair every morning.

Unlike long hair, which can always be whipped back into a ponytail or a bun, a pixie require some styling every morning.

Without styling, your hair will appear flat and lifeless, and you may even find that you wake up with crooked pieces and a misplaced part. Consider asking for a pixie cut that is easy to style if you do not have much extra time in the mornings.

3. Washing and drying your hair will be quicker than ever.

On the plus side, if you are coming from medium-length or long hair, you will find that the time it takes you to shampoo, condition and dry your hair shortens significantly.

In fact, your hair should air-dry in no time at all. If you want to use a hair dryer to add a bit of volume to your hair, you will not be able to wait long after your shower to begin styling.

4. Your part can change everything.

Just because you get one particular pixie cut and your stylist creates one look while you are in the salon chair does not mean that you are tied to that look forever.

The way you blow dry your hair, the styling products you use and even the side on which you place your part can change your entire look.

You can also ask about other types of pixie cuts, such as the fluffy pixie cut with shaggy layers or the undercut pixie with longer layers that hang over a very short back section.

5. Be prepared for your face to take center stage.

Very short hair lets you show off your facial features more. You may find that you feel more comfortable with a bit more makeup than you wore previously or that face-framing layers in your bangs show off your best features.

6. Regular haircuts will become a part of your life.

When you have long hair, you can wait months between haircut appointments because uneven layers are hard to see. However, a pixie cut grows out rapidly, and you will probably need to come in for a trim at least once per month if you want to keep up with your new length and shape.

On the other hand, if you want to grow out your hair again, it could take some time because most people’s hair grows approximately half an inch per month.

7. A pixie cut should complement your facial shape.

While the majority of facial shapes can pull off short hair, oval, round and heart-shaped faces look the best with a pixie cut.

Finding the Right Stylist for Your Pixie Cut

The best person to ask about whether a pixie cut is right for you and which type of pixie would look best with your facial shape is your stylist.

The longer your stylist has known you, the better advice he or she will be able to give you. Your stylist can help you discover your best look based on your hair texture, hair goals and daily lifestyle.

Once you find a stylist you love at your favorite salon, be sure to stick with that person long term to enjoy a great professional relationship along with amazing cuts and styles.

Feel free to take this inspo straight to your stylist.

A short style is a pretty intimidating one to request when you’re sitting in the salon chair. But while rocking a pixie cut takes guts, the refreshing change is worth the plunge. In addition to looking effortlessly modern, the no-muss, no-fuss style means it will shave off precious minutes of maintenance in the morning. If you’re looking to spice your length up a little bit (or just give your current style a fresh fall update), we found some of the best cuts—from sweeping bangs to feminine fringe—that will convince you to go short, stat.

Related Items

1 Short and spiky

According to hairstylist Katy Reeve, this ultra-close crop uses “square graduation to create the main shape and reverse graduation through the front hairline to give a soft perimeter.” The result is devil-may-care spikes that are the epitome of casual-cool.

2 Tossed and tousled

Just because your hair is short doesn’t mean you can’t pull off stylish layers. This pixie translation of the shag features additional layers at the crown of the head for the illusion of volume. Bonus: It looks great a little messy so nobody will be the wiser if you want to forgo additional styling (read: bedhead is permitted).

3 Faux hawk

Don’t overlook this androgynous cut—the closely cropped faux hawk marks the perfect balance between feminine and edgy. Ask your stylist to shave a bit on the sides and chop on top with the length increasing towards the quiff. After that, use a dollop of styling wax or gel for textured layers on top and slicked on the sides to create the needed shape.

Pixie haircuts are short and choppy and can be flattering for the right face shape. A professional stylist can help you get the best shape, but there are ways to achieve an attractive basic pixie style in your own home with a few tips.

Wash and condition your hair. Your hair should be completely clean before cutting. Dirt and oil will damage good-quality thinning shears, so clean hair is a must.

Separate a 3-inch-wide section of hair and use the fine-tooth side of your comb to hold the rest of the hair back. It is recommended that you choose a piece from the front sections of hair first. Make sure to leave a 2-inch-wide section at the front untouched; those will be your bangs to shape later. If you don’t want bangs, feel free to pull the section back and trim as you wish.

Hold the thinning shears diagonally above the section and trim the the hair with the shears pointed downward. This will keep the volume at the top, where it is most flattering. Be sure that you start the cut 2 1/2 to 3 inches below the crown to prevent too much height.

Shape your bangs with the shears. Start by parting your hair on your preferred side and singling out a 2-inch-wide section of hair in the front. Trim with the shears pointed down starting at whatever length you prefer. Use a ruler to measure the length if you are unsure.

Use the wide-tooth comb to comb the hair and survey your first cuts, and use them as a guide. The length of your haircut has been set by the initial cuts. Just follow along the ends and cut to make the sides match. Do not touch the hair at the back of your head yet.

Trim the hair at the back of your head slightly shorter than the front and sides. You will not cut diagonally to create volume; this cut should be even. Hold the shears parallel to the floor and cut one even line at the nape of the neck.

Use the wide-tooth comb to separate the top section of hair, measuring from the crown to 3 inches from the nape. The top section should be at least 2 inches thick and no longer than 4 inches long.

Cut that section at the 4-inch mark, again with the scissors parallel to the floor. Again, a ruler should be used to keep the cut uniform if you do not have a steady hand.

Apply spray gel to the hair and brush it through with the vent brush.

Blow dry the hair using the vent brush to smooth and shape your new cut.

Run your fingers through your new pixie cut to create a spunky look.

Check frequently during cutting to make sure you are getting your desired shape.

Warning

If you have a round face shape, a less drastic, layered pixie cut will look best on you.

Last December, I finally got the pixie cut I had been dreaming of for years. (Click the link for the dramatic before and after photo!) I was so excited to make a big change, and I was also looking forward to the challenge of growing my pixie out as gracefully as possible.

How to trim your pixie cut

It took a lot of work— when my hair was super-short, I had to trim it every two weeks! But I thought I’d share the stages with you lovelies to give you some ideas of how to rock your hair as it goes from super-short to an average bob (which is what I’ve got going on now.) Care to see?

The Pixie– just a refresher of how my hair looked after it was first cut…

How to trim your pixie cut

Add body- pixies are all about structure, which is why they often look bad when they’re growing out (they get floppy). You can work with this, though, buy adding curl and body to your hair with a tiny flat iron or curling iron. And don’t forget to rock cute hair accessories!

How to trim your pixie cut

Needs a cut- I knew I needed a trim when my hair would start to get this mullet-y quality. It was still short in the front because of my original pixie fringe, but the back was losing shape fast.

How to trim your pixie cut

Quick fix- If I didn’t have time for a trim, I’d wear a front braid to pull the bangs back and tiny pigtails to keep the rest contained.

How to trim your pixie cut

Neck trim- Otherwise, I used a razor along my neck line to keep the back nice and short while the front layers were growing out. You can see in the photo below that my front layers were allllmost in line with the back. When the front and back are even, you can let all of your hair get longer and it’ll naturally turn into a bob without much fuss.

How to trim your pixie cut

Half Up- While I was waiting for everything to even out, I often pinned the short layers back, giving the illusion of a half-up style (even though I didn’t actually have enough hair to pull it into a ponytail in the back).

How to trim your pixie cut

How to trim your pixie cut

My Little Pony- Finally, as the entire look grew, I was able to pull my hair into a mini ponytail (with the help of a few bobby pins, of course!)

How to trim your pixie cut

A Bob with Body- This photo was taken a month ago, when we were in Italy. By this point, I had a bona-fide bob and could play with a curling iron to give it bounce and curl.

How to trim your pixie cut

Now that I have a short bob, I can let my hair grow without having to cut it much. I’ll clean up the layers every couple months, but I’m finally done with the bi-weekly trim that I had to deal with at first.

Overall, when trying to grow out a pixie, invest in some cute hair accessories and don’t be afraid to trim your neckline on your own with a razor (the kind for cutting hair, not the kind you shave your legs with).

This article was co-authored by Jenny Tran. Jenny Tran is a Hair Stylist and the Founder of JT Hair Lab by Jenny Tran based in the Dallas, Texas metro area. With over seven years of professional hair styling experience, Jenny specializes in hair coloring, haircutting, and hair extensions. JT Hair Lab is an authorized carrier of R+Co and of Milbon and is committed to using products with quality ingredients.

There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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A pixie cut is a great look for lots of different hairstyles, but you may want to grow out your hair to try something new. Typically, a pixie cut will take about a year to grow out. [1] X Expert Source

Jenny Tran
Professional Hair Stylist Expert Interview. 19 May 2020. If you want to grow your hair out after rocking a pixie cut, condition your hair regularly, trim your ends, and try taking vitamins that promote hair growth. In addition, you can play with different hairstyles and use styling products and accessories. Get your ends trimmed regularly to keep your hair healthy as it grows out. Growing out your hair may take a while, but in the meantime, take care of it and try out different styles. With some creativity and patience, you can easily grow out your pixie cut!

Feel free to take this inspo straight to your stylist.

A short style is a pretty intimidating one to request when you’re sitting in the salon chair. But while rocking a pixie cut takes guts, the refreshing change is worth the plunge. In addition to looking effortlessly modern, the no-muss, no-fuss style means it will shave off precious minutes of maintenance in the morning. If you’re looking to spice your length up a little bit (or just give your current style a fresh fall update), we found some of the best cuts—from sweeping bangs to feminine fringe—that will convince you to go short, stat.

Related Items

1 Short and spiky

According to hairstylist Katy Reeve, this ultra-close crop uses “square graduation to create the main shape and reverse graduation through the front hairline to give a soft perimeter.” The result is devil-may-care spikes that are the epitome of casual-cool.

2 Tossed and tousled

Just because your hair is short doesn’t mean you can’t pull off stylish layers. This pixie translation of the shag features additional layers at the crown of the head for the illusion of volume. Bonus: It looks great a little messy so nobody will be the wiser if you want to forgo additional styling (read: bedhead is permitted).

3 Faux hawk

Don’t overlook this androgynous cut—the closely cropped faux hawk marks the perfect balance between feminine and edgy. Ask your stylist to shave a bit on the sides and chop on top with the length increasing towards the quiff. After that, use a dollop of styling wax or gel for textured layers on top and slicked on the sides to create the needed shape.

How to trim your pixie cut

Growing out a pixie cut can be tricky business—and that’s putting it lightly. But, for the first few weeks or months, your short cut should be in prime form if your stylist got it right, so take this time to get adjusted and learn to love your new ‘do while it’s in a great place. Still, it turns out that while you wait for your short hair to grow out, there are some steps you can take to maximize the growth process, including trims (more on that later) and scalp care. We picked the brain of celebrity hairstylist Chad Wood to discover his tips for growing out a pixie (plus how to avoid styling the ‘do during the grow-out phase). Below, find everything you need to know about growing out short hair, along with styling products to make the transition a little bit easier.

Meet the Expert

Chad Wood is a bi-coastal hairstylist whose expertise is in cutting, coloring, and styling. His past clients include Olivia Munn, Shay Mitchell, Vanessa Hudgens, and Cindy Crawford.

How Long Does It Take To Grow Out Short Hair?

How to trim your pixie cut

When it comes to the length of time it takes to grow out short hair, it varies from person to person. “It depends on the person and how fast their hair grows, as well as how detailed the cut is,” says Wood. “Normally, a pixie cut takes anywhere from three to six weeks to grow out.” First thing to do? Get your hair to its healthiest state. This means loading up on foods that are good for hair growth (now’s the perfect time to master that guacamole recipe) and using a conditioning mask consistently (we love Authentic Beauty Concept’s Replenish Mask, $38).

How to Style Hair in the Grow-Out Phase

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Styling your hair while it’s in the grow-out phase requires patience, creativity, and a little TLC.

  • Accessorize: Wood recommends playing up your look with some fun accessories like bobby pins and barrettes. A bedazzled headband or ’90s-style barrettes can make your hairstyle look more purposeful as if you’re choosing this length and look rather than merely enduring it. Or, take a cue from Cara Delevingne (and so many other celebs, let’s be real) and invest in clip-in hair extensions or a wig.
  • Don a middle part: Especially helpful for straight-across bangs that are growing out, a middle part and side bangs styled away from the face on either side can make your ‘do appear polished, even during a phase where you likely feel it’s anything but.
  • Slick it back: According to Wood, a sleek, slicked-back style is always a good option. “I love FEKKAI’s Brilliant Gloss Multi-Tasker Perfecting Crème ($20) for styling shorter hair because it gives hair texture and allows more control over where the hair lays,” he says.
  • Maintain the lob: “As hair grows into a lob length, continue to refine the ends so that it holds its style,” recommends Wood. “Once hair grows into a lob length, I would introduce texturizing products and styling tools, such as a small curling wand to create texturized waves.”

Battling cowlicks? Wet the hair, spritz with a heat protectant, and blow-dry it down using the nozzle attachment on your blowdryer.

Don’t skimp on trims.

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Believe it or not, trims are a very necessary part of growing out short hair. “Even though you’re trying to grow out the hair, frequent trims will help to control the shape and style as it grows,” notes Wood. “I suggest a trim every two to three weeks while you’re growing the hair out.” He adds that without frequent trims, hair will begin to take on a very round shape. Another reason to hit the salon? Not only will consistent cuts get rid of split ends (which, as we know, can hinder the growth process), but they’ll freshen up your style. What’s more: A periodic check-in with your hairstylist will help you find a cut that complements what you’re working with. When growing out a pixie, the layers around the perimeter of the face can tend to look heavy. Opt for choppy layers and textured layers in the front to provide relief during that in-between phase.

Speed up the growth process.

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If you’re a few months in and tired of waiting for your strands to grow, there are a few things you can do to make a difference.

  • Use coconut oil: Wood recommends applying coconut oil to the hair, as it not only helps with hydration and growth, but it encourages natural scalp oil reproduction, too.
  • Take supplements: Taking clinically proven supplements, like Nutrafol or Viviscal, can speed up the hair growth process.  
  • Do a scalp massage: Give your scalp an exfoliating massage every time you shampoo. This stimulates the scalp and encourages better hair growth.
  • Deep condition: Give your hair a proper deep conditioning treatment at least once a week—the stronger your locks are, the faster (and longer) they’ll grow.

Best Products for Growing Out a Pixie

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Power through the growing-out process by experimenting with these styling products.

How to trim your pixie cut

While waxes helped hold up a few spunky sprigs in your pixie, you might do better now with a smoothing leave-in that banishes frizz, like this one from Playa.

How to trim your pixie cut

This texturizing spray gives ends textured, piece-y movement for that slightly messy, model-off-duty look.

How to trim your pixie cut

It all starts with the roots, and having a healthy scalp is crucial to hair growth —this scalp scrub removes product buildup and deeply cleans with micro-exfoliants.

How to trim your pixie cut

A sexy, effortless ‘do with lots of shape and volume doesn’t discriminate against hair length—try this styling paste for its flexible formula and good-for-your-hair ingredients like ginger root and aloe leaf extracts.  

How to trim your pixie cut

If you’re going for a more sophisticated straight-hair look, opt for this shine spray that’ll hold your style, add sleek shine, and control even the frizziest of strands.