Severe and androgynous or soft and gamine, the best pixie cuts can be adapted to suit any mood. Popularized in the ’50s by actors Audrey Hepburn and Jean Seberg as they rejected the long locks of their bombshell counterparts, they have remained a symbol of nonconformity ever since. Bold and subversive, the crop launched the career of supermodel Linda Evangelista in the late ’80s, thanks to the wizardry of French hairstylist Julien d’Ys. But it can work just as easily for the feminine ingénue. See actors Emma Watson and Léa Seydoux. Thinking of taking the leap? Here’s everything you need to know, according to the experts.
Are pixie cuts in style for 2023?
“The pixie cut has been an iconic style throughout the years,” says hairstylist George Northwood. “It’s now very of the moment once again, we saw lots of variations of the style coming down the runways at the autumn/winter 23 shows.” Indeed, at Miu Miu, Emma Corrin was serving her pixie cut blunt and severe, whereas at Gucci, we saw pixies with texture and movement, paired with longer bangs. “Personally, I’m a fan of the ’90s take on the pixie – think Winona Ryder and Princess Diana—who both had very wearable versions with a slightly longer fringe and more texture.”
What’s the difference between a pixie cut and short hair?
While short hair is a key characteristic of the pixie cut, not all short hair styles are classified as pixies. “The pixie has a very feathery texture,” says Kumi Bella, creative stylist at John Frieda Salon. “It’s cut close to the head and is about 5cm all over.” That said, not all pixie cuts look the same and that’s down to fringe length, whether it’s micro a la Mia Farrow or more grown out, like former Vogue cover star Selma Blair.
What should you consider before getting a pixie cut?
As with any hair style there are a few things to take into account before making the cut. “Consider your face shape, hair type, and how drastically your styling regime will change once you opt for a pixie cut, as these will be factors at play in committing to your new style,” says hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons. The best pixie cuts are those that require the least maintenance and can be easily switched up to suit your look. If in doubt, start with a consultation.
What face shape looks best with a pixie cut?
Getting the best pixie cut for your face shape is key here. Generally speaking, and as the name might suggest, the style is usually suited to those with more angular face shapes and pixie-esque features. Although it works well for oval, round and heart shaped faces, too.
After that, it becomes about balance. “If you’ve got quite pronounced features, you might want to go with something softer,” says Northwood. “Whereas if you have a bit of a baby face, you would likely be able to carry off a more blunt, sharper version.” Alternatively, if you’re into a more androgynous vibe, the angular version may be for you.
Do pixie cuts make you look older or younger?
The best thing about pixie cuts is their versatility, and the fact that they work on all ages. It can add a level of sophistication to the delicate ingénue, but it can bring a sense of youthful elegance to those over 50. “Personally, I feel the older/younger ideology is a big misconception,” says Marlon Hawkins, artistic director of Brooks and Brooks “It’s not about a haircut, it’s about a style, texture, feeling. All things that keep an individual modern and comfortable whilst giving self-confidence is the most important.”
Below, we round up some of the best pixie cuts of all time.
Jamie Lee Curtis
This article was originally published on British Vogue.