Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Should I Rock a Pixie Cut?

I have been a long hair kind of girl my whole life. When I was in elementary school I always wanted to grow my hair out down to my waist. (My mom wouldn't let me.) In high school, I was so traumatized with constantly asking stylists for a trim and having them take 6 inches or more off (seriously, what is with that? Happens so much!) I stopped getting my hair cut professionally and starting cutting--or not cutting--my own hair so I could finally grow it long. It worked. Most of high school and college I had hair down to the middle of my back.

Finally, in my early to mid twenties I cut my hair to my shoulders. In my mind, short. And I loved it. Probably some of the best hair years of my life. My hair had some natural curl and I rarely had to "do" my hair for it to look good. In the last 12 years of life, as a wife and mother, my hair has been mostly long. I did take some scissors to my hair one night, years ago, in a fit of passion cutting it above my shoulders for the first time ever and immediately regretted it. I spent the next couple of years growing it out. I've had bangs off and on over the years but as for major change, that's about it.

I am not hair brave. I've never done extremes in styles or color (other than pink streaks for a short time in college. Thanks Gwen.) I like having dark hair and I like having long-ish hair.

I have NEVER EVER in my entire life wanted a pixie cut. Never. Not even a little. Not even when they were all the rage in the 90's and the Winona Ryders and Drew Barrymores and Gwyneth Paltrows of the world were chopping their locks off the showcase their perfect pixie faces. Not a year ago when my friend Molly saw this picture of me on Instagram and said, "Cut your hair into a pixie stat!" Never.

And then a couple months ago I saw this woman's hair on Anthropologie.com:

And now I've been seriously considering a pixie cut for the first time in my life. First, I know that I won't look like her. But I dig the classic, slightly shaggy style of this pixie--the bangs aren't long, the neck isn't shaved, and in general there is nothing about this cut that I would associate with the word "funky." Not that there's anything wrong with funky, it's just not me. Second, I also realize that like most cuts, it's all in the styling. Again, I totally get that. I actually showed these photos to my stylist  and although it won't look quite the same, he thinks I should go for it.

Here is my Pixie pro and con list.

Pixie Pros:
--I'm 40 and I've never done something drastic with my hair--I want to try something different! What if it's a look I would really love, but I'll never know unless I try.
--I have been in a hair rut for a long time now. Not really loving my hair no matter what I do with it--so might as well try something really new.
--I could love it.
--I will spend a lot less time "doing" my hair in the morning.
--I might also be more inclined to experiment with color.
--It could age me in a good way meaning that I think it could look chic and sophisticated.

Pixie Cons
--I might hate it. In fact, I'm sorta planning on hating it. My stylist assures me that even if I eventually like it, I will initially be a shock.
--If I hate it, growing it out will take a long time.
--Cold neck and ears?
--Less up keep day-to-day, but more frequent cuts/trims.
--While I love the cut on the model, I am not the model and my hair and face are not her hair and face. In short, my expectations based on this photo could be wildly off base.
--No matter when I grow it out, it would take a long time.
--It could age me inappropriately, i.e. make me feel frumpy and grandmother-ish.

I'm not really looking for opinions on what I should do--it's just too personal of a decision--but rather I'm curious to hear about how you feel about your hair. Are you super attached to it? Have you had your hair one way for most of your life? Or are you the type to radically change your hair often? If so, how often? How radically? What happens if you don't like a style or cut for a long time? Has anyone ever been a life-long long hair person and suddenly cut a pixie? Were you in shock? Tell me everything!

photo source

44 comments:

  1. I had long hair through college with occasional "short" (shoulder-length) cuts. I went pixie in my mid 20's and can't imagine going back to long hair. Convenience aside, in my experience it also makes you stronger. There's no more hair to hide behind. It's just you - for better and worse.

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    1. Interesting idea about the hiding behind your hair...I think it's a real thing.

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  2. Anonymous3:42 PM

    I've had medium-length to long hair for most of my life, but I wouldn't say I'm that strongly emotionally attached to the length of my hair. About a year ago I cut it to a chin-length bob and since then I've gone shorter and shorter! I'm now at a nose-length bob and love it! I'd say I feel more chic and perhaps even empowered. It's also a lot less shampoo and conditioner and less time blowdrying!

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  3. Oooh, love that cut, it's actually on one of my inspiration boards. I have always been really attached to my hair, meaning I'd cut two inches off my long hair and I'd sob, even if it was my idea. But several years ago, I started thinking about cutting my hair short, pixie short. After about 6 years, yes SIX years I finally got the courage and threw caution to the wind, and cut it off, like 14 inches off, and didn't tell anyone beforehand, including my husband, the reaction from people was all part of my big plan. And I LOVED it, it was exactly what I wanted, and I didn't cry a bit, which was surprising given past experience. I have had it short for over 4 years now, but in the name of change once again, I'm growing it out, it's just past my chin now, with blunt bangs and I don't really plan to grow it out super long again (probably just above my shoulders), but the whole process was really liberating for me. I have realized it's fun to switch things up, like really switch them up and it's just hair, it grows back, so why not live a little.

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    1. I love that you said the whole process was really liberating... I think the thrill is a big part of why I want to do this. And yes, it always grows back...even if it would take years.

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  4. Grew up in the 80s with a pageboy (oh yeah!). High school, typical shoulder-length hair. I chopped my hair right around when Gweneth did! Kept it in a spikey soccer mom bob in college - it was different from everyone. It evolved and tamed down and after having my first daughter, decided to try and grow it out. I run and wanted to see what a ponytail was like.

    Enjoyed a ponytail, but with my oval face and thin hair, it just didn't work down. So After about four years I chopped it all off again very similar to the first photo in your post. It suits me very well, I feel a bit more polished. The downsides are the upkeep (cuts every 6-8 weeks) and you can't just "throw it up/back." I either wear a ballcap and lots of dry shampoo!

    The Anthro model resembles you a bit! I thought you had Photoshopped your face onto a photograph! : D

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    1. Yes, I imagine my hat game would be strong...but I also like the idea of headscarves and just playing with different styles. Its so far out of my comfort zone! And yes, I imagine it could look much more polished.

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  5. Anonymous3:56 PM

    I have always loved short hair on other women but have NEVER been brave enough to do it myself... and I am still not brave enough. The first time I knew I wanted a short haircut was when Kelly Taylor on 90210 cut her hair off. It was PERFECT at the time. I wish I had been adventurous enough to do it. It is strange how attached some of us are to hair... something that is so temporary in the grand scheme of things. I am interested in seeing what you decide...

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    1. See, I have mixed feelings about short hair on other women. For some women I feel like it really, really suits them. For others, typically for women who usually have long hair, I feel like I generally like longer hair. For example, most female celebrities who have long hair and then cut it into a pixie, I think--I like it better long. But I'm thinking it's probably because I'm more used to their long hair. But if it's a celeb who has pretty much always had shorter hair, I tend to like it. So I'm saying my logic is kinda faulty, BUT that's also a little bit of why I'm scared to do it...what if everyone (including myself) thinks I look better with long hair. But yes, it is so temporary in the long run.

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  6. You may not have to get a drastic cut to feel better about your hair—you may just want to change your stylist! I went to the same stylist for 15 years (since I was in middle school) and I got to a point where I wasn’t feeling my hair anymore.. I decided to break up with her (which wasn’t easy, she is a family friend) and I found someone new who kept my hair “me” but managed to transform it! It’s worth a try before chopping it all off (with the possibility of hating it)

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    1. No I like my stylist and he's relatively new to me. So it's not that. But I get that.

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  7. shokufeh4:45 PM

    As someone who has had a pixie for a lot of my adult life, I've always thought it funny when people refer to shoulder-length hair as short. I guess it's all perspective - to me, if it's past the chin, it's long hair. I've always been pretty detached from my hair - I don't put a lot of time into it (thought I find that a pixie is more morning effort than the periods when I had long hair), and I've generally taken the attitude that it's just hair - if I don't like it, at least it will grow.

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    1. Agree - I think it's funny when people thing shoulder length is "short." : ) And yes - it will always grow back!

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  8. I have gone back and forth with medium-ish and short. I've had some BAD short haircuts. Oy! I just wanted to add that only at age 36 did I dye part of the my hair in the back. The first time ever. Of course it is a funky color! It's been about a year and I still love it and I love that it's kind of hidden-ish. That to me was a way bigger dealing than cutting it. (Also I have a TON of gray hair in the front and refuse to cover that up because I actually don't mind being gray & no one needs to tell me how I need to cover it up... hence in the back, doing a funky color was my kind of almost-40 let's do something fun "thing" to do.)

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  9. Anonymous4:56 PM

    in my thirties my hair was mostly medium to longish and ALWAYS in a ponytail because I can't stand having it in my face. i'm 40 now, and a couple of years ago I cut it into a chin-length bob (definitely with fears of it being too mom-ish...styling matters) and it feels so good! And ironically I don't even care when it is in my face. I agree with another commenter that I feel more chic/polished/modern, etc. When I initially cut it I had many people comment that I looked 10 years younger (did I really look that old before?!) but I agree that it suits me. And now I always think about cutting it even shorter! It's addicting.

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  10. I had short cuts as a kid and through high school. Straight brown hair ( think Velma from "Scooby Do") Desperate to grow it longer - finally got brave (and patient !) enough to grow it during college. My hair has never grown to midwaist (my dream!) but it goes to about my shoulder blades. I will never get it cut short - too many traumatic cuts in my youth. I also have a twin who has a pixie cut (and variations on it) so I know what I'd look like. Actually, it looks great on her but our faces are just a slightly different shape that she looks cute and I'd look like Steve from BLues clues. I should get something done to it but I had a bad trim last year where she added some layers - I still can't figure out how to get some pieces to behave. I won't color because that takes time and money to maintain correctly. Good luck with your decision!

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    1. I agree - your face shape and hair type play a HUGE role. I have a friend who would look horrible with my short haircut.
      I'm with you - won't color due to time & money.

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  11. I have had a pixie for most of the last 15 years and I will never grow it out again. I love it. There are a surprising number of different styles you can do with super short hair and I have tried and loved pretty much all of them. My most recent hair experiment is with my color (or lack thereof). I’m going grey and i’ve decided to embrace it. It’s really growing on me! I really like the style you’ve posted here! I’m putting on my Pinterest board for inspiration!

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  12. Anonymous9:15 PM

    I've had a pixie cut for most of my adult life and truly believe every person should have short hair at some point just to see how it feels. It's amazing how much power we give to hair. Women tell me I'm brave all the time for having short hair and it boggles my mind. I recommend cutting it all off to anyone who'll listen. :)

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  13. Anonymous9:16 PM

    Also, if you have a good stylist they will make the growing out process bearable.

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  14. So I'm not at my computer and I am having a migraine so this isn't the best quality (I'd need some photos at a higher res) but here's a quick idea of how this will look on you.
    http://imgur.com/eeQZGRK
    I think it's cute.

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    1. ha! That's crazy! I'm not even sure what picture that is, but hey I don't look half bad!

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  15. In high school I drastically cut my super long hair into a pixie. I loved it! Ever since, I’ve gone into maybe five or six cycles of growing out my hair pretty long and then doing the drastic chop. Feels so liberating each time. Your hair literally goes into shock because it’s used to being held down by all this weight and the first few days it wants to fly everywhere.

    But def not necessarily easy maintenance. If you’re having a not so good hair day, there’s no hiding it, no ponytail or bun to put up. And there’s no way to get that model’s piecey look without blow drying and some product, even if your hair is naturally wavy. Ever since having kids I haven’t chopped it because I know I won’t have the time to manage it. At least not yet. Hopefully soon!

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  16. I need to change my hair style every once in awhile or else I get bored. It’s been short now for a couple of months—similar to the photos. I had forgotten how easy short hair is! I read your comment above about hats, and I actually prefer hats on me more with long hair. You mentioned Gabby in your stories, and I love her short cut, but really admire her bravery in experimenting with color. For some reason, I haven’t ever considered changing that aspect.

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  17. You WOULD look really great with a pixie!!! When I was little I cut some of my own hair off and so my parents were forced to give a super short cut (almost like a bowl cut) and I think it traumatized me and I've had my hair shoulders or longer ever since. I mostly like it long because I feel like it's less work... easy to throw in a bun, pony, or braid. Every couple years i'm itching for a change and cut 10 inches off then immediately regret it.

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  18. Just say no or yes. Lol, I cut mine and cried for two years. My friends have forbidden me to ever do it again. I love my hair. I love the flow and swing of it when I move. I love the weight of it on my head. I love how my little grandson pushes it behind my ears when he whispers something to me. I love how I can throw it in a bun and it sits on the top of my head like a crown, ( that parts supposed to be funny). I love how my husband flips it off my shoulder when it gets tangled in our hugs. I even love it when it gets caught in the arm rest of the car. I don’t care if I’m addicted to something as seemingly unimportant as hair. I had cancer twenty months ago. I was very blessed and did not have to have chemo. If chemo was needed, of course I would have had it (dammed the hair). BUT, I did lose a kidney and I will forever have scans, doc appointments, be careful of meds I take, be watchful of any new changes in my body and never really truly feel completely carefree again. That’s life.........I’m not the first and sadly won’t be the last to have cancer. But along this course in life I’ve learned to bask in the things I love, even if they seem trivial. For sometimes those very things give a burst of pleasure and who couldn’t stand a little more pleasure in life.

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  19. Had my hair long for a long time. After I had Z, I thought it was time to try something new. Got a pixie. Loved it, though it took a while for me to get used to styling it, but I loved that I could just wash and go, or wake up and go. Then I thought if I could do a pixie, then I could go for changing the color, because the commitment/investment of color isn't as great on shorter hair (in my mind). So I went for it. In the past few years my attitude has been that hair is FUN. And that attitude has gone along nicely with the promise to myself for more self-care, and fun (in moderation) is definitely part of that.

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  20. Riley3:04 PM

    I've done a couple different drastic hair changes (or, at least, drastic in my mind). Three out of four of them I count as great decisions in my life. The one bad one was when I was entering middle school and had no idea what to do with my hair and wanted to cover up forehead acne, so I chopped off my hair and got a bob with bangs that I ended up hating for years. Looking back on the pictures still makes me cringe.
    But then it grew back and sophomore year of high school I started learning more about childhood cancer and I decided I wanted to do something more tangible than sharing posts about it. So I chopped off my now-long hair and donated it. I did that again senior year of high school and both times ADORED what I did and felt really good about myself for doing it.
    Then, the summer after senior year I wanted to do something crazy. So I signed up to shave my head with St. Baldrick's. I raised almost $2,000 to fund childhood cancer research and shaved my head a week after graduation. I donated that hair too.
    I was fully prepared to hate it. I bought a ton of hats and bows and headbands to help hide my head shape and tried to learn more about makeup so I didn't "look like a boy". But I ended up LOVING it. I lucked out in the head shape department and felt pretty badass about myself all the way around because of what I did and why I did it. It ended up being a HUGE confidence booster.
    It's been two years and my hair is now almost at my shoulders. I have plans to grow my hair out to my lower back and then shave it off again. And just keep doing it because I loved it so much.
    There were stages of it growing back that I hated and stages that I loved. The pixie cut stage was super fun but the awkward almost-mullet was definitely not. I miss putting it up in a pony tail sometimes, but honestly I never did much with my hair in the first place so it wasn't a drastic difference for me.
    I think if you feel like you want to do it, you should. But if not then don't. It's not a decision anyone else can make for you. There were so many people telling my not to shave my head but I did it because I wanted to and because I knew it would mean something in my life. And I definitely didn't regret it.

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  21. Kaliecia foster5:06 PM

    What is there to lose!? A few awkward months maybe... OR maybe you fall in love with it and discover a whole new side of yourself. The new year is approaching and what better way to embrace change than changing something you once were so scared to change. Hair grows back! I really think you should try it. Not just because I think you as a person could rock whatever you chose to do, but because I've done things lately I was scared of and ended up totally loving it! I really encourage you to try new stuff, maybe this isn't it but try a new food, a new restaurant, a new Pandora station! Just go for it . Sincerely, a new mom reinventing herself ��

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  22. They do have apps that you can upload a picture to where you can put different cuts and styles on your headshot. I don't remember what it's called. You might try that to at least visualize what it would look like on you.

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  23. Alessandria1:22 PM

    I think it sets a good example for young girls, too, that a woman can be feminine and love herself with short hair. That hair is not what makes a person beautiful. It is no accident that men tend to like long hair on women much better than short hair. I have a few friends who say, I would LOVE to cut my hair short but _________ would kill me! He HATES short hair on women. That seems sad to me. My husband has told me several times that he likes my hair better when it's longer, but I love short hair so much I just can't sacrifice it for him. Incidentally, both my daughters have rocked a pixie in the last few years (and my younger one actually shaved her head to look like Eleven on Stranger Things--still not sure how I felt about that move).

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  24. I think the pixie cut inspiration model looks like you! The top right pic is her channeling her inner Miggy.

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  25. I have almost always had medium to long length hair and I don't think I ever want to cut it short. The model with the pixie has a long elegant neck and I do not, and I don't think a short haircut would look good on me. Also, I think short hair needs frequent trims to look good and I don't have time for that. I have experimented with various red shades in the past and I like them, but they fade fast and I am happy with having dark hair. Sometimes I use clip in bangs or even a wig for a different style when I don't have time to do my hair.

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  26. I've gone back and forth between long/bob/pixie all my life. Most recent cut to pixie was after my twins were born, and my son who has CP. I cut it because I had no time to blow dry it and make it look ok (and now I'm bending over/helping him move a lot and I want it out my face). I love short hair but I get tired of it after a while, hence the growing back and forth. My two cents is that yes, you would hate it to start. I always miss the length of hair in the shower when I'm washing it after a drastic cut. And yes, your face is OUT THERE. But be ware of the idea that will be easier - you will need to find good products to make it do what you want, and if what you want is not how it looks air dried, you may still need to blow dry it AND maybe even style it. I'm currently growing it out because I don't want my face out there all the time and the longer pixies take too long to manage... at least long I can just put it back in a pony tail. I do think you would look amazing though, but I feel like there is a short cut for everyone, you just have to find the cut that suits you! Good luck!

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  27. Poppy6:51 PM

    My mom used to tell the stylist in secret NOT to listen to me when I said to take a half an inch or at most 3/4 of an inch off my hair. That's how I always ended up with drastic "trims," and it took me until I was in college to figure out that's what she did. I remember car rides home in tears saying, "did you see all that hair on the floor? That was like 5 or 6 inches!" and my mom calmly saying that it always looks like more on the floor because the pieces all stick together. Ummm, what?

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  28. Seriously, they take off so much on “just a trim” - are they paid per inch?! :)
    While they are cutting and it’s wet you are like “hmm, that seems like a bit much” and then they dry it and you are all “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
    I vote stay long. It’s a commodity.



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    1. Short-haired women who grow out their hair USUALLY look so much younger and sexier. Short hair IS practical for women who can't be bothered, of course. And the right cut on the right woman can look good, but rarely better than long. Even Halle Berry and Audrey Hepburn were much prettier with long locks, IMO.

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  30. My wife was a 70's lady with hair to the ankles. She grew it out to see how long it would grow, so from 1973 to 1979 it was 11'3" in 79 she was again pregnant and wanted change from 1 bottle of shampoo a month to something shorter. I always like a pixie cut since Hepburn's makeover in a Roman Holiday. I said get a short Pixie cut, she looked at me and sat down so I could cut off the braid. 11' were cut off with oh my god and oh oh oh to wow. 3" Pixie cut on tope about 2" sides and back and what a fun time we had doing it together. In 85 her hair was waist length and we cut it off donating to wigs for kids foundation. Her hair became white silver and I cut it to 2" top 1" sides and since 98 she has kept it that way until her death in 2015. We had fun growing, cutting and donating hair. The pixie cut is what I did for her at the funeral, spiked as she wanted to do but never did on top 1 1/2" and 1/2" sides and back so beautiful in life and death with a pixie cut.

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