Maybe Matilda: 9 questions to ask yourself before you get a pixie cut.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

9 questions to ask yourself before you get a pixie cut.

I occasionally get comments/emails from women who are considering getting a pixie cut, and are hoping I'll give them a little push one way or the other. Either a vote of confidence that they should go for it, or maybe a warning that will help them decide it isn't right for them.

Today, I thought I'd share a few questions you might want to ask yourself if you're considering a pixie cut, from a veteran pixie enthusiast. (And I'm peppering in some pictures of some of my favorite celebrity pixie cuts, because no one needs more of my selfies.)

9 questions before you get a pixie

1. Is styling variety important to you? If you are the sort of girl who loves playing with different updos and braids and ponytails and curls and all that jazz, you might feel frustrated with a pixie. Of course, depending on the length of pixie you choose, you could still have options. If you keep a bit of length through the top, you can work in some flat-iron curls. You might even be able to do some twists and braids through the bangs. If you go with a true, short pixie, you could play with the faux hawk or even get an undercut. But if you are the girliest of girly girls who just loves trying tons of new techniques and styles on your hair, you might feel held back by a pixie cut.

2. Do you like to play with hair color? If so, I think a pixie cut is perfect for you. I have admitted to being a total weenie when it comes to hair color, but I keep telling myself that if I'm ever going to play around with color, this is the perfect time. Bear in mind, I'm not a professional . . . but my reasoning is that a pixie grows out so quickly and gets trimmed so often that damage from coloring will be kept to a minimum. You'll likely be getting trims every 6-8 weeks, so you'll be cutting off damaged ends just about as soon as you can fry them.

9 questions before you get a pixie

3. Speaking of frequent visits to the salon . . . does maintenance bother you? I have long-haired friends who get their hair cut once or twice a year. Meanwhile, I'm going back in for trims about every 2 months (3 if I'm reaaaally pushing it, but hello mullet!). If the idea of heading to the salon every few weeks bugs you, you might need to choose a lower-maintenance style.

4. Do you have a hairstylist you trust? I have zero hair cutting experience, but from the perspective of being the head in the chair, I think it takes a different set of skills to deliver a killer pixie than a long Disney princess cut. I love the gal I'm going to now, but when I got my first pixie cut a few years ago, it took 3 different attempts at 3 different salons over the course of 3 or 4 weeks to finally get the pixie I was hoping for. I don't mean for that to sound discouraging, but I want to emphasize the importance of finding a stylist who really rocks short hair. If you aren't sure whether your current stylist will be able to give you the pixie of your dreams, start asking around for recommendations of someone who knocks short hair out of the park.

9 questions before you get a pixie

5. Are you gonna freak out if you get a bad cut? Like I said above, it took me 3 tries to get the pixie I wanted a few years ago. If I had panicked after that first not-so-great attempt and told myself, "CRAP, I guess a pixie isn't for me," I never would have had the chance to experience how awesome and fun a great pixie cut is! So many people tell me that they love the idea of getting a pixie but they had short hair once and hated it. Honestly, having a bad short hair cut doesn't mean short hair is bad on you! Hopefully you'll get an amazing haircut on your first try and love your new pixie--but if you do end up with a cut you don't like, don't panic. Go to another salon, find another stylist, and try again. Of course, not everyone's going to love a pixie cut, but if you try it once and hate it . . . at least try another stylist and give it a fair chance before you give up on it completely.

9 questions before you get a pixie

6. How fast does your hair grow? I'm not sure what the 'right' answer to this one would be, but it's something to consider. If your hair grows slowly, you'll have the perk of adding a few more weeks between maintenance trims on your pixie, which is nice. But if/when you decide to grow your hair long again, it'll be a long, possibly frustrating wait. On the other hand, if your hair grows fast (like mine), you'll be back in the salon for trims so often that even your stylist's kids will know you by name. But if/when you want to grow it out, it won't be that long or difficult to do! Your answer to this question will be either a pro or a con depending on how you look at it, but it's something to consider if you anticipate hating the grow-out process, or hating frequent salon visits, etc.

7. You can always go shorter. Okay, so this isn't a question. Just something to remember. If you're nervous, start with something a little on the longer end (like my girl Kaley below), and work your way shorter over time. You'll be getting fairly frequent trims either way, so it isn't a bad idea to start a bit longer, and bring it shorter as the siren call of the pixie gets to you. It gives you wiggle room if you (heaven forbid!) end up with a cut you aren't crazy about, and if this will be a big, drastic change for you, it will feel like less of an adjustment.

9 questions before you get a pixie

8. Do you mind doing a bit of shopping? You probably don't :-) But just off the top of my head, making a drastic change in hair length had me itching (and, in some cases, needing) to go shopping for:
  • New styling products. The products you loved for your longer hair might not do the trick on a pixie. It's probably going to take some trial and error to learn what products work for you and your pixie.
  • Makeup. I'm not super into makeup, and didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it when my hair was longer. But with a short haircut, there's nothing to hide behind: your face is front and center, all the time. You might find yourself wearing a little more makeup than you did in the past, or making slightly more dramatic choices in your makeup. I'm all of a sudden loving brighter lip colors now, when I've never felt comfortable in them before. I'm telling you, the pixie makes you bold.
  • Clothes and accessories. Certain necklines don't look 'right' on me with a pixie (just as some didn't look flattering when my hair was long), and you might find yourself itching for new clothes that 'fit' your new hair. I also find myself drawn to much bigger earrings than I ever wore when my hair was long. 
9 questions before you get a pixie

9. How much time do you want to spend on your hair in the morning? Blow drying and styling my current haircut takes like 5-10 minutes, max. So if you hate spending a lot of time on your hair every day, you'll love the ease and speed of a pixie. The downside is that you can no longer rely on a ponytail to save your butt on a busy morning. If you wake up and have literally no time to spend on your hair, you're basically doomed to look like Frankenstein all day. A pixie takes very little time in the morning, but it does take some time. A ponytail can't save you anymore.

Pixie veterans, anything you'd add to this list?

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