How to Style a Pixie Cut, According to Celebrities

Lily Collins with a pixie hair cut

Getty Images / Design by Camden Dechert

The pixie haircut requires some serious commitment—perhaps that's why it's the ultimate cool-girl hairstyle of Hollywood. If you're thinking about making the cut, you likely know the transformative powers of the pixie: Not only does a pixie hairstyle highlight cheekbones (no illuminator necessary), but it also signals confidence.

And while the cute 'do has a few downsides, mainly upkeep, it more than makes up for this minor drawback with its versatility. Pixie cuts are wearable for just about everyone, says stylist Michelle Sultan. "I believe a good hairstylist will cut your hair and adapt the pixie look according to your face shape," she says. To show you the many ways in which you can style a pixie, regardless of face shape or texture, we’ve rounded up the coolest super-short haircuts, alongside expert advice from Sultan and Ryan Richman. Keep scrolling for 25 incredible ways to style a pixie cut.

Meet the Expert

  • Michelle Sultan is a hairstylist and Brand Ambassador + Creative Director for Imbue. Her clients include Jennifer Hudson, Alesha Dixon, Mel B and Jordyn Woods, and her work has appeared on television shows such as The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent.
  • Ryan Richman is a hairstylist known for both red carpet and editorial work. He's worked with Kate Mara, Sadie Sink, Lili Reinhart, and countless other celebs.

Slicked Down Pixie

Eva Pigford
  Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

"Pixie cuts are super versatile and can be styled in many different ways, whether you want an edgy, classic or vintage look," says Sultan. Eva Pigford's slicked-down 'do epitomizes elegance. For a slick, almost wet-looking pixie, add a shine-inducing oil like Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($56) to straight strands.

Braided Pixie

Julianne Hough Pixie Cut
Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Braid your pixie for an unexpected hairstyle that looks both romantic yet edgy. To get Julianne Hough's look, add some texture to your hair with Amika's Perk Up Dry Shampoo ($25), which will give the hair grip and make your braid hold all day long and well into the night.

Polished Pixie

Kerry Washington
John Shearer / Getty Images

"Short hair can still be extremely feminine by creating texture around the hairline (bangs, sideburns, nape of the neck) by using a razor for feathery softness," says Richman. Kerry Washington's side swept pixie totally encompasses mod style. Use a comb like Mason Pearson's Fine Tooth Comb ($28) to sweep your locks to one side.

Accessorized Pixie

Short natural hair
Jeffrey Mayer/ Getty Images

Lupita Nyong'o's natural texture looks even more stunning when accessorized with a headband. To get her look, rock your natural texture and apply a dainty accessory like this Tasha Crystal Headband ($24).

"Foam wrap lotions are great for wrapping and setting short, naturally wavy or relaxed hair," says Sultan. Try Nairobi Wrapp-It Shine Foaming Lotion ($12).

Voluminous Pixie

Lily Collins short hair
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

"For straighter hair use a blow dryer with a concentrator nozzle and a flat brush to blow dry the hair different directions to create volume and texture," says Richman. Lily Collins's high-volume pixie is the perfect look for an evening out. Embrace your cowlick à la Collins, and add some Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse ($31) to your roots.

Pinned Back Pixie

Gwyneth Paltrow short hair
Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow's simple yet chic style is super easy to re-create. Simply add a pin or decorative clip like these Kitsch Classic Rhinestone Bobby Pins ($49) to get the look.

Curly Pixie

"Curly pixie cuts are so chic and can look super effortless," says Sultan. "I always recommend using a great shampoo and conditioner such as Imbue Curl Liberating Sulphate Free Shampoo ($15) and Imbue Curl Respecting Conditioner ($15) which will stop the curls from being too flyaway. This should be followed by the Imbue Curl Empowering Crème Gel ($13) which will lightly set the curls without drying them out or creating a hard cast."

Asymmetrical Pixie

Tichina Arnold
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images 

Tichina Arnold proves you can still have choppy strands while rocking a pixie. Use Ouai Wave Spray ($26) for a similar effect.

Spiky Pixie

Halle Berry hair
Mark Davis/Getty Images

Halle Berry's signature pixie might be the most coveted short 'do of our time. To reach spiky heights like Berry's, use a root-lifting product like Kenra Professional Root Lifting Spray ($17). "An oval face shape is ideal to sport any style of pixie cut," says Richman. That said, any face shape can go short. "Other face shapes may require a different style of pixie cut to create balance."

Deep Side Part Pixie

Michelle Williams Hair
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

For a pixie as perfectly polished as Michelle Williams's, spray a toothbrush with Living Proof's Style Lab Flex Hairspray ($27) and run it atop your tresses to tame unwanted flyaways.

Shaved Sides Pixie

An edgy take on the pixie involves sharply shaved sides with a little length on top. This look especially suits tight curls. "Pixie cuts should be easy to manage, almost wash and go depending on your hair type," says Sultan.

Micro Fringe Pixie

Zoe Kravitz
John Shearer / Getty Images

"My favorite pixie style is when there are no hard lines around the edges of the hair cut but it’s layered and tapered well to fit the head shape," says Sultan. Zoe Kravitz' baby bangs and super short sides fit the bill. Give short bangs major sheen with a spritz of Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Dry Oil Finishing Spray ($34).

Retro Pixie

Zendaya short hair
Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Want to dress up your short 'do? Make like Zendaya and give retro finger waves a try. To get the look use a curling iron and setting pins like Conair's Styling Essential Wave Clips ($2). "If you want a straight finish, foam/mousse is great for molding hair and/or creating finger waves before drying," adds Sultan.

Piece-y Fringed Pixie

Emma Watson short hair
Jon Furniss/Getty Images

While Emma Watson's pixie is fairly simple, her perfectly placed wispy bangs give her major style points. For sleek and smooth tresses like Watson's, try Living Proof's No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream ($38), which smoothes away frizz, controls moisture, and keeps baby bangs in place.

Pompadour Pixie

Scarlett Johansson pixie cut
Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Scarlett Johansson's pompadour works just as well at the office as it does at a concert. To achieve Johansson's hair height, add a pomade like Oribe's Fiber Groom ($39) to your tresses.

Longer-In- Front Pixie

This pixie is all bangs, baby! "The great thing about having bangs with a pixie cut is that you can totally switch it up. You could try moving the part to create a flatter look or a side swooping fringe for drama over the eye. Bangs work well to create a face framing hairstyle that can be really flattering. They really help to bring attention to the eyes which can look super sexy!" says Sultan.

Coiffed Pixie

Anne Hathaway short hair
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Anne Hathaway’s ’90s-inspired ’do is a classic. To get the look, give your pixie a little lift like by adding a touch of L'Oréal Paris’s Advanced Hairstyle Boost It High Lift Creation Spray ($4) to your roots.

Long, Wispy Pixie

Jennifer Hudson short hair
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Want gorgeous bold bangs like Jennifer Hudson's? Blast them with a hair dryer like Drybar's Buttercup Blow Dryer ($199). Not only will this add volume to your hair, but it will also make your bangs that much easier to style later on.

Faux-Hawk Pixie

Miley Cyrus hair
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

It doesn’t get more rock 'n' roll chic than Miley Cyrus's bleached faux-hawk. To keep yours in place, try using this Moroccanoil Molding Cream ($28) for defined spikes and flexible hold.

Purposely Disheveled Pixie

rowan blanchard
Getty/Gregg DeGuire/Stringer

Talk about taking a risk. Rowan Blanchard chopped her gorgeous chestnut brown locks into this edgy pixie cut and we are 100 percent here for it. "Aside from a good cut you need a great texturizing spray for fine to medium textured hair to finish your style," says Richman. "Texturizing spray will create wispy movement and volume throughout your hair." He likes Monat Studio One Dry Texturizing Spray ($35).

Colorful Pixie

Bright, pastel ringlets make this short crop stand out. To style a curly pixie, Richman says: "Diffuse your hair using a blow dryer with a diffuser attached and some Monat Studio One Curl Defining Cream ($36). For a more precise curl touch up your hair using a small curling iron after it is dry."

Sculptural Pixie

Jodie Turner-Smith

Steve Granitz / Getty Images

For those more adventurous, try a sculptural pixie. This works especially well for very curly hair types that can hold a shape without much product. "Use a bit of sculpting taffy in the palms of your hands and fingertips to finish your look," says Richman. He recommends Monat Restyle Instant Sculpting Taffy ($34)

Side-Swept Pixie

Evan Rachel Wood

Steve Granitz / Getty Images

Pixie queen Evan Rachel Wood demonstrates a longer take on the style. Her '20s flapper-esque cut is super short in the back, longer in the front, with side-swept bangs that come to a point just above the jawline.

Grown-Out Pixie

Cara Delevingne

Jemal Countess / Getty Images

"Growing out a pixie cut requires time and patience," notes Sultan, who recommends making a plan with your stylist. "It also helps to adjust or change your hair color while you’re growing out your hair. A clever colorist can make short hair look fuller or dare I say it longer using techniques that you may not have had with the pixie cut." Cara Delevingne shows us how to navigate that awkward grow-out period in style.

Choppy Fringe Pixie

"When styling a pixie with bangs or any hair cut with bangs you should always style the bangs when they are wet and you should always style them first," says Richman. "Use a brush with mixed bristles for tension and work the bangs back and forth to break any cowlicks. Once most of the moisture is out of your bangs begin to style them in the direction you want them to go."

For more short-hair inspiration, check out the best short haircuts for every hair texture.

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