The pixie haircut requires some serious commitment—perhaps that's why it's the ultimate cool 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 30 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.
"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 Marcille's slicked-down 'do epitomizes elegance.
- For a slick, almost wet-looking pixie, start with freshly washed hair. Part in the desired direction.
- Add a shine-inducing oil like Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($57) to strands.
- Then, coat the entire head with a lightweight gel (we love Kenra Styling Gel 17, $17). Use a light hand to avoid a total helmet vibe, and move with the grain so that the hair lies flat.
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 ($26), which will give the hair grip and make your braid hold all day long and well into the night.
- Braid diagonally across the crown of the head, pulling some pieces of the braid loose to get that disheveled look.
- Pin the ends into place to secure the braid.
Kerry Washington's side-swept pixie totally encompasses mod style.
- "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.
- Use a comb like Mason Pearson's Fine Tooth Comb ($28) to sweep your locks to one side when styling.
- Add a little hairspray to keep the bangs in place.
Lupita Nyong'o's textured pixie looks even more stunning when accessorized with a headband.
- Pull your hair back away from your face. If you have a longer pixie, secure it back in a high bun or small ponytail.
- Use bobby pins as needed to secure into place.
- For shorter pixies, keep the back loose and flowing and use a headband to pull your hair away from your face.
- 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).
Lily Collins's high-volume pixie is the perfect look for an evening out.
Jada Pinkett Smith's simple yet chic style is super easy to re-create.
- To add volume to your crown, start by applying some volumizing mousse.
- Blow dry your hair, using a nozzle and flat brush. Dry it up and in several different directions to create texture and volume.
- Use bobby pins to pin hair back. Make sure you keep some volume on top.
- A decorative clip like these Kitsch Classic Rhinestone Bobby Pins ($49) could add a dressier element.
"Curly pixie cuts are so chic and can look super effortless," says Sultan. Follow her advice for styling:
- "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."
- Diffuse for a quicker dry and added volume.
Halle Berry's signature pixie might be the most coveted short 'do of our time. To reach spiky heights like Berry's, follow these tips:
- First, start with the right cut: "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."
- Next, on air-dried hair, use a root-lifting product like Kenra Professional Root Lifting Spray ($17).
- Add a bit of touchable gel at the tips to keep that height and lift in place for hours.
Tichina Arnold's choppy strands are similar to Barry's but with a face-sweeping fringe.
- Follow the tips from #8, lifting the back of the hair into spikes around the crown.
- Then, use Ouai Wave Spray ($28) and comb bangs off to one side.
Deep Side Part
Michelle Williams's iconic pixie is perfectly polished. To copy:
- Wash hair and air dry or blow dry using a paddle brush to straighten if you have more of a natural wave.
- Comb over, starting the part far over to one side.
- Spray a toothbrush with Living Proof's Style Lab Flex Hairspray ($27) and run it atop your tresses to tame unwanted flyaways.
"Pixie cuts should be easy to manage, almost wash and go depending on your hair type," says Sultan, of this edgy pixie cut, which especially suits tight curls.
- Ask your stylist for sharply shaved sides, with a little length on top.
- Add a little styling serum to play up your curls and shine, while keeping frizz away.
- You can also style this into a faux hawk for an even edgier look.
"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. Zoë Kravitz's baby bangs and super short sides fit the bill.
- Use your fingers to brush your bangs forward.
- Twisting a few small pieces for a more separated look.
- Give short bangs major sheen with a spritz of Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Dry Oil Finishing Spray ($34).
Want to dress up your short 'do? Make like Zendaya and give retro finger waves a try.
- To get the look, use a generous helping of mousse 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.
- Apply the mousse, then comb the product-coated hair into the wave shape.
- Clip into place and wait to dry.
You can speed up the drying process with a blow dryer, or let air dry.
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, start by using Living Proof's No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream ($38), which smoothes away frizz, controls moisture, and keeps baby bangs in place.
- Blow dry hair, using a flat brush as needed to smooth strands flat.
- Create a side part, brushing bangs over to the side.
- Use a small amount of styling serum and separate small pieces of hair to create the wispy bangs.
This softer take on a pixie as seen on Hikari Mori features a little bit more length and artfully placed bobby pins. To style:
- Blow dry freshly washed strands to get those imperfectly flipped-out ends.
- Add a shine serum like Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Working Serum ($14).
- Place bobby pins along the front to hold hair off the face. We're partial to this asymmetrical take.
Scarlett Johansson's pompadour works just as well at the office as it does at a concert.
- Use a volumizing mousse while hair is wet.
- Use a small round brush to dry the top of your hair back in the pompadour style.
- Use a pomade like Oribe's Fiber Groom ($39), first to the sides of your hair to style them flat or slicked back.
- Add in the pomade to the top to reinforce the height of your pompadour.
- You can also tease the roots before brushing back as needed.
- Finish with a spray of hairspray to lock in the style.
This pixie is all bangs, baby!
- "The great thing about having bangs with a pixie cut is that you can totally switch it up," says Sultan.
- "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.
- Blow-dry your bangs using a paddle brush to get the bang placement right every time.
Anne Hathaway’s ’90s-inspired ’do is a classic.
- To get the look, give your pixie a little lift by adding a touch of L'Oréal Paris’s EverStyle Volume Lifting Root Spray ($15) to your roots.
- Use your fingers to get that piece-y, imperfect style.
Long and Wispy
Want gorgeous bold bangs like Jennifer Hudson's? It's all about the volume.
- Work in a dollop of volumizing mousse.
- Blow dry your hair with a hairdryer 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.
- Use a flat brush to dry your hair up as well as in different directions to create texture and volume.
- Create a side part and brush bangs to the side.
- Finish off your style with a spray of hairspray to keep your bangs in place.
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 ($38).
- "For a more precise curl, touch up your hair using a small curling iron after it is dry."
It doesn’t get more Rock 'n' Roll chic than Miley Cyrus's bleached faux-hawk. It's similar in some ways to Halle Barry's spiked pixie but with closer shaved down sides.
- Use a root-boosting product while hair is wet to set the stage for the height.
- Dry hair completely, using your fingers or brush to direct hair up.
- Work in some Moroccanoil Molding Cream ($30) for defined spikes and flexible hold.
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).
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.
- First, follow the styling advice from #20.
- "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)
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.
- Start by working a styling product through your hair that boosts shine to create straight and frizz-free hair. One great choice is L'Ange Glass Hair Thermal Blowout Primer ($30).
- Use a flat brush to blow dry hair straight. If your hair has more texture, you may need to use a flat iron.
- Once dry, create a deep side part and brush bangs to the side.
- Add in a small amount of shine boosting serum and finish off with a spray of hairspray to keep your locks in place.
Cara Delevingne shows us how to navigate that awkward grow-out period in style. Follow Sultan's advice for transitioning from super short to slightly longer:
- "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."
Choppy fringe with shaved sides provides a cool contrast. If you have super short hair with bangs, take Richman's advice:
- "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."
- "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."
Charlize Theron is a pixie queen, and we love all the different ways she makes her short crop red carpet ready. To steal this particular style:
- Copy the steps for #1, going a bit lighter on the gel and parting the hair down the center.
- Add hair jewels like the Bitzy Stick On Crystal Hair Gems ($4) in a neat line following the entire part.
- Spritz with a generous dose of hairspray.
Halsey's wet look pixie is a little bit sexy, a little bit edgy, and a whole lot perfect for a night out.
- Start with wet hair and part your hair to one side.
- Work in a lightweight gel throughout your entire hair, styling it to the side.
- You may need to use a few blasts of the hair dryer to get the height at the crown.
- Keep out a few longer strands in front to graze the forehead.
If you feel like your hair looks too crunchy, mix together a dollop of hair gel and hair cream for the perfect wet look.
Cute butterfly clips add a flirty '90s vibe to just about any style of pixie, but we especially love how they look on Janelle Monae's choppy, super short version.
- Dry your hair using a hairdryer with a nozzle, brushing your hair in several directions to create texture and volume.
- Apply a pomade to the roots, to create more volume.
- Clip in butterfly clips throughout your hair, such as Eoane Metallic Mini Butterfly Hair Clips ($15).
Ruby Rose shows us a different take on the braided pixie that is super simple to recreate.
- Part your hair down the middle.
- Gather one section of your hair and braid across and use a small clear hair tie at the end.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Pull each braid back to one side, clipping back with a bobby pin.