Serious question: What's chicer than an impeccably executed pixie cut? Our response: nothing. In fact, the only thing stopping us from getting one ourselves is the sheer terror that we might regret the decision after the fact. Another serious question: Is there such a thing as phantom hair sensations? We'd like to know.
Regardless, we've settled on a compromise, counting on our favorite celebrities to continue their gutsy inspiration. And currently, we have our sights set on pixie cuts for thick hair. Texture is always MVP when it comes to cut and style, and pixie cuts are no different. So we rounded up 30 inspiring pixie cuts for thick hair courtesy of our favorite celebrities and reached out to stylists Gina Rivera and Clay Nielsen for their industry insight. Keep scrolling, and prepare to feast your eyes.
Meet the Expert
From fire-engine red to an asymmetrical bob, Rihanna has pretty much done every cut and color justice—and then some. However, this edgy pixie cut circa the 2008 Grammy Awards hit a high note. (And it's been etched in our brains ever since.) Nielsen comments, "I love asymmetry in haircuts. It allows the hair to move a bit more freely especially when it's soft and shattered like this. A small flatiron like T3 Singlepass Compact ($89) is great for smoothing shorter hair post-blow-dry or on day two, three, four…"
It's true, no pixie cut hall of fame would be complete without Halle Berry's iconic look. And though she's flirted with longer length on and off, her signature spiky cut (perfect for adding some extra definition to thick hair) will always have our hearts.
Not quite ready to go full-on pixie? Take a cue from actress Lily Collins who demonstrates a perfectly lived-in cut if you're after a bit more length. Not to mention that her well-placed layers are an excellent solution if you have thicker strands. According to Nielsen, "This is a perfect example of the hair cut when you’re growing out the Scarlet Johansson. There is still disconnection, but the sides have filled in and are no longer shaved. Control Paste ($30) from Aveda is a great product for a hairstyle that feels lived in."
Just when we thought we couldn't love her more, Jennifer Lawrence went and got a pixie cut. She's since let it grow out, but back in 2014, this brushed-back style was everything on the Academy Awards red carpet. "This is a great example of growing the pixie out into a bob," says Nielsen. "All her hair is long enough to tuck behind the ears. Just because you are growing your hair out doesn’t mean you should have a haircut you don’t like or that is ‘in-between'"
To tame thick hair while rocking a pixie cut, do like actress Kate Mara and go for an effortlessly glamorous, side-slicked take. (It's also great for showing off that bone structure.)
Leave it to Zendaya to make us crave shaggy bangs, gilded highlights, and 99% less hair from just one amazing hair look. Yes, the pixie cut was just temporary, but we think it deserves a forever standing ovation. According to Nielsen, "This hair cut is great when you want to show off your cheekbones. Having a more concentrated line at the top of your cheekbones will definitely draw attention to them."
"Make sure to talk to your stylist about removing weight since a shape like this can often feel like a 'mushroom' if the density is not removed properly," recommends Nielsen.
The singer and actress proves that a shortened length doesn't necessarily lessen versatility, thanks to this asymmetrical and ever-so-cool androgynous take on the traditional pixie cut.
For a sculptural take on the classic pixie, we give a nod to Scarlett Johansson's one-of-a-kind cut she wore during the 2017 Academy Awards. "Disconnection is a favorite of mine, especially with short hair. A haircut like this will definitely keep your styling time down," says Nielsen.
The queen of showing off her natural texture while on the red carpet, Ruth Negga demonstrates that a short and sweet pixie doesn't necessarily require hours on end of styling. (We're also having a serious moment with that blue eyeliner, but alas, we digress.) "This haircut is great for the woman who wants to embrace her natural texture," says Nielsen. He recommends "using Unite Boing Defining Curl Creme ($11) on wet hair and drying the hair with a Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($400) with the diffuser attachment ($40) for the perfect curls " If the price tag of a Dyson hairdryer sounds a bit steep, we've explored other curly-hair and budget-friendly options to choose from.
Pre-chop, Katy Perry was known for her long and luscious locks. Now she demonstrates one of the ultimate pixie cuts for thick hair: longer length on top, closely shaved sides, and a chic dusting of fringe. Talk about amazing hair transformations.
A surefire way to add drama to a pixie cut for thick hair—and also flatter a round face—is an ultra-deep side part à la actress Ginnifer Goodwin. Similar to Lily Collins's pixie, Nielsen comments, "The asymmetrical and longer hair in the front allows for a lot of flexibility in styling, whether you want to change your part, smooth it back or have a long fringe in the face, this cut gives one many options for styling."
Be still our hearts. Zoë Kravitz has been working a pixie cut for a while now, but her super-close crop and ethereal bone structure are a match made in haircut heaven. "One of my favorite pixies," comments Nielsen. "This is fairly low-maintenance if you are willing to sleep with a headscarf to keep hair looking flat and smooth. I also recommend the Rsession Pro Root Control Pressing Comb ($99) for the edges and overall finishing"
Kate Huson has always had a lock on glamorously long tresses, so when she went rogue for a role and shaved her head, the world did a double-take (in the best way possible). And as her strands began to grow out, she showed off a litany of super-demure styles to accent her fresh pixie cut. Nielsen says, "This is a perfect example of having a conversation with your colorist and your stylist (assuming they are not the same person). The color gives this cut a ton of dimension that wouldn’t exist without the darker roots. Make sure your colorist and stylist are on the same page to give you the results you want."
"Tyra Banks rocks the red carpet with this longer pixie with choppy layers. Tyra’s pixie cut, utilizes point cutting where the hair is elevated away from the scalp and the scissors are used to cut small notches into the ends of the hair segments, creating 'points' in the layers. For Tyra’s look here, use mousse and direct the hair forward from mid-upper scalp when drying," instructs Rivera. We recommend Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse ($22) to get the job done, not to mention it smells ah-mazing.
The great thing about this cut is that it's incredibly versatile. Apply some stiff styling gel to ends so that they take on more extreme points and create a completely different look.
Nia Long embraces her thick, natural hair in this cropped, top-heavy pixie cut. Tell your stylist to cut sides shorter and leave some extra length on top. Style with Ouai Dry Texture Foam ($28) to add volume and hold. Since the product is lightweight, it doesn't weigh down thick hair.
"[Lupita Nyong'o] gives us the perfect example of how to wear a pixie with curly hair," says Rivera. "This is a fabulous style because it’s trendy and it emphasizes the beautiful natural curls that [she] has. The short length in the back draws attention to [her] amazing neckline as well. To carry out this style use a soft styling mousse and allow it to dry naturally. Use a pick or a comb to slightly loosen and lift curls. Finish the look with a styling spray. I like Clutch because it allows for movement."
According to Rivera, "The pixie with longer length on top is always a great look. This is a great style if you want to hide fine lines on the forehead and create a softer look using bangs. The look is both stylish and sophisticated. To get this look, use mousse at the roots. Dry hair just using your fingers and tousle hair at the top of the scalp. Use a styling serum to create a piecey look around the face. Simply take your fingers and pull the bangs across your face. Keira Knightley shows off the look flawlessly."
Maria Borges models this piecey pixie like no other. For thick coarse strands, a style like this keeps hair looking chic, and requires very little upkeep. Style and smooth with Amika Heist Molding Blend ($25), which holds like a wax but to the touch, feels like a cream.
"Victoria Beckham is always known for cutting edge fashion and there’s no wonder when she wears amazing hairstyles like this one," comments Rivera. She adds, "Victoria’s long asymmetrical pixie combined with choppy layers makes this look incredibly trendy. To get this look, apply a root booster and blow the hair upside down. Then create a deep side part and comb one side back and tuck behind the ear. Going from underneath, tousle the hair slightly at the roots on the long side to create lift and volume. Finish by pulling bangs across the face using your fingers and then, lightly comb over the top layer of hair to make it appear smooth. Complete the look with a finishing spray."
"A deep side part combined with amazing shine makes this style that Emma Watson wears a standout. If you’re looking for a sophisticated look that is also low maintenance, this is the look for you. To obtain the look, leave sides slightly longer with the top shorter. Part the hair deeply to one side and then use a shine serum. I like Aveda Brilliant Shine-On Spray ($30). Finish by combing through hair until it lays close to the scalp," notes Rivera.
Meagan Good's strawberry blonde pixie is oh-so-romantic. The texturized waves on top add volume and accentuate her shorter sides. To keep your pixie from falling flat, lightly spray Joico Beach Shake Texturizing Finisher ($20) to lift and define waves.
"Cara Delevingne has a unique look. She combines a traditional bang with a choppy pixie for a beautiful face-framing style," says Rivera. Working with contrasts, the black headband really pops in her platinum hair. To replicate Delevinge's 'do, Rivera instructs, "Blow-dry hair forward using root boost to create lift. Finish by blow-drying the bangs and combing them to one side with a wide-tooth comb. Use fingers to tousle the hair at the roots with the exception of the bangs. Finish by adding a headband and spritz of Clutch Hairspray ($32) for hold."
Alicia Keys's pompadour pixie cut looks exceptional styled with curls. Her close side shave contrasts with her soft, thick, curls, playing up their volume and texture. Apply a small amount of product like Kiehl's Grooming Solutions Texturizing Clay ($18) on hands and work through hair to style.
"[Julianne Hough] wears this look well by having a subtle side part that is placed more deeply to one side," says Rivera. She explains, "Here, extra-long layers are then pulled directly from the back of her crown forward and swooped across her face creating a fun and casual look. The extra volume this look generates works well for Julianne’s petite features. To get this look, use styling mousse and a large round brush to create volume and to direct the hair." We're fans of Tigi Catwalk Strong Hold Mousse ($9) and T3 Professional Round Volume Brush 3'' ($40), respectively.
Jodie Turner-Smith stands out with this modern take on Hollywood glamour style. We love the contrast between her shaved sides and sleek retro S-waves. You'll need a strong-hold styling gel like the aptly named Davines This is a Strong Hold Cream Gel ($25) to replicate this look.
"Anne Hathaway knows how to wear this pixie that is unique with its longer sides and crown, comments Rivera. "The longer sideburn style sides paired with the longer bangs work to frame Anne’s face in a beautiful way. Anne does a great job of getting a bit of added height by applying some styling gel and teasing slightly at the back of the crown. To get the high sheen that Anne has, spray a light mist of Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine ($28)."
Kota Eberhardt proves she knows how to use color to make an impact—even if you're not working with a lot of it. Her minimalist pixie really stands out in this platinum shade.
"Miley Cyrus leaves us wanting more with this super sharp look. This style creates a lot of volume but does not detract from Miley’s gorgeous facial features. The use of platinum color also creates more depth," says Rivera. To get this style, she adds, "Leave the hair at the crown longer while shaving the sides and back. When coloring hair, make sure to leave the roots darker. To style, use a stiff gel to get height at the crown. Dry the hair upside down and then use your fingers and pull the hair back from the face. Slightly tease the back of the crown and comb hair over. Use a firm hold finishing spray to complete the look."
Issa Rae works with her thick, tight coils to achieve a pixie that plays with contrasting texture and volume. By keeping the sides closely shaved, she further emphasizes the curly volume on top.
"Sienna Miller keeps her cut simple and on the right track with this beautiful pixie. Sienna makes this look work by staying away from short choppy layers and instead, selects long layers that are both beautiful and natural-looking. To get this look, make sure to use a shine serum and a large round brush to dry hair. When hair is 90% dry, use your fingers to create your part and pull apart," Rivera says.