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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 the 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 on 30 pixie haircuts that look great on those with thick hair.
Meet the Expert
- Gina Rivera is the founder of Phenix Salon Suites. She is also the creator of Colours by Gina and the By Gina hair product line.
- Clay Nielsen is a hair stylist and groomer based in New York City. He is also a guest artist and creative partner at Spoke & Weal.
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…"
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.
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 haircut 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 ($32) from Aveda is a great product for a hairstyle that feels lived in."
Got curly hair? Then consider emphasizing your natural texture—and showing off your neckline while you're at it—with a curly crop. Rivera instructs, "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 Hair Spray ($17) because it allows for movement."
Long, Layered Pixie
Keira Knightley shows off her long pixie flawlessly. It's a timeless style that is not only fashionable but also practical in concealing fine lines on the forehead (in case that's something that interests you), notes Rivera. To style, she advises using mousse at the roots and then drying hair using your fingers, tousle a bit. To create piecy texture, use a styling serum before sweeping bangs across your face.
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 Surface Texture Paste ($31) for flexible hold.
Long, Asymmetrical Pixie
Victoria Beckham's long asymmetrical pixie combined with choppy layers is edgy and dare-we-say, posh. Follow her lead by applying a root booster before styling. "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," instructs Rivera.
Short, Curly Pixie
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. Simply "use Unite Boing Defining Curl Creme ($30) on wet hair and dry the hair with a Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($429) with the diffuser attachment ($40) for the perfect curls," recommends Nielsen. 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.
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.)
Long, Choppy Pixie
Tyra Banks rocks the red carpet with this long choppy pixie. "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," notes Rivera. She suggests styling with a mousse and directing hair forward from the mid-upper scalp when drying. Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse ($22) will 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.
Deep Side-Parted Pixie
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' 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."
Chic, Glossy Pixie
Sophistication meets low-maintenance in this stylish pixie. "A deep side part combined with amazing shine makes this style that Emma Watson wears a standout," comments Rivera. For this cut, you'll want to leave sides slightly longer with the top shorter. To style, part the hair deeply to one side and then use a shine serum like Aveda Brilliant Shine-On Spray ($48). Finally, finish by combing through hair until it lays close to the scalp, instructs Rivera.
Asymmetrical, Androgynous Pixie
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.
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'"
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 haircut 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.
Strawberry Blonde Pixie
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 ($23) to lift and define waves.
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 ($108) for the edges and overall finishing"
Blonde Pixie With Dark Roots
Kate Hudson 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. "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," says Nielsen
Curly, Pompadour Pixie
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 ($14) on hands and work through hair to style.
Choppy, Textured Pixie
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.
Long-Layered Pixie With Side Part
Julianne Hough proves how the right parting—in this case, a deep side one—can do wonders. Rivera explains how extra-long layers pulled directly from the back of the crown forward and swooped across create a fun and casual look. "Use styling mousse and a large round brush to create volume and to direct the hair," she adds. We're fans of Tigi Catwalk Strong Hold Mousse ($11) and T3 Professional Round Volume Brush 3'' ($40), respectively.
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 Air Dry Foam ($28) to add volume and hold. Since the product is lightweight, it doesn't weigh down thick hair.
Accessorized, Choppy Pixie
Cara Delevingne has had many head-turning hair moments. Here, she combines a traditional bang with a choppy pixie for a beautiful face-framing style. "Working with contrasts, the black headband really pops in her platinum hair," comments Rivera. To replicate Delevingne's 'do, she instructs, "Blow-dry hair forward using root boost to create lift and combing [bangs] 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 ($17) for hold."
Modernized Retro Pixie
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.
Long, Teased Pixie
Anne Hathaway's overgrown pixie is envy-inducing. "The longer sideburn style sides paired with the longer bangs work to frame her face in a beautiful way. She 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," says Rivera. To get Hathaway's high sheen, she recommends spraying a light mist of Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine ($30).
Minimalist, Platinum Pixie
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.
Edgy, Volumized Pixie
Miley Cyrus's crop is all about playing with contrasts—whether they be lengths or colors. "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," comments Rivera.
To copy this look, Rivera recommends styling with a stiff gel to get height at the crown and then slightly teasing the back of the crown and combing hair over. A firm hold finishing spray will ensure hairs stay put.
Long, Sleek Pixie
Simple, yet gorgeous can best sum up Sienna Miller's pixie. "She makes this look work by staying away from short choppy layers and instead, selects long layers that are both beautiful and natural-looking," notes Rivera. To achieve this 'do, "make sure to use a shine serum and a large round brush to dry hair. When hair is 90-percent dry, use your fingers to create your part and pull apart," she adds.
Tightly Coiled Pixie
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.
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.
What types of products should I invest in if I have a pixie cut?
A quality dry shampoo (so you can go longer in between washes) and a texture spray and wax (to shape the style) are all great products to have in your pixie cut arsenal.
How often does a pixie cut need to be trimmed?
To keep your ends looking healthy, those with a pixie cut should probably get a trim every 4-6 weeks.
How often should I wash my hair if I have a pixie cut?
You should wash your short hair every 2-3 days (use a dry shampoo in between if it starts to look or feel greasy).