How to Rock a Short Cut

Image via WENN

I’m a short-haired girl. It’s just how I roll. My first foray into short hair was when I was ten, long before puberty. I asked my hairdresser neighbor to cut it “boy-short” (even then I had delusions of looking like Mia Farrow), and while the cut was great and I loved it, my lack of breasts and hips combined with my new ‘do got me mistaken for a boy all summer long. I swore I’d never cut it short again; and I didn’t, until college.

When I say short, I don’t mean chin-length, or even a bob. I mean short, I mean pixie short; as in at this moment, the hair on my head is about one inch long. For me, it fits my personality: I straddle the line between tomboy and girlie-girl quite effortlessly. Sure, I wear a dress almost every day, but I also wear it with Chucks, a hoodie, and my unwashed bedhead of hair. My hair is naturally curly, and honestly, if I ever grew it out, it would be lovely – big, but lovely (think: SJP in the first few seasons of Sex and the City). I love my low-maintenance haircut, I also love that it took me years to muster the confidence to cut it this short (it’s the shortest now that it has ever been). In a society that tells us long hair on women is beautiful and feminine, I think it takes a little something extra to kick conventions in the groin and chop it; it’s kinda like giving the middle finger to years’ worth of media cliches about how women’s hair is “supposed” to look.

With actresses like Carey Mulligan (pictured) and Mia Wasikowska cutting their hair short, and of course, Halle Berry bringing her pixie cut back, it had me thinking: are pixie cuts on the rise again? Personally, I don’t need a celebrity to tell me whether or not my haircut is “hot,” but apparently it is right now. With that in mind, I headed to Manhattan’s Lower East Side to talk with Michael Damico, who owns Crops for Girls, a salon that specializes in short cuts for women. He agreed to answer a couple of questions for me.

What do you love about short hair on girls?
I don’t prefer short hair, but prefer to cut short hair because it allows so many cuts and styles. Trimming long hair past the shoulders isn’t exciting. I like to do creative, funky cuts…it’s what I like to do.

Do you think it says something about their personality?
I don’t think so, in my experience it’s a personal preference. Some do it for the thrill of making a dramatic change, some do it because of hair damage and frizziness from over-processing.

Do you have a favorite celebrity who wore, or wears, the pixie cut flawlessly?
Keira Knightley and Pink.

I sat with Michael for about forty-minutes and realized there’s not just a passion there for cutting short hair, but maybe even a healthy obsession. The CFG website clearly states: “Only women – Only short haircuts,” and while Michael admits he’d never turn down business, his fixation is definitely on hair that is above the shoulder.

So what kind of women can successfully rock the short cut? Opinions vary.

While some stylists will tell you that you need a certain face shape (round, square or heart-shaped) to rock the pixie cut, Michael doesn’t think that’s necessarily true; he thinks it’s more about your features.

Before committing to a short cut, he suggests pulling back your hair and examining your face. If there’s anything about your face you don’t like and don’t want to bring attention to, then maybe a short cut isn’t for you because it’s just going to accentuate those features. Michael also suggests calling around to salons that do consultations and getting multiple professional opinions, as well as feedback from your friends as to whether or not you can get away with such a cropped look. If you have ears like Dumbo or were born without a chin, the ultra short cut isn’t for you…or maybe it is, because you’re so cool you don’t care.

As for me? My most dreaded feature on my body is my nose. I’ve hated it since a boy in junior high school pointed out to me and my entire class, just how large it is, just how “French” (his word, not mine) it is. While I’ve grown into my nose since then, I still hate it, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that even if I had the money, I’d probably never “fix” it. My pixie cut definitely accentuates my nose and honestly, I’m fine with that. Rocking the pixie haircut, in my humble opinion, is about accepting your imperfections, and having the self-confidence to walk into a salon and say: “cut it,” then waltzing out with your new short do and taking on the world.

Isn’t inner beauty the most important feature in us all anyway? I mean, that’s what we’re told. I’ll never look as good as Audrey Tautou, Selma Blair, Michelle Williams or Natalie Portman did with their pixie cuts, but that’s just genetics. I will admit, however, I’m way hotter with short hair than long hair; simply because I’m a short-haired girl in my heart as well as on my head, and that’s how I roll.

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    • Blair

      “If you have ears like Dumbo or were born without a chin, the ultra short cut isn’t for you…or maybe it is, because you’re so cool you don’t care.” – Haha! Love this line. I just cut my hair several inches so maybe this article is true!

    • Rachel

      I love Carey Mulligan’s short cut! I also love that her hair has been four different colors in as many months – something you can do when your hair is so short.
      I wish I could cut my hair that short but I just can’t. I don’t know if it’s a fear of the unknown or a fear of having the back of my neck exposed to the world. But I admire any woman who can do it because I’d really love to change my hair color once a month without frying it to death. Maybe one of these days I’ll grow the cajones.

    • meggers

      i’ve done both, but i HATED my hair short. i swear it made my butt larger. so now, i stuck with a just-below-chin length cut that highlights the curve of my neck in the same way the pixie cut did, but doesn’t make me feel disproportionate. lthough i LOVED the time it took to care for the short hair (30 seconds tops)

    • jukaswo

      “…are pixie cuts on the rise again? ”

      I live in Phoenix and was vacationing in San Diego last July (’09). So many women there were sporting adorable pixie cuts. I texted my sister in St. Louis — who’s had a pixie cut for years — to let her know that the cuts were coming back in.

    • z for zelda

      I have “dumbo” ears. In fact my right ear sticks out a little more than my left ear. I talked to a doctor when I was sixteen about having them pinned back but was told the pain and recovery would be excruciating. So I decided it against it then and never looked back. Like the author of this article, I consider myself a short-haired girl despite my ears. Right now I have an overgrown pixie cut and I like to think my ears just add to its cuteness. ;)

    • erin

      I have to say, I think the turning point in my life was junior year in high school when I chopped my hair and waxed my eyebrows. For a 16-year-old with huge hair that was constantly pulled back in a ponytail, the short ‘do was a revelation!

    • dementeddoll

      i love the shorter do’s! there seems to be more versatility!!

    • janette

      I love a super short do on women, I just wish I had the guts to do it myself!

    • happishopr

      I love the super short cuts too…Had my mid-back length cut two years ago to just above the ears. I loved it but not too many others did. It’s not right at my shoulders and hubby and I can both agree on that, lol.

    • Cherie

      This article was just what I needed. All my life my sister teased me about my nose to the point where even if somebody told me they liked it I would still try to hide it. I still don’t like it but thank you for saying that getting a pixie cut is about accepting your imperfections. That meant a great deal to me.

    • Maria

      This is just what I needed to read. :)
      I’m getting my hair (which goes down to about my breasts) chopped off to a pixie cut tomorrow afternoon. I haven’t had it that short since I was a baby! I’m scared to death, but excited at the same time.

    • Tasha

      I loved reading this article. I am a person who considers herself to have a big nose (not long, but wide), and I’ve had a pixie when I was sixteen and seventeen. Well, I’m twenty now and my hair is about to my breasts. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, it’s curly and if I want to, I can put it into a ponytail, but my fondness of it disappears after the first day. In fact, I try not to brush it because it will turn into a big frizzy ball. I’m considering getting a Carey Mulligan pixie, but it’s been a struggle growing it out again. It’s just nice to know that I’m not the only one that can rock a pixie and have a big nose, haha.

    • Lauren

      I have a pixie cut and love it. It brings out my eyes and everything I love. I think its about how you feel about yourself. Some people may not like short hair on women and thats okay. I love my hair and the confidence it brings me. My thoughts are you will never know if you don’t like it till you try it. I love the easy maintenance of it. I think people have long hair because they hide behind it , Juts my thoughts though and you many not agree and that perfectly okay. I got mine cut because I want to start new, with a new hair cut(yes I will be growing it out to a bob) but its a process form. Making me not hide behind my hair and loving what I see in the mirror everyday. Each day I grow with more confidance and power. And its because of this hair cut.

      • Josie Hicks

        I certainly hid behind my long hair. i had it cut into a pixie two years ago, which forced me to actually face people. I became more confident. So much so that one morning this summer, having grown out the pixie to thick wavy shoulder length hair, I decided I wanted to chop it again and two hours later it was pixied. I then had visions of having longer hair (it’s all Nina Dobrev’s fault) but I had it cut shorter yesterday. I felt freer immediately, I don’t know when I’ll grow it longer again but I can’t see it being anytime soon!

    • yvie(

      i also have a low cut and even though i somtimes hate it, people say it suits me better!

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