Crowdsourcing: Which Celebrity Pixie Cut Should I Get? (And More Short Hair Questions)


Please enjoy this selection from a series of scissor wielding selfies I just took in a secluded work area.

A few months ago, I confessed my desire to chop off my hair over at Well, sound the alarm because THE TIME HAS COME! Despite my friends’ continued well-meaning trepidation about my upcoming cut, I am so beyond excited for this (also quick shout out to all the wonderful and encouraging comments that the Gurl readers left for me).

The glaring issue is that I have thought zero about what happens before and after I sit down in my stylist’s chair. I haven’t really given any serious thought to what kind of super short haircut I want, nor have I considered the potential day-to-day upkeep. I just can’t see beyond that rush when I hear scissors cutting into hair and watching it all spill over the floor. (Insert cackle here)

This is why I seek all of your help. I just came up with a list of questions that I probably should figure out before I show up for my scheduled haircut on December 3. Help me please?

What specific style do I want?
This is probably the biggest one, as while I know I want short hair, I have no idea what that exactly should look like. I should reiterate that when I say “short” I mean pixie length. I’ve done the chin-length bob thing many times before, so I want this to be a drastic short. The only other real requirement is that it somehow has a pop culture spin (so based off a celebrity or character). Sam recently put together this ranking of celebrity short haircuts, which has sparked my very limited brainstorming.

Do I model my hair after my longtime favorite actress, Winona Ryder?

Winona Ryder short hair in Girl Interrupted

Photo: Girl, Interrupted

Or my new favorite person on Earth, Jennifer Lawrence?

Credit: Patrick Hoffmann/

Credit: Patrick Hoffmann/

Maybe someone else? I don’t know. Can you figure out a celebrity I should consider and let me know if their hair will look good on my head?!? My face is above if that helps.

What kind of products should I plan on buying?
My current hair routine is zero. Okay, sometimes I put in conditioner or a de-frizz thing, but that’s about it. I assume I will need to adjust this routine, but how?!

How often will I need to get haircuts?
I haven’t cut my hair in a while now, so staying up to date with haircuts has fallen off my radar. Also, is there a way I can get these haircuts cheaper since I will have less hair to cut? I have a feeling that isn’t how haircuts work, but there’s no such thing as a stupid question I’ve been told.

Do I need to take my giant glasses into consideration?
While I do have contacts, I tend to wear my big glasses on the reg. Should this affect my style choice?

I really like my eyebrows.
This is obviously not a question, just something I thought you should know because I figure I can show them off with short hair rather than behind my bangs that I tend to leave at what I call “sheepdog length.”

Where do I donate my long hair?
I’m probably cutting off a good 12+ inches so I would love to donate it. I’ve heard that some organizations have a less stellar track record than others, so I would like to know what places you think do it right.

What is the growing it out process like?
I know I am probably putting the cart before the horse here, but since I love mixing up my hairstyle, I know no matter how much I love my short haircut I will eventually want another change. I should be prepared for what happens.

What have I not thought of?
I am sure I am missing something. Any and all advice would be much appreciated and my tresses thank you in advance. I am totally up for trying anything! All I ask is that someone please respond like Amy March when I unveil the final cut, because despite being a total diss, the reference would be hilarious to my Little Women loving self.

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    • Samantha

      I’ve had short hair ranging from Domino-era Keira Knightley to something like Miley Cyrus’s (but more flattering, I think). Anne Hathaway’s cut, especially the way she styled it for the Golden Globes, is my favorite. But I love Winona Ryder’s hair so much!

      Low-hold hairspray or some kind of pomade are good to keep on hand so you can give your hair some shape. Depending on how fast your hair grows, you can get it cut every 5 weeks to every two months (I’m super lazy, so I always waited closer to 2 months). Your giant glasses will look awesome. I loved wearing big sunglasses with my tiny hair! Also, scarves and earrings become even more fun.
      The biggest thing to remember is not to try to be too “edgy” with your cut. When you go more asymmetrical or have to much of a contrast between lengths from front to back, you run a higher risk of looking like a soccer mom who wants to be perceived as cool. Simple actually looks more bold, generally.
      Sorry for the epic rant. I love talking about short hair, and I love when people take the plunge and cut it all off.

      • Meg Malone

        Thank you! When it comes to jewelry, earrings are my favorite but I tend to get stuck in a rut wearing the same pair for weeks, so I am hoping this motivates me to switch them up a bit more. Also, any particular pomade brand suggestions? I tend to base all my beauty purchases on “what is cheapest?” but I also am willing to splurge if it’s really going to be a big help!

      • Samantha

        L’Oreal Paris Studio has a couple of pomades I really liked, and they’re only $5 or so per jar.

    • Samantha_Escobar

      Honestly, I think you would look great with a Winona Ryder cut more than the Jennifer Lawrence one. Plus, with your bang length, if you wanted to do a J Law one, you might have to grow it out a bit anyway. YAY can’t wait to see it!!!

      • Meg Malone

        I am wearing a striped shirt today and Winona is wearing a striped shirt in that picture, so maybe it is fate that I replicate her haircut?! Also, thank you for your excitement! :)

    • kellyegan

      So excited for your new hair! I donated my locks and embraced a short pixie and it was the greatest decision in my young life. After four years I decided to grow it out, but I still love, love short hair. Here are my recommendations for short hair care.
      Style: Keep a bit of a bang. You can always cut more hair away, and push it to be more edgier if you want, so keep a bit to frame your face until new inspiration strikes. IMPORTANT: Do not shave one side of your head. Trust me on that one.
      Product: light styling wax and flex hairspray. I loved how quick & easy showering became. It was no big deal to just dunk the hair and style before going out. Didn’t touch a comb or brush for years.
      Style: You can pull off anything. Dramatic sunglasses, girly frocks, bold colors, tomboy denim. There is nothing you can’t rock with short hair and it’s fantastic.
      Haircuts: Frequently, but they’re more sculpting, touch-up trims than anything. Work it out with your hairdresser to get the mens rate since you’re going in for touch ups and not full on styles.
      Growing it out: From a pixie to just-touching-the-collar bone will take about 1.4 years and I’m not going to sugar coat it: you will need to get several hair styles along the way (from Hathaway right now, Keira Knightley in Domino, to a shaggy bob with fluffy bangs) until you reach today’s Alexa Chung length.

      • Meg Malone

        “I loved how quick & easy showering became. It was no big deal to just dunk the hair and style before going out. Didn’t touch a comb or brush for years.”
        ^This all sounds amazing to me. Thanks for all of the advice and positive encouragement!

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      I think as long as you play ‘Roar’ in the background, everything should probably work itself out, right?

      • Meg Malone

        What if I listen to Brave by Sara Bareilles instead?

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Is that not the same thing?

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Is that a pasta?

    • keanesian

      Winona Ryder’s haircut FTW. Things you will need:

      1. Pomade to keep down the poof that will inevitably happen when you roll out of bed.
      2. Red lipstick. For when you want to feel like a human but put in very little effort.

      • Meg Malone

        I just bought new red lipstick over the weekend! Getting prepared and I didn’t even know it!

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Ooh, Meghan has a point: red lipstick is a must. I think it actually looks best on people with short hair.

    • Elizabeth

      Yay! I love short hair! I’m also a fan of Winona’s cut — if you’re gonna do it, I say go all the way! Products: my hair is very fine and smooth, so I always needed products to add some sort of texture. I used the store brand of Crew Pomade and that worked well enough (and it smelled oddly like pears!). Growing out: Yeah, it’s a bitch. After my various pixie-ish styles, I shaved my head in mid-April 2012. I might have gotten one professional hair trim since then (I never touched the front!) but other than that I just chopped the mullet as needed. Now, one year and seven months later, the longest pieces almost touch my shoulders, but mostly it’s chin-length or less (and I reeeeally need a haircut). Good luck and post pictures!

      (But damn, this makes me want to go back to the buzz cut!)

    • Charmless

      I have a habit of going pixie every 4-5 years (i.e. just when my hair gets really, really long again). Here’s one thing that might happen, so don’t be alarmed: hysterical crying and grief/anxiety. I went from having hair halfway down my back to a Winona and I cried like a fucking baby for a few days. Don’t get me wrong; it looked fantastic, but the moment I started seeing huge chunks of my hair falling to the ground, I had a massive panic attack and started mentally counting how long it would take for it to grow back AT LEAST to my shoulders. Don’t worry. This feeling will pass. You’ll remember that it’s just hair and that you are totally rocking your new cut.

      I just did a Google walk down nostalgia lane. This is the exact photo I brought in to my stylist when I chopped off my hair:

    • JennyWren

      Exciting stuff! I always love getting the major cut from long to short, it’s such a rush!
      What kind of short cut you should get depends very much on your hair type; I’d love a deep side part with a longer side-swept fringe but my hair just will not do it, so I’ve had to give up on that dream. The best approach is to take a variety of pictures of short cuts you like, and be able to describe what you like about them, so then your stylist can craft a look that suits both you and your hair.

      Speaking of which, what stylist you go to is VERY VERY IMPORTANT. Some people just don’t like cutting short hair (I’ve heard of women being talked out of short cuts by their stylist) and some people are frankly just bum at cutting it. If you trust your regular stylist and they’re excited about the change that’s a good sign, but otherwise spend some time asking around to find out who does a good short ‘do.
      Once you’ve gotten a good cut, the upkeep is really minimal. I like to play around with shine spray, but usually a bit of wax or pomade to tame stragglers and add texture is more than enough (products also last longer when you have short hair!) I get a re-cut every 4-5 weeks, but my hair grows pretty fast.
      Glasses can be a problem if you have a very long, Bieber-esq fringe and hair that likes to flip out instead of in. Otherwise it’s not an issue. I found that once I cut my hair I started moving away from ditzy frocks and more in the direction of classic shapes and neutral colors, but that could just be me getting old. Also, having strong brows is a real advantage when you have short hair.
      The growing out process is a PAIN. My hair grows fast, but it’s also very susceptible to damage so it took me a good two years to get it to shoulder length. And there’s no real way to avoid it looking bad at some of the stages in between. It’s such a pain that I’m determined to keep my pixie this time just to avoid the misery ;-)

      • JennyWren

        Wow, apologies for how long that turned out. I have a lot of opinions on short hair.

    • Jennifer Scarberry

      I have twice whacked off my hair and donated it to Locks of Love ( to make wigs for munchkins with cancer. Only caveat: no processed (dyed, relaxed, etc) hair allowed. I carry this ( picture of Jenna Elfman in my wallet because I never plan to cut my hair. It sort of happens. I am terrible about maintenance and upkeep, so I like a wash-and-wear style, and this works. Maintenance cuts will depend on how fast your hair grows, but two good cost effective measures are cosmetology schools and a razor comb for touch ups. The students at most schools get SO excited when someone comes in for a drastic change because they are usually stuck doing trims. The instructors will supervise heavily, but when I let mine grow out and go in to have it lopped off, it is not unusual to have five and six students clustered around my chair while one lucky student get to GIVE AN ACTUAL HAIRCUT for a change. LOL The fact that these schools are a fraction of the price also makes them ideal for those monthly or bi-monthly trims. Or, if you’re feeling brave and have steady hands, you can do an at-home trim and shape with one of these babies: I got one at Sally Beauty for about $8 that served me well for years. Neck and ear sunscreen application cannot be stressed enough when you crop your hair, either. Your great eyebrows, funky earrings and cute glasses should never be upstaged by your bright red ears and neck! Hope this helps.

    • AmandaKS

      Fellow pixie here! A few quick thoughts:
      - Locks of Love has a pretty bad track record when it comes to turning donations into actual wigs. Would avoid. I here Beautiful Lengths is better.
      - Love the Winona, but at first you might want some bangs so you feel less naked. Then once you’re used to the pixie you can really go for it. Later Anne Hathaway (with a bit of a swoop) might be a better first step.
      - I find pomade to be a little too wet and used texturizing powder instead (got2be is my brand, but there are an increasing number coming on the market now)
      - Haircuts — I have a crazy amount of hair so go about 1x a month (I have my stylist take out a lot of weight, so it’s a little short at first but grows out nicely). Another good thing is to pick up a pair of texturizing shears ($25 or so) so you can do some home maintenance on bits that are getting a bit poofy.

      Vicariously excited for you. Good luck!

      • AmandaKS

        Oh and growing out — if you keep a long bang the growing out process is WAY less painful. At a short bob in no time. It’s the all-around short hair that lends itself to the in-between Bieber. Food for thought.

      • Lara

        Agree on the texturizing powder. It’s like magic with no heavy residue that weighs your hair down. I used Aveda powder years ago (like $26 bucks for a mini bottle) but now have long hair. That (got2be) brand I just found at CVS for like $6!! I bought all of them yesterday and made an apt to cut my hair off again. Haha. The discovery of cheap texturizing powder convinced me to go funky pixie again. Cutting it tomorrow! Enjoy your new do!!

    • Amy

      I’ve always loved Michelle Williams’ pixie but that may just be because I love Michelle Williams.

      • Meg Malone

        I love her pixie cut, too!

    • Naomi

      About a year ago, I hacked off my hair. It was about 3/4ths of the way down my back and I cut it into a SLIGHTLY-longer-than-pixie with a sideswoop bang. I didn’t want to, but did because I was starting chemo treatment and figured if my hair falls out, it’ll be less traumatic this way if I have to shave my head. (Sidenote: Barely lost a strand. Whoopsie! But now I like and embrace my shorter ‘do.) I cried when I saw the end result of the cut because the hairstylist did a good job cutting it, but had no idea how to style really curly thick hair like mine. He blowdried it and I looked like a Q-tip.

      When I got home, I rewashed and restyled it and felt better. My two go-to products are 1) a styling cream with Argan oil followed by 2) Lush’s “Dirty” hair pomade. It’s not drying for my hair and gives my hair shape and texture without making it crunchy.

      I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on the shorter hair, my better half likes it because now he can play with my hair and touch it (before, I had to ask him not to because it would become a crazy tangled frizzed mess), and it’s SO MUCH EASIER TO DEAL WITH. It could take me a solid half hour before to wash, rinse, condition, de-tangle, and rinse my hair and I didn’t have the energy for it anymore, so it was a blessing.

      I have since grown it out into a 1930′s inspired inverted bob. (Chin length in the front, sideswoopy bangs, progressively shorter in the back to just the base of my skull). I go in every 8 weeks or so to have the back trimmed and cleaned up and lightly trim the longer bits and the bangs.

      I’ll probably keep it at this length for awhile, but growing it out in this way has made it almost entirely painless.

    • Meganryan

      I think the Winona Ryder cut would look great. Im getting my hair cut into a pixie the same day as you and both our names are megan. Thought that was kinda interesting.

    • Natalie

      Wigs for kids!

    • maggiegrin

      I have short hair and hair paste and mousse are my BEST FRIENDS.