Pick Your Pixie

By: Jennifer Laughlin.

Heads turned and cameras flashed when Harry Potter’s Emma Watson stepped onto the red carpet sans her familiar long, wavy hair. Her new short pixie cut sent a clear message: “Goodbye, Hermione — hello, world!”

“The current celebrity trend is a shorter, cropped look reminiscent of Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby era),” says Chad Taylor, co-owner of Vancouver’s Moods Hair Salon and celebrity stylist to the likes of Selma Blair and Mandy Moore. “This look has been seen recently worn by Emma Watson, Carey Mulligan (she’s now growing it), and slightly longer versions can be seen on Cate Blanchett, Michelle Williams and 90210’s Jessica Stroup.”

“Many celebs chop their locks because their hair can be over-processed from constant color changes or character upkeep — chopping it off brings back healthy hair,” says Andrea Claire, a celebrity hair and makeup artist who has worked with Miranda Richardson, Sarah Slean and Alanis Morissette.

Thinking of taking the pixie plunge yourself but not sure if you can pull off the look? Here’s how to make a short cut work for you.

Go short for the right reason

A short haircut is often used to mark a milestone or life change — like Watson’s transition from girl wizard to young fashion pin-up. “It’s a symbol of new beginnings for many women,” says Claire. “New beginnings and fresh starts are always positive — moving forward and looking into your future.”

Before you reach for the scissors though, make sure you’re not acting out of impulse and that you’re ready to commit to a dramatic new look. Taylor advises talking to an expert about what short style is right for you. “It is important for the stylist to examine your face shape and features to determine the suitability of a style instead of putting a cookie-cutter shape on someone,” he says. “Not all cuts will suit all face shapes. It may have to be adjusted in length to balance the features.”

Look at your face shape

Before going for a truly short haircut, keep a few things in mind. “You need to take your face shape into consideration for what suits you,” Claire says. Keep these pointers in mind if you have:

  • A round face: Try short, loose waves with an off-centre parting (think Kate Winslet or Kirsten Dunst). It will open up the face and give it dimension.
  • A square face: If your face is more square shape, like Sandra Bullock or Jessica Simpson, avoid chin-length bobs and severe middle partings.
  • An oval face: Go for it! “An oval face shape is the ideal for any look,” says Taylor.

Styling your pixie cut

So how do you keep a new pixie cut looking sharp? Lots of creams and sprays? “No,” says Taylor. “With the right haircut, simply blow dry the hair using a smoothing or volumizing product,” he says. “A small amount of a finishing or detailing paste will give great texture and separation.”