Who Suits a Pixie Haircut?

Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway, Sharon Stone and Winona Ryder all rock the pixie crop

Anne Hathaway is currently sporting a pixie crop hairstyle and on the right features it looks gorgeous. Having spent some time studying those women who rock it I’ve come up with a few pointers on the features you need to make it work.

John Frieda’s Pixie Haircut measurement

According to John Frieda, hairdresser to the stars, a measurement of 5.5cm or less from the base of the ear to the bottom of the chin is important, this is because it makes you look less jaw heavy (a more ‘masculine’ trait).  So in general, shorter face shapes (square and round) find it easier to carry off shorter hair.

What I have noticed about those that really look fabulous with a really short haircut is that they have:

1. Feminine facial features

2. Great cheekbones

3. Either large eyes ore a great smile or more generous lips.

My ear/jaw measurement is 7cm which is longer than the recommended 5.5cm or less for a pixie cut

 

I tried very short hair, but always felt that I needed to wear more makeup to look more feminine.  My ear/chin measurement is 7cm and I don’t have great cheekbones or larger lips or eyes, so maybe that’s why it didn’t really work on me.

Have you ever tried really short hair?  How did it look on you?

Comments

  1. A long time ago – in my teens, I wore my hair really short – and liked it.
    Though I remember everytime someone asked if I was a boy or a girl.
    Now I know, that my ear-jaw distance of 7.5cm could cauce the gender-confusion.
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    • Taterne – I remember when I had this haircut I felt very boyish. But I did love how low maintenance, fast and easy it was to ‘do’ every day – seconds!

  2. I have a very square face with great cheekbones, a so-so mouth and good eyes as long as I wear makeup. I have found that short hair and/or bangs makes my face look like a cabbage patch doll — wide and bland — even though I am fairly thin.

    We can note that these women “rockin’ the pixie” are young or young-looking. I think on a middle aged or older women you run the risk of it looking like “convenience hair” unless you have a really unique, “funky” look.

  3. Fascinating. I guess I have the short distance but only because my earlobes must be freakishly low. :)
    I used to have a haircut a lot like Halle Berry’s but smoother like Winona Ryder’s, nothing spiking up.
    A lot of layering, so quite short, but I had some feathery pieces extending out onto my cheek to point up my cheekbones, eyes. I asked for a bit of length in back to lie against the nape.

    When the stylist, whom I had never been to before, finished the cut he said he hadn’t been sure about it before he started but I really had the face for it. Women I knew sometimes referred to it as my baaaaad haircut.
    (bad meaning good, of course)

    I have high wide cheekbones (people used to think I was from Poland or Norway), not a wide mouth but a fuller lower lip, small/average slightly uptilted eyes that can look piercingly light …. and a prominent nose! I never thought of feeling more masculine in this haircut. I felt very feminine. In fact, now, with my hair longer, I often put it up and I always feel more feminine when I do. I pull out a few tendrils.

    • It’s interesting about the whole ear placement on head thing – it’s something I’ve discussed endlessly with my business partner Clare, as we both have longer faces, but she rocks the short cropped hair and I don’t, but her ears are placed lower on her head than mine and that seems to make all the difference (plus she’s got much bigger eyes than me and fuller lips… so that probably helps too!

  4. I’ve had a pixie type haircut for most of my adult life and I have been told it’s cute, severe, and masculine (take your pick!) But my face is a bit longer (6 cm from chin to ear) even though I always thought it was round. Turns out it’s somewhere between heart and oblong shape. But I have this thick mop of hair. My hairdresser is trying sideswept bangs now but after one week I look like Justin Bieber. This is NOT a good look for me! I do have large eyes. I just can’t find an easy style of super thick, baby fine, bone straight hair (not counting a cowlick or three).

    I think Judith Dench rocks a mature pixie cut but, well, I’m not her either!

  5. Whoa! Anne Hathaway and Winona Ryder? Oh well, I must admit…it does looks great on them. :) The pixie haircut enhances their beauty even more. It’s cool!
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  6. This was very interesting!

    I always thought my face is oblong, but now that I think of it, the length is on the upper half of my face (longer nose and high forehead), the earlobe-to-chin is a mere 5 cm. I currently sport short hair, a little longer and more generous than pixie cut, though, with sharp and short neck and sides but with kind of heavy bangs – I guess that must be the key, as it makes my forehead seem less high and widens it a bit.

    I personally find it to be a very flattering look for me but I never thought of it this way. I have the high North-Eastern Europe cheekbones and quite feminine, “petite” features. Actually, I find that anything curly-wavy-long-and-huge will drown my features.I don’t have huge doe eyes like Audrey (of the people here I think Sharon Stone is closest look-alike) but I think this style draws more attention to them. I was actually afraid to got his short, because my chin is softer than what I find optimal (I’m a sucker for great jawlines like Audrey’s…), but as the weight of the style is much higher than jawline, it appears to draw the attention there.

    This is making me very curious of what other kinds of styles I could pull off successfully! It’s weird I’ve been aware of where to end hemlines etc. for ages but never consciously thought of the hair. Duh!

    PS: My 50+ mom absolutely rocks the short hair, but she’s a very dynamic personality (and often has bold colour, highlights or slightly unusual, geometric cut) and she’s also always well groomed, there’s definitely nothing shouting “convenience” there!

  7. Pixie hair cut here too and have never looked back. Thanks for the John Frieda information! My ear-chin distance is indeed 5.5 cm which it never occurred to me to check on earlier…

    Eyes definitely my best feature. Rounded chin which becomes unflattering when I get too heavy. Strong nose which can be balanced visually with a more rounded upper back of head for which short dos formed with some gel or styling mud are just perfect. And wonderful for earrings.

    Aside: I am over 50 and “convenience” sure does not describe me!

  8. Don’t forget that height and body shape also come into the equation. On a tall. broad-shouldered or large woman the pixie cut can make the head appear too small for the body, whereas on a slender, petite frame it will balance perfectly.

  9. Viktoria says:

    I love this haircut, but the times I have tried it I was always taken for a boy, unless I was wearing large earrings and bright red lipstick. The one prominent feature on my face is my nose, haha!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I loved Jean Seberg’s short pixie type hair style in “Bonjour Tristesse” when I saw it years and years ago, and have always wanted a style like that. My hairdresser says a short style like that is more flattering for my face shape as it draws attention to the eyes whereas long hair draws attention away from them. I am in the Judi Dench age bracket and colouring now, and find this style looks well groomed with the least fuss, and can be varied with a wispy fringe or different partings or no parting, hair brushed up, to the side or with a light fringe or else spikey points with hair gel, depending on mood and what I’m wearing.

    • I love Jean Seberg’s hair! I have a kind of similar style but longer in the front. I’m hoping I can rock this style through my 30’s and beyond.

  11. this was very helpful – it’s so nice to be able to quantify things. could we maybe have a follow-up post with short hair suggestions for those with longer ear-to-jaw lines? i for one am still struggling with what to do with my unruly curly hair now that i’ve crossed 40. but now i know – not a pixie!

  12. Tiffany says:

    A pixie is easily the most flattering haircut on me. I have a long face but it’s probably the big eyes and cheekbones that make it work. Long hair just seems to accentuate the skinny-ness of my face, which isn’t something I really need.

  13. The shortest my hair has ever been is chin length and I only did that when I played Snow White in High School. Otherwise my hair is shoulder length or longer. I like to be able to pull back my hair. Otherwise it’s always in my face. I lose my natural waves if my hair is shorter than collarbone length. Also I have broad shoulders and a big bust. The shorter my hair is makes my boobs look their actual size. They look smaller when I have long hair.

  14. This explains quite a lot! I have 6 cm between ear lobe and chin and a pixie cut definitely is too short on me (though not obviously wrong). I’ve been trying like crazy to find the perfect hair cut but it’s really hard… My face looks unproportionally long and is also drowned once the hair has grown more than a couple of cm past my chin so there isn’t much space to play with. Right now I’m letting my hair grow out in order to get a bob that have full lengths with a side parting. My face shape is best described as oval and it’s very important for me to keep the hair out of the face. I guess a factor is that my hair is very straight and fine and difficult to style (no products I’ve tried can keep my hair from going back to normal within a couple of hours or less – at least not without damaging it), I pretty much have baby hair and it gets heavier and straighter the longer it grows.

  15. Fascinating, Imogen. Thank you.

    I’m puzzled about how I manage to get away with a pixie. It’s hands down the best haircut for me, but I most certainly have more than 5.5. cm between ear and jawline. More like 6.5 or 7 cm. Not only that, but I have a high forehead…so my face is definitely not on the short side. No matter. It seems to work anyway. I do have relatively fine bones and a big smile, so perhaps that’s it.

  16. the distance between my ear and jaw line is about an inch, and i have large eyes and prominent cheekbones, but my face is chubby, and i didn’t pull it off as well. so i think you also need more slender features to pull it off.

  17. Well I’m chopping off all my hair on Wednesday. Luckily, I just read your article and measured…5 centimeters! :):)

  18. My 60+ mom has had a pixie and its variations since the 70s and totally rocks it; her jet-black (now salt-n-pepper), violently curly hair looks great this way. Whenever she grows it out, it quickly becomes too much volume, too high-contrast, and all you see is hair, not her face. So, I guess it’s not just about your face, but the texture of your hair.

    I rarely see pics of curly pixies–wish more variety of textures was represented out there.

  19. Alright, I’ve got a few questions about pixie cuts. I really want to cut my hair like Gennifer Goodwin’s short pixie but the thing is, I dont know a lot. I have a round face, large lips and high forehead. I have straight brown hair that is kinda on the thin side. My ear to jaw is around 5.5cm. I should mention, I am 16 and have broad shoulders. I am also almost 6 foot. Do you think I could pull it off? Also how do you style a pixie? I dont have that much time in the morning so I want something that is easy to take care of and to style cutely quickly. I could really use people’s help on this… I really would like to do it but I have to many questions just yet… Any answers would be appreciated.

    • Laney – if you are very tall and broad shouldered you may find that a pixie cut makes your head look unproportionally small for your frame – you could go for a short haircut, but maybe with more volume at the top and neck, rather than have it cropped really short.

  20. I really do love to have a pixie cut but I don’t know if that would fit me. I am 5’5 in height, skinny, small round face, long neck and have this broad shoulders. What hairstyle do you think would suit me? Thankyou.

  21. Okay how are you measuring this exactly? Do you take a measuring tape and just run it along your jaw line or do you take it straight down from your earlobe?

    • You need to use two rulers and create a tight angle. Measure the length of the one from below your ear lobe to where it intersects your jaw

  22. I have about 4 cm ear to jaw. I wonder what that means, haha.

  23. I doubt Sharon Stone’s chin fits that measurement and I think it’s the bangs that ruin that last haircut. It needed more whispies. You’re eyes are gorgeous for any cut and perfect for a pixie, sort if child like.

  24. Perhaps with the exception of Audrey Hepburn and maybe Anne Hathaway, all those women exceed 5cm from earlobe to chin. Just look at Sharon Stone and Winona Ryder. Most shots aren’t even head on, but from the side.

    I don’t wear this style currently but every stylist I’ve known says the same thing: bone structure and hair texture works for the close crop, though in the end it’s about confidence. For crops to be feminine, keeping hair about the ears is important, as it brings balance down to the ears and neck which is what the crop is trying to emphasize. That area is very feminine. Wardrobe also makes a big difference. Pixie cuts look great for thicker hair types to emphasize the hair’s texture as the crop will just make thicker hair stand on end.

    Imogen– you have great features for the crop but the photo isn’t the best shot. It’s taken from a low angle, the bangs are a bit severe, and there’s not much texture. A textured crop with textured sideburns, layering throughout, and softer bangs would definitely work on you. And keeping a bit of weight or volume at the crown is great for oblong face shapes.

  25. I was wondering, the measurement said around 5 cm. But I´ve got a very round face, glasses, big eyes, full lips and ´apple cheeks´. would this still be oke? I’m a bit scared of looking like a young boy rather than a 19 year old girl with a pixie cut. My mother said I’ll look older with the pixie cut (which would be great, kinda got the baby face going on). But it sounds like you know your pixie-cut-stuff. I hope you can help me out!!

  26. I have an “Italian nose”. Would a pixie cut work for me?

    • Really depends on your other facial features – do you have full lips and large eyes? what are your cheekbones like?

      • I have full lips and large eyes, but sadly, age has caught up with my cheekbones and they are sinking. I guess my pixie days are behind me, but I am open to anything. I also have a long, thin face shape. Thanks!

  27. So I’m fairly short only 5’2″ with curly, thick brown hair. I have fairly decent size lips I think and big eyes. I’m 16 and there is 6 cm from my ear to my jaw. Would it work? If so, how would I style it with my thick, curly hair? If it makes any difference on wether it won’t work, I have a small chin dimple.

  28. Kaitlyn Hipple says:

    I have a pixie cut right now but I’m growing it out. You can check it out on Facebook or my Instagram. But I’m getting it cut again tomorrow because it’s way past time for it! I wanna go shorter and have her thin it out. Is that doable with my naturally thick but soft hair? I have 5 cm ear/jaw length and I’ve been told I rock the look.

  29. I missed this post the first time. My ear-jaw distance is 10.5cm with a long forehead and a jaw so wide that front on you can’t see both earrings at once. I experimented in my younger slimmer years with short hair but it was very masculine on me. I tend to wear my hair at shoulder length but clip it back for work.

  30. Awful! I looked like a boy. And I don’t understand what petite facial features are?

  31. Is there a golden ratio of some sort? A 5.5cm jaw on a 4’9″ woman won’t look the same as on a 5’11” woman. I’m 6’2″ and decided it probably won’t flatter me, but in comparison to the rest of my giant head, maybe an 8 cm jaw is different than on a smaller head. Thoughts?

  32. Oh no! I want a pixie so bad but my ear to jaw measurement is 8cm! I’ve sported a short bob before, my face looked rounder but now after growing my hair back( its now just below my collabone) its looks longer. Should I try on a pixie?

    • I would suggest it’s probably not the best cut. At least you’d need to ensure the back isn’t cut short, leave some whisps of hair that soften your jaw at the back of your head.

  33. Here’s an article about taking measurements of your face to determine its shape. I guess there’s more math in knowing what haircut suits you. Read on. http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-Your-Face-Shape
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  34. Well, I’m 15 turning 16 and I have a full bottom lip good sized forehead almond shaped eyes and I’m tired of having long hair? I really want to do it just like ruby rose in 2011 when it is black but my hair is dark brown? My parents thinks I’m turning gay but I’m truly not. How do I convinced them do let me cut??

    • Alexis – that’s something you have to negotiate with your parents. Some parents find it hard to deal with their kids growing up and becoming independent. The reality is, hair grows back! So you can always tell them that if you hate it you’ll grow it back.

  35. Hi Im!

    Thanks for a great site.

    I have a Pixie and am loving it. Very 60s chic and also a bit punky, my two fave looks.

    I get a lot of comps and I have a low forehead, square jaw, large ears, small eyes, good lips but a narrow smile, very thick hair… but somehow it does seem to work!

    I think short hair does suit you…but your HD could have done better. I think the style doesn’t quite work because of the straight across “frankenstein” fringe. That suits NOBODY. If you take a look at Jean Seberg, the most lovely Pixie of all, and most of those other gals above, they have angled fringes/sideparts, even when the hair is really short. So if you ever want another go…DO IT!!! x

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  1. [...] a decade later I have  my answer, thanks to Imogen Lamport of Inside Out Style. According to John Frieda, hairdresser to the stars, a measurement of 5.5cm or less from the base [...]

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