And for my last trick…

Time for a pixie cut!

I had one last thing I wanted to change this year, but I purposely made myself wait on it to space out the transformation. Everything else changed seemingly at once. I wanted to make sure I REALLY wanted this and it wasn’t a reaction I would regret.

So I was chomping at the bit by the time I got to the salon last Friday (Nov 2nd). I had been so fed up with my long hair – realized I rarely wore it down, it thwacked me in the face even when it was supposedly tied up and out of the way in dance, it took forever to dry – and was so excited to try something new. I ended up donating 15 inches (of beautifully cared for and healthy hair, I might add) to Locks of Love and getting something even better than what I had mind. I was open during the process to seeing what my hair did and taking the advice of my awesome stylist. And of course, I couldn’t really picture what it was going to look like. I could only hope it would be something like the mishmash of ideas I’d gleaned from the inspiration images I gathered (and walked my stylist through in our consultation the week before).

Here’s what I was going for: a little Emma Watson, a little Audrey Hepburn. Definitely something around the ears (ear curls?), simple bangs that could be spiky and piecey or swept aside less noticeably, and really short at the back.

Rosa tied my hair into two braids so we could donate the maximum length (and leave the smallest amount on the floor). Here’s the chop:

And here’s the new cut!

My hair before and after haircut

Side view:

Side view pixie cut

Front view:

New pixie cut front

And it’s super cute with a headband. I love it! I will say I feel a bit like I have a permanent updo. When I go to lie down especially I reach for the hairclip that isn’t there. It still feels weird (but oh so light and freeing!) to have that weight off my head and nothing on my neck. And it’s really weird not to have a part anymore. While she was cutting my hair, Rosa found that my hair wanted to hang forward. And that there’s a convenient cowlick in front that keeps my hair from clinging to my forehead. She did such a great job.

Products:

I was adamant that I didn’t want to have to stock up on tons of new products. I am at most a one-product girl beyond shampoo and conditioner. I hate feeling like I have goop in my hair. Gross. By the end of the day with product in my long hair I felt like I needed to wash my hair. I’ve warmed up to this change in my routine because it is SO SIMPLE. To give you an idea, I no longer use a hairbrush. It’s just not necessary as there are no tangles. So the routine for my hair takes a grand total of 5 minutes now.

Here’s what I’ve used in the past week:

  • My standard shampoo and conditioner. Right now that’s Bath & Body Works’ Orange Ginger Body and Shine Shampoo ($10) (shut up, it smells awesome) and Aveeno’s Nourish + Volumize Conditioner ($7). Both are cheap (hello, student budget). Both work just fine. And I use SO MUCH less of each now (palmful vs quarter or dime amount) so they will last for a long time yet.
  • Styling wax. I bought Davines’ Mat Forming Ground No. 13 for Wizards from the salon for $30 because it didn’t feel grimy. It holds my hair (even my newly discovered cowlick) in place all day and my hair still feels like hair. It takes two minutes to apply and then I don’t need to touch my hair again (but if I do and something gets out of place, I can easily scoot it back to where I want it). I scoop a little bit (pea-sized) from the jar and rub it between my fingers to warm it up and spread it then start with the back and work my way forward, finishing with my “sideburns” (maybe I prefer “ear curls”?) and bangs. Simple. Expensive product, but worth it. I had a drugstore styling wax from years ago, but I haven’t tried it on this hairstyle yet. It may be something I leave at my parents house or keep in my travel toiletries bag for emergencies.
  • Better quality shampoo for 1-2 times a week. Not for every day, but I’ve noticed my hair looks less shiny now. It’s just as healthy, but the many visible short ends make it look duller. So because I like to have a rotate-in shampoo anyway, I splurged on Bumble and Bumble’s Seaweed shampoo ($20). It smells good and will last. I could use this every day once I finish my other shampoo, but like I said I like to have two shampoos in the shower. We’ll see how close to a year these two will last me anyway.
  • Detangling/ heat protecting spray. I’ve been using Aveda’s Brilliant Damage Control ($17 for a giant bottle, they often have travel size bottles for <$10 which also last forever) as soon as I get out of the shower for more than a year now. So I did it this week partly out of habit and partly because my stylist said it would be a good idea to keep consistency. I do still have to run my blowdryer over my head for about 30 seconds just because I leave so little time to get ready in the morning so this is a good heat protector. I do not need the detangling function, but again, it smells good.
  • I could skip the blowdryer if I left myself more time to get ready in the morning during the week. On the weekends I definitely can. My hair is thicker than I expected on the top of my head. The sides and back dry super quick. For fine hair like mine, I recommend anything with ions and a low heat, high air setting. I bought mine years ago at a drugstore for about $20 and it folds up for storage.

Resources:

  • Short Hair Appreciation: Tumblr with photos of models and celebrities as well as reader submissions. A great resource to see short hair beyond the minutely styled and perfected world of professional photoshoots.
  • Pixie Cropped: The first Tumblr people recommended to me to get a sense of the variety of options available. Mostly magazine and other professional shots. Some overlap with Short Hair Appreciation.
  • Various incarnations of why people cut their hair. Great for keeping up the courage. It’s a funny thing to say, but it does take some bravery to make this big a change because there is a chance you’ll hate it and it does take forever to grow back. But I feel like doing your research and giving yourself the time to consider it means you’re ready to take that chance. I love it more than I thought I was going to!
  • Styling videos. I particularly recommend Lyndsay’s since she shows two styling options with the same haircut. This was also particularly close to the look I was going for. Be warned most of these videos make it sound like you need hairspray on a daily basis in addition to 2-3 styling products. Not necessarily true!
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One thought on “And for my last trick…

  1. [...] got my hair cut from super long to a pixie four weeks ago today. Here’s what I’ve learned so far (photos above from Home showing [...]

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