Pixie Cut

Trendy pixie cut with side bangs
Image: AI illustration
Q: Where does the name "pixie cut" come from? What is the origin of the name of this hairstyle? When and where was the term "pixie cut" first used?
A: The exact origin of the term "pixie cut" is not well-documented, but I'll do my best to answer your question as accurately as possible. Some facts seem logical and give us a clue as to where the name might come from.
To understand the roots of the pixie cut and the origin of its name, we need to go back to the mid-20th century, an era marked by significant shifts in societal norms. The pixie cut made its debut in the 1950s, a period when women began to embrace a more independent identity. This hairstyle, characterized by its short length, cropped sides, and longer top hair, represented a clear departure from the long, glamorous hair that dominated the previous decades.
As the 1950s progressed, the pixie cut gained momentum. Women saw the hairstyle as a bold statement, a rejection of societal norms, and an affirmation of their autonomy. The pixie cut became an obvious choice for women who wanted to express their individuality and break free from the constraints of conformity.
One of the early ambassadors of the pixie cut was Audrey Hepburn. As the pixie cut gained popularity, she truly brought the hairstyle into the spotlight. Hepburn, a style icon of her time, wore the pixie cut with elegance and sophistication, emphasizing the charm of the cut. Her iconic role in the 1953 film "Roman Holiday," where she played a princess who cut her hair short to experience life as a commoner, once again solidified the pixie cut as a symbol of rebellion and daring.
Mythical pixie
Mythical pixie
The term "pixie" refers to a mythical, mischievous creature from folklore, often associated with magical forests and enchanting landscapes. Pixies are often depicted with a human appearance and sometimes with wings and/or pointed ears. These playful, fairy-like beings, known for their small stature and whimsical nature, share many similarities with the mischievousness and bold, lively nature of the pixie cut itself.
The popularity of the pixie cut continued through the decades, becoming synonymous with confident women unafraid to question conventional beauty standards. From Mia Farrow's iconic pixie cut in the 1968 film "Rosemary's Baby" to Twiggy's beautiful pixie cut in the 1960s, the hairstyle retained its status as a symbol of rebellion combined with refinement.
Halle Berry wearing her hair in a pixie cut
Halle Berry - Photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstock
Although the pixie cut has experienced peaks and valleys in popularity over the decades, the hairstyle has never truly disappeared. In the 21st century, celebrities like Halle Berry have reignited fascination with very short hairstyles, bringing the pixie cut back into the spotlight. Berry's confident and powerful appearance with her distinctive short hair reinforced the pixie cut's status as a symbol of empowerment and self-expression.
In the history of hairstyling, the pixie cut has left a lasting impression. Its name, derived from the enchanting world of pixies, perfectly encapsulates the spirit of bold independence and timeless elegance that this hairstyle embodies. So, the next time you admire a pixie cut, remember the magical origin that makes it more than just a hairstyle. It's a statement and a nod to the enchanting world of pixies.
See also: What is a pixie cut?