Transitioning To (Or From) A Pixie Cut

Hair stylist while cutting a pixie
Photo: Shutterstock
In our discussions of the pixie cut, one of the most common issues that come up is the fact that going to such a short hair cut is often a VERY dramatic change for the individual. For the average woman with shoulder-length hair, going to a pixie cut means sacrificing seven inches of length or more. Even when the woman is convinced that she wants to do this, it can come as a shock.
For that reason, I generally recommend taking a staged approach to such drastic changes. Instead of going from long to super-short, talk to your stylist about selecting styles that can serve as intermediate steps in the transition from a long-hair style to the pixie cut. As a bonus, these stages can also be used when you want to grow out a pixie cut, providing goals to strive for as you work toward your ultimate goal of long hair.
The options presented here are just suggestions and may not work for everyone with a particular hair type. For this reason, it’s always important to discuss this plan with your stylist and get a personal assessment of what suits your face most. And the number of stages presented here assumes that the individual is able to cope readily with some significant change stage by stage.
If you prefer, you can have as many stages as you'd like in your progression. Just keep in mind, as you discuss this with your stylist, that the more steps you have, the less time you should spend between stages. You don't want your hair to grow back to its pre-cut length before moving on to the next stage.
High-Volume and Low-Volume Options:
There are a variety of factors that determine the suitability of a hairstyle for an individual. However, to avoid overwhelming you with information, let's categorize them into two options: high-volume and low-volume styles.
High-volume styles are intended for individuals who either have "high-volume" hair (curly hair, coarse and wavy hair, or hair that becomes bulky when longer in length) or those who need more horizontal emphasis in their styling (such as those with long or narrow face shapes).
Low-volume styles are designed for individuals with fine and/or straight hair types that lie close to the scalp when allowed to grow, or for people who require more vertical emphasis in their styles to complement round or wide faces.
High-volume options aim to embrace the hair's bulk and natural curl and volume, creating the illusion of a wider face shape. On the other hand, low-volume styles leverage the inherent smooth and sleek qualities of the hair to create flattering looks that draw attention vertically to balance round or wide faces.
The Starting Point
The number of stages you choose to include may be influenced by the actual length of your hair when you begin this process. We are generally assuming that the individual who is looking to approach a pixie cut in stages has hair that is shoulder-length or thereabouts. If your hair is longer than shoulder-length by any significant amount, you probably want to add one or two stages using the same style of cut you have currently, but bringing the length up to the shoulder.
The goal in this entire process is to help individuals who’ve had long hair for a long period of time adapt to shorter hair with a minimum of stress, and to help them discover whether shorter hairstyles suit them without making the full, drastic commitment.
Stage One: The First Cut
High-Volume: The Shag
Pixie cut stage one
The person with shoulder-length, wavy or curly hair typically benefits from layered styles that help to manage the volume in the hair. The shag is among the most popular looks in this category of mid-range layered styles.
To achieve the shag, the upper portions of the head are layered using a stationary guide and by elevating the hair 180-degrees (vertical) to be cut at this guide point. The perimeter is cut to the desired length and the intervening layers are accomplished by blending the layers from the top sections and the perimeter lengths.
Continue reading ...