The 14 Celebrities That Will Inspire Your Next Pixie Haircut

by Zoe Ward and Natasha Marsh
Originally Published: 

So you've got a session with your hairstylist coming up soon on your calendar, and you're itching to make a change — like, a really major one. The problem is, you're a bit nervous about taking the plunge and you're in search of worthy inspiration to push you to actually go for a big chop. It's a rough spot to be in, especially when short hair tends to have a reputation of being hard to pull off, and even tougher to style. To help turn the tides, look to the slew of very stylish celebrities who have gone before you and bring one of these pixie haircut ideas to your salon. Problem solved.

The thing you'll notice right off the bat when considering a pixie, is that there's plenty more than one way to wear the look. A choppy cut with lots of wispy layers? You bet. Ultra-cropped with cute face-framing fringe? Yep. Don't want to part with some maneuverable length? Don't have to.

You'll also find that each of the cuts can be much more versatile than they get credit for, easily adapting from full-bodied bedhead texture to sleek and super-polished. Simply make sure you've got the right styling products on hand to help — and don't worry, the hard work's been done for you because they've already been rounded up ahead (along with all the pixie inspiration you could ever need).

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Miley Cyrus's Cool Girl Pixie

Miley Cyrus's tailored pixie is a great way to feel lighter and cooler with no hair weighing you down this summer. The back is styled in an undercut — where it was cut shorter than the front pieces — to take excess weight off your hair. Your morning routine could be slashed in half if you opt for this low-maintenance, cool girl pixie. The only con is you might need to cut your hair more frequently than usual as you'll want this cut to stay quite sharp to be at its full potential.

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A Volume Powder

Verb's volume powder is great for fine hair as it will instantly deliver volume to the roots, leaving your pixie full and shiny.

A Lightweight Pomade

Bumble & bumble has covered all the bases for a good pomade. This product will help hold the pixie in place, deliver ultra-shine and with the beeswax and microcrystalline wax — provide the ultimate definition.

Zendaya's Old Hollywood Pixie

Old Hollywood waves will never go out of style, as proven by style icon herself, Zendaya. The cool thing about this pixie, and the style in general, is the versatility in color and styling. Feel free to alternate between colors or hair tools for various looks.

A Texturizing Spray

Oway's texture spray will help create effortless tossed waves. Plus, the marula oil and sunflower seed essential oil delivers protection from dryness and UV damage.

An All-In-One Leave-In Conditioner

Amika's leave-in conditioner is a great place to start when styling your pixie. This foundational product will leave your hair lightweight, tangle-free, and soft.

Zoey King's Slick Back Pixie

For an evening look or to change up your Zoom, work-from-home hair, why not slick your pixie back like Joey King? And because the hair is short, this look can be achieved in a few simple steps: comb hair back and add a good holding gel to the hair. For added volume, bump up your slicked back fringe.

A Knock-Out Molding Paste

This will help hold down the pixie and keep hair at bay, in the most beautiful way. To use: Warm a small amount into your hands and smooth onto hair.

Pump Up The Volume Spray

Give more volume to your pixie with R&Co dry volume spray. Made with micca, the spray won't dull your hair or weigh it down. Instead, it will create instant volume and long-lasting smoothness.

Jada Pinkett Smith's Bleach Blonde Pixie

Jada Pinkett Smith's bleach blonde pixie is a great wash-and-go look. With trimmed down sides, all you need to do for this one is apply a great shine spray or a protective heat spray if you plan to curl or lay the pixie flat.

A Powerful Heat Spray

If you regularly use heat tools, a heat protectant is a must. Mizani's is an affordable option and will work miracles on strands to protect from heat damage.

A Hydration-Packed Leave-In

The thing with pixies is the short nature is a lot less forgiving when it comes to dryness. Keep pixies moisturized with Ouidad's leave-in to retain hydration, without a greasy residue.

Rowan Blanchard's Side Fringe Pixie

Rowan Blanchard proves that the more hair, the better. This full pixie has great shape and can be turned into a different look when parted to the side. Make sure to opt for an anti-frizz spray to minimize any fly aways and a shine or gloss to pull the look together.

An Anti-Frizz Serum

Eliminate unwanted frizz with John Frieda's extra strength serum. Great for all textures, but specifically for thick hair types, this one will boast shine and make hair more manageable.

A Volumizer

And if your fringe needs a bit more volume, opt for Living Proof's texture volumizer for instant lift with a natural finish.

Tiffany Haddish's Sharp Textured Pixie

Tiffany Haddish's tailored pixie moment from the 2020 Oscars was one of the most memorable looks. When replicating this textured pixie, make sure sides are cleaned up and that you have a good edge control on hand to lay those edges down.

Edge Control Balm

Formulated with hyaluronic acid, castor, and broccoli seed oil, this small but mighty product will help slick back any flyaways or edges for good, without compromising on hydration and shine.

A Good Hair Balm

This small hair balm will add in a great amount of moisture to pixies to create a hydrated look, without feeling crunchy or sticky.

Sanaa Lathan's Side Part Pixie

Just by switching up the texture, like Sanaa Lathan's defined curls, and parting your hair in a different way, you can drastically change the look of your pixie to match any mood or outfit. It's a win-win.

A Super-Slick Edge Control

Smooth baby hairs down with this super-sleek edge control. Whether you want your edges to show in a design, or be tucked away for no one to see, Pattern's Edge Control glides on to give the perfect shape to edges.

A Lightweight Twist Gel

The black castor oil and coconut oil in Africa Pride's twist gel will provide moisture to your hairline and coils.

Zoë Kravitz' Low-Maintenance Chop

Just before her birthday in Dec. 2019, Zoe Kravitz decided it'd be a good idea to start her next turn around the sun with a stylish new 'do. And thank goodness she did, because it's serving up some of the best pixie cut inspiration out there of late.

Her strikingly short style leaves little length to be bothered with, aside from some cute fringe to frame her face — making it an incredibly low-maintenance cut. With this style, you can amp up the volume a bit by working a texturizing product into the body of your hair, or simply straighten ends for a smooth, sleek vibe. Even easier, let your pillow do the work while you sleep and wake up with a gently mussed mane.

An Air-Dry Styling Cream

Kristin Ess' Air Dry Crème is positioned as a one-and-done, ultimate air dry hair product — and it totally is. The weightless cream smooths, adds shine, gives hair natural-looking separation and definition. Apply a small amount to a pixie cut when it's damp post-shower to enhance your texture with minimal effort.

A Texture-Enhancing Serum

Want touchable texture without a crunchy feel? That's what Davines Texturizing Serum promises, while providing softness and light hold without weighing down hair. Use it when you do blow dry your pixie cut for a smooth finish.

Emilia Clarke's Choppy Pixie

Back in Sept. 2018, Clarke experimented with an ultra-choppy pixie cut, instantly dispelling her understandable (but unfounded) fears of trying a short style.

"I do bloody love long hair, but then I’m always dreaming of cutting it all off and having a pixie cut — but I don’t know that my face could take it," the actress told Harper's Bazaar UK before she made the cut. Clearly, she had nothing to worry about — and her cool, layered chop is a confidence-boost for anyone else who's likewise wary of wearing a pixie (the longer face-framing layers in front make the style feel less extreme).

A Flexible Texture Spray

With wispy layers like Clarke's, you'll want to be able to move them around and play with your part. So, when looking for a styling product, opt for a texturizing spray that'll add lift and definition without too strong of a hold — like this one from Bumble and bumble.

A Defining Putty

Grab a defining putty styler like this one from Fatboy to get a powerful hold and thickening benefits that boost fine strands for a fuller looking mane. Work it into the face framing layers on a cut like Clarke's to emphasize the choppy layers.

Charlize Theron's Versatile Pixie Cut

Is there any haircut that Charlize Theron can't pull off? So far, the answer remains a resounding "no" — and she's tried just about every style under the sun, including a bowl cut she sported in September 2019. But she soon parted ways with it to bring back an iconic cut everyone knows and loves: a pixie reminiscent of her 2013 Oscars 'do.

Her current pixie, executed by stylist Adir Abergel this fall, updates the star's cut with longer length in the front and at the crown, with a closer cut on the sides and back. The result? A range of versatile styles in one cut. Theron's worn it with lots of volume and texture, straight and smoothed over, and subtly mussed with slight waves. All the while, those cheekbones of hers take centerstage.

A Volume-Boosting Mousse

Got a cut like Theron's? You've still got some length on top and framing your face that you'll want to take care of (and boost with tons of touchable volume). Snag a bottle of styling mousse that keeps hair soft and healthy, while providing fullness.

A Non-Sticky Styling Balm

Theron's versatile pixie can easily be styled super-sleek, with the help of a shine-enhancing balm like AG's that smooths lengths and ends (without icky buildup). Work through freshly blow dried hair to create a polished look.

Kristen Stewart's Grunge-Inspired Take

Stewart's had short hair in one form or another since about 2015, making her one of the reigning celeb champions for cropped styles. Recently, she's been rocking a grown-out pixie cut that features wispy platinum blonde layers with darker blonde roots (how quintessentially '90s, no?). The cut and color is courtesy of Adir Abergel — who also works short hair magic on Charlize Theron, amongst others — and gives Stewart's hair a manageable, lived-in look. It's meant to be a bit messy, with layers falling around her face and subtle volume at the crown of her head. A texturizing product or defining pomade is all you need for low-maintenance edge.

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A Matte Texture Spray

A texture spray with a matte finish will contribute to the grungy, undone attitude of a pixie cute like Stewart's (one with lots of shine would make hair look far too polished). Use this one at roots to boost volume, and through the lengths for effortless, wispy feel.

A Definition-Boosting Pomade

Use a thick pomade to give hair a soft, maneuverable thickness and to define piecey layers. This one dries down to a matte finish and gives long-lasting hold.

Lupita Nyong'o's Deep-Part Pixie

Though Nyong'o's hairstyle seems to change every time she sets foot on a red carpet — courtesy of her longtime stylist Vernon Francois — no look is more prevalent than her pixie cut, which shows off her natural length and texture.

The actress sports her cropped strands several ways, but the most inspo-worthy of all could certainly be when she fashions it into a deeply side-parted pixie. The vibe is equal parts polished and fun, and can complement a chic date-night dress as easily as it does a casual day look. Key to nailing the style? Hydrated, healthy coils that aren't weighed down by heavy product.

A Lightweight Hydrating Oil

The secret behind this ultra-hydrating hair oil? Caffeine-rich coffee, which breathes new body and life into curls, while other plant-derived oils and rosemary extract restore and strengthen dry strands and protect against environmental stressors. Use it as a hot oil treatment or even a conditioner mix-in to keep your pixie it top shape.

A Hydrating & Curl Defining Hair Care System

Daily maintenance is key, even if you're rocking a super-short cut without too much length. Aveda's complete system comes with a cleanser and conditioner duo that's ideal for very curly and coily hair, plus the strong hold styling gel you'll need to get a chic deep side part like Nyong'o's.

Halsey's Wispy Pixie

If you follow Halsey's beauty moves closely, you know she's not prone to keeping any particular hairstyle for very long — but if there's a cut she does rock on the regular, it's a pixie in one iteration or another. Particularly copy-worthy is the wispy version she wore to the AMAs in May 2019, which hairstylist Florido of Los Angeles' Nine Zero One salon fashioned into a cool wet-look style that seriously stunning. Her feathery layers worked well wet, but would look equally chic blown dry and straightened smooth for a polished effect.

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Oribe's Gel Pomade

Want to copy Halsey's wet look? Grab a gel pomade like Oway that boosts shine and texture big time, without bringing a crunchy feeling. Work it through the lengths of your hair while damp for extreme, glossy shine (there's actual gold flecks in it).

This Compact Straightener

A more petite straightener can get up close to your roots, for a pixie cut that's smooth and sleek through and through. This one by T3 ensures even heat across the ceramic plates to seal each cuticle for zero frizz and enhanced shine.

Bella Hadid's Polished Pixie

Although Hadid's beautiful pixie at 2019's Met Gala was courtesy of some fantastic wig work (thank you, Jen Atkin), the style is still seriously enviable. The supermodel's short-lived look featured length that extended long enough to be tucked sleekly behind her ears, with a pretty face-framing fringe swooshed across her forehead. A cut like this one would be pretty versatile too, as the smooth, glossy look could easily be traded in for a more lived-in texture by way of a bed-head replicating styling product.

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A Shine-Boosting Blow Dry Mist

John Master's Organic lightweight ultra-shine hairspray is ideal for bringing polish to a cropped cut like Hadid's — mist it all over strands after blow drying smooth to tame fly-aways and boost natural, silky sheen.

OUAI's Wave-Making Air Dry Foam

Jen Atkin's OUAI Air Dry Foam would be an effortless way to give a pixie cut soft, touchable texture — all you have to do is scrunch it into damp strands, and it helps enhance your hair's natural waves or curls for a lived-in look. Plus, it has OUAI's popular Melrose scent so your mane will smell great.