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I Just Got a Pixie Cut. What Now?

July 9, 2014

Q: I just got a pixie cut and I have no idea how to take care of it. Help! —Elena, 23, Brooklyn

A: Hooray, welcome to the club! (Okay, that might be slightly hypocritical, because after several years of having super short hair, I’m currently trying to grow it out. But it’s a struggle every day not to call my stylist and have her hack it all off again. Anyway.) 

PRODUCTS: You’re entering into a whole new category of hair care. You should just give away all your current products and start fresh. In order for your short hair not to look mom-ish,  you need to add texture. (Note: I am a mom, so don’t get offended, moms. But “mom hair” is not generally a look anyone wants, especially moms.) Look for words like “paste,” “putty” and  ”wax” on the label. These products usually come in small tubs. You want the hair to look piecey instead of feathery so that you don’t get mistaken for a Princess Diana impersonator. See the gallery below for some tried-and-true options.

DAILY CARE: Everyone always assumes short hair is low-maintenance. (Insert laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying emoji here.) First of all, if you’re used to washing your hair every two or three days, I’m sorry to tell you that you’re going to become a daily washer. You can’t sleep in the aforementioned products and just run your fingers through your hair the next morning and go. They tend to plaster everything up in weird directions, not to mention make your hair really greasy. Find a good sulfate-free shampoo if you’re afraid of stripping your hair, or try one of the new cleansing conditioners that are everywhere if you have a shampoo aversion. 

MAINTENANCE: Get ready to spend a small fortune at the salon. I don’t recommend a DIY pixie trim. To keep that thing looking sharp and edgy rather than sadly grown out into a weird bowl cut, you need to go every six weeks for a trim. I recommend making a bunch of appointments in advance so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.  

Read on for some products to try.

Fudge Urban Texture Junk, Target, $7.69: This gooey paste comes in a fun Altoids-like tin and smells delicious. 

L’Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Txt It 01 Deconstructing Gum, Target, #3.99: This gum leaves your hair really pliable and non-sticky or greasy. You can do fun three-dimensional styles with it, if you’re into that. 

Pureology Colour Stylist Piecing Sculpt, SleekHair.com, $24.99: This putty is soft enough to spread evenly yet will still hold everything in place. 

Sexy Hair Play Dirty Dry Wax Spray, Ulta, $18.95: This genius spray wax will give you some texture without overdoing it. Just spray and scrunch. 

Tigi Bedhead Hair Stick, Ulta, $21.99: This wax stick is a classic for a reason. It lasts forever, is easy to travel with and smells so, so good.  

For more advice (from an actual hair stylist) on how to take care of your pixie, read this