Hey, Shorty: 4 Rad 'Dos For Pixie Cuts

Although cropped cuts were fashionable long before Miley Cyrus traded her cowboy boots for booty shorts and hacked off her hair, there’s a noticeable lack of styling tips for ear-length locks out there. Even Alex Estrada, our model for this story, has been feeling deprived. “I’ve been wanting a pixie tutorial because I never know what to do with my hair. I usually just mess it up with my hands and go,” she says. Well, Alex, all of that is about to change.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
The Rihanna Pixie
When RiRi hit the red carpet at the 2012 VMAs, little did she know her sexy short hairstyle would become an instant classic. As Estrada demonstrates here, it looks good away from the red carpet, too! Won Hundred shirt, stylist's own necklace.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Start with completely dry hair and brush it all forward. Do not make a part. To get a beautifully wavy texture, wind your hair around a half-inch barrel curling iron (wrap every section of hair that’s longer than one inch). Start halfway down the hair shaft and go all the way to the ends. “Don’t be afraid if it looks like a bunch of curly-Qs at first," says Brill. "You want the hair to be really defined before you mess with it."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Once your hair has cooled down, finger-comb the curls to loosen them up. Add a bit of styling wax or paste to the ends so that all of your hard work doesn’t collapse.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Now, coax your hair into place with your fingers. “Remember, there is no part in this style," says Brill. "The front goes straight forward and across the forehead, kind of like a bowl cut." Finish with hairspray for polish and gloss. Brill blasted Estrada’s hair with Kérastase Laque Dentelle, but anything with some shine to it will do.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
All that’s left to do is step out and show off your gorgeous hair. The entourage and bodyguard are totally optional.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
The Shark-Fin Pixie
The strategically placed height in the front is what makes this style boyish and cute at the same time. Camilla and Marc dress.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
The first step is a breeze: Brush your hair to the side with a paddle brush to smooth it out. Then, lift up the front of your hair and spritz it with a little bit of spray gel. If you’re guessing that this style is super-easy, you’re right. Dannijo ring.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Blowdry the front piece with a round brush. Rotate your wrist back away from your face, and keep that nozzle on your dryer to control the air flow.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Lift up the front of your hair and apply hairspray while you’re holding it to encourage more height. “Pinch the hair into waves," Brill says. "You want it flat at the top like a ridge. That’s what gives it a cool look from all angles.” If your hair isn’t staying up, apply pomade, hold it up again, and blowdry.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
All done! Pair this ‘do with a dress to balance out the masculinity, or really go for it with a menswear-inspired outfit.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
The Slick Pixie
Why Brill loves sleek short hair: “It looks expensive and it’s so easy to do.” Sold and sold. H&M white turtle neck; Costello Tagliapietra mustard-colored cardigan; H&M earrings.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
“If your hair is straight, spray it with water. If you can’t wet your hair, start with a mix of pomade and spray gel," says Brill.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
If you haven’t already, apply a gel-pomade mixture to your hair (it’s less flaky than gel alone). Make a precise, deep side part and comb the product through. Don’t worry if you see comb lines — they’re a cool part of the look.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Smooth down any stray hairs with a small, skinny brush. Apply a shine spray or oil for sophisticated polish.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
It really is that simple, yet the results are stunning. “This is a great option for when I don’t have time to do my hair,” says Estrada. And, nobody will ever suspect you were running late. Brilliant.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
The Piece-y Pixie
The key to this classic style is a great haircut. From there, you can make it your own by drawing inspiration from the past and adding modern touches. The muse for this look: “Winona Ryder in Girl Interrupted,” says Brill. Claudie Pierlot dress; Maniamania Silver Plated with Clear Quartz and Chlorite Necklace, $385, available Maniamania.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
To bring out your natural waves, start by spritzing your stands with water. If you have a relaxer, just do a quick mist with a leave-in conditioner or a heat protector spray.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
For extra texture, use the base of your hand to lift up and squeeze your strands as you dry them. “Keep the blowdryer on a the lowest speed and the highest heat," says Brill. "Make sure the nozzle is attached to help direct the air."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Now we need to keep that gorgeous texture in place. Apply a sculpting paste like Kérastase Short Mania to the ends of your hair. To keep the product from getting clumpy, rub it between your hands first. If you want more shine, use a wax instead.

“Most of the texture should be on the top and you want to create a nice curve around your face," says Brill. "Just stand in the mirror and keep working with it until it looks amazing."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Now this is a look that would make Audrey Hepburn proud. Work it!
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