How to Curl a Pixie Cut

by Mimi Abney

Stuck in a short hair rut? Adding a few curls to your pixie cut is the quickest and easiest way to freshen up your hairdo. To unleash your inner Mia Farrow, Halle Berry or Rihanna, slide a curling wand into your freshly dried strands to add a rocker chick vibe or to channel old Hollywood glamour. Whether you are having a bad hair day or want to revive last week’s salon visit, a small curling iron and a few styling products will perk up your pixie in 30 minutes or less.

Begin with freshly washed and conditioned hair. If you have fine hair, rake a quarter-size amount of volumizing mousse through your thin strands.

For curly or coarse hair, combine a pea-size amount of antifrizz cream and a pea-size amount of extra-hold gel into your fingers. Finger-comb these products through your hair.

Blow dry hair on a medium setting. Focus the dryer at the roots to create volume and lift. Use your fingers to separate short pieces of hair as you dry them.

After the roots are dry, aim the dryer down the hair shaft until the hair is completely dry.

Mist hair with a heat-protectant spray before curling hair.

Use a 3/8- to 1/2-inch curling iron to add curls in the crown. Roll 2-inch sections of hair around the curling iron’s wand. Hold the iron in for three to seven seconds and then release. Repeat until the longer pieces of the pixie cut -- near the forehead and around the crown-- are curled.

Rake your fingers through the curls to create a voluminous look.

To create height, lift up the top layer of hair and mist a medium-hold hairspray at the roots.

To slick down flyaways, fringe and short hair at the nape, rub a pea-size amount of pomade through hair to define and shape layers or to create spiky strands.

Items you will need
  • Volumizing mousse
  • Antifrizz cream
  • Extra-hold hair gel
  • Blow dryer
  • Heat-protectant spray
  • 3/4- to 1-inch curling iron
  • Hairspray
  • Pomade


  • If you hair is naturally curly, do not use your fingers to dry hair. Use a round brush to blow dry long strands on the crown and prevent frizz.


  • To avoid adding creases to hair with the curling iron, never clamp the tool too tightly. After releasing the hair from the curling iron, tug on the curl to loosen the wave and prevent crimped hair.

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