The Pixie Cut Chronicles

This post comes from our contributor, FP Madisyn!

“If not now, when?”

I used to repeat this quite often while sitting in my hairdresser’s chair. I would look at the lengths of my split-end hair, which easily touched the bottom of my rib-cage, and sigh with the anxiety of change.



My hair tends to have a mind of its own. Black as coal, strong as a Brillo pad, and in humidity, frizzier than ever. It’s naturally curly, and my friends used to refer to it as “messy, but good messy.” I embraced that for quite a while, but still desired change. I wanted a challenge. I wanted to do something for myself to defy the way I held my presence. A test to force me to explore the way I dressed, danced, walked and talked. A challenge to, well, challenge my confidence.


Some may refer to this as a crisis, but I see it as life. This week last year, I sat down in my hairdresser’s chair. I was on her schedule for a simple bang trim. Just enough so I could finally see, after letting them grown in a tad too much. “If not now, when?” ran through my mind and “just cut it all off” slipped through my lips, echoing through the room. Brittany, my hairdresser, has a daring spirit and never hesitates. I showed her a quick picture of what I had in mind and a minute later I was holding my 24 inch ponytail in my hand. I felt a release. One that I’ve not felt in a long, long time.


My short hair was thrilling, sassy and refreshing. In the beginning, I loved every minute of it. The two minute shampoos, the sweet compliments. Volume was key to my pixie cut, because my hair was still curly and longer on top, while the back was shaved pretty short. I used lots of product and a curling iron to achieve a retro front and slicked-back sides. The way I dressed changed after the snip as well. I went from a Meadow/Lou-feel to full on Lou: skinnies, Converse and easy tees became my best friend. I quickly learned that a pixie cut is no joke. It needs to be shaped, trimmed, and styled. So the growing out process began, and let me tell you, its not an easy one. Keeping my hair healthy, and being optimistic helped me through this process.


So here I am today. I have a shaggy little bob, and I’m thinking about keeping it this way for quite some time. Not too short, not too long. A lot of people ask me if I regretted chopping all of my long hair off. I won’t lie and tell you it was a walk in the park, but it was good for me. It made me feel comfortable in my own skin and I learned not to shelter myself behind my hair. It also helped me let go of the haunting “what if” that many people never take. If you ever have that “if not now, when?” mindset, I say go for it. Embrace it, and let it teach you things.

Have any of you chopped all of your hair off, or are thinking about it? What were your “growing in” tips? Let me know in the comments below!

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9 years ago

I chopped my hair off in high school, and I totally understand what you mean about challenging your confidence (or in my case, gaining some, because you can’t hide behind your hair anymore!)
Since then, I’ve grown it out again. I look like your “before” pictures, length-wise. But I don’t see my hair in the same way anymore. I’m not emotionally attached to it in the same way, and most days I wear it up so I DON’T hide behind it. (Well, that, and I have to wear a bun for ballet class every day. It usually just stays in.)
Grow-out tip: There’s a point, after “it’s in my eyes” and before “it first in a ponytail!” when your hair is a pain in the @$$. Especially when you exercise, move furniture, cook, read, etc. Get creative with clips and headbands to hold hair out of your eyes. Scarves and bandannas can be pretty. Twists and mini-french braids also work nicely.

9 years ago

Beautiful pictures ! So lovely.

9 years ago

I tend to go back and forth. I have heavy wild curly hair and although I do love wearing it wild and free…I also love change. I am currently in the process of growing it out after going pixie about a year ago. I change my hair a lot and I’ve never hesitated to just chop it off. I guess because it will grow back eventually. Although the growing out process it’s not fun, I’ve learned to just let my hair do whatever it wants. Playing around with hair products and straighteners does help. I currently have a mini Afro and I am thinking of getting the top trimmed for more volume. I love crazy messy hair with volume. But I do miss my pixie cut too. Love your pics!

9 years ago

Happy to see your back Madisyn!

I’ve always wanted to cut my hair short but chicken out each time. After reading the reasons behind your haircut, I feel like I can relate in so many ways (confidence behind hair).. I how personal this post was, great photos.

Did bobby pins help with the growing in stage??Thinking about not chickening out next time.. We’ll see! Thanks for the tips and story!

9 years ago

I think it looks adorable on other people. I cut my hair off once……and it looked terrible and i grew it out immediately. I did wear it in a shoulder length bob for quite some time. Now it is as long as it has ever been and im in my 50s. I love it!

9 years ago

Gorgeous photos. Happy to see the pixie process explained and that confident young woman have this way of positivity through image! I follow you on instagram, and did on here throughout the summer. Your writing style and the way you capture photos is beautiful. Welcome back Madisyn…

9 years ago

Your hair looks really cute with the curly bob! I have extremely long thick hair and right now I am debating on whether or not I should trim it or cut it off…I like the length and I don’t think I look good with short hair. I had long hair in high school and my senior year, right before graduation, I chopped it all off and gave it to locks of love..Now my hair is about the length it was then, if not longer. also, bangs or not bangs?? that is my question, lol.

Bri R
9 years ago

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve cut my hair from long to pixie twice now and both times taught me different things. I am currently rocking the pixie and will for awhile, even though that might mean I will be a pixie bride. Oh well, won’t have to pay to get my hair done! I feel a book could be written about pixie haircuts, so more chronicles soon please!

9 years ago

Adore your style and confidence! Great post :)

9 years ago

So pretty! I love how it makes the face beam and shine. A little chilly for this time of year – but well worth saving the money and time on maintenance. I’m always in awe of girls who rock this length.

Warm Regards,

9 years ago

Your pixie is absolutely gorgeous. I love the way you styled it. I had a pixie for eight months, the longest I’ve kept a hairstyle, before finally deciding to grow it out. It truly did grace me with a new and strong confidence. I now have a bob that I will continue to grow out. I completely agree with your statement, “If not now, when?” Too often I get scared to do something, but there’s nothing stopping me from talking to that new person or getting that haircut. Best wishes, Sierra Joy.

9 years ago

This is love..seriously.. keep writing….

9 years ago

I love the result. You need to have a lot of courage to do this change and hey, It looks amazing :)

xx cecil //

9 years ago

I did it this past summer and I loved it. I love defying limitations, gender stereotypes and people’s expectations of me a “feminine blonde girl.” I will say that my whole wardrobe had to be altered as well. That was fun and kind of a butch simultaneously. I’m now in the “grow out phase” because I’m finding that I miss a top knot more than anything. My hair doesn’t even make the length for an elastic yet and I’m using bobby pins, bintage barrets and product like mad. I will say this: go super SHORT or super LONG. In-between length is milk toast.

9 years ago

This past July I decided I wanted “the shailene woodley cut”. So a few days after I decided I wanted it, I went right to the salon and cut 8 inches to donate to my local hair bank. I could only cut 8 off because I had just cut my 24′ hair to a bob the year before.

I don’t regret it at all. It’s easy, cute, and mine is growing out very quickly. The only downside is the growing out stages. I have naturally wavy hair so it’s starting to flip out at the ears, which is not very flattering. Other then that, I’m in love!

9 years ago

your current length looks amazing in you! glad you tried cutting it short, let alone for discovering it. i had so many short hair styles over the last years, now i am patiently growing them a little longer … but i was always proud of being a short-haired gal, no need of long hair for being feminine + i love to see the ears and neck on women. you look good girl!

9 years ago

She looks stunning with a pixie cut, I don’t think I would be so lucky. My hair is like my security blanket. I chopped it off to my chin my freshman year of high school (now a sophomore in college) and hated it, but it is now down to the top of my butt which is pretty exciting.
xoxo Kennedy
Northern Indigo

9 years ago

I’ve had dreadlocks for nearly twelve years and inwardly have wanted to cut it, but feared the changed. You article has been very inspiring. Thank you!

9 years ago

I’ve had long hair for the majority of my life due to the fact that my dad would never allow me to cut it. In the summer going into my sophomore year of high school though, I decided I finally wanted a drastic change because I felt so bored with my appearance. You could play around with outfits and style, but would anyone really notice quite as much as they did your hair? So I chopped it off. Previously down to my waste, I had it cut a little bit past my shoulders. Loved it. Then it grew out right above my breasts, and for some reason I decided to cut it again. This time above my shoulders. Then I bleached and killed it and trimmed off some to get rid of the dead ends, all the way to where it was just a few inches past my chin. I hated the shortest length, I think my heart pretty much died when I saw how short it was! But now it’s about an inch and a half past my collarbone. The growth process has actually been kind of fun because I got to play with it and style it in different ways with each length, which kind of allowed me to see just what I really like. Awesome post, inspiring ;)

9 years ago

Love the inspiration of not hiding behind ones hair! Challenging our own confidence is a beautiful example of growth! Love you Maddie!

9 years ago

You look lovely with short hair. Such a brave thing to do! I cut mine off (from super long to a bob) after high school and felt totally ready, so it wasn’t a big deal. But if I had cut it a few months earlier, it would have been really difficult. Interesting how timing can be such a factor.

9 years ago

This is so great! In high school I envied girls who were bold enough to cut all of their hair off and always believed I didn’t have the face for it and definitely hid behind my hair. Not to mention I couldn’t find a hair dresser brave enough to cut it for me even if i wanted to. Down he road I found a old friend who is a hair wiz and died it as blonde as could be and put 18 inch extensions in it. Fast forward a year and I was almost bald by the time we took them out. I said “just cut it off” now I am almost completely bald all the way around and have about 3 inches or so on the top. It is by far the best decision I have ever made. I am trying to keep very short sides and a longer top and it definitely a LONGGG process. Xo

Sarah P.
9 years ago

I’ve recently chopped my hair after 5 years growing it up and was the best decision ever! I felt a relief because I kept it long for the pressure of my ex and family so it meant also freedom for me. Now it is growing long and healthy and I have no regrets of cutting it because for first time of my life I did something I wanted to do with no one blaming me plus the comfort and easy care of it :)

9 years ago

It’s so very liberating- I just chopped off a ton of my hair into a little cropped, blunt, not even shoulder-grazing length. Needed a change in my life and I love what you said about not seeking shelter behind the hair- cutting it off made me feel free and that there was nothing to hide behind!

9 years ago

I’d get a pixie cut if it weren’t for my hair being so darn thick…I had it cut to my chin when I was 12 and it literally made the shape of a triangle, uncontrollable. your story is so great and I love your willingness to change :)
stay rad,
mountain laurel