A “pixie” cut refers to a style that is short on the sides and back and slightly longer on top—usually with short, wispy bangs styled to the side. Pixie cuts are surprisingly versatile and, unsurprisingly, fairly low-maintenance. They also encompass several different looks, and have come a long way since the classic, Twiggy-style pixie of the 1960s. “The pixie has evolved over the last few years,” says Arizona-based hair stylist Erin Powers. Modern pixie cuts look lovely when styled and slicked back, but celebrities have proven you can also wear the trend messy and undone.

Anyone can wear a pixie cut, especially if you’re looking for a timeless style that requires minimal effort for maximum chicness. There are, however, some lengths that look better on certain face shapes. “A great pixie haircut is based on not just face shape but also the shape of the client’s head,” says Karie Bennett, founder and master artist at Atelier Salon in California. “Since a short haircut is basically influenced by bone structure, it’s important to consider that before you decide on length and shape.”

Blonde With Roots

If you already have blonde highlights and natural roots or undertones, a side-swept pixie cut could be the perfect way to show off some dimension. Or, if you’d like to dip into both new blonde highlights and a new pixie haircut at the same time—Elsa Pataky’s iconic, dirty-blonde ‘do might be the perfect place to start.

Modern Bowl-Cut

This might be a wig, but the pixie inspiration remains. We love the way Zendaya’s blunt bangs veer into “bowl-cut” territory—while still remaining as chic and sleek as ever (this is Zendaya, after all). A similar cool, blonde hue is optional, but highly recommended.

Long on Top, Cropped on the Sides

“Long on the top and short on the sides” is a good rule of thumb. Charlize Theron’s blonde ‘do leaves enough long pieces on the top to style for events—while keeping it as closely cropped and low-maintenance on the sides. Best of both worlds.

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