A pixie cut is a short hairstyle worn by women, generally short on the back and sides of the head and slightly longer on the top. Pixie cuts were popularized first in the late 1950s when Audrey Hepburn wore the style in her debut film Roman Holiday.
And later in the 1960s by actress Mia Farrow …
Mia Farrow's Trim - Mia Farrow, who portrayed the popular heroine Allison Mackenzie on the prime time soap opera PEYTON PLACE/ABC/1964‑69, cut her blond hair (that hung halfway down her back) to less than a few inches in length prior to her marriage to Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas on July 19, 1966. Her daring decision shocked and astounded her fans all over the world.
Reportedly, she cut her hair in imitation of Julie Harris' hairstyle in the film The Member of the Wedding (1952) and wore her pixie cut in the British spy melodrama A Dandy in Aspic (1968).
On the March 11, 1997 installment of THE TONIGHT SHOW Mia Farrow told host Jay Leno that she was "Mystified then and mystified now" about all of the fuss she attracted for cutting her hair. After all, she "just wanted a change."
In her book "What Falls Away: A Memoir" (Doubleday, 1997 p. 107) Mia said, "There was wild speculation as to why I'd done it; some said it was to spite Frank and back in New York, Dali (Salvador), never one to minimize, labeled it 'mythical suicide'."
Modern Screen Magazine Cover Shot
Cast Photograph from Peyton Place Series
TV Guide Magazine Front Cover
Mia Farrow with long hair
In the 1990s, a crop of copy cat haircuts similar to Farrow's cap-tight blond bob could be seen on such Hollywood celebrities as Sharon Stone, Kim Basinger, Gail O'Grady, Kristin Scott Thomas and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The new craze started in 1995 when Josie Bissett, then starring as Jane on MELROSE PLACE cut off her golden locks. Then Teri Hatcher of LOIS AND CLARK soon followed by cutting her long brunette tresses.
Again, in 2003, celebrities like Alyssa Milano, Cyndi Lauper and Sharon Stone began sporting a fresh and energetic "Pixie" short cut hair style. "This cut makes more mature women look younger, and younger women look more daring," was the comment by a famous celebrity hairdresser.
And no list would be complete without mention of British supermodel Twiggy . . .
60s Icon Twiggy
The 60s fashion icon and topmodel Lesley Hornby ... became better known as "Twiggy"
In 1966 she was discovered. Because of her tiny image (she weight only 90lbs/41kg) the 16 year old kept her childhood nickname Twiggy and became The Face of '66. One year later she arrived in New York and turned the whole fashion scene upside down. Even if no one believed, she became the leading supermodel, later also an actress and singer.
With her short adrogynous pixie hair-cut, the fake XXL-eyelashes, stylish outfits and of course unhealthy low weight she created a complete new look and became a style icon who was copied by millions of teens.
Today she is 59 years old and has a few public appearances, i.e. in the America's Next Topmodel-jury.
For me Twiggy is a formative character for the world wide fashion. I love her dramatic eye make-up and short dresses. Twiggy was an idol for many young girls, and unfortunately also was her skinny shape.
The Pixie was later popularized by Laugh-In star Goldie Hawn . . .
The Pixie cut has or is being worn by women of all ages today, including celebrities such as Halle Berry, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mariska Hargitay, Rihanna, Alyssa Milano, Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder, Michelle Williams, Keira Knightley, Katie Holmes, Mandy Moore, Elisha Cuthbert, Victoria Beckham, Ashley Greene, Lauren Holly, Nena, Carey Mulligan, Ginnifer Goodwin, Dannii Minogue, Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, Frankie Sandford, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Thirlby, Evan Rachel Wood, Emily Browning, Ashlee Simpson, Lea Seydoux, and Emma Watson.
When Demi Moore appeared with ultra-short, cropped hair in the film "Ghost," it signaled a major shift away from the big hair of the late '80s. Moore's style -- which was cut specifically for her role as Molly Jensen in the 1990 romantic drama -- was undoubtedly influenced by Linda Evangelista's similarly dramatic cut in 1988, which really shook the fashion world. (Evangelista was subsequently canceled from all the big shows that season, only to successfully rebound almost immediately.) The cut, which helped Moore reestablish herself as a more versatile actress, also marked the beginning of what would become a very androgynous period in fashion, with women everywhere emulating this short boy-like crop.
In the film, Moore balances out the short, tousled style (a cross between a pixie and a bowl cut) with defined brows, glowy skin and a touch of lipstick. The wispy, tomboyish cut is still alive and well today with models like Tao Okamoto and street style stars Anne-Catherine and Tracy Rosenbaum making it their signature look.
"She looked so bright in pixie hair, she made me know how much I cared . . . "
"When photos of Emma Watson's new pixie cut were first released to the unexpecting public a few months ago, I had one thought: ugh. My inner monologue went a-buzz when I saw her close crop - it's not that I didn't love her haircut, I was just jealous. For years, I've wanted to cut my hair into a chic short crop. I think it was a late night viewing of Bonjour Tristesse that did me in. Seeing Jean Seberg running around the French Riviera without any hair hanging down her neck ignited something in me that I haven't been able to shake. She looked so carefree, so sexy, so gaminely gorgeous - I wanted to be her (well, minus the part about destroying the lives of everyone around her ... in the film, I mean).
Since then, I feel like everyone around me has these incredibly cool crops: so many actresses and singers - talented and untalented alike - have made the plunge with a pixie; my hairdresser is in the process of growing out her super spunky, edgy cropped 'do; the mother of one of my friends has the perfect pixie I really want to get. And then there are those amazingly cool girls I see around campus (but are too intimidatingly hip to ever approach them) who have immaculately cared-for crops.
I know that I shouldn't ever cut my hair this drastically short. I've discussed this with my brothers, my mother, my friends, and hairdressers, and the general consensus is that I would look dreadful with this haircut. It's been explained that I don't have the 'elfish' features required for the look, which I accept and agree with. I don't have those devastatingly petite features that appear delicate and pretty. I've accepted the fact that if I were to crop my hair, I would look like an uglier version of my younger brother. Plus there's that danger of screwing up and coming out with a very mumsy look. It's easy to go wrong with this look if you opt for thick sideswept bangs in the front (a la Ashlee Simpson, Hayden Pannetierre, Kate Gosselin ... sorry guys).
So while Kate (of the Eight) and I can't do the pixie, there are many striking ladies who have done it right." (from Alexis Manrodt's Blog)
The Pixie ... Many Famous Looks
Several of Audrey's most popular characters underwent major transformations in the form of cutting her hair short, like in Roman Holiday and Sabrina
French film actress Audrey Tautou has garnered comparisons to the Audrey mentioned above due to her coquettish gamine personality and her chic hairstyle
To portray Edie Sedgwick, Sienna Miller chopped off her long hippie locks in favor of a look more resembling the former Warhol superstar
Carey Mulligan reached the top of every best dressed list with her daring fashion choices and the ever-changing hue of her pixie.
Pairing minimalist clothes with maximalist accessories, Edie Sedgwick sealed her fate as the style maven of the underground scene when she cropped and dyed her once-brunette long locks. Perhaps best known as Andy Warhol’s muse.
Annie Lennox (80s Eurythmics) has long been identified for her short, blonde hair
Emma Watson has matched her new look with edgier fashion choices and more dramatic makeup
Ginnifer Goodwin shows off several different ways to style a pixie: sleek bangs swept across the forehead, styled back to give the appearance of shorter fringe, or mussed up for more texture
Laugh-In starlet Goldie Hawn looks like she's having a blast in her flower-power dress and short hairstyle
Halle Berry has the amazing ability to appear to never age - she constantly looks fresh and sexy, especially with her close crop
Jane Birkin, owner of the most lusted-for fringe of the sixties, went with a shorter look in the seventies
The style icon who started it all (for me, at least) Jean Seberg, the princess of French New Wave in Otto Preminger's Bonjour Tristesse and Jean-Luc Godard's À bout de souffle
Jean Shrimpton tries the style on as she channels Mia Farrow for a Vogue editorial
Josie Bissett … Melrose Place (1992-99)
Kate Moss transformed from poster gal of heroin chic to pixie princess in 2001 with a cut by her BFF James Brown (not that James Brown)
To play bounty hunter Domino Harvey, Keira Knightley got an edgy crop that was longer in the front than the back; though technically playing a bounty hunter, Keira looked like a rock star
Kirsten Dunst reportedly cropped her hair to prove to studio execs that she would be the right fit for an in-development Jean Seberg biopic (I'm still hoping that this project comes to being one of these days)
Marley Shelton Grand Canyon (1991), Pleasantville (1998) and Never Been Kissed (1999) cut her hair in 2003 … Marley has gone through an amazing journey with great haircuts along the way. She has a quirky, bubbly personality and is not afraid of change. Among her many looks were short pixie styles, which were made famous by Mia Farrow in the 1960s. Her edgy short hairstyles with asymmetrical elements were just as attractive as the longer, layered looks that can be curled, straight and fluffy or arranged in more or less elaborate updos. One thing all of her looks have in common is a delightful light baby blonde color.
Marianne Faithfull revealed her short style in 1968, in projects such as Rock and Roll Circus, and again in the early 1970s
In the film Rosemary's Baby, Mia Farrow has this exchange with her displeased husband, played by John Cassavetes:
JC: What the hell is that?
MF: I've been to Vidal Sassoon!
JC: You mean you actually paid for that?!
Besides the whole allowing his wife to be raped by Satan in exchange for a successful acting career, this was a primo example of Rosemary's husband's douchebaggery
Mia Wasikowska … a Mia of a different name, that is - also rocks the pixie
Michelle Williams garnered comparisons to Mia Farrow when she cut her hair in 2007; three years later she has a pixie again but has longer fringe and a brighter shade of blonde
Keeping it short for Heath … Michelle Williams made hair headlines when she cut her long blond, hair into a pixie cut -- a cropped look she's kept for a while now, even though not everyone's a huge fan, including her daughter Matilda, 6.
"What Matilda would love is for her mom to grow out the cropped hair, though that's unlikely to happen any time soon," Williams, 31, tells British ELLE, as excerpted by British paper The Telegraph.
"I've really grown into it," explains the "My Week With Marilyn" actress. "I feel like myself with short hair. And it's been a really long time since I had long hair, five years."
"Of course, the only people who like it are gay men and my girlfriends," the Oscar-nominated star jokes. "Straight men across the board are not into this hair!"
Except for one, very special straight man, that is: Heath Ledger, Matilda's dad and Williams' ex, who died in early 2008 at age 28 of an accidental drug overdose.
Explains Williams, who has been opening up of late about the devastating loss about the "Brokeback Mountain" icon: "I cut it for the one straight man who has ever liked short hair and I wear it in memorial of somebody who really loved it."
Model Mona Johannesson, photographed by Camilla Åkrans, channels Rosemary Woodhouse ("Rosemary's Baby")
In the process of growing out her post-V for Vendetta shorn look, Natalie Portman looked absolutely stunning with her groomed short style
Supermodel Agyness Deyn is known as much for her peroxide pixie as her androgynous style
Though Rihanna started a style craze when she debuted her chin-length bob in 2008, I prefer the heavily highlighted crop she sported at the Met Gala the next year
Selma Blair opted for shaggy, unevenly chopped bangs to add a little more edge to her cropped 'do
Sharon Stone in 2004s The Muse
Victoria Beckham takes off that "extra half an inch" when she went from her Rihanna-reminiscent bob to this short pixie crop in early 2009
Winona Ryder's short hairstyle looked its grooviest in the 1960s-set film Girl, Interrupted matched with black-and-white boatneck tees and fitted turtleneck sweaters