best pixie hair styling products, part 2

best pixie hair styling products

It’s been nearly a year since I chopped all my hair off into a pixie cut.

In that time, I’ve tried several styling products — some clean, some conventional — and have finally arrived upon my favorite three products for keeping my short ‘do sassy and stylish.

View what I used in the beginning and see how the pixie cut has evolved.

best pixie hair styling products

1. Pre-heat Styling Aid

I like the idea of using a heat-resistant spray, but coupled with what I actually need — a pre-heat styling aid to get my hair a bit gritty before drying and styling — I have opted to only use Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment.

Nope, it’s not “natural,” but it is free of sulfates, silicones and oils.

The oil-free thing is necessary for someone like me with fine hair, so I don’t mind that bit of marketing (and you guys know that I love my hair oils — for overnight use only).

I happened upon Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment via a swag bag I received during Kansas City Fashion Week back in March and have been using my trial size daily since then. It’s a repurchase for me (unless some clean beauty brand tells me it has something amazing that mimics this stuff!).

2. Texturizing Agent

After navigating the wonderful world of creams, pomades, pastes, waxes and so forth, I finally landed on one that has the perfect strength, consistency and performance for my fine, oily strands that tend to fly away and bend in funny ones: Aveda Control Paste.

I’ve gone through two tubs of this stuff (purchased at my local Aveda salon, Xiphium, and as my favorite natural spa, Milagro Midwestern Spa & Collective, purged its Aveda inventory in favor of cleaner hair products).

While yes, Aveda is part of big beauty now and could be a lot cleaner, I find that this sticky putty keeps my fine hair under control without weighing it down or making it look greasy.

Side note: I was inspired to try Aveda Control Paste after seeing how well it held up a faux hawk on the young man behind the counter at Miette in San Francisco. Yes, I’m that girl who asks about all your beauty products when you’re just trying to sell me a sweet treat!

3. Hairspray

In my previous post about pixie cut styling picks, I mentioned Davines N°7 Crystal Fixative Lacquer.

I still like this hairspray, but have found that Aveda’s Control Force Hairspray has a better spray mechanism; it’s more evenly distributed in a fine, wide mist.

Aveda Control Force Hairspray also has a slightly better hold (they weren’t joking with that “Control Force” naming!). Anyone with a pixie cut knows that the final spray around the head is essential to locking in a style; to have a hairspray that does this without making your hair hard / crunchy / helmet-like is an instant winner!

Do any of my readers have pixie cuts? If so, tell me what you’re using and how it works for your hair type in the comments below! may include affiliate links to featured products. Not all product links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase from an affiliate link, earns a small commission.

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  • CayMcCoy

    I was terrible about responding to your email about pixie styling products, but I will comment here instead! I went through a bottle of John Masters sea salt spray recently, which was great at adding texture but seemed to dry out my hair more than other sea salt sprays. I also have experimented with Giovanni products (they’re okay) and Dr. Bronner’s (not a fan, stick to the soap). I recently moved (hence the delayed response) and went to a new hairdresser that has vegan/gluten free products and they specialize in short female cuts (jackpot!). The salon uses Verb ( and after leaving the salon with a new ‘do and style I immediately purchased the sea salt spray and sculpting clay online. She also used the ghost oil in salon, which I plan on purchasing soon as it made my hair super soft without weighing it down. All their products smell wonderful without being overpowering and hold as well as “normal” products. The best part is at the end of the day or the morning after my hair isn’t super oily or weighed down by the sculpting clay. My new favorite styling products for sure.

  • Jacalyn Linder

    Hi Kimberly – First I love your blog! I have gotten loads of fabulous advice on clean products so thank you for all the hard work you do! I would love a little further advice from you on products for Pixie cuts. I lost all my hair last year due to chemo and since growing it back I have been sporting a pixie. Previously, I had long curly hair my whole life, short straight hair is completely foreign to me so I am very lost on what products to use and how to style. My hair is pretty thick and has a tendency to be a little poofy as well. I is still very short in the front, I am growing it out more so I can have the longer front bangs/swoop like you had! Besides your blog I have found very little information on clean hair products for Pixie Cuts. Because my hair is “new” hair, I am trying to be very careful about the products I use. I have been using all John Masters products; I have the gel, Sculpting Clay and texturizer. The Sculpting Clay seems to work the best but doesn’t provide a lot of hold. It could also be me not knowing how to use any of these products correctly! I read through all of your posts, which were very helpful, but I could use a little more advice if you are willing. You said the Aveda Control Paste has “perfect strength, consistency and performance” which is exactly what I need but I am concerned about the ingredients, can you tell me what ingredients would be troublesome? Does it wash out easily with non-sulfate products? You mentioned in another post the Yarok Feed Your Do Styling Whip but I didn’t see a lot of info on how it performed for you? Are there any other hair pastes/clays/etc. you might be able to recommend? I would appreciate any advice you might be able to offer! Jacalyn

    • Hi Jacalyn,

      Thanks for stopping by! Wow, what a journey! Cheers to your regrowth and healing process. I hope I can help! So, Aveda Controle Paste isn’t the greenest there is by any means, but for my hair, which is very straight and fine, it was the only styling product that my hair really responded well to. Many of the truly green, clean styling products are butter or oil-based, and my hair doesn’t respond well to that when styling. For treatment and moisture, yes, but for an all-day hold, no. So, Control Paste was my last resort.

      I’m by no means a purist when it comes to hair styling products (I still use conventional hairspray, but I rarely actually use hairspray), and especially products that don’t touch my scalp. From what I can tell, Control Paste may still contain questionable ingredients (namely, parabens, but I cannot tell whether I’m looking at the most update ingredients list online), so definitely look at the label or ask before buying. It does wash out just fine with non-sulfate shampoos, which I use, and you don’t really need a lot to get that texturized, piece-y look.

      I tried Yarok Feed Your Do and liked it OK, but it ended up weighing my hair down more than I could handle. For your hair, which you said is thick, it might work out better…maybe you can get a sample with a purchase from one of the great green beauty shops? You might also consider the Rahua Cream Wax … again, it’s a heavier cream and not as sticky / piece-y as Control Paste, but for your hair, it might work. I hope this helps!

      • Jacalyn Linder


        Thank you for your response. I have been using John Masters Styling Paste and sometimes the pomade but I do find at times both can be greasy and heavy on my hair. I am also finding it does not seem to wash out easily with non-sulfate shampoos. I am currently also using the John Masters poo and detangler but I am starting to look into other ones (and I have been reading your reviews!). I am glad to hear the Aveda Paste did wash out with non-sulfate shampoos, that is a plus! I am considering the Yarok Feed Your Do and the Rahua Cream Wax but it sounds as if I might have the same issue as with John Masters. Did you find both of these washed out okay with non-sulfate shampoos? I definitely want the “sticky / piece-y” look but am having a hard time finding products to achieve the look. As I mentioned before, I am trying to be VERY careful with chemicals but I think you comment “Many of the truly green, clean styling products are butter or oil-based, and my hair doesn’t respond well to that when styling” may be the same issue I am having. I am not 100% what to truly avoid in hair products and what would be alright. I mainly want something which will not build up, wash out with non-sulfate poos and won’t damage or add chemicals to my hair. But beyond that all this is new to me! Would appreciate any additional thoughts and also input on shampoo and considers. My hair is colored (organic color) so I do not think I can use the Acure Organics Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Clarifying Shampoo mentioned in your blog every day and I am also not looking for volume, my hair can be a bit poofy and too much volume at the moment so I am not sure about Acure Organics Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell Volumizing Shampoo also mentioned in your blog. I don’t want flat hair but also not too much volume. I appreciate any input and thank you again for all your wonderful reviews!!! Jacalyn