May 28, 2014

beauty secrets | best pixie hair styling products, part 2

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!


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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

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