Not quite a pixie, not quite a bob
January 2, 2014 10:07 AM   Subscribe

I've seen variations of a hairstyle on various stylish-seeming women that is sort of halfway between a pixie and a bob. It has the layers of a pixie, but is a few inches longer--maybe a little less than chin length? It does not have the traditional cut-straight-across-the-bottom look that a bob has. Bangs may or may not be part of the equation, but they are usually longer and sideswept. The hair almost seems to be shaped so that it hugs the head as it curves down into the neck, rather than hanging down in drapes.

I am hairstyle illiterate and really need either a picture or good words to explain to my hairstylist what I'm after. Using google image search for either pixie or bob tends to return results like the linked ones, which is not what I'm after.

If it matters, I have wavy hair, and am looking for a softer, less hard-edged-totally-straight look than many of the hairstyles I'm seeing online.

Do any hair-savvy Mefites know what I'm talking about? The hairstyles I'm seeing around could be the result of growing out a shorter haircut more than any conscious style, but they look really cute.

(I am also aware that I can do the thing where I ask the woman on the street where she gets her hair cut, but I always feel silly doing this for some reason.)
posted by whistle pig to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I think what you are describing is a shag haircut. Here's a board of pixie shags from pinterest, but you can have a shag cut at almost any length.
posted by missmerrymack at 10:11 AM on January 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

I had this haircut for a long time! When I had it, I was getting free haircuts via the Bumble and Bumble Model Project, and they called it a Graduated Bob.

I'm not sure if everyone calls it that, but the purpose of the Model Project was to get a large quantity of people for stylists taking their professional development courses to practice Bumble and Bumble's signature cuts on. I think this was mostly for salons that carried B&B product, but to be honest I was just there for the free haircuts, so I'm not sure.

I guess what I'm getting at is that, if you want recommendations for a specific salon that would do this cut well, and specific language to use to ask for it, go to a salon that sells Bumble and Bumble products and ask for a Graduated Bob.
posted by Sara C. at 10:12 AM on January 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Does the wavy version of what you're looking for look like the hairstyle of Monica Potter in Parenthood?
posted by tinymegalo at 10:12 AM on January 2, 2014

or maybe an a-line bob?
posted by changeling at 10:13 AM on January 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

(FWIW In my understanding a shag is a pixie that is longer in the back, NOT a bob that is shorter in the back.)
posted by Sara C. at 10:14 AM on January 2, 2014

Long Pixie Example A

Long Pixie Example B

Long Pixie Example C

Short A-Line

Are any of those along the lines of what you were thinking?
posted by donut_princess at 10:21 AM on January 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

(I am also aware that I can do the thing where I ask the woman on the street where she gets her hair cut, but I always feel silly doing this for some reason.)

First things first, I am a person who gets told by strangers all the time that they love my hair. I get asked a lot where I get it cut. I am always very happy to share this info, even if I'm in a rush, because I love my hair and I want other people to love their hair, too. I think most people will respond favorably and definitely not think you're silly if you say something like "I love your hair! Please tell me where you get it cut!"

Now, onto your hair: you will do much better to bring multiple pictures of cuts that you like with you when you get your hair cut rather than going in and saying the name of a particular style or even describing it with good words.

From what I gather from your description, it sounds like what you want will be a relaxed undercut (not shaved skrillex style) left a little long, which looks really great on wavy hair. Example 1, Example 2, Example 3. Those are all shorter overall than what you want, I think, but it's easy to leave it a bit longer. Also: make sure you ask the stylist to use scissors to do the undercut, not the clippers--I think using clippers will make it be more blunt/severe than what you are after.

The trick with that style is that the hair is left longish-er on the crown and the hair underneath that is cut much, much shorter, which gives it that lovely, graduated "hug" look.
posted by phunniemee at 10:22 AM on January 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

The A-line bob still says "cut straight accross the bottom" to me. Did you maybe mean like, the classic Meg Ryan haircut? I had something like that for a year or so (with very thick wavy hair) and loved it. Try searching "short wavy hair."
posted by celtalitha at 10:25 AM on January 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oooh and mine was closest to "Example C" of donut_princess's links, but slightly wavier. Very very cute and low-maintenance. I recommend it.
posted by celtalitha at 10:27 AM on January 2, 2014

donut_princess's Example B reminds me that Michelle Williams almost always has super adorable hair and doing a google image search on her will provide a lot of short wavy styles. You might find what you're looking for or something you like even better!
posted by phunniemee at 10:29 AM on January 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Are you talking about a stacked bob, maybe?
Example 1
Example 2, with curlyish hair
Example 3
posted by something something at 10:37 AM on January 2, 2014

Thank you, all! Many of these come close to what I'm getting at--maybe I'm just seeing someone's personal variant on one of the above haircuts.

Of all the answers so far, donut_princess's third link comes closest--maybe a little less bold in the layering (back layers not quite that long compared to the hair around the ears and the front.)

As far as the bob and its variants, the cut I'm thinking of usually does not have shorter length in the back compared with the front. If anything, they're close to the same length, or even slightly longer in the back?

And "shag" might be the right term for it, although all of the shag haircuts I'm finding online seem very bold and choppily layered. The thing I'm thinking of is a little softer, perhaps?

Thanks again! (And phunniemee, I'll be sure to keep you in mind next time I spot an awesome haircut and want to ask the woman about it.)
posted by whistle pig at 10:47 AM on January 2, 2014

This could be way off-base, but perhaps you're thinking of a variant on the Karlie Kloss cut that was (is?) very popular recently?
posted by Vervain at 11:12 AM on January 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

I carry around business cards for my stylist because i get asked about my hair so often. Don't be afraid to ask.

Also, you might find out where not to go also. (As in, they might say i used to go Salon Crappe but they ruined my color, i now go Salon Awesome bc they do this haircut and color and i love it.)
posted by sio42 at 11:47 AM on January 2, 2014

I have a long, soft-layered, to the chin shag-bob thing and send people to my stylist frequently too. Check out my profile pic, you can see a bit of it! (I'm not the curly-haired brunette ...)
posted by thinkpiece at 12:09 PM on January 2, 2014

Maybe like this? it sounds to me like someone is growing out a pixie. This is similar to my hair post-pixie.
posted by Kitty Cornered at 12:51 PM on January 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Have a look at some of Amy Poehler's hair styles.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:41 PM on January 2, 2014

Wait, could it be the Meg Ryan cut?

And "shag" might be the right term for it, although all of the shag haircuts I'm finding online seem very bold and choppily layered.

To me that's the very definition of a Shag. Look at pictures of 70s-era Jane Fonda and David Cassidy, who I think defined the style.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:58 PM on January 2, 2014

I think I have this haircut. (I didn't choose it- I was going to a genius stylist at one point and it was just what she did, I just kept it). I've maintained it through different stylists by saying something like "Angled bob" and here I make chopping motions with my hands at my chin level "and short in back with lots of layers". It always comes out almost right, and then you just have to fine tune it with them once they dry it. It's really forgiving, I've never had a cut turn out really bad and you can let it grow out quite a bit before it looks really terrible.
posted by genmonster at 3:26 PM on January 2, 2014

Meg Ryan's haircut was a shag - the 90s version. Definitely a softer look than what Jane wore in Klute.

Meg Ryan's stylist Sally Hershberger seems to have branded it the Shagg. Here's a video on how to cut it.
posted by missmerrymack at 3:26 PM on January 2, 2014

Hi all--I did a little more hunting around (and in the meantime discovered the joys of Pinterest) and I think this is pretty much the hair I'm talking about. I have no idea whether that is an honest-to-god style or just a growing-out phase, but I'm gonna try it. Thanks to everyone who answered!
posted by whistle pig at 7:24 AM on January 3, 2014

Ha! That's very similar to what my (straight) hair looked like when it was, in fact, in a growing-out stage.
posted by phunniemee at 7:59 AM on January 3, 2014

Juliette Binoche in Mauvais Sang has this hair. It is adorable.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 7:43 PM on January 5, 2014

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