I'm Bored With My Pixie Cut, So Here Are 3 Curly Styles For Super-Short Hair

And none of them require heat!
Publish date:
September 12, 2013
short hair, tutorials, How-To, wavy hair, curly hair, velcro rollers, pixie cuts, rag curls

Sometimes I get tired of having the same hair day in, day out. That’s a big reason why I went blonde; I needed a drastic change. But what about those days when you’re sort of bored with your short hair but don’t want to permanently alter it? Braids and topknots and intricate updos aren’t an option for those of us with pixie cuts.

Luckily, there is one styling option that doesn’t require length, or even heat: CURLS!

The no-heat thing is kind of important to me right now since my hair is hurting a lot already from bleach and toners. So today I’m going to show you three different curly hairstyles that you can do with your pixie cut--no curling iron needed!


I was inspired to try this after reading Annie’s huge hair tutorial on xoJane and, more recently, her baseball cap curls tutorial. To get a ton of super-small, tight curls, all you need is toilet paper and patience. You can also use your product of choice for hold, be it mousse or gel.

Then you simply take a square of toilet paper and roll it up into a tube. Take the end of a small section of damp hair and twist it around the toilet paper roll until you reach your scalp. Tie it tightly.

This takes forever, makes your arms tired, and if you’re dumb enough to do it in the middle of the day, you can’t go anywhere without embarrassing yourself. This is what I looked like once I tied up most of my hair. I left the back and the sides because I lost patience and they’re probably too short anyway.

The next morning I took the toilet paper out (which required more patience and another arm workout) and ostracized/amused my entire family with my insanely fluffy hair. I received comparisons to: a sheep, a dead sheep (I was napping), a poodle, ‘90s Justin Timberlake, and the kid from Brave if, you know, she had a blonde pixie cut. I think this hairstyle is a winner, guys!

I definitely felt a bit crazy with these curls, but it was fun to try such a different look for a few days. And yes, this definitely lasted several days. By the third day it was much more relaxed but also a bit frizzy and tangled, so I washed it out.

My hair holds a curl so well I didn’t use a ton of product, but I also tried this on my sister’s more slippery hair and it barely lasted a day on her, even with hairspray. So depending on your hair, you might want to use a lot of gel or mousse before tying it up, and a lot of hairspray after.

Pair this hairstyle with a glossy red lip, crazy false eyelashes, and a white sweater. I did that, and then immediately realized I had styled myself to look exactly like my childhood friend, Lambchop.


I did a similar hairstyle in my very first piece for xoVain, but I used heat that time. This time, we’re doing rag curls!

It’s very simple: Take an old shirt or whatever and cut it up into strips about an inch or so wide and a few inches long. I don’t have very long hair, remember, so I didn’t exactly need huge fabric strips. Also, the amount of strips depends on how much hair you have. I used about a dozen strips and mostly focused on the longer sections of my hair (the top/front area).

The technique is the same as the toilet paper rolls, except you’re going to roll thicker sections of hair. Work some product through damp hair (I used gel). Take your fabric strip and start rolling your hair up with it from the end, and tie it at the root.

It should look like this when you’re done. Use red because it’s the sexiest color.

Once you’re satisfied that you got every piece of hair that’s long enough, you can go to bed and rest your tired arms. The next morning, just unravel all the fabric strips and work your fingers through the curls to relax them a little to form gentle waves.


This is my favorite style for when I’m tired of my bangs lying flat and greasy on my forehead. It’s minimal effort (unlike the previous two) and you don’t have to sleep in it. Obviously, this works best if you have long bangs. If your pixie is cropped really close in the front, then sorry, this style probably isn’t for you.

Do this when you have an hour or two before you have to be anywhere. Make sure your hair is dry and grab some rollers, pins, and hairspray.

You’re simply going to take a roller and roll your bangs up with it. If you have a lot of hair, you can do up to two or three rollers. I used two, as you can see here. (Sorry for all the Instagram demonstrations; I tend to set my hair at times when my photographer is asleep.)

ONLY do the front section of your hair--not the top or the sides. Self-grip rollers supposedly don’t need to be pinned, but I prefer a tight hold, so I pinned them in place. For extra hold, I also sprayed my hair with hairspray before and after putting the rollers in.

I left them in for about an hour, and when I took them out I had two tight, bouncy curls at my hairline. I separated them with my fingers and gently pulled them down a little bit for a slightly more relaxed look.

You can also just leave them the way they are when they come out of the rollers, if you prefer the tightly curled look. Either way, don’t forget to add more hairspray!

There you have it: three easy ways to drastically change your short hair without resorting to heat, hair dye, or scissors. Which look was your favorite. If you have a pixie, will you be trying any of these?