She won a Golden Globe for her role in My Week With Marilyn, but actress Michelle Williams should be winning all the awards for her modern pixie crop and versatile bonce. Here Layered Online’s Eve writes an open letter to her ultimate hair crush…
Dear Michelle Williams,
I love your hair. No, really. I’m insane for your mane.
I still remember the day when I saw your pixie crop in all its Mia Farrow-esque glory, and rather creepily, what you were wearing (Chloé SS07). You were a vision.
The work of super-stylist Sam McKnight, the hair genius said of the cut, “Michelle allowed me to give her quite choppy ends while still keeping some more softness in the body. It meant she had both this edgy feel as it was quite a punky crop, but still this kind of feminine vibe to it.”
It was in that moment I started toying with the idea of changing my own tresses. Up until then I’d always had the same style – somewhere between chin and a shoulder-length bob. I might have played around with layers or some questionable fringes but it had always been safe. Even boring, some might say.
And although naturally fair, over the years my once light locks (see the adorable photo of me in my school photo with an owl on my shoulder) had required a boost from highlights as they had faded from so bright the kids at school called me Pauline Fowler (RIP) from BBC’s EastEnders, to a sandy bronde. But I’d always aimed to keep it quite a ‘natural’ blonde.
Anyway, once I saw you had gone from your Dawson’s Creek wavy ’do to that super short, neat cut I was enthralled. I watched from afar as it got a bit longer and shorter and then in 2010 at Cannes to promote the film Blue Valentine, you rocked up with your creamy bleached crop and I knew. It was love.
Plucking up the courage about a year later, armed with several photos, I headed to my hairdresser and showed them exactly what I wanted. Despite trying to convince me to edge into the drastic cut slowly and take a bit off little by little, I was determined to do it all in one fell swoop. I wanted a restyle and I wanted it now.
It was during the cut that me and the hair stylist decided we should also do a scalp bleach and toner on my freshly shorn locks. Roughly five hours and several inches of hair later, I looked in the mirror and hardly recognised myself. But weirdly I felt more ‘me’ than ever before.
Unveiling my new look to friends and family got divided opinions. It’s funny how short hair brings out strong views from people. Particularly men but also women – especially those with long hair.
A typical response from female pals was: “It’s cute but you won’t be able to wear it up or any other way.” Or a favourite from men, even total strangers sometimes, “I don’t normally find women with short hair attractive but you’re quite hot!” Sidenote: why do men think it’s alright to say this type of thing to women they don’t know?
One memorable comment from a good friend’s relative was just, “Oh, you’ve cut your hair,” accompanied with a look up and down.
But regardless of what anyone said – good or bad – I loved it and over the next five years I kept it short. I experimented with longer, softer pieces, super-short crops, and strong lines. It was only when I came out of a long term relationship that I decided to do the opposite of what normally happens, i.e. cut it all off, and grow my beloved pixie crop out.
And although you didn’t realise, Michelle, your hair was also a source of inspiration as how to handle that awkward in between phase. That messy, piecey bob that was featured all over the Louis Vuitton ads? *Sigh* Pure genius.
Fast forward to today and even though my hair is currently in a bleach-blonde, blunt bob that I’m very happy with, writing this love letter to your hair I will never forget how free having that pixie cut made me feel.
So thank you, Michelle. On behalf of all pale blonde girls of the world who want to look pretty but also cool and not boring. Please keep up the good work. I’ll be watching, in as non-creepy a way as possible.