Beyonce's pixie cut rattles hairstyle industry

Beyonce debuted her new hairstyle on her Instagram account.

Beyonce is a brand, and one that has become synonymous with long, flowing hair.

So after she uploaded three pictures to Instagram on Thursday sporting a short, blonde pixie cut, women’s marketing consultant Mary Lou Quinlan gasped.

“Her hair is so powerful and sexy and defiant and female,” Quinlan says. “And now I’m looking at this pixie chic attitude, and I feel a little sad.”

But, to quote Beyonce herself: “So sad / You hurt / Boo hoo / Do you expect me to care?

Beyonce will only care if losing the long locks dims her star power, as some believe it did for Keri Russell* in the television show "Felicity." But Beyonce is no Felicity.

“Beyonce, different from Felicity, is such a trendsetter,” says style expert George Brescia*. “People are so excited because when she changes, they change.”

Both Brescia and Quinlan predict we’ll see more pixie cuts on the runway and also, more importantly, on the streets. That could be good business for the same salons that made money putting in extensions for customers looking to emulate Beyonce’s former, long-haired looks.

Hair-extension companies seem to have more to lose if the pixie-cut trend takes off, but not all are worried.

“They’ll cut their hair, and then about two months later they’re sorry they did it,” says Ericka Dotson, co-founder of international hair-extension brand Indique. “Then they’ll be reaching out to Indique wanting new hair extensions. It’s a vicious cycle.”

The same may go for Beyonce herself.

“Now if we see her next week with long hair, I guarantee you that’s a lace wig,” says Dotson.

Then again, Dotson thinks even Beyonce’s pixie cut could be a wig.


*CORRECTION: The original version of this article misspelled style expert George Brescia's and TV star Keri Russell's names. The text has been corrected.

About the author

Stan Alcorn is a multimedia journalist in New York City. He has reported for NPR and WNYC, where he has focused on business and the New York tech scene.

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