Pixie cuts are easy and adorable, but only assuming they actually work for you. How can you tell, you’re wondering? Well, the proof is certainly in the pudding, so getting the chop is a good way to know for sure … but also a good way to regret a hasty choice. Before you opt for this extreme style, try asking yourself the following four questions:

1. What’s Your Face Shape?

Photo by @alineh_a

Pixie cuts look best on square and oval faces. People with round faces are better off trying a longer style, as the on-top-only look tends to make the face and head appear spherical. If you have a square face, you can pull off the pixie cut pretty well, but make sure there are lots of softer layers going on. Blunt lines with only add to the square-ness.

2. What’s Your Hair Type?

Photo by @hashtagpixiecuts

Pixie cuts work with fine and straight hair best, because hair tends to lie flat and smooth. Curly hair and pixie cuts don’t generally mix unless you use heat tools to relax the hair – or a more permanent solution, like a Brazilian blowout (yes, it can be done on short hair).

3. What’s Are Your Styling Goals?

Photo by @iamprettygirlstudios

Again, curly and wavy hair types will need some help maintaining a perfectly flat and smooth pixie, which is typically the style. Wavy haired people can, however, achieve a contained look by keeping hair very short: an inch or less. Longer cuts will most likely need styling with heat tools, so make sure that’s in the cards for you.

4. Where Do You Live?

Photo by @hashtagpixiecuts

Your geographic location does, believe it or not, contribute to whether or not you can get away with a short hairstyle. In more temperate regions, it’s easier to style your hair and have it stay styled. If you live in the humid subtropics or tropics, however, it won’t be as easy. Even in the desert, where air is dry but high temps make you super sweaty, your hair may revert to its natural texture and wave when submitted to such conditions.

If you’ve decided the much-discussed pixie is for you, there’s one more step: Do your research to find a salon that specializes in short hairstyles. Not every stylist, no matter how talented, is equipped to handle this difficult style. It requires careful attention to hair type, layering, and trimming around the neck and ears, so make sure your stylist is in the know. Other than that, enjoy your short, maintenance-free ‘do!