Are you trying to grow out your short hair? I feel your pain. I think I could write a book on the subject of growing out short hair. I have spent my whole life failing at it. Finally, now that I am almost 30 I have found the patience and restraint as well as the strength to talk myself down from a near-hair-chop in desperate times.
As a 29 year old with hair now past my shoulders, I am excited to share with you my tried and (finally) true guide to growing out your short hair. Let’s start with a breakdown of grow-out phases from pixie to practically Rapunzel. Here is a very reasonable 18 month hair growing out plan to follow, with a trip to see your stylist ( or DIY, or assisted DIY;)) every 8 weeks.
The 9 phases of growing out hair….
1. Pixie cut. This cut will grow out into a mopp-ish shaggy mess in about 2 months. Make sure to have your follow up haircut scheduled for 8 weeks. At that point, have your stylist trim the back up so it hugs your neck, and texturize throughout the haircut to add movement. A little rule of thumb……The first 4 months of growing out a pixie cut is not about the business in the front. It’s about the party in the back. Basically, the back should be kept as short as possible until the front pieces are jaw-length. This will keep you out of the mullet zone.
2. This flirty and adorable haircut will look great for about another 2 months. Have your stylist cut the back short again, and give you a general shape up and trim. This will polish it up.
3. The most challenging phase yet….2 months of weirdness. This is the phase that generally teeters between mullet and shag. Have hats and head-scarves accessible;) After 8 weeks, have your stylist trim the bottom layer in the back to get you working towards a bob.
4. Phew! finally. You have entered bob territory. You made it past the first big hump. Now is the time for bangs! you will feel so much better with a little bob and bangs. Discuss bang options with your stylist.
5. Grow, grow, grow. Another challenging phase as the hair hangs just above the shoulders….Can’t quite put it in a ponytail, and it looks a bit awkward down. after 2 months, have your stylist trim it and remove weight from the ends to help you avoid that weird bell shape that can happen.
6. You are barely past the shoulders! Enjoy the fact that you all of the sudden have tons more styling options! After 2 months, have your stylist add some more layers to it. This will make it look longer, and give it shape.
7. Experiment with your color. Now is a good time, because you have 4 more months of growing without a lot of exciting haircut options to try. Highlights around the face? Ombre? After 2 months, have your stylist give you a trim to cut off any dead ends.
8. Are you bored with it yet? keep growing, and have your stylist give you some nice face framing layers at your 2 month appointment. This will give you soft and pretty pieces that accentuate your face when you wear your hair up.
9. Your hair is basically long. Now is another great time to experiment with bangs. Try something fun and different like short and choppys, because now that you are long haired, your bangs will pretty much be your only outlet for hair-cut experimentation. After 2 months, get an end trim. And for the rest of time, do make sure your ends are trimmed every 8 weeks. This will keep your long hair much healthier. And Yes, you certainly can trim your ends yourself.
Now that you understand the phases of hair lengths during the process of growing out your hair, here are 10 tricks to help you along the process from short to long.
The 10 step program for growing out short hair.
1.Have a long term goal to work towards. Make sure that it is a hairstyle that is similar to your hair texture. I pinned mine to my mirror so that I would see it every day as I grew towards my goal.
2. Have a short term goal. There are 9 phases of hair lengths between very short and very long. Have your next-phase hairstyle in mind, this will keep you on track.
3. Communicate with your hairdresser. Make sure your hairdresser knows what you are working towards. Show them a photo of your short term and long term goal, and tell them your concerns. Haven’t found a hairdresser that you like? Consult HTHG to help you get on a good grow out path!
4. Book your haircuts in advance. I recommend every 6-8 weeks. A regular trim and reshaping can go a really long way! If you know that you have an appointment booked, you are less likely to make irrational hair choices when your hair is not behaving. Patience!
5. Remember the 2 week rule. The lumpiest, frumpiest short hair grow out phases can go from wretched to amazing in the course of 2 weeks.
6. When in doubt, accessorize. Going through a particularly hard growing out phase? Get some headbands, clips, head scarves, hats, and flowers and have some fun with them.
7. Find a hair routine that works for your hair type. Take good care of your hair so that it grows out healthy. I love coconut oil treatments to nourish my ends. Make sure your diet supports healthy hair growth. Remember that sometimes, less is more. Don’t fight your natural hair, learn to love it.
8. Brush your hair! I don’t go anywhere without my paddle brush. Remember this scientific fact…..Heat and friction cause cell mitosis (The division of cells and creation of new cells) Hair is made of rapidly creating cells on the head. Anything that heats up and stimulates your scalp will help your hair grow faster. This is why hair grows faster in the summer months. Why is no one talking about this fact??? Brushing your hair daily will make it grow faster. It will also help distribute healthy scalp oils and condition your hair.
9. Experiment with short hair styling options! Have fun and play nice with your short hair.
10. NEVER forget the power of bangs. Bangs can make your short hair look longer. They can add some excitement back into your life. They can help you get out of a hair rut. They can add instant polish and personality to the shaggiest of mops. Talk to your stylist about getting bangs. DIY your bangs. I always do. It is really fun and empowering. Why do I ever even consider not having bangs?
Got it? You are good to grow.
Here is more on growing out a pixie cut.