15 months ago I decided that my short and shaved pixie cut was a style ready for change. I was tired of having a cold neck and a lack of styling opportunities, and, 18 months after chopping it off was ready to start the process of growing it out. Safe to say a year ago in my original post I was unhappy with my progress and debating whether it was the right thing for me. Then, 7 months ago I was entering the bob phase and realising that I should have known better than to go it alone and roll with it.
Well, I can now announce that my hair officially ties back, and is pretty much up to my shoulders. Yey. Does that count as grown out? I think so. It’s not nearly as long as it used to be, and I haven’t reached the length I am aiming for (I don’t think, I don’t actually know what length I am aiming for), but it’s grown out and can no longer be called a short style.
The last two posts were spent moaning and complaining about the issues I’ve faced and the problems that I have had. I am not naturally blessed with hair styling skills. I am not a girly girl. Spending time on things like hair does not come naturally and is not something I am comfortable dedicating much time to. I haven’t found many people online that have been like me. Most people growing out their pixie-cuts have been stylish, or quirky, or thoughtful, or just suit the mid length, unlike myself, so I thought I would share some of the things I learnt, found useful, and realised about myself along the way:
First things first: BE SURE BEFORE YOU GET THE CHOP
Before you even head to the hairdressers and commit to the chop, have a really good think. I was pretty sure and 100% do not regret my decision, but many people do, so make sure you have thought about what cutting your hair means. Now, I’m not talking about cold necks and chilly ears (although that is something to think about), I’m more thinking about the time taken. Are you someone who does your hair perfectly everyday? Great, that’s fine, you pretty much have to wash and style it every single time you wake up so things will stay the same. If not, you can’t throw it back into a ponytail or a messy bun, it has to be cleaned, and dried, and styled, before you can leave the house. Do you have any events coming up that you want to wear that braided do for, or you need a set of bouncing curls clipped to match? Make sure that you have planned for ways to get round events that required a long hair do, and now have pixie cut options only. And finally, make sure you look at the process for coming out the other side and growing it back again.
If you’ve already taken the chop, screw everything I just said. Well done, you’ve done it! Now, are you regretting it? Are you reading for a new change already? Right, well, I didn’t regret it but was ready for long hair again, and made the decision at Christmas 2016. It has just reached the length where I can say it is no longer a short hair do. So strap in for 16 months of growing out time.
1. Embrace clips, bands, scarves, and hats
I really don’t suit hats. My head looks silly in them, and I get annoyed with them. By month 2, I was wearing caps and woolly hats like they were my best friends. If I couldn’t be bothered styling my hair, or every effort looked ridiculous, a chucked on a hat and accepted that even thought the hat may look awful it was the better alternative. Kirby grips became my best friends, even if the buggers hide anywhere and everywhere you can possibly imagine. I mastered clipping, tucking, and twisting my hair in new and inventive ways until I found styles and every stage that didn’t make me want to weep in the mirror. If you suit headscarves, wraps, bandanas, hair bands, get shopping and collecting, because there are a really great way of hiding a multitude of sins. No matter your willpower or ability to style your hair, it will do things you don’t want to, so you have to be able to hide and adapt your hair in a way you can deal with.
2. Accept the bulges, the mullets, and the floppy fringes
Your hair grows at different rates and to different lengths. Ratios that work at pixie cut length look ghastly when you hit bob length hair. You can’t beat the hair bulging at your ears as it grows, or the back seemingly growing longer than the front into a mullet Billy Ray Cyrus would be proud out. Your fringe will grow to an annoying length that flops all over your face but won’t tuck nicely behind your ear. No matter how many times you go for a cut/trim/re-style, this will happen. Any when it becomes unbearable? See no. 1!
3. Little and Often is the hair cut mantra
As someone who thinks they know best and proceeded to suffer the growing out of control hair style that was between pixie-cut and bob, I can definitively say that there is a reason everyone tells you to get your hair cut little an often. I’ve had my hair cut tow or three times in the last 16 months (yep, that’s it) and it’s not been enough. I thought if I let it grow it would be long enough to tie back later, but in actual fact I just encouraged my hair to grow in ways I hated and into styles that, well, weren’t hairstyles at all. Yes, my hair could sort of tie back quite early, but it looked pretty back for a long time. Getting regular snips and cuts in the right places restyles your hair to accommodate the growing length and the changing shape, and makes the transition from pixie to bob and bob to shoulder length much easier.
4. Twisting is the new braiding
I adore plaits and braids. I am not good at them, but I think they look great and can be great for days relaxing round the house, for hard sessions in the gym, and for styling up to make into a pretty up do for work or formal event. Unfortunately, hair needs to have a bit of length to braid. Enter twisting: twisting requires less hair, and also adds in and drops hair as it goes. I used to twist my fringe back and make it look purposefully done, I also liked to twist the bottom curls from the back of my neck to make it look like my hair was longer than it was. It’s the closest to braiding that I could come.
5. Clay, wax, salt-spray, dry-shampoo, and back-combing is your friend
Dp you remember those times that you were told clay and wax just make your hair look greasy, and that backcombing does nothing but damage your hair? Bollocks, total bollocks (yes, I did just quote Wimbledon). The fact is your hair won’t do what you need it to, and being able to have some semblance of control, and structure will help you style it immeasurably. Back combing gives stability and it provides volume where a lack of hair prevents a bigger hairstyle. Clay and wax (my personal best friends) help you to mould and tame your style, keeping stray hairs in check and maintaining a chosen look throughout the day. Dry Shampoo and salt spray save a dying style and the start of a greasy look, as well as acting almost like a spray to hold your hair in place. Find the brands and the products that work for you and stick by them, carry them everywhere, and use them to your advantage.
6. The Fake-off: Extension v The Wig
I cannot remember a time where I have ever worn extensions. I don’t particularly like them, they never make any that match my hair colour, and I think they are very hard to make natural. That said, they add length and volume to your hair and are regularly used to add a bit of needed length to your hair, especially when you’re struggling most. Wigs are often used to mask your natural hair altogether. I didn’t try either, but read about both, and although I was never considering either seriously, I was surprised at just how many people do use them. My advice: pay for quality. There is nothing worse than a synthetic and fake looking wig (unless this is what you’re going for and have accounted for it) or extension clips/joins that can’t be hidden by your natural hair, and extensions that don’t blend with your real hair. If you’re going down this route, look into it and invest.
7. Be Patient and Suck it up
I hate the whole suck it up line, but in a way, we have to lay in our beds wants we’ve made them. It takes time to grow your hair, no matter what growth shampoo you use, supplement you take, or prayers you say, so do the research, make a list of what works for you, and run with them. There are a host of guides, tips, videos, and tutorials through what is not the easiest time. Resist the urge to jump in a hairdressers chair and go back to the short do!
My Favourite Guides, Tips, Videos, and Tutorials:
From someone who is notoriously impatient, and has few skills with hair and make-up, I wish you all the luck in the world for a painless, short growing out process. I hope you can embrace the inbetween lengths and rock some seriously cool looks. Don’t worry though, we all go through bad hair days, and we have all come out the other side with hair that will tie back and make us less angry (most of the time).
Have you grown out a short hairstyle? How did you find it?
What tips, guides, tutorials, and advise did you find most useful?