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How to Grow Your Hair Out

In Which Our Short-Haired Editor Decides to Grow Out Her Hair

If you've ever tried to grow out your hair, then you'll know the entire process is just that: a huge process. Last August, after 10 years of having various shorter hairstyles, I decided to switch it up and let my hair grow out. Now, I'm not sure just how long I'll go, but I can say with great certainty that Rapunzel-like proportions are not in my future. It's been almost five months since I began the painstaking process, so to see how it's gone so far, just keep reading.

  • Hey shorty: Hair grows about a half of an inch every month, so according to that guideline, I should have about two and one-half more inches of hair. That seems (and feels) about right.
  • Top heavy: My stylist has informed me that the hardest part of all of this is getting the top, exterior layers to grow out gracefully. Right now, these layers are driving me bonkers, are feeling really heavy, and are starting to look mushroom-like. And that is why I thank you, inventor of the bobby pin.
  • Maintenance: While I suppose I could take more vitamins, eat more protein, and even massage my scalp more often, so far, I have done nothing outside of the norm to assist with growth.
  • Stay away: When I first asked my stylist about our growing-out-the-hair game plan, she quipped, "Stay away from me." She was right. I am used to frequent trips (as in every six to eight weeks) to the salon to keep my short crop in check, but now I stop in every eight to 10 weeks for slight cleanups around the front hairline and neckline in order to prevent the mullet from happening. True haircuts are few and far between.

Have you ever grown out a super short hairstyle? Have any questions about the process? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for more updates in the future. Oh, and be sure to check out my progress so far below:

Image Source: Thinkstock
applehaze1394020795 applehaze1394020795 3 years

I had gotten the curly girl haircut maybe 3x and one day noticed that they only cut the wave or curl and not the rest and because my hair is more wavy/straight I decided not to get them anymore and find a regular hairdresser. The curly cut is wonderful for curly haired and not my hair type and I hate all that gel and the wet look. My new hairdresser is great except now I had to get shorter layers because of the past cut and now my hair is taking on the mushroom effect. My appt is in April for a cut and I was wondering are there different cuts too avoid this dredd.

Alanna15041116 Alanna15041116 3 years
So I got a short cut a few months ago, and only the back has grown out. Now I'm stuck with a mullet-esk situation, and if I cut it, it'll never grow out. do you have any suggestions for styling or just some sort of help?
kathleen03 kathleen03 4 years
JujuPixie JujuPixie 4 years
Im so happy to have found this. I cut off all of my long hair and sported a very very short do..too short and I'm dreading the growing out process. I'm excited to follow your progress and learn along with you. Mine looks like yours did in the first before pic and its starting to mullet. After reading your post I've decided that a visit to my hair stylist is in order soon :)
Carlene3238206 Carlene3238206 5 years
Here are some other hair growing tips:   Eliminate or cut back on smoking, caffeine and carbonated sodas which weaken the body and block maximum hair growing potential.       Eat a healthy diet.  Avoid foods that are high in sugar or fat.       Treat your hair like a piece of fine old lace.  Treat it carefully avoiding any unnecessary brushing, combing or handling.       Avoid use of hot water, hot blow dryers or other hair care tools that may stress the hair.       Have a weekly scalp massage to provide stimulation to the hair follicles.       Do a series of ongoing hot oil treatments to protect the hair's shaft.       Have regular trims to eliminate split ends and allow the hair to look and feel healthier.       Get plenty of rest and sleep to allow your body to grow hair.    Tips from
Grow-Hair14742948 Grow-Hair14742948 5 years
Want to grow hair fast?   A good mixture for longer hair would be -Jojoba oil 1/2 cup or more for longer hair -Essential Peppermint oil 15-20 drops -Essential Rosemary oil 10-15 drops -Essential Lavender oil 5-10 drops you simply mix these together and place in a microwave able bowl, and place in the microwave for 15-20 seconds., be sure to heat until Luke warm and not hot   Tips from
Grow-Hair14742948 Grow-Hair14742948 5 years
Want to grow hair fast?   A good mixture for longer hair would be -Jojoba oil 1/2 cup or more for longer hair -Essential Peppermint oil 15-20 drops -Essential Rosemary oil 10-15 drops -Essential Lavender oil 5-10 drops you simply mix these together and place in a microwave able bowl, and place in the microwave for 15-20 seconds., be sure to heat until Luke warm and not hot   Tips from www.MakeMyHairGrowFaster (dot) org
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 5 years
 @robotgurl Hi! I originally decided to grow it out just for a switch-up; I had really never had long hair. But about two months ago, i decided to stop letting it grow out. I felt like I was constantly fighting my natural texture (fine, slightly wavy, but LOTS of hair) just to make it look presentable. Once it got past my chin, it just seemed too stringy and flat. So, I'm now somewhere in between long pixie and chin-length bob and I love it! It's so versatile and easy to style. 
robotgurl robotgurl 5 years
I, too, am trying to grow my hair out, being, like you, a pixie for life. What made you decide to grow? Are you happy with the way it looks? I think you look very sexy and chic and strong with your short hair!
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 5 years
 @Nataly2459668 It took about 3-4 months to get it to grow to the length pictured above. It's been about a year-and-a-half since I started growing it out, and it's about an inch or two below my chin. I have gotten several trims since then, though, especially to prevent it from looking mullet-y! 
Nataly2459668 Nataly2459668 5 years
How long did it take to grow that much? My hair is just that short right now lol
kaibaby kaibaby 5 years
 @Jaime Richards So, please give me some hope here... when did you start the journey? Chin-length bob is where I'm headed!
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 5 years
@kaibaby Oh wow! So gorgeous. Thanks, kaibaby! I really need to post an update of what my hair looks like now (chin-length bob).
kaibaby kaibaby 5 years
Ooh! This is great inspiration...
kaibaby kaibaby 5 years
Will be interested to watch the journey as I'm taking one too! I chopped my hair off into a similar style as your pixie shot back in Jan and now have decided that I want to go back to a chin length. Like Poppyhugh I've gone from short to long and back again several times, but short never seems to last long as I find that most hairdressers can't really style short women's hair very well. There's usually one style {the one they cut it into} and that's it. When I've asked for something a bit different, I always get the nanna blowave style which makes me look 20 years older than I am... then I'm suddenly inspired to grow it out again... also like you Poppyhugh I'm 39 and I don't think long hair is too long for us! Look at Elle McPherson. :)
Poppyhugh Poppyhugh 5 years
About to start the same adventure. I have gone from long to short several times and love the immediate impact of a new short style. I've had my current short crop for almost 4 years and now fancy it longer. I'm a bit worried I'm too old at 40 for long hair so we'll see how I endure the awful 'in between' stages!
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 6 years
Hi Knuttmeg, Thank you for sharing your touching story! How wonderful you were able to raise funds for such a good cause! I think from the first pic to the second, that was about 4 months or so. It's been about a year now since I started growing it out and now it's about chin-length. I'll post more pictures soon. I know it can be a long, slow process, but you will be surprised one day just how much it will actually grow. I promise!
Knuttmeg Knuttmeg 6 years
Your after hair is just what I'm hoping to get mine to at this point. St Patrick's day 2011, I shaved my head for St. Baldrick's Childhood Cancer Foundation. I don't regret doing it, considering I raised over $2,000, but I'm ready for it to be long again. My hair is finally about the length you have in your before shot. It feels like it isn't growing at all, the others I shaved with, their hair is so much longer then mine! I have super straight thick hair, so it just lies there. I've only had it thinned out a tinny bit and the razor all over, so that it's not all the same length standing straight up on my head. Ahhhh I just want it to grow. LOL How long did it take for you to grow from your before to your after shot?
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 6 years
Thanks, hairlover7! It's growing along slowly but surely!
hairlover7 hairlover7 6 years
I love your short hair! I have short hair and everytime I get to that middle stage, I just want to cut it all off. And I usually do :( I did find some great information on growing out long hair fast, maybe it can help you too: Good Luck!
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 6 years
How long is your hair now, Auriel?
Auriel Auriel 6 years
I spent about a year and half growing my hair from a pixie about the length of yours. I made it to shoulder length and chopped it all off again. It's so tough making it through the awkward stages. I got my hair cut frequently during those stages (probably every 5 weeks). I kept the back short for a long time to let the front catch up and keep it from growing into a mullet.
Louisa-Finnell Louisa-Finnell 6 years
I started with a stacked chin-length corporate bob with short, choppy bangs that I had for years. I just stopped cutting it, except every 6 months I've had the ends blunt cut straight across to preserve length and even out pesky layers. 18 months (ish) later my hair is bra strap length and it feels great. It's also thicker than I thought my hair was, as breakage and layers correct over time. It's blonde (mostly natural) straight, fine, very shiny, and it's the easiest hair I've ever had. I get compliments on it all the time, and all I do is wash, condition, and air dry daily. I use an ammonia-free box color every couple of months to brighten the blonde, and an occasional post-conditioner glaze to punch up the shine. Once a week I might use a curling iron to bend the ends, but it looks fine without heat intervention. I never blow dry or use any other kind of heat on it. I can straighten a slight morning kink with a damp comb. I have a collection of clips, and it's easy to twist up in a variety of configurations. Now it's at a length where I only need a trim when my ends start looking worn, but I'm also getting better at taking care of my long hair. I had an epiphany when I noticed that women with the thick, wavy hair I've always deeply envied were spending hundreds of dollars on formaldehyde treatments to make their hair look like mine. Now I embrace what I have. Growing out the bangs was the hardest part. That requires real patience and lots of hair clips. Finally, even the shortest of what used to be my bangs will now (mostly) disappear into the rest of my hair, tuck behind my ears even with a side part, and gather into a pony. I haven't trimmed the former bangs part of my hair at all yet, and when it reaches the length of the rest of my hair (in 8 months or so), I'll pop champagne. I can see myself considering bangs again, but it takes a moment to cut and a very long time to grow. Maybe I'll try a bangs clip-on hairpiece first. It's very important to avoid damage and breakage. You can't really condition your way out of that. I only use a wide-tooth comb, gently. If you comb out tangles before you wash your hair, you will have a lot fewer tangles when it's wet. I experimented with conditioners until I found one that strengthens, volumizes, and leaves it soft and shiny but not limp. (I use L'Oreal's EverPure.) The extra gentleness long hair requires is still a lot easier than the pain in the neck styling and maintaining a short cut used to be. Also, I spend a LOT less money in salons. I'm 54 years old and should have grown my hair decades ago. Good luck!
EvieJ EvieJ 6 years
I'm in the process of growing out my hair right now, and my hairdresser said to avoid heated styling products like the plague, as they do so much damage which then has to be cut off. I also only wash my hair a couple of times a week, although I do rinse it and condition every day (I go to the gym almost daily and, trust me, twice a week shampooing is plenty). I usually just rinse/condition, then wrap it in one of those super-absorbent turban towels for a bit, then put in Moroccan Oil and let it air dry. Another thing I do is take a vitamin called Perfectil Plus. I found it when I lived in the UK, and now can only find it on drugstore dot com, but I think it really helps. It has all the "hair vitamins" plus an extra tablet with the omegas, so it's good for hair plus skin and nails. It's kind of expensive (around $30 for 28) but so worth it. Also, I've not tried this, but SpaceNK sells a line called 3 More Inches which is supposed to help with hair growth. Keep us posted - you look great with short hair, but cannot wait to see you with long, too!
yoiebear yoiebear 6 years
Six years ago I had to undergo brain surgery where I knew they would cut up the back of my neck to open my skull. Not knowing how much of my hair the docs would need to shave, I had my long hair (several inches below my shoulders) cut into a short bob around my chin. It took several years to grow out everything to where it was before. Not only had they shaved up the back of my head, but also several inches above my ears at the temples. As much as I envy all the short styles my friends now have, I know I will want long hair again and do not want to go through the grow-out process again. I think I've done it for the last time. OK. I hope I have.
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