25 April 2012

the pixie cut series, part 3: growing it out

This is the final installment of The Pixie Cut Series. For anyone out there who could care less about short, cute haircuts... tune back in later :) It's a crazy photo-heavy post, because I crazy Googled pictures of growing-out-pixie-cuts to assure myself that was possible. 




If your biggest fear about chopping your hair off is, "What will happen when I want to grow it out?"... just stop. Live in the moment! Seize the day! The answer to your question is, "It will grow out!" Your hair will grow back. You will get through any awkward stages with grace and spunk. You will experiment with different styles. You will contemplate wearing a turban to work. All of these are good things! So, my promise to you is that Yes! Your pixie cut will grow out, if you so desire. Here are my tips for growing it out with dignity.

Part 3: Growing it out

Be patient. Obviously. My last maintenance pixie cut was sometime in late November. My hair grows really fast, but it's still a pretty short hairdo right now. I'm not aiming to grow it much longer than a cute bob, so I'm just a month or so away from that goal. For what it's worth I estimate the transition from pixie cut to chin-length layered bob will take about 6-7 months.

You must get regular trims! Prevent the mullet at all costs. That back part by the nape of your neck grows super quickly. Enlist your regular hairdresser, SuperCuts or a friend to administer regular mullet chops once a month. Cut that tail off and let the rest of your hair catch up a bit. At some point, you'll also want to trim the other layers to prevent squirellyness, but if you can, wait a few months for the top parts to grow out. Even Cosmo agrees that frequent trims will preserve your sanity during the grow-out phase. Don't be in such a rush for long hair that you miss out on some great in-between style.

It's your call on the bangs. I kept mine trimmed because I thought I looked less haggard and more put together, but you could also decide to grow those out at the same time. Whatevs.


Let the sides grow. Those parts around your ear will grow out and will prevent a mullet. They'll also give the illusion of longer hair since they frame your face. Leave 'em be for at least a few months and you'll feel a lot better on your path to longer locks.


Don't be afraid to try other styles on your way out. It's a good time to experiment with other short 'dos and, unless you are in a rush, there's no harm in delaying your grow out period. Once your hair has evened up a bit, maybe a 3-4 months into the process, get your layers trimmed up and start experimenting. Poof it up. If it's long enough, get a curling iron up in there and create a little texture. Wear it pushed over all on one side. I'm practicing an asymmetrical look so I can work up the courage to get something crazy done soon :)

When all else fails, wear a hat. Or a scarf. Sometimes your hair will just look a bit squirelly. It happens. I went through most of the awkward growing out phases during winter, so I often just threw on a slouchy knit hat and was on my way. A wide scarf can also do the trick because it hides some of the back mullet-y parts and breaks up any grown-out layers so that you look chic rather than sloppy. Style your hair the way you would normally wear it, and then gently wrap your scarf around your head so it still covers your ears a bit. Pulling my bangs back underneath the scarf always looked too severe and athletic for my taste.

That concludes The Pixie Cut series! As a sidenote, about 90% of the times I tried to type out "pixie cut", I actually wrote "pixie CUTE". Which is fitting, because short hair is so freaking cute. I hope this has helped any of you who are on the fence to take the plunge, or maybe it reaffirmed that you are most comfortable as a long-haired vixen. Either way, let's continue to wildly collect photos of Michelle Williams and other cute, confident, pretty ladies who are proving to the world that short hair is feminine and fierce. Leave your tips for growing out a pixie cut in the comments. Although, I  should be honest that this blog series is making me want to go super short again!


The Pixie Cut Series
Part 1: Chopping it all off
Part 2: Rocking the pixie
Part 3: Growing it out
An Update- 8 Months Later

51 comments:

  1. I want to hate you for how photogenic you are, but you are a particularly hard person to hate :)

    I LOVE the way you look when you sport a headband or headscarf. So chic!

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  2. Thanks, Dee :) Though in all fairness, I never post the awful outtakes... eyes half closes or bugging out of my head, gummy smile, etc. And I retouch blemishes. So there, that's my secret! Blogs are terrible in that way, everything always looks so perfect on them!

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  3. i dig it. especially the asymmetrical style- you should check out frankie sandford's 'do. you could totally rock it :)

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    1. Have you seen my Pinterest page recently?! It's like an ode to Frankie Sanford, who I never knew existed but whose hair I deeply covet. She is my asymmetrical hair inspiration.

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    2. She is who inspired me to chop it all off

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  4. dude, awesome blog post! very helpful. it's so frustrating to grow out a pixie cut. my growing out experience was so awkward-looking, but you made it look so cute lol. this will be a good reference in the future :)

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  5. aww your so pretty hun! im in the process of growing out my pixie and its torture but when all else fails i just put a crap load of gell all through it and mess it up and im then good to go! Lol.

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  6. Thank you so much for motivating me to GO FOR IT! Excellent series, beautiful hair! Love what you stand for!

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  7. Did you go to a hairdresser for regular trims in order to keep the bottom back from becoming a mullet? And if so, what did you ask her to do for your cut? I am having my cousin cut mine at the neckline every 3 weeks, but it is seeming to get a little odd and mullety anyway! LOL

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    1. Confession-- for most of the mullet trims, I did them myself or enlisted my sister and other patient friends. It takes 2 minutes and didn't seem necessary to go to my hairdresser. I just had my peeps cut a straight line across to get rid of the length. Nothing else fancy.

      Every 6 weeks, though, I did go to my hairdresser and always reiterated that I was growing it out so she would just do a trim in the back and occasionally thin out some of the layers near my ears, but not take any real length off on the sides. Does that make sense? It was a little awkward looking still, but I think keep the sides long but maintained and the back short is KEY.

      Good luck!

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  8. First of all I love this series! It is exactly what I need to help me in contemplating this decision. I've been longing for a pixie cut, but every time I almost go there I chicken out. And the times I am feeling bold, I manage to chop my hair to my chin, but I can't stand it! I have a round face and a slight double chin (although the rest of me is slim), and I've been told I should stay away from pixies. But I'm so tired of having the same haircut! From someone who's been there, is it really worth it? I'm terrified I'll hate it.

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    1. Thanks! So, I'm a big pixie cut advocate, but they aren't for everyone. Sometimes I missed having more hair, because it made me feel more balanced. With such a short cut, I occasionally thought it made me look like a pinhead!

      Personally, I love a round face with a pixie cut. There are so many variations too... you could keep longer bangs, make the whole thing wispier, etc... you don't need to get a buzz cut! Keep working your way up to it if you'd like. Next haircut, ask for more layers (but not a mullet!) and maybe get bangs. It will help give you a sense if you like how short hair looks on you.

      But remember... hair grows out. I certainly understand your worry about hating it... but if you think it might be a nice change, remember that it WILL GROW OUT!

      Good luck!

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  9. I've been unable to get my pixie recut so it's been growing out. The back mullet-y part was DRIVING ME CRAZY. After reading your article I slipped into the office bathroom with the mail room scissors just now and snipped it off. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! Thanks a bunch!

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    1. Three cheers for guerilla haircuts! Professional stylists will cringe at this, but I'm a big believer in doing tiny trims on your own. Just a quick mullet-chop every once and awhile :)

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  10. I LOVE your pixie!!! Taking a pic to my HD to get mine cut like it!

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  11. LOVE YOUR HAIR! I'm totally thinking of going even shorter now that I've seen your amazing pictures. What kind of product did/do you use for your hair? I am completely oblivious when it comes to styling short hair :)

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  12. You are adorable. I hope I look as cute when I chop my hair off!!

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  13. ohmygoodness thank you WHY did i never think to put a scarf on this.

    best google search find ever.

    i love your blog.

    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

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  14. Great tips! I especially like the keep it trimmed to avoid a mullet tip! A hair vitamin with biotin and protein can also help speed up growth.

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  15. I just want to say thanks, I am growing out my hair and I've realized the mistake I'm making by keeping the back long. I'm stopping by the hairdresser's asap to get it sorted aaaht!

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  16. Thanks so much for this! I found it super encouraging. I've been rocking the pixie on and off since high school (8 years ago!) and almost aways fail at growing it out. I used to live in FL, so summertime would hit and the hair would go. I now live in Canada (I know, I'm crazy), and I miss having hair! Attempting to grow it out now, and the problem is the texture. Frizzy, curly, awful, but I think if I can get past the awkwardness and make it to the point where I can pull it back, it will be smooth sailing. I agree with Katherine: Best google find ever! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks & good luck with the grow-out :)

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  17. The sides are a pain for me at the moment. I have so much experience growing out short hairstyles, I can even cut my own mullet off =P (also because I'm impulsive about my hair like that, once I cut my own bangs and liked it) My last haircut was (it's painful to admit) miley cyrus inspired, with shaven sides. The shortest I ever did! I really liked it, but as always as soon as my hair is short I start wanting it long again. (when I've managed to grow it out I will start longing for the easy short hair again) Sadly I get bored with my hair easily, also because I have fine hair that doesn't cooperate.

    Your pictures look good though! Keep up the patience, I hope I can =P

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  18. Right now, I am Googling different blogs and websites to see how best to go about growing out my pixie cut. I got it done about a year ago and I love it, but it is time for a change. I miss having longer hair. I am just trying to figure out what to do with it while it is going through the awkward growing out stage.

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  19. Hi Christine! This is my first time on your blog and I'm afraid I'm leaving a marathon comment. First off, I love your blog, and second, THANK YOU for posting this series! I hacked off my waist-length hair in 2006 and was in love with my new do instantly. I went for more of a super short and spiky thing (with black nail polish, edgy jewelry and a 1920s -inspired wardrobe), and I had the same love-fear relationship with my hair and my appearance as you describe. Now I've taken a job as a professor in Singapore. Due to the equatorial heat, I rock much more of a "floral dress" look than before (which was a harder transition than the haircut in 2006!), but still kept the spiky hair (and black nails). Now I've been facing the issue of trying to get a decent maintenance cut in a country where both Caucasian hair AND short cuts are NOT commonplace. I've started growing it out during my semesters here and getting it cut when I go home to Buffalo, NY during my breaks. But HOW to wear it gracefully in these in-between weeks? It's too long to spike now without looking like Sonic the Hedgehog, so today I did the comb-to-the-front and sweep to the side thing and LOVE it. Then, ironically, there was some self-doubting (naturally, from the number of people who said, "Wow! Your hair looks different!"), which led me to your blog. Now that I see OTHER people rocking the same side-swept short look, I feel twelve times better about my own appearance. Hopefully I'll be back in Buffalo in time to get it cut again before I need to do the "emergency mullet trim". Anyway, THANK YOU! Also, thanks for the re-affirmation that I love my short cut. Even if it does get shaggy now and again. From one NY pixie to another, peace out!
    (My side-swept new do is here:) http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10101005410441368&l=f5dd382d6d

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  20. I'm in the mullet fase. God I HATE IT! But I didn't start from a pixie, I had the Miley haircut (yes, the color and all...)so after 6 of "rocking the edgy girl look" I got bored, I went back to my original hair tone (dark brown) and tried to fix the cut to let it grow the most humanly way possible.. the coiffure gave me blunt bangs; yes, pixie with blunt bangs (amazing, NOT!!)
    Now I have my bangs chopped a little to style it swept side and it's looking better. I tell you, I try to transform the mullet in a "shaggy" pixie.. NOT WORKING.. so I'll have it trimmed this week (THISSSSSSS WEEEEEEK)

    Anyway, thanks for the advice!!

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  21. Hi, great post!
    Just found your blog when looking on google to search ways to grow my hair. I have an awkward length unkept bob at the moment. With the risk of sounding crazy, just wanted to say we greatly resemble one another... I actually thought it way my picture at the top of this page. Funny huh?

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    1. Doppelgangers! I want to see my twin, send me a photo :) christine@unspeakablevisions.com or shoot me a link to your blog if you have one.

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  22. Oh my god, I needed your post so much !
    I have a pixie cut since 2 or 3 years. Every 3 month it's the same dilemna should I cut or not ?
    Now I want them long (again), but no patience to have them.
    And also, I can not see me with my hair growing up, like I have the feeling it's such ugly and every one look at me :D (no really ?)
    So ok, thanks for these articles, wonderfull advice: I keep in mind : bob cut ! no mullet !

    Nice hair by the way ;)

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  23. I JUST made an appointment to get a pixie (my hair is halfway down my back right now) on Monday. Then I panicked. Then I found your site and this entry specifically - on growing it out - and now I have talked myself off the pixie-cliff and back into the frame of mind that "I am doing this! I am donating all of my hair! I am going to look awesome! If I hate it, it WILL grow back!"

    Thank you so much. :)

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  24. Hey. I recently cut my hair from a shoulder lenght a line cut to a pixie cut about 2 months ago. I was looking to style my very short hair differently since its been growing out and I found your page. Ive read a lot of the comments and I read your thoughts on your cut as well. I too miss my a line cut and am going through the awkward phase. Ive been cutting the back myself, not even thinking of going to a salon and having to pay just for a trim. And it really does look different from the mullet cut. Thanks for the advise! Itwas very helpful!

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  25. This blog is amazing! I'm getting my hair cut into a pixie for the first time EVER tomorrow and I've got so many butterflies in my tummy, but finding this blog was an awesome thing! You have boosted my confidence one million percent. I think I love you. Haha. But seriously, you give such an honest and inspiring view on the pixie cut, and it's so refreshing. Thank you! I WILL ROCK MY PIXIE!

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  26. Hair loss vitaminsAugust 24, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Love this post!

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  27. Hey! My hair is a few inches past my shoulders and I have been thinking of going the Pixie route, thanks to Michelle Williams and a few others. And this is some great advice. I was wondering though...I have fine strands of hair (I think, I am really bad at this whole hair thing) but all those fine strands make one thick head of hair. My ponytail circumference is about 4 inches. So my question is with this thick hair, with some wave, can I do a pixie cut?

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    1. I think you can! My friend Katie (who is featured on my "Rocking the Pixie Cut" post) has thick hair with a bit of wave/curl and she had the most adorable pixie cut. Definitely find a stylist you like and trust and get their opinion too on what types of cuts will work best!

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  28. Thank you for these awesome hair posts and thoughts on hair. I love your pixie haircut, especially the back. Very stylish and feminine. I have been obsessed with Michelle Williams for a couple of years, but have been to chicken to do it. Your confidence boosting writing really helps! I have a shoulder length "lob" and I am largely lazy and put it in a ponytail...not very stylish. I have high cheekbones so I think I could pull a pixie off. My hair is straight and fine but not super fine, probably average, but surely not thick. I'm 41 and have a slight fear of looking super old with short hair. I identify with short hair being freeing and I would like to experience this. What do you think?
    Thanks again for your posts!

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  29. Your hair is just...ahh~ I mean, mine could never look like yours. My hair is a dark brown mess of waves. When it grew out, it was even worse. I just love your hair! I'll have to show your hair to the stylist next time :)

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  30. I love you for this. I'm going from hair that hits about 4 inches below my collar bones to a pixie 2 days from now. I'm in college and I figure that if I don't try it now I'll never get around to it. This series is a godsend in helping me know what to expect as I grow it out and how to keep it looking cute. Also, we have similar face shapes so it translates well to me. Thank you so much!

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  31. i just wanted to thank you for this post! i LOVE my short hair, but I just want a change and go long for a little...and in a few years come back to the short side. i am 30, almost 31 and just want that long hair one more time. Thank you for this, you have given me ideas on how to get passed this "F it, just keep it short because it wont do anything" phase! :)

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  32. DO NOT. I REPEAT, DO NOT CUT YOUR HAIR! I just got a pixie two weeks ago after having long hair and I want to crawl in a hole. Its awful do not do it. True enough hair grows, but not fast enough!

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    1. Yikes! Sounds like you are having a tough pixie cut experience. I've always loved mine, but here's hoping that you are able to start loving and rocking your 'do. Maybe once it grows out a little bit more you will like it :) Good luck!

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  33. This is amazing, I really can't thank you enough for assuaging my pixie cut fears!!

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  34. Thank You so very much for this post. Found this as I poured through pages of pixies, so nervous to go. My hair was very long, spending most of it's life wound up in a clip, braid or pony tail. Same old story, I'm sure. So with some hesitance, but more of a sense of adventure, I finally got the nerve to go do it! I love it now, am enjoying it short, but now I have full confidence with some great tips. Thanks again, be well.

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  35. Hey Christine! This is a great article! I have a pixie cut at the moment and at times it is difficult. I wondered if you used any styling products particularly with the nice curly hair you have in the picture labelled "play with different styles and have fun"? I find alot of products don't do much good with it being this short :S

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    1. With shorter hair, I like using Bumble Bumble's thickening creme contour, but as it grows out (like in the photo you mention), I spray it with their styling lotion or run a little of their styling creme through it. They are both light enough for short hair and won't grease your 'do up as much as other products I've tried. B&B is definitely pricier than the products I used when I had longer hair, but the beauty of the pixie cut is that you don't need much product, so you can afford the good stuff!

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  36. You rock pixie and a bob! I really like it when it was super short with the sides left a bit wispy. I have just had mine cut into a pixie - after it being the longest I'd had it, probably forever...about 3 inches below shoulder length. I'm a serial pixier however - have never felt that attached to my long locks.... like they were just hanging there doing nothin! For growing it out definately advice is to get it trimmed at every stage, enjoy and rock each new look - you get the opportunity to try every hair length. I've got quite thick hair, so challenge for me is to get it thinned out regularly. Might even buy some thinning scissors and go DIY. :)

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  37. I'm also growing mine out from a pixie cut... I do this periodically: grow it to my shoulders then cut it super short. I forgot about the inbetween stages! :-P However, thanks for reminding me about the mullet, because I think I have one right now! Yikes! Gotta call my stylist!

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Hi & thanks for joining in! I try to respond to comments directly at the post page, so check back frequently.

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