Growing out a pixie cut can be tricky business—and that's putting it lightly. But, for the first few weeks or months, your short cut should be in prime form if your stylist got it right, so take this time to get adjusted and learn to love your new 'do while it's in a great place. Still, it turns out that while you wait for your short hair to grow out, there are some steps you can take to maximize the growth process, including trims (more on that later) and scalp care. We picked the brain of celebrity hairstylist Chad Wood to discover his tips for growing out a pixie (plus how to avoid styling the 'do during the grow-out phase). Below, find everything you need to know about growing out short hair, along with styling products to make the transition a little bit easier.
Meet the Expert
Chad Wood is a bi-coastal hairstylist whose expertise is in cutting, coloring, and styling. His past clients include Olivia Munn, Shay Mitchell, Vanessa Hudgens, and Cindy Crawford.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Out Short Hair?
When it comes to the length of time it takes to grow out short hair, it varies from person to person. "It depends on the person and how fast their hair grows, as well as how detailed the cut is," says Wood. "Normally, a pixie cut takes anywhere from three to six weeks to grow out." First thing to do? Get your hair to its healthiest state. This means loading up on foods that are good for hair growth (now's the perfect time to master that guacamole recipe) and using a conditioning mask consistently (we love Authentic Beauty Concept's Replenish Mask, $38).
How to Style Hair in the Grow-Out Phase
Styling your hair while it's in the grow-out phase requires patience, creativity, and a little TLC.
- Accessorize: Wood recommends playing up your look with some fun accessories like bobby pins and barrettes. A bedazzled headband or '90s-style barrettes can make your hairstyle look more purposeful as if you're choosing this length and look rather than merely enduring it. Or, take a cue from Cara Delevingne (and so many other celebs, let's be real) and invest in clip-in hair extensions or a wig.
- Don a middle part: Especially helpful for straight-across bangs that are growing out, a middle part and side bangs styled away from the face on either side can make your 'do appear polished, even during a phase where you likely feel it's anything but.
- Slick it back: According to Wood, a sleek, slicked-back style is always a good option. "I love FEKKAI’s Brilliant Gloss Multi-Tasker Perfecting Crème ($20) for styling shorter hair because it gives hair texture and allows more control over where the hair lays," he says.
- Maintain the lob: Inevitably, the process of growing out a pixie cut will turn your style into a lob. "As hair grows into a lob length, continue to refine the ends so that it holds its style," recommends Wood. "Once hair grows into a lob length, I would introduce texturizing products and styling tools, such as a small curling wand to create texturized waves."
Battling cowlicks? Wet the hair, spritz with a heat protectant, and blow-dry it down using the nozzle attachment on your blowdryer.
Don't skimp on trims.
Believe it or not, trims are a very necessary part of growing out short hair. "Even though you’re trying to grow out the hair, frequent trims will help to control the shape and style as it grows," notes Wood. "I suggest a trim every two to three weeks while you’re growing the hair out." He adds that without frequent trims, hair will begin to take on a very round shape. Another reason to hit the salon? Not only will consistent cuts get rid of split ends (which, as we know, can hinder the growth process), but they'll freshen up your style. What's more: A periodic check-in with your hairstylist will help you find a cut that complements what you're working with. When growing out a pixie, the layers around the perimeter of the face can tend to look heavy. Opt for choppy layers and textured layers in the front to provide relief during that in-between phase.
Speed up the growth process.
If you're a few months in and tired of waiting for your strands to grow, there are a few things you can do to make a difference.
- Use coconut oil: Wood recommends applying coconut oil to the hair, as it not only helps with hydration and growth, but it encourages natural scalp oil reproduction, too.
- Take supplements: Taking clinically proven supplements, like Nutrafol or Viviscal, can speed up the hair growth process.
- Do a scalp massage: Give your scalp an exfoliating massage every time you shampoo. This stimulates the scalp and encourages faster growth.
- Deep condition: Give your hair a proper deep conditioning treatment at least once a week—the stronger your locks are, the faster (and longer) they'll grow.
Best Products for Growing Out a Pixie
Power through the growing-out process by experimenting with these styling products.
While waxes helped hold up a few spunky sprigs in your pixie, you might do better now with a smoothing leave-in that banishes frizz, like this one from Playa.
This texturizing spray gives ends textured, piece-y movement for that slightly messy, model-off-duty look.
It all starts with the roots, and having a healthy scalp is crucial to hair growth—this scalp scrub removes product buildup and deeply cleans with micro-exfoliants.
A sexy, effortless 'do with lots of shape and volume doesn't discriminate against hair length—try this styling paste for its flexible formula and good-for-your-hair ingredients like ginger root and aloe leaf extracts.
If you're going for a more sophisticated straight-hair look, opt for this shine spray that'll hold your style, add sleek shine, and control even the frizziest of strands.