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.
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 celebrity hairstylist Chad Wood. "Normally, a pixie cut takes anywhere from three to six weeks to grow out."
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 Wood and George Papanikolas to discover their tips for growing out a pixie.
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.
- George Papanikolas is a hairstylist, colorist, and Matrix Brand Ambassador.
Below, find everything you need to know about growing out short hair, along with styling products to make the transition a little bit easier.
Get your hair to its healthiest state
First things first: focusing on your hair's health. This means loading up on foods that are good for hair growth (think healthy fats like avocado, salmon, nuts, and lots and lots of veggies). Topically speaking, start using a conditioning mask consistently (we love Authentic Beauty Concept's Replenish Mask, $38).
Patience is the key since hair grows about 1/2 an inch per month. According to Papanikolas, your texture will determine the ease of the grow-out. "Silky straight hair will have a much easier time growing out, but wavy and curly hair will have to balance out the volume," he says. "Typically, haircut-wise, you would just cut the length at the nape of the neck to give the top layers a chance to catch up to the ends." The initial grow-out phase may be more of a shag cut, but you can gradually transition into a bob or longer layers.
Get regular 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.
According to Papanikolas, cleaning up the nape of the neck every eight weeks until the top layers catch up should be sufficient for a trim.
Give yourself a scalp massage
"Anything that gives the scalp more blood circulation can't hurt," says Papanikolas. Give your scalp an exfoliating massage every time you shampoo. This stimulates the scalp and encourages better hair growth. 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. We like Rooted Rituals Quick Rinse Scalp Scrub ($11) for its ginger root and mint ingredients, known for strengthening strands and cooling the scalp.
Taking clinically proven supplements, like Nutrafol or Viviscal, can speed up the hair growth process as well as thicken hair as well. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any supplements.
Try a deep conditioning treatment
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. Clean beauty enthusiast Avery Cheatham-Banks recommends her go-to DIY deep conditioner recipe, a blend of softened raw Shea butter, coconut oil, Jamaican castor oil (or argan oil for finer hair), rosemary oil, and tea tree oil. Read more on how to make it here.
Use coconut oil
Wood recommends applying coconut oil to hair, as it not only helps with hydration and growth, but it encourages natural scalp oil reproduction, too. Those with dry or curly hair will benefit most from this ingredient, while those with thinner, more fine hair that is prone to oiliness may find coconut oil weighs hair down.
"Moisture and hydration are key to hair growth," says Papanikolas, who recommends Matrix’s Instacure Collection, which is infused with liquid proteins, helping to repair strength to reduce breakage.
Have fun with styling
Styling your hair while it's in the grow-out phase requires patience, creativity, and a little TLC. While you wait for longer locks, Wood recommends playing up your look with some fun accessories, donning a middle part, or slicking it back. You'll find products like pastes, pomades, and sprays will come in clutch during this time. We love Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray ($49), which gives ends textured, piece-y movement for that slightly messy, model-off-duty look.
If you are using your natural waves or curls, Papanikolas recommends a curl cream like A Curl Can Dream ($24) to help control volume and frizz, giving curls definition.
How long does it take to grow out a pixie?
It can take up to nine months to grow a pixie cut into a bob and a little longer (about a year-and-a-half) to grow it long enough that you can wear it in an updo.
Should you cut your hair when growing out a pixie?
Keeping up with trims and cuts helps ensure your hair stays healthy (and that you avoid split ends). So yes, even those growing out their pixie cuts should keep getting trims. Try and get a trim every 8-10 weeks to avoid split ends and maintain the shape while you're growing it out.
Is there a way to speed up hair growth when growing out a pixie?
There's no real surefire way to speed up growth, only by keeping your hair healthy. For that, be sure to moisturize the hair and maintain a routine of trims, to keep the ends healthy.
Ablon G. A 3-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the ability of an extra-strength marine protein supplement to promote hair growth and decrease shedding in women with self-perceived thinning hair. Dermatol Res Pract. 2015;2015:841570. doi:10.1155/2015/841570