You know when you've got freshly-cut hair and you're oh so happy with your blunt fringe and how amazing it looks? But fast-forward a month or so, and what do you have? A strange, grown-out mess that is neither fringe nor cool middle-parting. This haircare challenge combined with the morning rush to work makes for some trying minutes (or sometimes even hours) in front of the mirror as you attempt to tame your mane.
What's worse is if you've decided to grow out your hair from a pixie crop or a neat bob, knowing what lies ahead is months of awkward styles that you never asked for. It is enough to push anyone to the brink. And we'll admit it, we've shed a few frustrated tears as we've desperately coaxed unwanted and misbehaving layers into something that looks a little more presentable for the office.
However, it doesn't have to be that way. Help is at hand. By enlisting the advice of some of the beauty industry’s top hairdressers, we’ve got the tricks and tips to sorting out your locks when it’s in that strange no-man’s hair land—the dreaded “in-between” stage.
Keep scrolling to discover the best ways to style your hair when you're growing it out.
Change Up Your Hair Part
“Sometimes things as simple as changing your parting can hide or make a feature of any shorter layers. Ear tucks also work well to hide the width of your hair when it's in its mid-stages ‘growing out’—you can try the TRESemmé Get Sleek Smooth & Tame Cream (£6) to control frizz and for a sleek look that is super cool,” says Aaron Carlo, TRESemmé UK hair ambassador.
Add Some Accessories
“Accessories really are the best way to hide a cut that's growing out. Tucking hair out of the way, using Percy & Reed Reassuringly Firm Session Hold Hairspray (£12), or hiding it under a hairband will disguise ‘in-between’ layers or difficult to hide pieces of hair. Grips and barrettes are also great for tucking away uncontrollable hair,” suggests Adam Reed, celebrity stylist and co-founder of Percy & Reed.
Hairdresser and UK Ambassador for L'Oreal Paris, Syd Hayes, also recommends accessories.
"Accessories for your hair such as cool kirby grips work really well. I'm also loving all of the braids that appeared at Coachella. Why not braid your hair with a plait that stands out making it a cool hair statement."
Up the Volume
“There are some great clip-on hair pieces made from real hair that can really add to the volume,” says Carlo.
Condition, Condition, Condition
“You don’t need to get your hair cut more than every 12 weeks if you’re growing it out. But if you’re worried about the condition, then make sure you use intense conditioners, and also if you’re straightening then use thermal heat protectors. Hair that’s longer is going to stay with you longer, so you need to protect it. There’s a great Redken protection range called Extreme,” says celebrity hairdresser and George Northwood salon founder, George Northwood.
Stop the Boredom
“The boredom factor is why it’s so hard and takes so long for people to grow out their hair. To avoid this, change your colour. Ask for something like some balayage—but nothing too dramatic as you don’t want it to ruin your hair. But a bit of colour can stave off the boredom,” suggests Northwood.
Experiment With Your Look
It's important to experiment, particularly if you're growing out something like a fringe.
“The time it usually takes to grow out a fringe depends on the individual, but think anything up to four months. The trick is to have some fun during the growth period by experimenting with styles and products (e.g. create a side parting for a side fringe, middle parting for a ‘boho’ look). The key is to get a good cut, as it will encourage the hair to grow into the style nicely,” Luke Hersheson, John Frieda UK creative director.
A pixie crop is perhaps one of the hardest cuts to grow out. But there is a great bit of advice to follow here.
“Go for something a little more controversial in the grow out stage—for example, a ‘Bad Bob,’ which creates an edgy look out of hair when it's going through a transitional stage. The look is imperfect, hacked into—there’s nothing precise about it. Worn in a side parting with the front kept long and the back shorter, the hair is razor-cut into to create super-ratty, almost chewed ends. Add more texture with the John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Agent Perfecting Crème (£6),” says Hersheson.
Schedule Regular Haircuts
“When growing out short hair, have regular haircuts but only have the nape and sides cut into, in order to remove ‘bulk’ but let the top layers keep growing out naturally. Have regular conditioning treatments to keep the hair in the best health possible as it grows. Try the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Deep Treatment Masque (£8),” says Carlo.
“If you’ve got a blunt bob, then it needs to be softer. You need to keep the length but move the weight. You need to slice through the hair to make it less wig-like," says Northwood.
Hydrate and Heat-Protect
When treating afro hair, ensure that you follow these simple steps.
"Maintenance trims every eight weeks and having hydrating treatments to encourage the strength, health and curl within the hair. Schedule frequent hydrating treatments and invest in heat protection sprays and creams if you are drying your hair. Products from Mizani are great—the moisture fusion shampoo and conditioner are fantastic as it leaves the hair feeling hydrated. And for an all-out, four-step regime to completely take care of afro hair, first the thermo smooth shampoo, then their conditioner, the serum and finish with the spray," says celebrity hairdresser Jamie Stevens.