Growing Out Your Hair? Here’s How to Avoid the Awkward Stage

Jennifer Lawerence on a red carpet

Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

So you took the plunge and finally got the Emma Watson circa 2010-inspired pixie—congrats! The only problem is, you’re kind of over it now. You have two choices: try to grow it out naturally and risk rocking an unwanted mullet or heed the advice we share here and grow your haircut out gracefully. We enlisted the expertise of Cutler Salon's Rodney Cutler to school us on how to grow out our strands and bangs without enduring that dreaded awkward in-between phase. Keep scrolling for his tips!

Meet the Expert

Rodney Cutler is a celebrated hairstylist who owns four salons across New York City and Brooklyn. Cutler is also a Redken Brand Ambassador

Step 1: Pixie to Bob

Lily Collins short side-parted hair on the red carpet

When it comes to growing a pixie into a bob, Cutler sums up our feelings quite succinctly: “One must avoid the mullet!” He suggests keeping the hair at the nape of your neck short initially, while the hair on top of your head grows out. “This process takes about six to eight weeks, and will take you to a Michelle Williams type of look,” he says.

Jennifer Lawerence with side-swept cropped bob.
Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

When this look grows out and starts to feel heavy, Cutler says you can start to let the hair at the nape of your neck grow out, too. “Being careful of heaviness on top, go in for trims every six weeks,” he recommends. “[Advise] your stylist to incorporate layers into your hair, which helps blend the top and the back. Now, your hair has choppiness and structure.”

Step 2: Bob to Lob

Kate Mara's cropped red cut.
Jason LaVeris / Getty

“To avoid looking like a soccer mom, angling the hairline is key,” Cutler advises. “You need a bob that creates movement as your hair grows from your jawline to your collarbone.” He suggests styling your hair in natural waves to create the illusion of a purposeful haircut.

Jourdan Dunn with middle parted bob.

If you already have a natural wave to your hair, Cutler says to wrap 1 1/2-inch sections of your hair around your fingers, then blow-dry. “Don’t over-indulge your hair with product,” he warns.

Instead, try a super-light wave spray, like Redken’s Fashion Waves 07 Sea Salt Hairspray ($23). If your hair is straight, you can get the look with a curling iron.

Growing Out Your Bangs

Emma Stone with shoulder-length fringe bob.
Mike Pont / Getty

Your Emma Stone-inspired bangs got you a lot of positive attention, but you’re ready for your forehead to see the light of day again. What do you do now? “To begin the process, ask your stylist to create a wispy bang by sweeping the hair to either side of your face and cutting at an angle each way,” Cutler says. “This will lighten up your hair and allow it to move more naturally.”

If you’re trying to grow out bangs with a choppy bob or lob, it should be a fairly easy process. Cutler suggests blending your bangs into your hair and allowing them to grow with your shortest layers.

Alexa Chung with fringed cut on the red carpet.

Growing out bangs with a long mane à la Alexa Chung might seem daunting, but isn’t impossible. Cutler says to resist the temptation to cut short layers all the way up to your bangs. Instead, allow them to grow into your hair naturally. “Once your bangs are two inches away from your shortest layer, then you can blend with layering,” he says.

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