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

Updated 04/30/19

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: 1) Try to grow it out naturally, resulting in months of depression over the awkwardly flipped-out mop on your head, or 2) Heed the advice we share here and grow your haircut out gracefully. (Hint: The latter will probably be better for both your hair and self-esteem.) We enlisted Rodney Cutler of Cutler Salon 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!

how to grow out hair
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Growing Out: Pixie to Bob Pt. 1

When it comes to growing out a pixie to 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.

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Growing Out: Pixie to Bob Pt. 2

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 says. “[Advise] your stylist to incorporate layers into your hair, which helps blend the top and the back. Now, your hair has choppiness and structure.”

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Growing Out: Bob to Lob Pt. 1

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

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Growing Out: Bob to Lob Pt. 2

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 blowing dry. “Don’t over-indulge your hair with product,” he warns. Instead, try a super-light wave spray, like Redken’s Fashion Waves 07 ($19). If your hair is straight, click here for our tutorial on how to create waves on any hair length.

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Bangs: Short Hair

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 to do? “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 says to just blend your bangs into your hair, and allow them to grow with your shortest layers.

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Bangs: Long Hair

Growing out bangs with a long mane à la Zooey Deschanel 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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