So, you shaved your head, or you're thinking about shaving your head in the near future. That's awesome! Whether you did it for charity, for health reasons, or just as a fun style choice, buzz cuts are a lot of fun. What's not so much fun, however, is growing out a buzz cut. Personally I feel confident and cool when I have my buzz cut, and I also feel cute and pretty when I have a short pixie cut, but when my hair is in the middle ground between those two styles I just feel awkward and impatient.
After a few weeks of letting a buzz cut grow out, it's not so much an actual hair style as it is a weird fuzzy poof of hair, since it just sticks upwards for a few weeks before it's long enough to lie flat. This period drives me crazy, but since this is my second time growing out a buzz cut in as many years I feel like I've figured out how to make it slightly less painful. I'm not about to wear a wig or a hat all the time, especially not when it's still hot out, so instead I've found a few ways to embrace the fuzz while also encouraging it to grow a little faster.
Check out my top eight steps for growing out a buzz cut below.
1. Massage your scalp regularly.
Massaging your head can help improve circulation and make your hair grow faster (plus it feels great). It's really easy to incorporate into your daily routine, too. Just massage your scalp with your fingers or a head massager during your daily shower or before bed, perhaps with essential oils for some extra hydration and relaxation.
Using a good-quality brush will also help to promote circulation and disperse oil build-up. Many people swear by the cult-favorite Mason Pearson brush, but if you're on a budget I've found that the Sonia Kashuk brush ($16, target.com) pictured above is very similar. It might feel kind of strange brushing your head when there isn't much hair there, but do it gently once or twice a week as your hair grows and you'll notice an improvement.
2. Use a hydrating shampoo.
Once you start to actually have hair again, it's time to put some thought into your shampoo. How often you should shampoo your hair depends on your hair type, but you should definitely wash your hair at least once a week even if your hair is very short to nix product and oil buildup. I like to use a hydrating shampoo that won't strip my hair and scalp of natural oils. My favorite is Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Shampoo ($6, ulta.com). It's very affordable, smells great, and is very gentle and hydrating.
3. Go nuts with hair oils.
Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Shine Oil ($6, ulta.com) is another product from this brand that I love and use regularly. It smells really good and makes my hair feel a lot healthier. You could also go the DIY route and combine natural oils, such as coconut oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, or argan oil along with an essential oil such as lavender or rosehip for fragrance. You can find them at health food stores or online (such as on Amazon). As long as you're shampooing regularly, you can massage your scalp with oils as often as you want to promote hair growth.
4. Get your vitamins.
Your hair won't grow strong and healthy if you neglect your diet. I like to take vitamins B and D, which have been linked to promoting hair growth and strengthening hair, as well as fish oil for omega-3s because the fatty acids nourish both hair and skin. Some people also swear by biotin, but you should research it thoroughly first to make sure it's right for you. Be sure to add plenty of protein, omega-3s, and greens to your diet — don't just rely on supplements, because vitamins aren't a replacement for a balanced diet.
5. Try a fade.
A fade along the sides and back of your head is a really easy, cool way to style your buzz cut while you grow it out. If you need inspiration, just search for the hashtag #girlswithfades on Instagram, or check out accounts like @buzzcutfeed for ideas.
How cool do these girls look with their fades?
You can try giving yourself a fade at home by experimenting with clippers that have different-sized attachments (I like to use this Wahl Clipper Kit), or you can ask a stylist to give you fade if you don't feel confident about doing it yourself.
6. Consider changing the color.
The moment my hair became long enough to resemble more of a pixie than a buzz cut, I bleached it blonde. With my naturally dark hair, it was just a shapeless mass; with blonde hair, you could really see the texture and length of my hair. (Plus, I love the way very short blonde hair looks: think of Jean Seberg and Mia Farrow.)
Now I've realized that I could have bleached it when it was even shorter. You don't have to wait for your hair to grow longer before trying out a fun new color. You could go for the Amber Rose look with platinum blonde, or you could pick literally any other color of the rainbow: pink, red, blue...
You get the idea.
The only thing cooler than a buzz cut is a brightly colored buzz cut.
7. Experiment with makeup.
One thing that helped me a lot when my hair was growing out and I couldn't do anything with it was focusing on my makeup. All the time that you would spend styling your hair has been freed up now so you can put a little extra effort into your makeup look. This also helps to distract from the awkward stage. My favorite go-to makeup look during last year's grow-out period was a crisp cat-eye, extra mascara, and blush (which I don't usually wear). This made me feel put-together and pretty even when I had a head of fuzz instead of an actual hairstyle.
8. Don't stress it.
When I'm in the middle of growing out my buzz cut I feel like it's taking forever and like I'll never get out of the awkward stage. However, when I look back at pictures of my hair's growth last year I realize that it actually went by pretty fast.
My hair went from completely buzzed last summer...
... To a very close-cropped pixie about a month later...
... And finally, about a month after that, to a longer pixie cut that I could actually style:
By Thanksgiving, I had my normal pixie cut back. Of course, if you're planning to grow your hair longer than that then you'll have to be more patient. But just getting your buzz cut to the pixie cut stage is cause for celebration, so focus on that day arriving. Before you know it, your hair will have grown right through the awkward stage and voila, you'll have a cute, chic pixie cut. There are little things you can do, like the tips listed above, to help the process along a little but there's no point in agonizing over it.
The fact is that it takes some time to go from a buzz cut to a pixie cut, and that time will pass a lot faster if you're not constantly thinking about it. Trust me: One day you'll look in the mirror and realize your buzz cut is officially gone, and maybe you'll even be a little bit sad.