Short hair can look absolutely amazing, but growing out a short haircut can feel like a months-long painful ordeal. Transitioning from short to long hair, however, doesn't have to be torture, and there are plenty of tips for keeping your haircut styling at every stage.
Basically, we've all been there — even hair professionals. I personally have spent months of my life feeling unhappy with my hair while it was in the dreaded in-between stage. But there are things you can do to make your hair grow longer and healthier, quicker. And there are also styling tips to help you look cute along the way.
"I really do believe there are things that you can do to create an environment for more hair growth," co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie's Miko Branch says. She points to everything from protective styles to vitamins to help the process, both of which are essentials detailed below.
If you're currently in the midst of growing out short hair and are beginning to feel desperate, don't panic; here are seven hair hacks for growing out short hair.
1. Book your haircuts in advance
Scheduling regular trims helps to keep on the right growing path, catching split ends and tangles before they can compromise new hair growth.
2. Keep your hair healthy
The hair at the very top of your head will eventually be the hair at your shoulder-length (or longer) ends, so take care of it even before it starts to look damaged. Branch recommends upping your water intake and taking a vitamin like biotin to encourage strong, fast hair growth.
"In order to realize the hair that's growing, you want to be able to hold on to it and not let it break," Branch says. "Handling your hair gently and keeping it moisturized is the key for the hair that's already come through the scalp."
While TRESemmé celebrity stylist John D says there is no magic product to help hair grow, he agrees keeping hair healthy during the growth process is key — especially to prevent breakage and encourage durability.
"Hydrated hair is definitely going to aid in healthier-looking and feeling hair as it grows," John D says. "Hydrated and moisture-rich hair is definitely more supple and elastic, which makes hair more resilient to day-to-day damage."
3. Remember: Accessories are your friend
Hair accessories are incredibly important when growing out your hair, especially when it's in the pixie-to-bob in between. From taming pieces that are growing in to jazzing up your 'do, hair accessories are a necessity.
"Creating hairstyles that are still cool and stylish during a grow-out process can be so tricky," John D says. "But I’ve found that hair accessories are your best friend here, whether it’s a few Bobby pins to hold up loose hairs or wrangle in long bangs. A scarf or head wrap to add flair to growing out shorter hair is a great way to tame the sides."
John D also recommends using clips, snap clips, or barrettes. There really are so many cute options out there.
4. Experiment with protective styles
For those with natural hair, protective styling can add length and color to your hair while keeping you locks healthy. Braids, locs, weaves, and wigs can give you the look without damaging your hair.
"When it comes to protective styling, that's a wonderful way to take your mind off of the grow-out process," Branch says. "It gives your hair the opportunity to grow while you're still able to look great and maybe get that highlight that you're looking for. That's a very effective way to grow out your hair while giving your hair a break. You just can't pull those braids really tight, that will pull your edges out."
Even for those with straight, non-textured hair, wigs or clip-in extensions can give you the length you want instantly.
5. Resist the urge to heat style or dye your hair
Branch says it's key to prioritize hair health when growing your locks. Instead of giving in to the pressure to jazz up your hair with color or heat styles, let your natural hair dictate your look.
"When you introduce factors that would compromise the the health of your hair — like bleaching, dying, or heat styling styling — you're unlikely to retain the length that you're looking to get because now the actual hair that's on your head is being compromised."
Keep your goal in focus — and maybe try some colorful extensions, wigs, or protective styles to jazz things up.
6. Be patient
While it may seem like growing out your hair takes forever, you have so many tools to make the road less painful. Just remember patience on your path. Remember the goal, and dedicate yourself to happy and healthy hair.
Growing out your hair doesn't mean you have to hide under a hat for months. Just commit a little extra time in your morning routine to styling, as well as having a few hacks on hand, like bobby pins and headbands, and you just might be surprised how much you actually love your look.
This post was originally published on June 12, 2016. It was updated and republished on July 2, 2019. Additional reporting by Katie Dupere.
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