Maybe Matilda: Growing Out a Pixie Cut, One Year Later

Friday, September 14, 2012

Growing Out a Pixie Cut, One Year Later

As promised, an update to my 6-month pixie cut grow-out post! You can find the original post, which shows my first 6 months of pixie growth, right HERE. It’s now been a little over a year since I decided to grow out my pixie cut, so hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect if you’re starting to grow out your hair (or maybe give you a little confidence boost if you’re tempted to try a pixie cut but are scared of the grow-out afterwards!).

At about 4-ish months in, I had asked my hairdresser to cut it into an A-line shape (shorter, stacked layers in the back with longer layers and side-swept bangs in the front). I think this was a really good haircut to grow with—the neck/mullet area of a pixie cut grows in far too fast and the front layers around the face take a longer time to catch up, so an A-line cut really helped keep the back under control to allow the front to grow in. It does feel a bit slow since the back view of your head doesn’t change a whole lot in those first 6 or so months, but I think we all know that a mullet is not the answer, and unfortunately that IS how a pixie grows in if you aren’t diligent about cutting off the neck layer. I really enjoyed this short A-line cut and would definitely get this haircut again someday—I thought it was cute and fun, it’s easy to style, and looks really good with hats/headbands/clips when you want a little variety.

By about 7-8 months post-pixie (with regular mullet trims every 6-ish weeks), my hair looked like this:

Rachel's phone 239

Still growing into that A-line shape from a few months before, but it was getting long enough that the back layer (which you can barely see, I’m sorry for not taking better pictures) was starting to be able to grow in at the same pace as the front, so it looked like it was a part of the style and not a mudflap or, as my hairdresser liked to call it, ‘that awful duck tail.’

We had family photos taken in April, which was about 9 months into my grow-out. I already shared these pictures in this post, but they give you a better look at the length/style than my not-so-stellar phone shots do . . .

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Now we’re getting to the point where real life started to get  awfully busy—vacations, house-hunting, a constantly teething toddler, a sister’s hospital stay, then buying and renovating and moving into our new house—so I unfortunately don’t have many pictures between 9 months and today (about 14 months). I was actually kind of surprised to not be able to find any pictures of myself for 4-ish months (none that showed my hair, at least), but this awkward mirror cellie selfie about 10-11 months in is the best I can find—you can kind of see that it’s finally reached collar length, and is long enough to barely brush my shoulders (which felt bizarre after a few years of very short hair that was nowhere near shoulder-brushing length):

Rachel's phone 837

(All of these pictures so far have been of that same A-line haircut I got at about 3-4 months into my grow-out . . . the hairdresser I had been going to, and loved, pulled a disappearing act [she left her job at the salon and they of course wouldn’t tell me where she went or her cell phone number so I could follow her like the creepy stalker I am], and I went about 6 months without a trim before I finally caved and went somewhere new. Is it just me, or is finding a hairdresser you love practically the mission impossible of a dull housewife’s life?)

And this brings us to today. I’m a bit late posting an update—I’m actually a little over a year into my grow-out now (about 14 months), but what can I say. I wasn’t even that great at taking a monthly picture when I was pregnant, for pete’s sake. I’m certainly not going to be on top of taking a monthly hair picture.

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I like it best a little wavy, like that picture above, but I suppose straight is probably better for this post’s purposes.

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I finally got a haircut a month ago, and the hairdresser started to even out the A-line (shorten the front layers so they’re about the same length as the back). She wanted to take it shorter than I was willing to go, because there are a few spots that still haven’t caught up with the rest. Do you remember in my last grow-out post, I mentioned a ‘hole’ in the side where the shortest layer of the pixie, right above my ear, had been? Well, that spot is still a bit shorter than the rest—see, in these profile shots, where there’s a shorter spot right around my ears? My hairdresser said we really ought to take it all up to that short layer so it can grow in evenly, but I couldn’t do it. I’ve been growing it out for too long to lose like 3 inches all in one go. That shorter spot doesn’t bother me, so I’m just ignoring it for now. I think it’ll work itself out over a few months of regular trims.

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There you have it. One year of hair growth, from a pixie to a shoulder-length bob. All in all, it’s been fun. I was really nervous about growing out that very short haircut—I expected month after month of awkward-looking hair that never really looked quite right—but there were actually only a few weeks early on when I didn’t like the way it looked, and it didn’t take as long as I expected to look like an actual style instead of awkward grow-out hair.

Care for a handy dandy kinda-cheesy collage? Cue flashback music.

pixie growth collage

Now, I’ll try to answer a few questions that I get occasionally on my previous post. Bear in mind that I am NOT a professional hairstylist, and I don’t know a lot about hair care or growth or styling or anything. I just enjoy experimenting with it.

Products I use: I’ve never in my life used professional salon products up until this past year. I figured this was as good a time as any to splurge on some quality stuff to make my grow-out a little more enjoyable. And since I was a complete newbie to professional products and had no idea what to look for, what was worth spending on, and what wasn’t necessary, I took the easy way out and just bought everything that Kate of The Small Thing’s Blog  says she uses on a daily basis (you can find her favorite product list here).

My thoughts on her product recommendations: I loved the Kenra 25 hairspray. I can’t say enough good things about it. When my can ran out, I stupidly bought a cheaper brand to replace it (I wanted to see if I could really notice a difference or if I was just being wooed by the fancy Kenra name and price tag), and have hated my new hairspray. I’m really looking forward to my current can running out so I can restock with the Kenra 25. I also really liked the Aquage Uplifting Foam and did the same thing—tried another, cheaper brand when it ran out to see if I could tell a difference, and now I’m looking forward to going back to Aquage. I like the Redken Body Full shampoo and conditioner—it makes my hair very soft and shiny—but I honestly haven’t noticed that it does much to help with body. I like it and have enjoyed using it, but I’m not really sure that it does all it claims to. It could be that I’m just not experienced enough to notice a difference. Same with the Extreme CAT—I haven’t noticed any change by using it (although this product might not be necessary for me—I don’t color my hair and I don’t use heat on it every day, so I probably don’t have a lot of damage that needs to be repaired). 

A thought on dry shampoo: I mentioned in my last post that I only wash my hair every 3 or 4 days (still true), and use dry shampoo in between to keep it looking fresh. I get the occasional question of what dry shampoo I like and would recommend. Honestly, any of them. I’ve tried probably half a dozen different brands (from cheap drugstore brands to mid-level ones [haven’t tried a fancy salon brand dry shampoo yet]) and have been equally pleased with all of them. I’m not sure this is a product worth splurging on (although, not having splurged on a salon version yet, I guess that might not be completely fair for me to say). I’ve tried Suave, Dove, Batiste, Beyond the Zone, and quite a few others than I’m forgetting now, and I’ve thought they all got the job done equally well. The only real difference I’ve noticed is scent, so I guess I wouldn’t recommend one brand in particular, but rather would just recommend you find a scent you like.

Styling: Guys, I have no idea. I’ve never been great at styling my hair, but I’m getting better. Once again, I’ve found Kate’s tutorials helpful. I get the best results for a straight hairstyle when I blow dry it upside down and use a flat iron just on the pieces that are unruly (I’ve noticed that, for me at least, if I use the flat iron everywhere, my hair just ends up completely flat and no amount of teasing or hairspray helps add any volume). And for the wavy hairstyle pictured earlier, I also blow dry upside down until just the roots are dry, then let the ends dry naturally and use a flat iron or curling iron to add a few loose waves throughout the top layer. I can usually manage to get 3-ish days out of each with the help of some dry shampoo and redoing a curl or two (or straightening a piece or two) each day.

And, as I mentioned in the previous post, I still love hats and headbands for awkward stages or bad hair days. I really don’t think daily heat styling is a great idea if you can avoid it, and you’ll get to keep more of your growth if you keep your hair healthy and strong, so I would recommend stretching it out a day or two or three between washing and styling if you possibly can. Hats and headwraps/earwarmers help a lot. I happen to make some very cute ones if you’re searching.

Here’s to many happy hair days!

60 comments :

  1. Your hair is so cute! I love the wavy one too! :) Have a great weekend! xo Holly

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  2. Im two years into growing one out and if you follow me on pinterest you'll see Ive been pinning a lot lately. I miss it! I was even discussing it on instagram just last night. I think after the wedding Im in this fall Im going to cut it all off again.

    And as soon as I do Ill miss my long hair.

    Wigs might be the answer.

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  3. your hair is realy great short and long!!!

    nice weekend
    lisa =)

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  4. Awesome! In the process of growing out my hair now, and that's how I found your blog.

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  5. So cute Rachel! You hair looks great at any stage - that is amazing! Growing out hair was never fun fo me.

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  6. Wow you have such gorgeous hair! I really like your hair in the 6-9 month range but you look great in all of the pictures!

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  7. Sooo beautiful. Seriously love the hair!

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  8. What? Duck butts aren't in because I am totally rocking one now. Note to self: Trim. Stat.

    Your hair is looking b-e-a-utiful!!!

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  9. You look beautiful (and so does your hair)! I tried telling one of my students to get a mullet the other day. She didn't know what it was. ;)

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  10. Thanks for sharing your journey! Great growth!

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  11. Surprisingly, I have only tried one kind of dry shampoo, recently, and that is Kenra. $19 bucks a pop and...I am not impressed. It seems to be the equivalent to using baby powder on your hair. But then again I have nothing to compare it to. I have heard amazing reviews about Suave, even from many professionals and it's SUPER cheap so I'm waiting for my Kenra can to die to try it. Your hair looks super cute!

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  12. Ah - this post has kept me going - I'm at that awkward 3 month grow out stage and Im DESPERATE to cut it off again but Im trying to persevere until I can tuck it behind my ears. Thank you for the motivation to keep growing! Heather x

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  13. Holy crow Rachel. You are soooo pretty!!

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  14. Holy crow Rachel. You are soooo pretty!!

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  15. Rachel, you are beautiful no matter what your hair is doing!

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  16. Just found you on Pinterest; thank you!!!! Have a major case of the "duck tail" but was hesitant to chop off the months of work. Your picture is going to the salon with me tomorrow :)

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  17. My husband prefers me with a pixie but every time I do it I just count down the time until it's shoulder length again. Growing it out is not so fun. I like your styling all along the way. Hats and headbands. Check. I'm sure it will happen again sometime. :)

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  18. Thank you for this post! My hair was accidentally cut into a pixie.....Long story. (i told the lady I was trying to grow it out and she CHOPPED the back of my hair.)

    I'm at about 5 months grown out. I've had a few trims but my hair just doesn't grow very fast. This is a great post and gives me ideas on how to style it in the mean time.

    Unlike Lisa above me...my husband hates short hair.

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    1. I don't know if this works for everyone, but I read that Biotin, excellent for growing out hair. I can say, my hair grows SUPER slow, and I started taking 10,000mg a day from day one growing out the pixie, it was above my ears cut super short, and I'm about 12 weeks post haircut, and my hair is almost to my earlobe, and the back is in a mullet.
      Hope that hint helps :)

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  19. I had a pixie for about two years. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. One day, not so out of the blue, my husband tells me, um, PLEASE CAN YOU GROW IT OUT? (He'd been hinting, begging, asking, and the final haircut I got was the shortest ever)
    I was reluctant, until I saw your blog, and I showed him...If you let me do it this way, we have a deal (and hopefully a trip to The Buckle too) so I'm at the unfortunate "Beiber Stage" and getting it shaped into the A-line on TUESDAY. Which isn't close enough for me :)
    Thank you for sharing your experience, for those of use who think no "haircuts from now until the end of time." I'd take a picture of mine, but it's under a hat. :)

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  20. You look absolutely fantastic! You can totally pull off any length of hair. You're beautiful :)

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  21. This is so helpful, even for those of us growing out our hair after cancer. I'm under 30 and can never find all the lengths in one place for a young adult.

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  22. This made me so hopeful and excited! I will be having to cut my hair in the next six months after two years of growing out an A-line a little shorter than yours in month 6. I'm hoping to get accepted to the Naval Academy and in the Navy, women are required to have their hair cut upon entry. This time, I'm going bold, all the way, with a pixie cut in hopes that the length I've grown can be donated to Locks of Love.

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  23. Thanks for the post! I was searching 'growing out pixie' and come across your blog. You're gorgeous! I am going through the Bieber phase right now, laughed to see you called it the same thing! I'm looking forward to longer hair. :)

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  24. I just found this by searching "How to grow out a pixie" - I haven't cut mine in about 2.5 months, and it's totally a Bieber mullet. Definitely rocking the bobby pins today. This post motivated me to call my salon and book a cut this afternoon! I have a question - what would you say the texture/weight is of your hair naturally? I have very fine/thin hair straight with just a hint of a wave, and I'm afraid that it will be lank and flat if I grow it longer. Yours looks like it has just the right about of body and volume.

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    1. Hi! Your hair actually sounds very similar to mine. Mine is definitely on the thin side, very fine, and a bit wavy. It only looks thicker in pictures because of the products I use--I like Aquage to give some root lift, and Kenra 25 hairspray (or the Generic Product brand version of Kenra 25 available at Sally's for about half the price!), and some teasing all help it look a bit thicker. If I let it dry naturally, or don't use those products, it's very very flat with no body whatsoever. I think it all depends on finding products that work for you and some styling techniques that help (like blow drying upside down, for instance, or for me, not straightening ALL OVER--that makes my hair super flat, I have to just strategically flat iron the pieces that need the most help instead of just everything). Good luck, I hope that's helpful!

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  25. Hi, there. I'm a new reader and I love the story of you growing out your pixie. I'm also trying to grow mine out and you are a great inspiration. Thanks. Love the pics!

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  26. I too and growing out my pixie. I'd say I'm somewhere around your 3 month point. I don't think my hair has been longer than your 9 months since I was a little girl. So I am REALLY trying to grow my hair without cutting it. I also picked up some headbands like you said to help with bad hair days.

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  27. I'm afraid my pixie grow-out years ago was not as graceful as yours. Probably due to being a poor student and not taking the time or spending the money on those trims to get rid of the mullet. I just wanted to tell you that I loved your hair at about the 8 month stage. Thought it looked chic and stylish and not at all like a grow-out. No matter what though, your hair looks great!

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  28. hi I'm a 51 year old grandma who got up one morning and told my husband to get out his flippers and cut my hair. Needless to say he protested a little. But went ahead and did it. I love it . To cut all my hair off felt so freeing.I,m not tie to a dye bottle any more root grow outs are gone.I love my salt and pepper color. But I am looking forward to the grow out .Thankful for this blog I needed to see what i,m up against with the grow out

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  29. I'm currently in the Beiber stage. It's brutal, but I just keep looking forward to a month or so from now when it will actually have some kind of shape!!

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  30. It is really a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.
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    www.enigmashairstudio.com

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  31. "Beiber"! Its so true, but sadly my hairdresser only ever seems on cut my pixie into a Beiber!! However, this is good news for me as I LOVE your 6 month style so if I'm at Beiber now then by March I shall have that, fingers crossed! Beautiful hair by the way thanks for sharing x

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  32. Hello! Stumbled across your blog while searching for pics of...yes...people growing out their pixie! I'm at the 3 month mark now after 9 months into having a pixie (which I love but envy is creeping in when I see long locks)...gotta say you grew it out really gracefully. Lovely pics...I feel much hopeful now...=)

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  33. Im glad to have found this post as its such an interesting one! I am always on the watchout for quality posts and articles so i suppose im lucky to have found this! I hope you will be adding more in the future.
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    www.enigmashairstudio.com

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  34. Thank you for the tips! I'm currently growing out my pixie cut and I'm resisting the urge to cut it again. I've been bouncing back to the short cut because this awful " month 3 " cut is so bad...but I'm pushing through!

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  35. You have managed to convince me that growing out my pixie might not be the absolute worst experience of my life. Thanks. =)

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  36. Rachel,
    Thank you so much for your posting your experience in growing out your pixie haircut. I've been toying with the idea for the last few months, but haven't worked up the courage to do it...until now.
    My main concern has been the growing out phase, which makes me nervous, but you documenting it every step of the way, reassures me that everything will be ok. ;)
    Again, thanks for sharing, and actually, all of the phases of hair look great on you, even the Beiber phase which you think looks weird, it actually looks great on you! :) Oh, and you have a cute family!
    Thanks for posting...

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  37. Just Wednesday, my stylist and I decided to grow out my short hair. That night on Pinterest, I found this post. You have given me hope! I have had short hair since seventh grade (I'm now 48!) Thank you for sharing your hair journey.
    PS Your hair looked cute at every stage!

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  38. I'm trying to grow mine, but never get past month 2! I have Jamie Lee Curtis hair (cut and color). What products do you use when growing out? I wash daily...can't stand it if I don't. I currently use a little Redken Rewind 12 mixed with a little gel when wet, then a little more Rewind mixed with hair spray after dry to get that piecy-chunky look. What did you use while growing? I'd like to get to your six-month shot and stay around that style and length. Love it!

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  39. I love this. Just saw this on pinterest.thanks for sharing

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  40. Thank you for this post. I chopped my hair 6 months ago (at my husband's suggestion, which was weird in and of itself) but every time I look in the mirror, I see my mother, which isn't bad, but I'm not ready to feel that mature. I've been scowering the web looking for grow out information and happened upon your site - I doubt I'll look as good as you did during the process but at least you have given me some hope! Thanks again!

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  41. Came across this when Googling how best to grow out a pixie crop. This is my third time doing this so you'd think i'd know what to expect by now but each time it has grown out slightly differently and this seems to be the most frustrating for some reason! I'm about 6 months in to the grow out and it's kind of vaguely in a bob (although very uneven and 'bitty' at the front) & with that hugely annoying back bit that grows faster than the rest! I'm at the point of getting the whole lot chopped off again but thanks to your brilliant post detailing the year of regrowth you went through, I'm nearly inspired to persevere! Thank you!

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  42. I came across this today while I was Google-ing pixie cuts. In 5 hours I am going in to get my very first pixie!!!! The shortest I have ever gone is a A-line bob. I al very nervous as I have NO skills with styling. Your post has given me confidence to go through with this major step! I LOVE your hair in all the pics!!

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  43. I'm so glad your adorable hair showed up on my Pinterest recommendations. I had a very short inverted bob for over 5 years, grew it out 3 years ago and I am ready to cut it again. This time I will donate it to Lock of Love. Of all of the different styles which was your favorite? I love the Pixie cut, but am a bit to scared to get one. I love your 6 month style too though I think you'd look great with any cut. Pinning...

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  44. So excited! I had no idea how fast it would grow back:) Mine is slightly below my ears and I was searching for encouragement! Thank you!!!!!

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  45. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Love your pictorial.

    I decided to cut my long bob into a pixie after loving Anne Hathaway's crop. But my husband hates it and to be honest, I'm not really digging it. It makes me look older and who wants to look old?!?!

    I will definitely be following your roadmap to grow mine out.

    AshleyAnne

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  46. Your hair looks great! It gives me hope that I can grow my pixie out without cutting it again. I finally decided to grow out my pixie after almost 5 years. It's just too expensive to maintain and it's time for a change.
    Thanks for the tips! :)

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  47. How do you use dry shampoo? I had some once & even though I didn't use very much because my hair is flat & fine, it still seemed to gunk up & look really white & powdery. The directions said to briskly brush out the hair after rubbing it into the roots some. About 1/2 brushed out I guess, but the rest stayed & it looked not so good. Just curious if you have any tips. Maybe your hair having a lot more body than mine is what makes it work so well. Who knows. :)

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  48. I especially like your hair after 6 months. From there on, I see you styling your hair with quite some volume. I wonder how you do that! Maybe it's an idea for the blog?

    In a few weeks (after my vacation) I'm going to the hairsalon for a short haircut like yours in the 6 months-stage. (where you wear the flowery top and white vest) My hair is very soft and sleek on it's on so I'm planning for products and stylingmethodes to use

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  49. Thanks for sharing your journey! Your hair looks great. The good thing is that after having such short hair, I'll never take long hair for granted again! I had my hair cut short about three months ago and finally caved and got a trim yesterday. it was hard to give up the length...I could put my little mullet into a teeny tiny ponytail! My stylist said to go in for a little trim every 8 weeks or so. And I started taking Biotin, which a friend of mine swears by. Can't hurt, anyway. I am now exploring the world of headbands!

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  50. I just got my hair cut Pixie style on Saturday and although everyone tells me they love it, I was still unsure. I love every single style you've posted! I'm now more at ease about making this big change in my hair, but can only pray my grow-outs will look at great as yours!

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  51. I'm growing out the cut that you have in your 3 month picture. It's taking forever but I've always had short hair but I can't wait for it to grow more..

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  52. Currently stuck in the 'just past jaw length bob' stage and I feel like drowning myself in hairspray or just putting a bag over my head :(
    Everyone adored my super short pixie and I started growing it out in Feb '13 it's now December '13 and even my partner who suggested I grow it out in the first place has been hinting not so subtly that I should chop it off again.
    It looks AWFUL because I can barely style it at this length, my hair is extremely straight and fine but there's a lot of it. When it's short, it looks perfect with my little pixie face and big eyes and very striking. When it's past my collarbone, it's gorgeous swathes of red silk that everyone always wants to touch (luckily I've always been fortunate to have very healthy shiny hair and I'm naturally red) unfortunately, I'm stuck in this hair hell of the inbetween! It does NOTHING for my face shape and it just seems to be stuck :( there's also not a lot I can do with it that looks good/right.
    Curls don't hold because it's so straight and straightening it only lasts about 3 seconds in the wind because it kicks up at the bottom.

    Anyone have any ideas how I can get it out of this horrendous hair crime it's committing right now? I'm losing the will to keep the scissors at bay but I don't want to give up, plus I'm hoping to be married in a couple of years and I want long hair.

    Someone give me back the will to live with this animal on my scalp!

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  53. I am just sick! I was about 5 months into growing out my pixie, had it trimmed once to get rid of the mullet. Perfect, felt I was on the way to growing ot out. It was kind of bob-ish. Was also growing out the bangs, too. Adding insult to the growing out, I used a box color on it. So yesterday at about 6 1/2 months grown, the side 'points' were a good 1/2" past my chin! YEAH! But, my son is graduating college next weekend, so wanted it colored and 'cut' I USED THE WRONG TERM! I told her I was growing out the pixie to about my shoulders, growing out the bangs, too. She actually integrated the sides into the bangs! NO KIDDING! So I have this huge upside down smiley from ear lobe to ear lobe. To top it off, after she finished trying to style it she sais, "I didn't know what to do with it'. I cried last night. So now I decided all I can do is slap a head band on. It's hair, it'll grow out...AGAIN. it'll just take an additional 5 months to grow what she just cut. So my advice when you go, tell them where they can cut and forbidthem to cut what you don't want cut as telling them you're growing it out doesn't always get through to them. (I did not use my normal stylist as I am out of town)

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  54. I think it helps that you are such a gorgeous lady haha. I love the cut at 6 months though, it's sooo adorable and youthful looking. Thanks for writing this post!

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  55. I am going through the growing process also and attempting to make my mullet look good is sometimes very tricky!!!

    DIAMO x

    http://diamolifestyle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/growingoutapixiecut.html

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Thanks for commenting!