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