For some, growing out their hair is no big deal, but as someone with extremely curly hair (and a bad history of grow-outs), making the decision to grow out my cropped ‘do is a big one.
While I’ve been loving my short hair, I’ve been missing my longer lengths lately. And if there's one thing I’ve learned about cutting and growing out my hair over the years, it’s that a game plan is necessary!
Step 1: Figure out the direction you’re headed in.
If you are growing out your hair (especially in the case of curly hair) it’s good to have a general idea of the direction you want to transition your hair into. Pinterest is my go-to spot for hair inspiration because it’s quick and easy to figure out what you want and build a catalog of options.
I found a few pictures that I felt best illustrated the where I want to take my hair from start to finish.
Step 2: Understand your texture/curl pattern.
Knowing your hair texture/curl pattern is important because it will affect the way your hair grows out. You don’t necessarily have to get super-specific (3c, 4c, etc.) but knowing at least if your hair is fine versus coarse (or in-between) and loosely versus tightly (coiled) goes a long way.
For example, my hair is naturally pretty tightly coiled but is quite fine, so I know that it takes a little while for my hair to show length because it tends to spring back up rather than holding enough weight to grow down.
Step 3: Consult with your stylist and be realistic about your goals.
I know not everyone gets their hair cut professionally, but for me, it's important to do so in order to maintain a good style and shape to my hair. In addition to talking with my stylist about what I was envisioning, I also sent her the pictures I’d collected on Pinterest so we could work out a game plan.
After a little bit of back and forth, we decided to keep my undercut as the length of the top grows, while keeping the overall shape tapered. Then, when we get to a good place as far as top length goes, we’ll start to let the sides grow out more, still keeping with that tapered shape.
Since my hair is so fine, we also had talk about what it’s realistically going to look like as it’s transitioning. My hair doesn’t hold the same volume as coarser textures, so it’s not going to look the same as some of my inspiration images.
It’s also important to consult with your stylist about how often you need to come in for trimmings. Since we’re keeping it shorter on the sides still, I’m keeping up my regular monthly cut schedule for now, and then we’ll adjust as needed.
Step 4: Try to be patient.
This is the hardest part for me because, once I land on a decision about my hair, I tend to want instant gratification.
I’m trying to embrace new ways of styling it, though, so I don’t fall into boredom. (I’m also getting ready to get a new color soon—that should help.) It’s fun to play around with it so I can see what I can come up with, even if it’s just a tweak here and there.
- Any of my curly folks growing their hair out too?
- For those of you with straight and wavy hair, what’s your grow-out process like?