Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Growing out a pixie: Two years later!

 It's been two whole years since I decided to grow out my pixie cut, and its safe to say I've reached the other side. In fact, I've gone through at least 3 cycles of cutting my hair in a pixie, and growing it back out over the past 10 years or so. They say hindsight is 20/20, and after looking back through pictures of my hair during this last transition, I thought I'd impart some wisdom for those who are thinking about or in the throws of growing out their pixie cut. 

Before you read on, know that I'm not a hairstylist, nor have I received any professional training. All of these tips are ones I learned through the school of hard knocks and lots of research on the good ol'internet. If you have any reservations about applying these tips, go to your hairstylist and ask them first! Also, there is no sure fire steps you can take to make your hair grow faster. Genetics and your overall health are huge factors when growing your hair, and everyone's hair will grow at a difference pace. Once again, ask your hairstylist if you have any reservations! That being said, here are a few tips!

1. As I stated back 2 years ago in my original post about growing out my pixie cut, there were several steps I had to take in order to get my hair healthy enough to grow past the length it was. Looking back, the main thing that made a world of difference was putting down the bleach. As much as I loved the bleach blonde color, it was destroying my naturally dark blonde hair. It was breaking off every time I washed it and felt like straw. Dying it a darker blonde and applying protein treatments every few weeks stopped the breakage and allowed my hair to finally grow.

The start- Feb 2012: bleach blonde and DAMAGED!
March 2012: Darker and on the road to health!

2. It took quite awhile to get to the point I was comfortable with it, but putting down the flat iron made a big difference. Take it from me- my natural curl is frizzy, flat, and all around not cute. But, after some experimenting, I was able to find ways to bring out my curl without looking like a poodle. Part of that was learning how to do a classic wet set pin curl (which sounds harder then it really is). I watched a few great videos (watch some of my favorites here and here) that gave me the basics to start setting my hair and it did wonders.
Now that my hair is grown out, I still only heat style on special occasions. I think its been over 6 months since I last blow dried or flat ironed my hair.  One day when I have the time I might pull out my flat iron just to see what my hair looks like totally straight, but for now I'm having a lot of fun finding new styles that are easy and healthy for my hair.

October 2012- Straightening every day
November 2012- Embracing heat free curls

3. To be completely honest, part of the reason my hair grew fairly well was because I got pregnant in November of 2012. From my understanding, pregnancy hormones can cause some women's hair to  grow faster and stop falling out. This is exactly what happened for me. My hair became thick and grew like a weed. Taking prenatal vitamins also helped my hair tremendously.

That being said, obviously you aren't going to get pregnant just to grow your hair out. So, how can you help your hair grow faster?
    • Take you vitamins! Obviously you need to consult with your doctor before taking new vitamins, but prenatal vitamins and biotin can help your hair grow in healthy and strong.
    • Eat healthy! Your hair is directly effected by what you put into your body, so take care of yourself!
    • Stop getting so many trims. Trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks just continually cuts off the length you've obtain. I know, every hairstylist and their Mom says differently, but its a myth that trims help your hair grow. Your hair grows from the top of your head, not the ends, therefore trims will not promote hair growth. What trims do it cut off any split ends, which helps avoid the split ends from going up the hair shaft and potentially breaking the hair. So, if you are diligently taking care of your hair (avoiding heat and excessive styling, eating healthy, taking vitamins, etc), you shouldn't have as many split ends.
      That being said, obviously, get a trim if you notice damage or need your hair shaped. Nobody wants fried. split ends or a mullet while growing out a pixie! As a rule, I usually get my hair trimmed every 4-5 months now that my hair is grown out.
April 2013- deep in the throws of pregnancy
September 2013- 1 month after giving birth

4. Stop stressing and enjoy the ride! Growing out your hair is frustrating and often feels like it will be a million years before you can get your hair into a ponytail, let alone past your collar bone. But, with the caveat of a medical condition, your hair should eventually grow. So enjoy playing and experimenting with your hair in the mean time. Buy some fun accessories, clips and bobby pins and go to town. You can do a lot more then you realize!
I plan on doing a post about in-between hairstyles later, but until then, here are a few pictures for inspiration!

May 2012- little baby ponytail!
July 2012- curly and pulled back

September 2012- braided sides and pinned back

So, after all is said and done, would I cut my hair into a pixie cut again? Yes! Like I said in the beginning of this post, I've cut it into a pixie several times over the years. I LOVE pixie cuts, and think if you want to try one, you absolutely should! Right now I'm so glad to have long hair. I love being able to pull it up into a ponytail, braid it, experiment with different types of buns, or just wear it down. I'm sure sometime down the road I'll cut it all off again, and when I do, I've got the tools to know how to grow it out gracefully!

April 2014- my current length in heat free curls
April 2014- my current length in heat free curls

Are you growing our your hair, or have you grown it out in the past? Do you have any tips that helped you get past the awkward stages? Comment below and tell me!

Find my Pinterest hair inspiration board to see some of my current and past hair loves!