It’s been about three months since I decided to grow my hair out and get back to my natural curls, and I’m so glad I did. Although I LOVE a fly short haircut, I was ready for something more carefree. When a pixie blows in the wind it doesn’t quite give the same effect as flowing curls. 🙂
Since I started growing my hair out I’ve cut it about three times: twice I trimmed my own bangs and once I got a professional shape-up. I had been letting the front grow longer than the back and sides, but it got to a point where my hair was in my eyes and it was annoying. So I went and got a round, symmetrical cut that could grow out for a few months. I’m sure I’ll still need to trim my own bangs as they grow and cover my eyes.
I’m actually really enjoying this short curly cut. I may play with a few more short styles before I let it grow past my shoulders. This length is so fast and easy, not to mention cool in this New Orleans heat! I’m looking forward to the next phase, when the sides and back grow just a bit longer.
Despite my proclamation here that I was done with long hair, I’ve decided to grow out this mane just a bit. Truth is, I miss my curls.
I’d always planned to grow it out again once my son was older and I had a little more time for me; I just didn’t know when that moment would come. Well… it’s here. Not that I have a ton of extra time; more like just enough to focus on my hair again. I’m ready to play in my curls again.
Mind you, this ain’t my first rodeo. This is the third time I’ve cut my hair into a pixie and grown it out. The last time I grew it back to waist-length. I don’t have that much time on my hands, so I’m thinking somewhere between my chin and shoulders, big and curly.
While it’s never easy to get through the “awkward” stage, particularly with naturally curly hair, there are a couple of lessons I’ve learned that will help facilitate the growth process. Here they are:
1) Little to No Heat
If you’ve been rocking a short cut that you have to straighten, this is going to be a hard one. But it’s a critical time to eliminate any potential damage from heat tools. Also, you want to start coaxing out your natural curl pattern again. Now, the reason I said little to no heat is because, depending on the health of your hair, you may be able to get away with straightening it once in a while. If you question whether or not you should… don’t.
2) No Bleach
I’m all for rocking a lighter look (I’ve done it several times), but hold off until your hair can at least swing. By its very nature, bleach damages hair, and damaged hair won’t grow as fast. (If your hair is already bleached, see my post on caring for chemically lightened curls. I’d also suggest dying it close to your natural hair color so your roots aren’t as noticeable.)
3) Maintain a Shape
The dreaded mullet. It doesn’t have to happen, folks! At its shortest, my latest pixie was at most 2-3 inches long (yes, I went all the way Halle). To maintain a shape throughout the grow-out period, I opted to let the front grow long, and maintain a closely cut back and sides for a few months. This is how my hair looked best in its naturally curly state. You could also opt for a more rounded grow-out cut, like IG influencer @aimskyy, which is just as beautiful. It just takes knowing your natural curl pattern and how your hair lays best (remember, you’re not manipulating it with heat anymore, so work with what you’ve got).
4) Definition Over Volume
When my hair is longer, I want it big. Frizz be damned! But that just doesn’t work when my hair is only six inches long. Remember, we’re still maintaining a specific shape. When it’s growing out, I opt for definition and frizz control over volume. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel remains a favorite product for this reason. I’m still searching for the perfect leave-in though. Since my hair is shorter, it requires a much lighter leave-in conditioner. More on that in another post.
5) Stimulate Your Roots
Get that blood circulating and those natural oils flowing with a good scalp massage. Combine that with a hot oil treatment of your choice and you’re golden. While I’ve been slacking in the hot oil department, I give my scalp a good massage every time I wash my hair, which is about twice a week these days.
6) Deep Condition
If you have naturally curly hair and you’ve done any research on healthy hair maintenance, you know you can’t skip this step. It’s no different with short hair. Keep those follicles soft and flexible and prevent breakage with regular deep treatments. Go for conditioners and masques with quality, natural ingredients that your hair can absorb. Ideally, give yourself a treatment every week or two, no less than once a month. I suggest leaving a deep conditioner on for at least 30 minutes under a heat cap like this one, or use a steamer.
7) Protect Your Hair at Night
Prevent frizz and drying of hair at night by sleeping in a satin bonnet or on a satin pillowcase, or wrapping your hair in a satin scarf. When I first starting growing out my hair, I’d wash it, add a leave-in, sculpt it to my head, and put a scarf on it to sleep. I woke up with shiny, big waves that I’d just adjust with my fingers. Now that my hair has grown a bit, this technique flattens my hair too much. Lately I’ve just been using a satin pillowcase. I can’t wait until I can pineapple again!
There’s no silver bullet to hair growth. It’s all about making sure your hair is as healthy as possible. Following the seven steps above will help your hair grow faster, but there is no replacement for patience. Plus, there are so many short curly cuts you can rock while your hair is growing – try to enjoy the journey.