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The 10 Step Program for Growing out Short Hair.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 9.47.18 PMAre you trying to grow out your short hair? I feel your pain. I think I could write a book on the subject of growing out short hair. I have spent my whole life failing at it. Finally, now that I am almost 30 I have found the patience and restraint as well as the strength to talk myself down from a near-hair-chop in desperate times.

As a 29 year old with hair now past my shoulders, I am excited to share with you my tried and (finally) true guide to growing out your short hair. Let’s start with a breakdown of grow-out phases from pixie to practically Rapunzel. Here is a very reasonable 18 month hair growing out plan to follow, with a trip to see your stylist ( or DIY, or assisted DIY;)) every 8 weeks.

The 9 phases of growing out hair….

short1. Pixie cut. This cut will grow out into a mopp-ish shaggy mess in about 2 months. Make sure to have your follow up haircut scheduled for 8 weeks. At that point, have your stylist trim the back up so it hugs your neck, and texturize throughout the haircut to add movement. A little rule of thumb……The first 4 months of growing out a pixie cut is not about the business in the front. It’s about the party in the back. Basically, the back should be kept as short as possible until the front pieces are jaw-length. This will keep you out of the mullet zone.

2. This flirty and adorable haircut will look great for about another 2 months. Have your stylist cut the back short again, and give you a general shape up and trim. This will polish it up.

3. The most challenging phase yet….2 months of weirdness. This is the phase that generally teeters between mullet and shag. Have hats and head-scarves accessible;) After 8 weeks, have your stylist trim the bottom layer in the back to get you working towards a bob.

4. Phew! finally. You have entered bob territory. You made it past the first big hump. Now is the time for bangs! you will feel so much better with a little bob and bangs. Discuss bang options with your stylist.

5. Grow, grow, grow. Another challenging phase as the hair hangs just above the shoulders….Can’t quite put it in a ponytail, and it looks a bit awkward down. after 2 months, have your stylist trim it and remove weight from the ends to help you avoid that weird bell shape that can happen.

6. You are barely past the shoulders! Enjoy the fact that you all of the sudden have tons more styling options! After 2 months, have your stylist add some more layers to it. This will make it look longer, and give it shape.

7. Experiment with your color. Now is a good time, because you have 4 more months of growing without a lot of exciting haircut options to try.

Highlights around the face? Ombre? If you are home-coloring, I highly recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which Resorcinol-Free.

If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer! And if you need to tone in between coloring, be sure to check out their Color Reviving Gloss to refresh and revive your hair.

After 2 months, have your stylist give you a trim to cut off any dead ends.

8. Are you bored with it yet? keep growing, and have your stylist give you some nice face framing layers at your 2 month appointment. This will give you soft and pretty pieces that accentuate your face when you wear your hair up.

9. Your hair is basically long. Now is another great time to experiment with bangs. Try something fun and different like short and choppys, because now that you are long haired, your bangs will pretty much be your only outlet for hair-cut experimentation. After 2 months, get an end trim. And for the rest of time, do make sure your ends are trimmed every 8 weeks. This will keep your long hair much healthier. And Yes, you certainly can trim your ends yourself.

Now that you understand the phases of hair lengths during the process of growing out your hair, here are 10 tricks to help you along the process from short to long.

The 10 step program for growing out short hair.

1.Have a long term goal to work towards. Make sure that it is a hairstyle that is similar to your hair texture. I pinned mine to my mirror so that I would see it every day as I grew towards my goal.

2. Have a short term goal. There are 9 phases of hair lengths between very short and very long. Have your next-phase hairstyle in mind, this will keep you on track.

3. Communicate with your hairdresser. Make sure your hairdresser knows what you are working towards. Show them a photo of your short term and long term goal, and tell them your concerns. Haven’t found a hairdresser that you like? Consult HTHG to help you get on a good grow out path!

4. Book your haircuts in advance. I recommend every 6-8 weeks. A regular trim and reshaping can go a really long way! If you know that you have an appointment booked, you are less likely to make irrational hair choices when your hair is not behaving. Patience!

5. Remember the 2 week rule.  The lumpiest, frumpiest short hair grow out phases can go from wretched to amazing in the course of 2 weeks.

6. When in doubt, accessorize. Going through a particularly hard growing out phase? Get some headbands, clips, head scarves, hats, and flowers and have some fun with them.

7. Find a hair routine that works for your hair type.

Take good care of your hair so that it grows out healthy. I love coconut oil treatments to nourish my ends. Make sure your diet supports healthy hair growth. 

Here at HTHG, we swear by BeBiotin for rapid and strong hair growth. I have taken it daily for a year and my hair, skin, and nails grow like CRAZY.  Start juicing for faster growing hair. Read up on herbs to support healthy hair growth (Hello Horsetail!.) Remember that sometimes, less is more. Don’t fight your natural hair, learn to love it.

Find a product line that resonates with you. We suggest you check out the Hairstory Studio Haircare line, starring New-Wash magic cleansing cream. I have been using it for 2 months now and my hair has literally never looked of felt better. I use it once a week and my hair is never greasy, and always healthy! They have a line of 4 simple products for all hair types to help you master happy healthy hair without a fight. Check their shop out here, and make sure you mention that How-to Hair Girl referred you when you go to make your purchase.

8. Brush your hair! I don’t go anywhere without my paddle brush. Remember this scientific fact…..Heat and friction cause cell mitosis (The division of cells and creation of new cells) Hair is made of rapidly creating cells on the head. Anything that heats up and stimulates your scalp will help your hair grow faster. This is why hair grows faster in the summer months. Why is no one talking about this fact??? Brushing your hair daily will make it grow faster. It will also help distribute healthy scalp oils and condition your hair. My favorite paddle brush is the Mason Pearson.

9. Experiment with short hair styling options! Have fun and play nice with your short hair.

10. NEVER forget the power of bangs. Bangs can make your short hair look longer. They can add some excitement back into your life. They can help you get out of a hair rut. They can add instant polish and personality to the shaggiest of mops. Talk to your stylist about getting bangs. DIY your bangs. I always do. It is really fun and empowering. Why do I ever even consider not having bangs?

Also, nothing helps a hair slump like new color. If you are curious about DIY home-hair coloring, I highly recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which Resorcinol-Free.

If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer! And if you need to tone in between coloring, be sure to check out their Color Reviving Gloss to refresh and revive your hair.

Also, I recommend a shopping stop at Beauty Store Depot for all your other DIY hair cutting and coloring tools to fill your toolkit!

Got it? You are good to grow.

Here is more on growing out a pixie cut.



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  1. Jyllianm

    Thank you SO much for this. I am growing out from shaved at the sides and only slightly longer on top. I’ve got the sides to my ears now. The clean up haircuts really make a difference. The last time I tried to grow it out it just got BIG and I looked old and I just shaved it all off again. I don’t want long–just to above shoulders. How long does that take between 6 and 8 months maybe?

    1. roxie.hunt Author

      Precisely. I would say 7 months tops. Good luck growing;)

  2. Short Hairstyle

    Even short hairs are so much in trend with a countless no of hairstyles that you can experiment these short hair according to your face structure and over all looks to get best type short hair style for your self.

  3. Harriet

    This is very helpful, thank you. I am growing my hair from a bob and although people say it suits me i want to know what it will be like long but i always end up cutting it back to a bob when it gets slightly longer – above the shoulders stage – because it looks horribly the whole time … now i know to make the ends light and to have a photo of my goal on my mirror (or somewhere) so i don’t end up cutting my hair again! So thanks again now it is just patients!

  4. Justine

    Is fish oil can help your hair growth faster?

    1. roxie.hunt Author

      It supports healthy and strong hair and skin, so it may not make it grow faster, but it definitely makes it grow healthier.

  5. Janet

    Thanks so much for this topic. I just got a short step cut from a bob and it looks horrible and it’s Christmas in 2 days n My hair looks like some rodent chewed it up. Now gotta wait patiently for my hair to grow. It’s just that I just lose patience every two months or so n need to cut my hair short although I would love to have long hair…

  6. Peggy Reed

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! I’m sure I speak for many when I say that it gives us “a light at the end of the tunnel”! About a year and a half ago my hair was almost down to the top of my butt. My fiancé has always liked short hair so I decided to take the plunge and go short! I went three different times and got it shorter each time…..first it was right at my shoulders, the the next day I went and got it cut into an asymmetrical bob and then finally less than a week later…bam, the pixie! I had never had my hair this short, ever! He loved it and so did I. Buuuuut about 5 months ago I went to get it trimmed up and the lady at the salon got scissor happy and chopped off almost all of my hair ( I went for a trim because I was starting a new job the next day and wanted to look nice), I walked out of the salon crying. At that moment in time I decided that I was going to grow my hair back out. I’ve been strugling with it and I get frustrated almost daily but ever since I ran across your advice I now fel like I have the tools to grow it out…and the patience because now I’ll know what to expect from start to finish! So, thank you!

    1. roxie.hunt Author

      You are so welcome:) glad you found me.

  7. Molly Sunkiss

    i have been growing out my pixie but it still is not up to me ears
    I want bangs and stuff I want my hair long again!! Hello

    1. roxie.hunt Author

      awesome! thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Sharron

    Hi there, just bexame alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative.

    I am ggoing to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this
    in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing.

  9. Rachel

    I dont have a website or anything, just on Pinterest, looking for tips to grow out my horrible haircut, and came across your site. Thank you for the read and tips, and thank you so much for the laugh.. and great writing! Your personal experience made me literally LOL! which I have not done since cutting my hair, and wearing several hats, scarves, bandanas, whatever is handy– God help me!! True Story!! Thanks again! Your brillant!

    1. roxie.hunt Author

      So glad to have you as a reader:)

  10. LilyKylie Matt

    My hair was damaged in the crown of my head for years from chemical processing. No product worked to bring back my hair until I found this Nuhairrx serum on internet search and read all the good and bad reviews. Thank you!! It really works!! This Nuhairrx product may not work for everyone, but it sure did work for me.

  11. SophieS

    Thinks for the detailed information. Really enjoyed this post. Need more short term goals and brush brush brush.

  12. […] When it comes to hair we women just want to know what looks good and what the new styles will be.  If you are a woman with medium hair surely you are already considering you hair lengths and looks for the new year.  2016 is just around the corner and if you have shorter pixies and crop cuts this is the time to start considering growing your hair out. […]

  13. Siobhan

    I’m getting so frustrated with my hair. I had it cut mid January and have had little trims every 10-12weeks but the back is so much longer than the sides still!!! I don’t know whether to just get it cut to the same length as my sides. My hairdresser obviously knows I’m growing it but I’ve said to her is there anything she can do and she just said I need to wait for the sides to grow 🙁

  14. Aine

    Thanks for this! It really helps to have a clear timeframe, a *goal* for each timeframe, and to know what to expect when.

    I just deBieberized my own hair, which was turning into a boxy mushroom. It is now kind of where it was two months ago, when I decided I needed bangs :/ If I’d left my bangs alone, stuck to phase 3 for a little longer, I’d be further ahead now :/ (But my hair is dark and it was looking too severe, so I thought I’d try an Amelie thing. Which worked until it got to mushroom land again. So this time I will just deal with the long, severe pieces in the front until the whole thing is ready to aim for a bob. Which I now *realize* is not actually going to last forever. I can deal with things in 2 week / 2 month increments!

    I don’t know if this is an ok approach or not, but it seems to look ok, would be interested in your thoughts… I basically took a circle section of hair around my crown, including my bangs, and put it into a clip. Maybe a 5 inch diameter? Then I used thinning scissors (idk if that’s right – the ones that look like a comb? Found them at my mom’s), and my attempt at point cutting, to trim down the bulk around the back, using a mirror. I read somewhere else that a good line to follow for where the taper starts is just around the bone at the back of your head, is that right? I sort of grabbed hair with one hand and saw and felt where there was bulk or unevenness, held it out straight from my head (90 degrees from the floor), and kept the scissors straight to cut. It kind of fell flat against my head that way. Left a bit of length at the sides to make sure there was something for the crown hair to blend into. *Then*, I released the crown hair from the clip, and used the thinning scissors to sort of blend the edges in with the back, and did the same for the sides. Did all this with dry hair. Looks ok – probably not amazing-salon-great, but better than the $20 cut I got a while ago (where she hacked into the crown and left spiky bits…). The result is kind of like a Carey Mulligan thing.

    Also, something I would *not* do again is lighten it. It looked so dark and heavy at times that I thought going lighter would help. No, it dried my hair out, and I could only go two shades lighter without having to deal with roots on short hair. Which leaves it a kind of orange that I now have to tone all the time, plus the quality’s suffered from the bleach. Now I think the answer is more to just keep some length at the front and sides and get some texture in there.

    Again thanks so much for this roadmap!

  15. […] How-To Hair Girl | The 10 Step Program for Growing out … – Are you trying to grow out your short hair? I feel your pain. I think I could write a book on the subject of growing out short hair. I have spent my whole life … […]

  16. Nancy Harlow

    Please help. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

  17. Julianna

    i have short hair. like, shaved on the sides and a bit at the top. i really want it longer but i dont know any good ways to grow my hair out. i would like my hair up to the middle of my chest just where the ribs end. how long will it take me? about 2-3 years?

  18. Marilynn

    People in my area have no knowledge of the fact that fast growth shampoos (of course with no sulfates, no parabens or DEA) are even a thing. Hair styling enthusiasts now may enjoy longer hair and experience more possibilities. Undoubtedly worth investigating.

    If you’re thinking about alopecia, damaged hair, preventing hair disorders, fast hair growth, hair health generally, the same rules apply.

    As a general rule, you have to steer clear of hair treatments and products that use chemicals like parabens, DEA or sulfates.

    What’s healthy for your hair is good for your skin all the same.

    It goes without saying the content here is spot on for multiple reasons. It steers away from the accustomed errors and errors too many fall into- getting horrible alternatives. Thank you so much!

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