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    (Unsolicited, But Necessary) Advice For Growing Out A Pixie Cut (From Someone Who Is In The Process Of Doing So)

    You can do this...it may take awhile and annoy you, but you CAN DO THIS! You will grow out that pixie haircut! (Originally posted on my blog, Allison's Written Words)

    Personal Collection / Via facebook.com

    This was me in December 2013, with my hair at its shortest.

    Personal Collection / Via allisonswrittenwords.blogspot.com

    This is me as of this month, five months since I made the decision to grow out what you see above.

    A pixie cut is a bold haircut. It says so much about the person who wears it, mostly because of the lack of hair to hide one's head under. As a girl with thin, fine pin straight hair who has forever alternated between long locks and, in more recent years, bob haircuts, I felt the pixie cut was the answer to all of my "my hair won't cooperate!" and "why do I have to use a curling iron?" days. When I originally decided to be a twenty-nine-year-old rebel in 2011 and "cut it all off," it was a move I was both excited and nervous about, but one I had thought about enough…the weekend before. Because if I have learned anything about appropriate decision making, the less time you think about doing something, the less likely you are to back out of the idea altogether.

    My pixie has varied in length over the course of its life span – initially not that short until 2013, to slightly shorter for a few months in 2013, to "let's be daring!" in the last few month of 2013 until April of this year, when I finally decided that I wanted to have hair that bounced again. That and I didn't appreciate my mom telling me that she was afraid someone would think I was a guy from behind.

    Clearly I'm built like a guy, dress like one, and you should automatically assume that I am in fact a guy standing in front of you in line.

    So, the decision was made (again, over a weekend of thinking) to grow out my pixie cut from its most drastic length (see December 2013). And while it has been rather uneventful growing my hair out, I won't lie about the whole concept not having its moments – the dreaded awkward length, the reintroduction of the dreaded curling iron, the uncooperativeness of unruly thin/fine hair in general. I won't lie, it's not easy to grow out a pixie cut, but it is possible.

    And since I'm in the position to give warranted (or unwarranted?) advice, I am happy to present to you five very important pieces of advice I've had to give myself about growing out a pixie cut, and how it is possible not to run screaming to the stylist after two months of trying and saying "I can't do this anymore! It's awful and my hair hates me! CUT IT OFF!"

    Because I have done that, and it isn't always rational thinking.

    It's the HAIR talking!!!! THE HAIR!!

    Piece of Advice #1: Hair Grows!

    Personal Collection / Via allisonswrittenwords.blogspot.com

    You may not believe this, but despite your rational (irrational?) thinking, hair does, in fact, grow. It's subtle as to its progress, but when you're only having one third of your hair trimmed monthly (for example, I'm only getting the back trimmed each appointment, more on that later), it's easier to see the progress. According to How Stuff Works, hair grows, on average, about half a millimeter a day, and about half an inch per month. Certain factors, such a pregnancy, age, and genetics, can all have effects on growth. If you're in my family, then fast hair growth genes are abundant…we need haircuts on a regular schedule. Don't chalk it up to age – my parents are in their sixties, and both have fast-growing hair. My brother and I, both in our thirties, need haircuts regularly (him every two-three weeks, me every four).

    So if you're trying to grow out your pixie cut and you're convinced that there is no possible way your hair is growing…it is! And much faster than you think! Two months after I began growing my hair out, it was noticeable…awkward length and all, but it was noticeably longer!

    Piece of Advice #2: Cut the Back of the Hair (and Allow the front to Grow!)

    liveistria / Via liveistria.com

    NOOOOOO! Don't do it!

    The best advice my current stylist gave me, when I decided to grow out my pixie cut, was to shorten the length in the back of my hair. This may not sound right, since one is trying to grow their hair, but run with me on this, it is a lifesaver. By keeping the back short, the illusion of more happens in the front. By keeping the back short, this allows the front to continue to grow uninterrupted so it will eventually catch up with the back. Not doing this results in a most undesired style…

    thatdingostolemy6pack.com / Via thatdingostolemy6pack.com

    So classic, yet...yeah, classic. That's it.

    I like this. Just not on my head. But he wore it well.

    Mullets are so 1980s, so MacGyver, so…not the way you want to be captured in a photo. So don't allow it. You're better than that, and your hair deserves all of the dignity it can muster during this time of awkward length. Why make it more noticeable and awkward?

    Piece of Advice #3: Stay on a Consistent Schedule with Hair Appointments

    Madison (Wisconsin) K12 / Via madison.k12.wi.us

    Be sure to maintain a consistent styling schedule. The recommendation (based on how fast my hair grows) is four weeks. That's sound advice. Budgets don't always allow for four weeks, so it's ok to push for five. Everyone is different, hair grows differently, and some people have more tolerance than others. I have no tolerance. Two days before a scheduled appointment, I'm threatening to chop it all off again. A trim of the hair always reminds me that everything is right with the world, and that yes, my hair is really growing!

    If budget allows, keep up with regular touch ups and even highlights if you feel so empowered. It's a huge morale booster for when you absolutely hate your hair, because even if the style isn't working yet, the color looks fantastic!

    Piece of Advice #4: Blow Dry/Style Your Hair (and Use the Dreaded Curling Iron!)

    For the most part, a pixie cut is a "wash and wear" or "wash and shake the dampness out with a hairdryer" type of style. A pixie cut in the process of growing out is the opposite. A growing pixie cut needs to be treated like longer hair – it needs blow drying and styling so it styles correctly. And when it really hits the awkward length, in my experience, a curling iron works well to flip the length under and disguise the awkwardness the result is a very short bob, but it disguises any awkwardness. I only started using a curling iron in early September, so nearly five months of attempting to grow my hair is nice progress before needing to disguise the "almost out of the awkward stage" length.

    Piece of Advice #5: Take the Compliment!

    Sanctuary Counseling / Via sanctuarycounseling.com

    People will compliment you on your hair and remark on how long it has gotten. Take the compliment! You may hate growing it out, but don't let others know it. And if someone says they understand what it's like to grow out a pixie cut (and everyone has the horror stories of growing hair), it is fine to swap stories and commiserate on the horrors of hair growing. Everyone has been there!

    To Wrap it All Up Nicely…in the Barrel of a Curling Iron…

    Growing hair is not fun. It's not pretty. It really sucks. I'll give it that. But it's not the worst thing you will ever experience in your lifetime. There are far worse calamities that will befall you, your family, society on the whole, the world, the solar system, etcetera, so on, and so forth, but it will be ok. Really, it will!

    And just think, your hair will be all one length one day, and be ready to continue to grow! That pixie cut will be a reminder of that fleeting time in your life when you decided to have a "rebellious phase," in which your hair was the hapless victim. You'll look back on that time and laugh.

    Because you know he probably does.