Growing Out Hair

Woman with pixie-short hair and wearing a nylon blouse
Photo: William Moss/Shutterstock
Q: I've pretty much always worn my hair short - since I was in grade school - but now I'd really like to let it grow out, but I'm not sure what kind of a hassle I'm in for. Do you have any suggestions? How can I avoid all the hassle when I grow out my hair?
A: Actually, yes. I have lots of suggestions for growing out short hair, and a few warnings. First of all, you're actually in a better position than you think.
When your hair is really short, even when it's layered, there's much less difference in the actual lengths of the hair on top versus the hair on the bottom edge of your hairstyle. This means that you can more quickly grow your hair to a length where you can achieve uniform length if you want, or shift your style into a longer layered look.
A good option for you is to talk with your stylist and look at magazines to find styles you like that are of different lengths and come up with a 'game plan'. Set targets and work the changes in stages.
If you're starting with a short pixie cut, maybe target the next look as the purdey or a Dorothy Hamill style. From there progress to a short bob just below the ears, and then aim for the chin-length bob. Your stylist can help you make sure the looks will be flattering and that you can get from point A to point B in the amount of time you want.
This method will be time consuming, but not much more so than the "grow and trim" method. It also has the benefit of allowing you to experiment with different styles and keep your look new and exciting.
There is, however, another option available to today's woman: hair extensions. The science behind hair extensions has advanced to the point where a properly executed set of extensions is virtually undetectable and far more durable than ever imagined in the past.
The newest technique in applying hair extensions is called fusion. This method uses a bonding agent activated by a special tool to adhere small clusters of hair strands to the existing strands of hair. The result is a completely natural looking set of extensions (since the hair used is real hair and can be blended to match any hair color) that with proper care will last as long as six months.
The cost of fusion extensions is often prohibitive, however, and depending on the number of extensions that are applied, can run anywhere from several hundred, to a few thousand dollars. There are less expensive alternatives, such as hair bonding, which averages between $200 and $500 depending on the amount of hair. This may be a good choice if you want instant long locks but weren't born to millionaire parents.
See also:
10 reasons to let your hair grow long
How fast does hair grow?
Does short hair grow faster than long hair?
From short to shoulder-length hair in gradual steps