guide / hair

GROWING OUT A PIXIE CUT: Timeline from start to finish (~2 years)

 So far, this is the year of “should have been”s. Maybe it’s my addict side but there’s a part of me that, despite any opposing logic or reason, feels I can force situations to completely conform to my will. There’s believing in yourself, there’s determination, there’s hard work, and then there’s just being painfully stubborn. Guess which category I’ve qualified for in 2016?

First, there was my big move back home, which fell through and briefly devastated me- especially having to cancel the third round of interviews for a nutrition job there, ESPECIALLY especially having to tell my friends and family that I couldn’t make it work. Last week, I had to cancel my trip to Yellowstone to do my first half-marathon after several freak snow days gutted my PTO stockade. Although I was planning to go back to school to become a registered dietitian, I found that the time and money likely wouldn’t pay off. I stuck to my capsule wardrobe for over a month but then a big change (which will become apparent at the end of this post) upset that so I’ve gone back to a clothing free-for-all as Virginia haltingly begins spring. I swore to myself that I’d make dedicated use of my pole but with warm weather and festival season calling my name, I’ve been eyeing some LED hoops and daydreaming of hooping on an empty campus this summer. And then there was growing out my hair…

First, let’s just get to what y’all really want: the timeline AKA hope that your pixie grow-out nightmare will be short-lived. It’s no wonder that one of my GROWING OUT A PIXIE CUT posts has 1/4 of my blog’s views- over 15,000 as of this posting date. I get it; when I was in that awful stage of hair growing over my ears like some insidious shrubbery from The Shining, I regularly stalked the pixie grow-out posts of various bloggers before me. In fact, here were some of my favorites:

While scrolling through and agonizing over Biotin vs. fish oil vs. inversion method vs. growth shampoo, keep these things in mind:

  • My hair, at least during this documented period in my life, grew extremely slowly. One reason was that I bleached it to death as if my strands were Beric Dondarrion being revived countless times by the Lord of Light. But it doesn’t work that way. Once damage is in your hair, you can baby it and placate it but that’s a doodle that can’t be undid, ya feel? If you want a faster grow-out, avoid heat, bleach, and other damaging processes/products. So much dead hair cut off at my trims. So much.
  • Another reason is that I went to a few layer-happy hairstylists. This had it’s pros and cons- pros being that I never had anything resembling a bowl cut, cons being that waiting for all the layers to even out added lots of time on. It’s a trade-off and your choice.
  • I tried so many supplements and products over the years- this was not my first endeavor growing out my hair, just my last time of getting a solid pixie cut before a 23 month grow-out. And the thing that helped me the most? Oddly enough, it was my depression. Because I had far heavier things on my mind than measuring my hair growth every two weeks. My point is: try not to obsess and the time will go by so much faster. Get some headbands and bobby pins and then live your life. Done preaching now, promise.
  • Because I had long bouts of depression during this time (pre-medication as well as some other life changes) some months have less pictures than others. Or maybe I was just busy. Or maybe I was really feelin’ myself and took a selfie every day. Hence a lack of consistency throughout so let me know if you have any questions along the way.
  • You can see exact dates and obviously a bigger size if you click on each picture in the mini-galleries. I also tried to show multiple angles and styling ideas- the most straight-forward, linear timeline will be the main photo collage above. However, it does not go by month. Now without further adieu, the arduous pixie grow-out of 2014-2016.

IN THE BEGINNING…

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MARCH 14TH 2014: My last for-very-real pixie cut

 

MARCH 2014 (start)

I went into the salon for a professional dye job after several so-so efforts of my own and ended up spontaneously telling my stylist to just chop it all off again.


APRIL 2014 (1 month)

I found creative ways to keep my growing bangs out of my face and my sides growing while still keeping the back and neck short. That’s your key to avoiding the dreaded pixie mullet. And yes, it adds on significant time. The “updo” was a play on Anne Hathaway’s March 2014 look.


MAY 2014 (2 months)

My hair was just long enough to have natural texture and I do love my pastel hair immortalized forever in graduation photos. You’re welcome, parents.


JUNE 2014 (3 months)

I had a pretty significant chop to an asymmetrical layered style in very early June. This approach really helped me look cute throughout my process but as I said before, waiting for the layers to even out in the middle did take additional time. Despite that, I’d still go this route. In mid-June, I tried going back to my natural color but got stuck with some unfortunate gold-hued highlights that I loathed, as well as a distrust for anyone but myself to put dye on my hair.


JULY 2014 (4 months)

Back to pink/lavender in early July as well as some bodacious curls at the end of the month for one of my favorite (but most damaging) looks. This is when I learned how much heat can damage already fragile hair. Still, very babely, if I do say so myself.


 

AUGUST 2014 (5 months)

My long pixie-bob continued to grow nicely and my damage the previous month didn’t stop me from using the curling wand for an event in late August.


 SEPTEMBER 2014 (6 months)

This was the beginning of a major depressive swing that lasted for awhile so this is literally the only two pictures I can find from this month (which is shocking for someone as vain and Insta-happy as me.)


OCTOBER 2014 (7 months)

My short side finally began growing over my ears this month, which was both exciting and bothersome to style.


NOVEMBER 2014 (8 months)

Oh boy. Lots of bleach damage this month. My ends are absolutely fried in that last picture. This is a lesson in why not to emotionally dye your hair.


DECEMBER 2014 (9 months)

This month, I discovered Overtone Color Conditioners and so my hair caught a little break (compared to the previous month, at least.)


 

JANUARY 2015 (10 months)

My hair was shag-central at the point but that (and Whippy Cake’s double mini-bun tutorial) only inspired me to get a little more creative.


FEBRUARY 2015 (11 months)

At the very end of the month, I got a long overdue trim that lopped off that dopey little ponytail I was so proud of in early February.


MARCH 2015 (12 months)

My hairdresser from the previous month commented (not very gently) on my roots. Since I had sworn off bleach for one of my New Year’s resolutions, I went back to brunette with some demi-permanent dye so that I wouldn’t have to worry about any dye maintenance nonsense while I was in Iceland.


APRIL 2015 (13 months)

The back of my hair was finally catching up enough to become a short bob. I loved the length in the second two pictures.


MAY 2015 (14 months)

This month revived my top bun obsession; no matter how silly it looked, more oft than not, I was sportin’ a lil bb bun.


JUNE 2015 (15 months)

The first picture is a prime example of why having lots of layers can take you back a few steps in the long run. While I’d managed to get a good amount of growth, everything was uneven and not super flattering.


JULY 2015 (16 months)

Finally to a solid asymmetrical bob! But with a ton of dead ends that needed to go. To keep things interesting, I got my nape shaved and it looked so kick-ass. I adore partially shaved hairstyles but didn’t want to stall my progress much more. It also allowed me to fake ponytails and buns.


AUGUST 2015 (17 months)

This stage was bit awkward for my long side so the top bun returned and remained for most of the month. It was also when I began to regularly use Black Malva conditioner from Aveda to lazily maintain my silver ombre.


SEPTEMBER 2015 (18 months)

The length/color in the last two pics were fantastic. But as you can see in the first photo, I was still a ways away from up-dos without the assistance of headbands or bobby pins.


OCTOBER 2015 (19 months)

As you can see from this month and the previous, my haircut in July set me up for success now. Although I hadn’t had a trim since, my hair stayed even and true. Shout out to Becca, my main hair chick who always does me right. Thanks, girl.


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NOVEMBER 23RD 2015

NOVEMBER 2015 (20 months)

This is the only picture I can find of myself from this month, as all other are of hiking and going to see Circa Survive. I did get a minor trim the night before Thanksgiving in an attempt to liven up my struggling ends.


DECEMBER 2015 (21 months)

Officially in “lob” territory now. Trying to maintain the silver-turned-green on my ends and my natural roots was starting to become a hassle.


JANUARY 2016 (22 months)

I showed you guys in this post how I went back to my natural color with Aveda’s Clove conditioner. It did look great but again, the contrasting needs of my natural roots and damaged ends got a bit annoying.


FEBRUARY 2016 (23 months)

And since that contrast continued to be a continual nuisance, I normally just shoved everything I could into a top bun and called it a day. By this point, my length of my hair (though I was very proud of it) was becoming annoying. It usually looked pretty messy and I had a hard time keeping both my roots clean and my ends heavy-duty moisturized.


But then…

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FEBRUARY 22ND 2016

Just about three weeks shy of what would have been two years of growth, I was looking through old pictures for my 5 year sobriety anniversary video. And looking back, I could see how flattering short hair is for me, how easy it was, how great it was in the warmer months to come. I also saw myself in one of the happiest times of my life. Why had I grown out my hair in the first place? It was after cutting it shorter and shorter and shorter from the anxiety of trying to distance myself from my stalker, who thought it endearing (I guess? flattering? I’m not sure) to continuously emulate each of my subsequent haircuts. Growing out my hair became this oddly-manifested symbolism of rejecting that paranoia, fear, and any sort of involvement with my emotional abuser. (Edit: Some of your previously expressed concern when I mentioned my experience with this in a past post but there’s no need for concern. Even in the height of this, the intended gas-lighting and other inappropriate behavior got to me because I let it and I stayed silent for a long while. Now that I have been and continue to be open with those around me, I view it as a laughable, minor irritation at worst and a learning experience at best.) And then, as previously mentioned, I just stopped caring about my hair nearly as much and let it go in the name of one day obtaining true top bun status.

But once I get that feeling of I-want-to-change-my-hair-NOW, it’s hard to shut it down. I thought I would regret it- in fact, I was certain of it when I saw my hair almost brushing my shoulder blades while sitting in the stylist’s chair- but I haven’t at all. Even while enjoying all the cute moments I had throughout my grow-out, short hair is just so much more… me. I looked in the mirror when I got home from the salon and it was like recognizing a long lost friend, “oh there you are!” I may grow my hair out to a very short bob/longer pixie and I may go 100% short again. Who knows. But it feels good to be at home in my skin again.

MARCH 2016 (24 months)


Like I said, it’s already been a year that hasn’t gone exactly according to plain. Staying in my current living area and job allow me to consider a graduate program that wouldn’t have been an option otherwise. And come August, I’ll be in a living situation that will allow me to actually save for and attend grad school, if I choose to do so. Instead of going to Yellowstone, I’ll be volunteering at Bonnaroo for the first time (and possibly attending another festival, still undecided on that.) While I’ve (for the most part) decided that right now nutrition is better as a personal interest, it allowed me to discover another healthcare path that I’m working toward. Cutting my hair means that a lot of the capsule wardrobe items aren’t as flattering but I still have tons of adorable clothes leftover from before my grow-out that I’ve been missing. So if you need some deeper message from this post that just stressing about hair length, know that some of the best things in life are unexpected and out of our control.

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Photo credit to friend and incredibly talented artist Brian Serway. Click the picture to check out his amazing Instagram feed!

If you have any questions, whether they are hair-related or not, please write me in the comments below or contact me on my various social media outlets. Also, if you have anything you’d like to see in a future video or post, just let me know. I love hearing from y’all!

For more hair, healthy living, food, and fashion inspiration, be sure to follow Work Hard Stay Humble Co. on BlogLovinPinterestTumblr, YouTube, and Instagram!

 

 

Be kind. Live authentically. Practice gratitude. Hustle daily. Work hard. Stay humble.

DISCLAIMER:

This is a personal blog. As the creator, I may mention, discuss, and review products but I have not been paid or sponsored for any of my opinions. My opinions reflect only my personal feelings and experiences, unless otherwise specified. I do not claim copyright on any of the shown products. Any media, writing, or other website content published is created and owned by the author, unless otherwise specified.

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27 thoughts on “GROWING OUT A PIXIE CUT: Timeline from start to finish (~2 years)

  1. Pingback: GROWING OUT A PIXIE CUT: Letting It All Hang Out | Work Hard Stay Humble

  2. Leah you’ve shown me a lot in this post, and also convinced me I need to start taking more photos of myself. I don’t view any of it as vain. It’s your life. You’re recording it. I love how you can see such subtle growth since there are so many photos. Plus just in general I love your hair and your photography style. Loving this all the way around.
    xo

      • Yes things are really good. Mutually pleased to have found you online. Your honesty in my early recovery struggles was quite honestly very important for me. It meant a lot that someone cared, and was willing to share, and encourage. So. 😊

  3. Hi! Love your style. You make me want to dye my hair lavender.

    So I’m also growing out my pixie. Just wanted to know how often did you trim it? Or should I just never cut it and let it be wild? I have yet to find a good stylist. They always cut way to much off. Is there anyway to grow it out, not cut it, and not look like an awkward teenage boy from the 90s?

    • Hey, Liz! Thanks for reading. I got trims every 3-4 months; otherwise it’d be mullet city in the back. The trade off was that that meant losing some length. I think the trims were worth it because they made the grow out more bearable. Best of luck to you and thanks for reading!

  4. Hi Leah,
    I started this with looking for ways to grow out my pixie but reading your article I realized a lot more that I to focus on my hair when I am sad or when I don’t like my life so much. It is important to love who you are. Good luck in school if you go back or life in general. Thanks for the openness it was something I needed today. 😊

  5. You are currently my hair goals as I’m growing out my hair. I shaved my head in May of this year, and my hair isn’t as long as yours is at the start of this timeline. My only thing is I cut my own hair, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to maintain the back/bottom. But I love your hair.

  6. This is literally the best article I’ve seen about growing out hair. You give the perfect amount of detail and your honesty is wonderful. Feels like I’m taking advice from a friend! Thanks for sharing and chronicling your journey for the rest of us!

  7. This was really fun to read because I’m just like you. I love my pixie but from time to time I decide to grow it out. I stay with it long for a few months, 2 or 3 maybe, but then I look back at my old pictures.. All ruined. I ask myself the exact same question “why had I grown it out to begin with??” and chop it all over again. Right now I’m growing it out after keeping it super short for 1,5 years.. Guess I’ll start looking for my new cut already haha! Thanks for sharing your journey! Hugs x

  8. I was looking for some tips about growing out my pixie cut because it has become really frustrating for me. As some people want me to grow it out. And I myself not sure what to do. I used to be the girl with long hair before I chopped it all off 2 years ago and became the member of the Pixie Club. And I really enjoyed it. I kinda found my confidence. But now I’m thinking of growing it out and became frustrated. Before I came to your blog, I have read some others and still didn’t find anything I was looking for. But here, you inspired me! Now I know what to do. Thanks a lot! Huggss! 🙂

  9. Thanks so much for sharing your story! It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who cycles from pixie to tough grow out to pixie all over again. 🙂

  10. This post was just what I needed! I have a major undercut, basically a faux hawk or pomp, and have been going back and forth about growing it out. It’s been three years with the same style and that’s almost unheard of for me! I can never commit lately, one way or the other and the end of the post really spoke to me. Why do I want to grow my hair out? Am I feeling restless? Am I having hair envy after binge watching Pretty Little Liars? (It’s a guilty pleasure…) Even if I do grow it out, it certainly isn’t going to look like that…plus, a full time job, owning a business and chasing a four year old make styling long hair less appealing.

    Thank you for the insight and the inspiration. I just stumbled across your blog this morning and I’m definitely going to continue to check it out! 🙂

  11. Hey Leah just stumbled across your blog today whilst googling growing out short hair 😀 Very interesting as you are the first I’ve come across with the same hairstyle ie asymmetrical so lots to think about. My hair actually grows super fast so should be ok BUT like you I actually suit/prefer it shorter, I guess just bored with it lol. I know I’ll end up growing it then chopping it off again, love all your colours but due to ahem grey coming in strong I’ve had to go blonde 😣. I know the struggle.

  12. Loved your photos, and it seems like my stylist is doing exactly as you did. As I read your blog on growing out a pixie and some of the comments of others, I will probably do the same thing, cut it back to a pixie once I’ve grown it out. I also think I decided to grow it out for some of the same reasons others have gone to the extreme. I started growing mine out a couple months after my son committed suicide. He died in September 2016.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I love all your pictures! I’m currently growing my pixie out too. My short side has just grown long enough to tuck behind my ear, but i feel like they keep cutting too much off when I go in for my trims (every 2 months). Did you get your stylist to just trim your neck and the back and leave the sides pretty much? I think I need to be more specific when I go in. Thanks so much!

  14. Hi! I was wondering if you could give me any advice. When I got my hair cut into a pixie a few months ago my hair stylist didn’t know what they were doing and took 3 hours to give me an awful cut.

    She basically left the hair on the nape of my neck about 2 inches long so it wouldn’t curl, as I have wavy hair, but it looks really bad. Not only that, but I also asked her to leave my bangs long and it’s like she left some of them long but cut about a third of them too short.
    Long story short I don’t like what I look like and it’s quite literally giving me social anxiety at school.

    Tomorrow I am going to a different stylist at a different salon who specializes in short hair. I think I want to grow it out, but right now I am starting at the beginning of the mullet stage. Would it make sense for me to shave my nape like you did? Also, was that a pain to grow out?

    Thank you so much! Also, you look great with the purple cut!

    • It depends. I liked having a shaved nape but yeah, my process took longer because of it. So it depends on what you personally prefer: a less comfortable but shorter grow-out time or a more comfortable but longer grow-out time. I’m sorry you had such a poor experience with your last cut and I hope the stylist tomorrow can ease your anxiety a bit. I know the feeling, by the way. When I cut my hair short, it felt like the most noticeable feature about me, like everyone could sense and feel my palpable discomfort. For what it’s worth, I can GUARANTEE that no one cared about my grow-out as much as I did. Also, as a note, I have never had a “perfect” grow-out. There was always some measure of impatience, self-consciousness, unease, uncertainty. But the good news is that that is temporary- even if it certainly DID NOT feel that way in the moment. I apologize if I’m not making a lot of sense, as my brain is addled with caffeine and schoolwork stress, but I wish you the best of luck. I hope something I’ve written now or last year helped ease your worry. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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