Look, there’s always a honeymoon phase when you chop off your hair into a pixie. But after settling into the reality of short hair—like spending eight million years smoothing out your baby hairs and feeling high-key panicked when that pool of sweat starts collecting on your neck—you’re probably left wondering how TF you can grow out that pixie haircut...uh, immediately.
But even though growing an Ariana Grande–worthy ponytail overnight is physically impossible (you hear that, hair-growth vitamins?), there’s still a bunch of tips and tricks that make the awkward growing out phase so much easier. Ahead, seven things to keep in mind while you’re growing out your pixie (although let’s face it, you’ll probs chop it off again as soon as it’s longer).
Know how long it takes to grow out a pixie.
Alright, here’s the thing: There is no magic pill, serum, or treatment that’ll grow out your pixie immediately. Depending on your starting length, you’re probably looking at a good three to four months until your pixie becomes a bob. “Don’t buy into the hype of these miracle pills that promise a change overnight,” trichologist Dominic Burg, chief scientist at Evolis Professional, has told Cosmo. “Hair growth takes time—think: half an inch a month.”Continue reading below ↓Continue reading below ↓Recommended Videos
That said, there are things you can do to set your pixie up for success during the grow-out phase—don't worry, it doesn’t look like a mullet—as long as you go into the process with realistic expectations and a few styling tips and tricks (which, obvs, I got you covered with).Continue reading below ↓
Get regular trims.
Yeah, I know it feels counterintuitive to cut your hair when you’re trying to grow it out, but regular trims are non-negotiable if you’re after long, healthy-looking hair. Frayed layers or split ends can actually cause your hair to break higher up on the strand, leaving you with thinner-looking hair that won’t grow past a certain length (so, uh, the opposite of your goal). The solution? Trim your pixie every 10 to 12 weeks—just ask your stylist to cut an eighth of an inch off to clean up your ends. You’ll barely notice a difference, but your strands definitely will.
Shampoo your hair less.
“It’s shocking to me how many people skip conditioner when showering, which is the worst thing you can do for your hair—especially when you’re trying to grow it long,” celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend has told Cosmo. “In reality, it’s actually shampoo that you should be skipping as much as possible,” he says, since many cleansers are spiked with crazy-harsh sulfates that strip your hair’s natural oils (which are key for growing out a pixie). Try to limit your cleansing to every other day, max, and when you do wash your hair, make sure it’s with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo.Continue reading below ↓
The key to growing out a pixie? Making sure your hair is as healthy and hydrated as possible. In addition to using your regular conditioner—which should be filled with ultra-moisturizing ingredients like argan oil or shea butter—try adding a treatment or mask to your routine at least once a week. Pro tip: I like to use a deep conditioner on the days I know I’ll be shampooing my hair since that ish can feel a little heavy on shorter lengths.Continue reading below ↓
Minimize heat damage.
I get it: Sometimes heat styling is unavoidable when you’re dealing with an awkward, in-between length, so if you can’t lay off the flat iron or blow-dryer while you’re growing out your pixie, at least promise me you’ll use a protectant spray every single time (need I remind you how freaking easy it is to damage your hair with heat?).
Use the right hair products.
Even though waxes and pomades seem like the easiest way to smooth flyaways and baby hairs while you’re growing out a pixie, the majority of these formulas are way too heavy—and can actually leave your hair looking greasy or flat. Instead, swap ’em out for a lightweight mousse, using just a teeeeny bit of product to shape and smooth your ends (the farther from your roots, the better).
Style short hair with accessories.
There’s no better way to get through growing out your pixie than with a few strategically placed hair clips or bobby pins. Layer a few snap clips for a ’90s inspired look, or stack on some bobby pins for a sleek vibe (psst: if you mist your bobby pins with texturizing spray, they’ll stick to your hair better).Continue reading below ↓
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.