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Hairy Situation: How to Grow Out Short Hair in Style


After rocking a boy-cut shag à la Natalie Imbruglia’s early career for two years, I started to get long-hair lust. Everywhere I went, long hair mocked me. Layers, shags, straight, curly; it all taunted me.

Back when I had long hair down to my waist, I was a tomboy. My morning hair routine consisted of making a ponytail. But now that my beauty regime has stepped up a few notches, I’m lacking a few feet of hair and experiencing Phantom Hair Syndrome.

And so a couple of months ago, I made an important decision. I would stay away from the scissors and begin the painful and arduous journey of growing my hair. Any woman that has undertaken this task knows what a commitment it is.

It means bad hair days, awkward flyaway hair, and all too often, a few weeks in the growing-out period where hair shape is frighteningly mullet-like.

I’ve experienced it all and believe me, it hasn’t been pretty. But I’ve picked up some tricks along the way that have kept me from taking the kitchen scissors to my locks in a fit of hair-rage.

Here’s how to grow out short hair and stay sane and chic:

1. Stock up on thick headbands and hair scarves. Think Lauren Conrad’s signature headband look, sans about a foot of hair. The pop of fabric on a short crop looks très cute and is perfect for holding down hair that starts sticking up in an alarming fashion.

2. Cut bangs. When the state of my hair was getting hopeless, I grabbed a pair of sharp scissors and a comb, and cut blunt bangs into the grown-out side fringe I had already. If you don’t have a steady hand or don’t have bangs at all right now, head to a stylist. Bangs will spice up your look, and you can keep trimming them yourself while the rest of your hair grows out.

3. Play with your part. If you usually part your hair down the middle, part it down the side. If you already part it down the side, either switch sides or play with how deep the part is. It’ll change the overall shape of the hair around your face and give you a new look so you’re not tempted to chop it off altogether.

4. When in doubt, wear a hat. I have a friend who wore a hat every day, removing it only to go to sleep, for an entire semester while growing out a perm. You don’t have to take such drastic measures, but I would invest in a few flattering hats for those days when nothing works and you’re late for class because you spent your morning bashing your blow-dryer against the wall. Especially in the cooler months, a cute knit cap is totally weather-appropriate, even in class. Going to work? Lose the hat altogether and throw on that headband, because hat-hair won’t do your ‘do any favors.

If pain is beauty, well, you’re in for an agonizing few months. But keep your head up and your hair under control and you’ll be swinging your hair around like you’re auditioning for a shampoo commercial in no time!