Are you sitting at home wondering what will happen first? The barbers opening or you getting out the clippers? It feels like the masses have taken to the internet with their trending new lock-down buzz cut. However, if you have been wanting to try longer hair, this is also a great time to let those locks of hair grow. Be patient. Instead of going all out with the clippers, try gently trimming the edges, and when styling, try drying or slicking back the sides first, it makes it easier to then style the top.
As lock-down draws on, and your hair gets longer, here are some quick tips on how to grow out your hair:
1. Dry and style the sides before styling the top
If you’re trying to grow out your short hair, there may be a few things you need to get used to.
While with short hair or tight sides your main focus is shaping the hair on the top of your head, as your hair grows out, you will need to spend just as much time focusing on the sides and back too. I always like to style and completely dry the sides before moving on to the top. It helps to keep them tamed and out of the way, for when you finish on top.
You might find that the back and sides will begin to take longer to style than the top, but they do have the potential to contribute more to the style.
2. Maintenance cuts
I know a viral trend lately has been the buzz cut, but if you’re longing for a haircut or are scared of doing it yourself. Then take it easy and just trim a bit around the ears, sideburns and the back of your neck. Don’t try to cut into the length or do your own fade, because growing out your hair from an undercut is more awkward. It’s best to just let the hair grow out evenly.
Tips for DIY maintenance haircuts
- Use a beard trimmer to clean up the edges and around the neck line (it helps if you can get someone to help you around the back or your neck.
- Always start by cutting the hair longer than your desired finishing length. If you do decide to trim and shape your hair, don’t try to do it all at once.
- Using clippers
- If using clippers to give some more shape around the sides, use the longest guard to start with and gradually take off a little bit at a time by pulling the clippers away from the head as you move them up.
- Use thinning shears, not ordinary scissors
- If you’re just wanting to take a bit of weight and puffiness out of the sides, try gently running a pair of thinning shears through the sides to take out some of the weight without creating harsh cut lines or taking off too much length. Kitchen scissors are a definite no no.
- Thinning shears generally only cut off up to 30% of hair per chop, but if you keep cutting at the same spot it will eventually cut it all off, so try to chop sparingly, while evenly trying to move throughout different parts of the head.
- And again don’t cut too deep, start by just gently trimming some of the edges.
- Only ever cut on dry and lightly styled hair.
- While we all know a lot of barbers do a lot of cutting on wet hair, you might think you should too. But don’t. Barbers are trained and know what they are doing.
- Cutting on wet hair makes it harder to see what impact the cuts are having to the end style and wet hair looks longer than dry hair.
- By trimming your lightly styled, clean dry hair, you can gradually make subtle trims to and know how it affects the style.
3. Don’t wash your hair as often
While a lot of the reasons out there to not wash your hair everyday are related to keeping your hair healthy, which is a bonus, there’s another good reason. If you don’t wet or wash your hair everyday, it means you don’t have to spend as much time dying and styling your hair everyday. Which really is one of the demotivating factors about growing out or having longer hair.
So try using a shower cap in the shower, it will help to get the water and steam from soaking your hair. You can keep it a secret if you want and buy a low key clear shower cap. Or, you can go all out with a quirking and hilarious shower cap, since there’s nothing with wearing a shower cap. Why not have some fun with it.
For me, particularly when I’m having a good hair day, I’ll leave it 2-4 days before washing/rinsing my hair. Which honestly saves me a ton of time.
But you may be asking yourselves right now… How do you stop your hair from getting greasy and looking dirty? Well that brings me to tip number 4.
4. Use dry shampoo
I would like to thank the wonders of dry shampoo for helping me keep my style fresh and hair looking clean for days after washing it. For best results I would recommend a light coating of dry shampoo before bed and in the morning. This helps to prevent a build-up of greasiness overnight from ruining your hair, and keeps it fresh throughout the day.
Dry shampoo is typically a powdered aerosol spray that uses starch-like powders and alcohols to absorb and dry the excess oils on the hair to give a cleaner and more matte finish. It can also be found in powder form, and does help to give the hair more body and texture. They have a similar effect to texture powders, but don’t add as much tackiness once applied to the hair.
One of the best performing and most cost effective dry shampoos out there is Batiste. To apply, you just spray bit by bit throughout your hair and run your hands through the spread evenly. It is super quick and is great for keeping hair looking fresh or refreshing second-day hair.
5. Stay inside or wear a hat
One of the benefits of being in lock-down when growing out your hair is you don’t have to worry as much about styling your hair as much, because less people can see it anyway. So why not let it grow out in a more relaxed style.
Another tip, if you need to get out of the house for a quick visit to the shops or some exercise, you can always throw on a hat, to save a lengthy styling progress.
Styling can be one of the most damaging things for your hair. Exposing your hair to less styling treatments, like heat, brushes, styling products will help to protect your hair from as much breakage, which will help to reduce unnecessary hair loss and can make your hair feel like it’s growing at a faster rate.
6. Use pre styling products
But we all know it’s still nice to shape and style your hair. It can make us feel better about ourselves and at times make it more comfortable than having hair falling in your face. So when you do come to styling your hair, I would suggest relying on pre-styling products instead post-styling products.
As your hair gets ever longer, you might start to find those texturising clays and matte pastes are becoming less effective. While on short hair they are lightweight and add volume, when your hair gets longer they usually won’t have the strength to support the extra weight. And you might find application becomes tougher and tug increases as you try to work it through your longer hair. Finer hair types are likely to experience this sooner than other thicker/coarser hair types, which can typically endure rougher styling products.
So as your hair gets longer you may find the way you use products and style your hair will have to change. Instead of relying on a high holding post styler (product applied to dry hair) to achieve a desired style, you might find it easier to shift towards using lighter pre styling products (applied to damp hair) to help add more of a loose weightless control to your longer hair. This relies on the weight of our hair and added texturevto hold your hair in a style.
Personally I have stopped using most post stylers all together and am relying on a combination of pre styling products and blow drying to style my hair. I am finding products like light gels, thickening tonics, texturising sprays tend to work better in maintaining lower volume loose styles. Occasionally if I want a bit more, I will instead use a wax/pomade or light clay in damp hair before blow drying into shape. Instead of locking hair into a style, I am trying to style my hair so it falls into more of a natural style, and remains re-workable. This way my hair styles fall together, instead of apart.
Of course, this varies from person to person, depending on your hair, and style interests. But if you’re struggling to style your hair during the awkward growing out phase, try experimenting with lighter pre-styling products and more relaxed style.
7. Create a goal
One of the things that can make it hard when growing out your hair is going through several long awkward stages and not knowing where it is going. So try setting a goal. Choose a desired length or style you would like to be able to achieve with your hair, and just go for it. Having a specific length/target in mind will help you to know what’s waiting for somewhere down the line. It will keep you interested and will stop you from constantly wondering when it will be enough.
Thanks for reading guys, I hope this helps. Stay safe, let those locks grow.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.