I’ve been growing out a pixie since early last summer, and am close to the length I was aiming for. The last bits still growing out are the bangs and some shorter pieces on the sides. My hair is fine and wispy, so this is about as long as I’m going to go.
A few of you have asked about the grow-out process. If I’d had more foresight, I would have made a point to take monthly shots from front, back and sides. But I went back through my files and found a few images that show the progress.
About 1 month in…July 2018.
A little over three months…September 2018.
December 2018…getting closer.
January 2019…oh those wayward bangs!
End of February…(during a session with Makeover Workshop).
And this week.
Growing out a pixie requires a lot of patience, and a good hair stylist. I got a cut about every 8 weeks during the process, mostly cleaning up the ends and shaping.
Now that my hair is longer, I’ve had to pay a bit more attention to care to avoid breakage and damage. I’ve cut out styling products that can be drying or create a brittle look. I’m still coloring my hair so that’s a factor too.
Hair Care Products I Swear By…
1 and 2: Shampoo and Condition
I’ve gone back to using Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner almost exclusively. These are gentle enough but still get my hair feeling clean. I used to have an oily scalp that required almost daily washing, but menopause has dialed back the oil production. So I usually wash 3 times per week.
You’d think that tangles and matting wouldn’t be an issue with straight hair, but because mine is so fine, it can easily get knotted. I try to be gentle when towel-drying, but use a wide-tooth de-tangling comb while it’s still wet to keep snarls at bay.
I’ve used this “5-in-1” treatment from Living Proof for a few years now, and still swear by it. I rub a small amount into my wet hair and then comb ☝️ through. It both smooths and adds a bit of volume to my hair. Magic!
5: A Little Oomph
After drying (which yes, takes a little longer than it used to, even if I let it air dry for a while first) I pull the front section back and spray a little of this texturizing spray right at the scalp line. It helps keep the hair from falling directly over my face. (Though on windy days, all bets are off.)
My hair also tends to go flat over the day, so if I’m going out, I’ll spray a little of this around the crown and “floof” a bit. The result is a little more lift and texture, without stiffness or stickiness. And it’s offered in a smaller travel size too! Yes, it’s a little spendy, but I just haven’t found anything else I like as well. If I do find something comparable for less, I’ll let you know.
I’m still figuring out styling…my blow dryer skills are still pretty rudimentary. 😂
Do you find that you need to adjust your hair care products when you change your style?
I have also been growing my hair out from a much shorter pixie cut than yours. I have the added complication of fine but super curly hair. I have had only 1 trim in the last year. I am looking for a new hairdresser proficient with curly hair, this is not an easy task in Sydney. I have found I need to concentrate on conditioning more now otherwise I end up with a frizzy mess in the humidity of summer.
Maryann, there seems to be a salon with DevaCut-certified stylists in Sydney: https://www.projectonehair.com/
My hairdresser brought the DevaCut to Baltimore, which is also horrifically humid in the summer, and I also have fine and super curly hair. I am not growing my hair out though, because as my hairdresser says, “Christine, people with hair like ours don’t have hair that grows north to south. It grows east to west.” 😀
Thanks Christine. I will contact them. Growing my hair is an experiment after short hair most of my life. I don’t want is long but would like is just belong my jaw.
Please share the name of the salon and stylist in Baltimore. Many thanks!
I second the DevaCurl recommendation (if the stylist is good)!
I have been through this process SO MANY TIMES. I too have fine, wispy blonde hair. I always want to wear it a little longer than the roots of my hair have the strength to support and end up frustrated a lot. The short pixie really does not flatter me. I have no answers. For what it’s worth I think the length and styling of your hair in the February picture is charming. All the best on the hair journey!
I liked your pixie because it wasn’t too “military” around the ears. Too many women cut their hair too short on the sides and at the neck–fine if you are seeking a tough look (and I can think of a few who totally pull off an Annie Lennox look), but I’m talking about the ones who want unfussy hair but still look feminine, and they’ve missed it on the feminine point. Anyway, your pixie was very feminine.
That said, a bob is timeless. Just look at Anna Wintour. There’s no looking back at old pictures and saying “OMG, can you believe we wore our hair like that then?” (which is the case with the mullets of the ’70s or helmet bouffants of the ’60s or the big perms of the ’80s, yet bobs co-existed with all those). It’s flattering and fairly easy to style and maintain. I also have a bob (cut by my kid…I mean, it’s just straight). But I went from long to shorter–no growing pains. Just chop, chop!
Looking good but seeing the pixie cut picture reminds me of how perfect that look is for you.
Susan, I must congratulate you on your good grammar! « If I’d had more foresight, I would have made a point… ». Most Americans never use the pluperfect tense!
Your blog is very interesting indeed. I never miss it!
Julia, I heartily agree! A stickler’s thrill.
I prefer your current style, but don’t try to go any longer. It is funny; my hair is thick (but fine) and is not only very curly, it has an African kink inherited from a Caribbean grandfather. (I have blue-green eyes and generally look white, though other Caribbean people have recognised my very dilute African heritage). I want to go shorter than a long shoulder-length cut as my hair is becoming unmanageable with age (dryness). I’m going to actually try a highly-recommended salon that is mostly African-heritage oriented. No, I’m not the only pale gal among their clients…
It is funny that you are using a comb and hydrating products I associate with my utterly opposite hair type!
Admire your patience.
But, I love the short, chic cut on you the most.
I have had the Accidental Icon/ Annie Lennox look for nine years now. My head is basically shaved around the sides and back, but long on top; it now covers the tips of my ears. I can wear this style multiple ways, believe it or not. I like it because it’s an easy travel cut and always looks good. My hair is very processed – I went from dark brunette to platinum blonde. I really have to condition my hair to keep it in top shape. I use a leave-in conditioner like Quai. Your hair journey seems to be going well in spite of the frustrations – it looks really cute now, even though I loved the pixie for you. All the best with the new style! Sometimes a girl has to make some changes.
I’m doing the same thing growing out a pixie. Loved your short cut. I have fine hair and have to be careful as the longer it gets the thinner it looks. It does take patience!!!
I’m a huge pixie fan, and I loved that style on you. You have waaaay more patience than I for the growing out process. My hair is also fine, and I find that it gets more limp the longer it gets. So a long pixie has been my limit for years. That said, I’m tempted by how cute your hair looks now. And I live and die by that purple Pureology set. 🙂
I commend you for having the patience to grow your hair longer. I do think the pixie flatters your cheek bones and is youthful.
I love your blog! You provide such helpful information!
I like your hair at the September 2018 stage. I am growing my hair out from a pixie into a bob but not sure how long I will let it get. My hair is thick and has a slight wave. I can see me going to your September 2018 stage.
Looks great both ways, but like others thought the pixie was perfect for you.
Doing the same but with MASSIVELY thick, wavy hair. The middle stages are kinda funny (or that’s the nice thing to call them). The weird thing is I feel cuter with the short hair, but more feminine with longer hair. Weird.
The late 60’s long, straight style was perfect for my hair. While my friends were trying to straighten their hair with irons or orange juice can rollers, all I had to do was wash and go. But that was 50 years ago. I have tried out about every possible hairstyle since then and have settled on a bob with bangs. My thin, limp hair can not go much longer than chin length without looking sad. By the way, I still prefer the pixie cut on you. And isn’t it the easiest style for you when you are travelling?
It’s actually kind of a trade-off. The pixie cut is easier to wash and dry, but also results in terrible bed-head. So I’d have to wet and dry my hair most mornings to fix it. With longer hair, I can just brush and go on mornings when I don’t have to wash it.
Your longer hair looks terrific…very soft and not aging. May I suggest a product for fine hair? Oribe Imperial Blowout makes my fine hair look thick.
I’ll give it a try, thanks!!
Many thanks for the fine hair tips! i have just gone through the same process and find it difficult to give up the daily shampoo. Although I have finally figured out how to dry it like the salon does, it takes a lot more of my time. I think I will try the Oribe spray to see if it makes me more satisfied with my second day hair.
I have been thinking for a while now that your longer hair is more flattering on you. Interesting how we all see things from our own perspective. Lise
Perfect timing for this post as I have a hair appointment today. I also have fine curly hair. I have been growing it out from a pixie to a short shag. I am considering going back to the pixie because I just can’t get enough fullness on top now. I despise my hair being flat on top. It is very unflattering on me. I agree with the commenter who remarked about finding a stylist who understands cutting curly hair. They are worth their weight in gold. Having curly hair usually means you’ve had years of battles because its not curly enough to just go curly.
You are cute no matter what your hair is doing but I must say the pixie, as in the photo with you wearing the white shirt is my favorite style for you. Not everyone can pull off a short cut like that. It looks fresh and energetic and sassy.
Thanks, Jan! If I ever do cut it short, that would be the length I’d go for, rather than the super-short style.
Liked the pixie cut but I really LOVE the longer hair on you!! I think it’s a younger look. I recently cut my shoulder length hair to a bit more than chin length. I like it but tying it back for a cardio workout is challenging. The bone straight hair of my youth, which all my friends envied, had become frizzy post menopause so I also opted for a keratin treatment which makes me feel more like the me of the 70’s.
I recently stopped dying my hair. The dying process used to add volume and texture which my hair now lacks. It is very fine and straight. My hairdresser used Living Proof dry shampoo to texturize my hair. It is good stuff. It does not dull the hair but imparts body that lasted for several days!
Isn’t it funny how everyone has a different opinion – can’t please everyone right. I like your hair as it is now. You have very pretty hair.
I like your pixie better too many women are running around with that hair and I think it ages anyone. I’ve tried over and over to grow my pixie out and I always go back to some version. I have really thick hair and I do appreciate your product suggestions.
You are actually lucky I also have a pixie & have tried to grow it out so many times and gave up half way through, my hair is not curly but not straight either somewhere in between so when it gets a little longer I have to use flat irons or try to brush it straight and it is very time consuming so I keep it short but as the yrs go by I’ve put on some weight so pixie doesn’t look quite the same
You look great in either style
I’ve been reading and loving your blog for some time. If I recall correctly you have gone through this process (shorter and then longer) before. I have to say that I like you in the picture with the white shirt the best. It looks very feminine, but also easy to care for. The only hair style that makes sense to me is one that still looks good after being wind-blown. You should be able to shake your head and go. Anything that requires constant combing or looking in a mirror seems contrived and old-fashioned. Another thing I’ve found after way too many attempts to control/improve my own fine, slightly wavy hair is that using too many products just doesn’t work. The only things that work for me are a very good haircut (similar to yours in the photo with the white shirt) and a basic, gentle shampoo (like Kiehl’s Amino Acid shampoo). Trim every six weeks, wash daily, blow dry for about two minutes, and go.
Very helpful information, Cathy! Thanks, Susan, for starting this wonderful conversation!
Your pixie cut was fresh and youthful. The longer hair is a softer look, perhaps more romantic, but in the end less youthful, with less punch. Sort of like a pair of shoes that resemble house slippers, comfortable but not sexy or chic!!
How frustrating to spend months growing out your hair only to hear how much we all loved your pixie! I think it’s a rare woman with the bone structure and the panache to carry that off, and you are one of them.
Thank you so much for your blog. I enjoy every edition.
I too have been growing out my hair. I recommend a Wet Brush for any tangles. This brush is a total game changer!
Totally agree! It’s the best for thinning, baby fine hair! Salut from So. Calf.
You had a “hair update” January 30, 2017, with your pixie layers growing a little longer, and since my hair at the time was much like yours is now, I was frustrated by how “lank” it always looked. So, since my hair color is a dark blonde, and very fine and thin, and you and I share similar facial structure, I printed the hair photos and brought them to my hairdresser. And then took the plunge with a similar haircut! I love it — and everybody who knew the before me provides positive feedback. For a while I used the Oribe product but have returned to Living Proof’s Full Dry Volume Blast, which I prefer.
Thank you for your informative blog.
I think both cuts look good. Your hair seemed to grow quite fast into the new style, and great you persevered, not always easy. A hairstyle change is fun, especially one like yours – so successful !
Thanks for sharing,
Suz from Vancouver
I wore a pixie for years ( or some variation) when a man of my acquaintance ( not my husband) suggested that I grow my hair out…I considered this advice and spent a good two years growing out my very thick wavy hair with the help of a very good stylist. Only once have I left the path, after watching episodes of Miss Fisher Mysteries I wanted that sexy bob!! Alas I looked like Miss Frumpy the schoolmarm. So I grew it out to a long bob or lob. I may add that a longer style is just as much upkeep as a pixie! My stylist would disagree with the comments of having strong bone structure to pull off a shorter do. On the contrary a strong bone structure is needed to pull off a longer cut a short style helps ‘give’ some bone structure to those who lack. I have a very strong bone structure ( gifted from a Métis grandmother) so my longer style works very well and perhaps why, more often then not, people think I am much younger than my 64 years.
Short hair like long hair can look aging on many women. Your best friend is a good stylist who will tell you the truth and guide you in the process.
Hmm, I thought the cut in the white shirt pic was really pretty but then I liked all the other ones too! They all look so nice to me. I admit I am also a bit jeaolous cause I have crazy curly dark hair (which I straighten for the most part.) I would love to have hair likes yours – it is so pretty and chic!
Liz, Although I read a good number of blogs I have never commented before. I felt compelled to tell you that I loved your pixie cut!!! You wear it so well and I saw it as a testament to your clarity about style. If it looks great and it’s easy, go with it. As many other readers share, I too have been through the growing hair out phase and for every style I find, there are “issues”! But you have me considering the short cut for summer again. So easy at the beach too! Love your style – you give me the confidence to be myself. Thank you.
I have fine long hair and I use TONS of product every time I wash my hair. Just part of my life! It doesn’t harm it, and it makes it full and pretty!
My hair was much shorter than yours when I started growing it out a year ago. But, I went one step farther and stopped coloring it as well. Took a while to get used to seeing gray hair in photos, but it is very much salt and pepper and I do like it. I have a lot of really shiny silver in mine. I agree that keeping it short results in a bit more work each morning. I too have fine hair and know what you mean about the tangles! Riding in a convertible is the worst! I too will have to give Oribe Imperial a try. I am almost to my desired length, just a couple more months and that should do it. Can’t wait to be done with it!
Really like the new longer hairstyle
Thank you for the product recommendations! I’ll have to try these, especially since my go to volumizing product has been dIscontinued. I also have fine hair, but frizzy when left natural. I can go to just below shoulder length before things start looking too flat and dragged down.
As for weighing in on the length, I find the current look to be very flattering and youthful looking on you. I prefer it to the pixie, personally.
Love your current length and look! Very soft, youthful, full of movement, and flattering. I know how frustrating changing your length and style can be. I did just that for my son’s wedding and although there are still days I feel like a work in progress, I am enjoying feeling younger again. Don’t cut your hair!!!
Dear Susan, I’ve followed and lurked for a while now, and am finally writing because I have a sort of spring break (elementary teacher). As far as I can tell, we both live in So. Calf. and have incredibly baby fine, flat, blonde hair. I’ve worn mine very short for over 20 years – as well as off and on as a child through teens – easy-peasy – but still not really as easy-peasy as most of my friends and relatives who can stick their hair into a bun or ponytail, or skip the blow dry. Mine still has to be washed every day to look and smell it’s best (unless I use a dry shampoo occasionally on 2nd day only) and always have to blow out not only lift, but for smoothness. I was born a tow-head, but obviously that doesn’t last forever. Yep, having been weaving or coloring my hair since my 40’s. Now at 60, I decided to grow it out and go back to a bob or slightly longer style. I have an amazing stylist in Toluca Lake that I love, who herself, in her 20-30’s has fine hair (as does her family!), so she really knows fine hair. I went in for a “grow out” but got a short cut….So now, .I’m thinking, it’s almost summer, maybe I should keep it short? I also feel it’s much easier short than slightly longer, which I also love. Anyway, you look great in all the photos you posted and just do what feels right and easy.
My shampoo faves have changed over the years, and right now, I am using the Nioxin 4 system shampoo and conditioner, which is specifically for fine, thinning, and color-treated hair. It cleans it so well that it’s always shiny and smooth, like no other shampoo. (Have you noticed that sometimes volume shampoos amp it & frizz it up too. Nioxin doesn’t. I really don’t know after 8 months if it’s making it thicker, but it does work very well as an every day, or every other day, clean and non-drying shampoo. I also found UNITE to be an amazing brand (my daughter and stylist both use it) and very good for my hair. I use a tiny amount of the creamy paste at only the ends of some of my hair, few strands by strand, to give it separation (thank you to Autumn at Apothic Salon in Toluca Lake, CA). UNITE’s products (I stand to gain nothing…) are just good for my hair, but pricey and have’t used shampoo or conditioner yet. Autumn, my fine haired stylist, always gives me small samples to try-before-buy. There’s a spray that’s a little sticky, but if you use a wee bit, it’s an amazing texurizing/volumizing spray. I just bought UNITE’s purple shampoo for when my hair gets too golden (I prefer subtle, not ashy/green, but not brassy and control it well with purple shampoo) but I haven’t tried it yet. Happy to answer any questions going forward. Smallest amount of conditioner of any product works best for me. I am on IG as: ColleenSnapped and on GoodReads as Colleen: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/27166 . Nickname: Coco – thanks for all your posts!
You look great with your hair at all lengths. I first like one and then like another. I’m going to try your shampoo and conditioner. You always have great taste and ideas.
I use every single one of these beauty products on my hair. I wish the Oribe spray was not so expensive, but I’ve ALSO not found anything else that works as well as it does. xx
I love the colour of your lipstick in the Makeover shot – may I ask what it is?
Thanks! That one is called “Roj” from Makeover Workshop. It’s a great everyday color! https://www.makeoverworkshop.com/lipstick-sheer-moisture/passego-puso-sheer-moisture-lipstick-bc449
So, since you’re asking for comments. I live the pixie cut on you and think it’s a more flattering cut for you. I too am growing out a pixie but keeping bangs. It sure mine is flattering either. I may just get it cut all over again back to pixie once done. LOL.
Susan, you always look fabulous regardless of hairstyle. Having said that, I think that the pixie suits you best. It fits your face, your bone structure and your style – gamine, and you look younger. I think the longer hair ages you. What does le Monsieur think?