How to grow out a pixie cut (for real this time)

Since my last attempt at talking about short hair was really an excuse to tell you about my life, here’s the post for real this time. Ideas for how to grow out a pixie cut, aka How to not look like a disaster while growing out a pixie cut, aka Even though my growing-out stages were as tragic as King Lear, I did learn a few things along the way.

First of all, I assume you’ve already looked at The Fashion-y Blog’s The Pixie Cut: Growing Out post. If not, you should, if only for the Hasidic Jew reference.

It’s a pretty helpful and amusing guide, but I found that getting from stage 2 to stage 3 was really tedious and especially painful (and stage 2 made me look even more like a lesbian soccer mom than ever), and I really could have used some help for stage 2.5. The general idea is exactly right, though – continuously chop off the first signs of a mullet, and grow your bangs out until you can have a normal-looking bob. But when they say first signs of a mullet, they mean it. Not "when people not-so-jokingly start agreeing with you when you joke about having a mullet." FIRST SIGNS.

Anyway, without further ado, if your hair looks like shit, (or maybe, if you got a pixie cut and then realized you don’t have the dainty fairy nose for it), or if you are in stage 2.5, I think you should consider the following obvious (or perhaps overlooked) options:
  • A headband. I personally find pixies + headbands to be a bit much for my face, but your pixie-mullet might look better with a headband than without, so give it a shot. Headbands work well with greasy hair (and grease is imperative when it comes to pixies!). My argument is that you always look better with your hair pulled back, especially if your hair is dripping in grease. In fact, I find that it doesn’t matter if you look like you just worked out, or if your hair is grease-slick in the front and tragic party in the back, or if you resemble Snape in drag. The point is, if you have a headband on, it looks like you at least tried to tame the beast. I’m sure people can already tell you’re trying to grow out your hair. So try to look like you tried.

    You can go the Blair Waldorf route and put your headband on for aesthetic purposes only, but I find it looks too twee for me and only wear headbands when my bangs are threatening to Exxon Valdez on my forehead. But if you must, I suggest narrower headbands.

    This is the part where I demonstrate with before and after pictures. You know how magazines have been all in a tizzy featuring models/actresses without makeup? Or without retouching? Well you can have me without makeup or retouching RIGHT HERE:

    Yeah, I sort of do look like crap and I am wearing Garfield pajamas, but I promise that while you're growing your hair out, some days you will wake up clad in what feels like a pile of shit on your head and embarrassing sleep clothes instead of Brigitte Bardot hair and a negligee. Also, I know I'm well past Pixie now, but I'm guessing it works the same (I wouldn't know; I kept my mullet for too long...).

    TWEE wide headband:

    Possibly less twee narrow headband:

    Or you could go the Gaga route and stick crazy things in your hair. Like this butterfly headband that my apartmentmate broke while we were having a midterm dress-up party in the dorms (it's balanced precariously atop my head right now... the other half of the headband is missing):

    Or a huge bow, which I once wore to Disneyland where one of the princesses (!) told me she liked my bow:

  • Braids. Obviously, this only applies if your hair is long enough to braid, but this is really good for growing out bangs, too. Especially French braids. Embrace the unruly parts that stick out. Pretend everything is on purpose. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t bother trying to get your hair to look perfect and flyawayless. Braid it, pin it up, and forget about it.

    Ordinary braids:

    French braids (do French people call them French braids?):

    The point is, braid across your scalp, from temple to temple (or ear to ear, whatever suits your face better). (On that note, wear kick-ass glasses. They distract from your hair.)

  • Bobby pins. I prefer contoured bobby pins so they don’t stick off your head at weird angles. And ridiculous clips/barettes. Tons of them. At once. If you walk out of the house without at least a pound of hair accessories on your head, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Add texture. For me, this meant grease and intense fights with my pillow to achieve long-lasting cowlicks. For you, it might mean something more socially acceptable, like hairspray, or dry shampoo. (Even my dry shampoo is socially unacceptable. Cocoa powder mixed with flour, what?) I’ve no experience with it, but I’m guessing hair wax would be pretty good here too.

  • Alcohol. Or patience. And a really attractive picture of yourself with long hair to reference when you feel like The Uglies have eaten you alive.

  • Pin curls, although you should be wary about the little uncurlable bits around the nape of your neck. Either wait for them to get long enough to curl, or cover them with a stretchy headband. Or pin them up really carefully. Or gel them up. And then (this is the really important part), after you take the curls out, BACKCOMB! I know it’s bad for your hair, but if you have limp, stick-straight hair like mine, this is totally imperative, I swear. Again, I suggest contoured bobby pins because I find straight ones to be poky and hard to sleep in. (Also, pin curls are great for extending hair washes because they kill the appearance of grease. Win-win!)

    Above, backcombing is the difference between kind of cute limp curls and SHE'S CRAZY curls. Choose the crazy.

    Here's a link to the video tutorial I found most helpful for learning to do pin curls. And since I had trouble finding hair setting diagrams, here's one of how I usually set it, if it helps, which I doubt, because this just kind of makes your hair generally curly, not Veronica Lake or Greta Garbo curly-with-a-style:

  • Twist and pin, twist and pin. (See excessive bobby pin photos.) If you have really smooth hair like mine, wet it first, or get it gritty with dry shampoo. (For me and probably other cheap/broke non-blonde girls, I say again, cocoa powder mixed with flour works wonders.) Then grab a little chunk of hair, twist it, and pin it. Repeat in a fauxhawk down the center of your head. Or just all over your head. Willy nilly. Helter skelter. Higgledy piggledy. Harum scarum. (Okay I’m out of phrases.) Bang poufs (not as big as Snooki's) work pretty well, too, although I never figured out what to do with the sides of my hair. More pins? Anyway, this is the general idea, although hopefully you'll spend more time/effort making it look like an artful pouf instead of a bird nesting in yor hair. Or a poo swirl.
    In general, having a lot of volume at the crown of your head will look good. Like a bust of Nefertiti, or an overlarge infant.

Omg, you guys. I took this image from a Google search and now I can't find the original source because my own page is the top result with this image. :( Please email me if the original is yours!
  • Turbans. They’re kind of heavy and I never actually did it when I had a pixie, but if you like your face, turbans definitely add interest. From what I’ve tried, pashminas don’t hold very well (too much material). T-shirts do, but they’re weird and bumpy and have holes in awkward places. Giant silk scarves work pretty well (I’m talking 35” at the very least), but I think jersey would actually hold better. (Silk looks fancier, though.) (For instructions on how to tie a turban, I actually suggest the pin curl video mentioned above. The silk scarf headwrap looks pretty presentable. Otherwise, Gala Darling has a clear tutorial too (although I never got my turban to stay using her instructions).)

  • Kübler-Ross. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. After you’ve spent enough time convincing yourself that you don’t need to see a hairdresser (when you really do), then getting mad at the initial trigger for your pixie decision (and defriending them on FB (oh wait, is that just me?)), then promising to study harder and stop impulse shopping if only oh my God my hair would grow faster, then lying on the couch crying through five episodes of Glee and eating your way through a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (Cherry Garcia), you need to sit yourself down (with your really attractive reference picture) and accept the fact that some days, you’re just going to wake up and want to cry, so at least until you feel 100% awesome about your hair again, remember that there are parts of you equally if not more important than a body and a pretty face.

  • Go to a hairdresser. Unless you went pixie in a crisis and feel the need to beat up your self-esteem in the process of crisising, a professional will probably help ease your pain. Unless you’d rather be ugly than broke. (Guilty, right here.)

  • GENERAL TIPS: While you’re faithfully chopping off the mullet before it resembles a piece of roadkill masterfully incorporated into the nape of your neck, scarves can be your best friend. (Although you’ll probably get an awkward face tan like me.)

    And you know that time frame where your hair’s growing over your ears again? Yeah, get that hair out of the way. Pin away from your ears! Or you can risk looking like your head is shaped like a box; it’s up to you.

    Make sure your eyebrows look really good. And your glasses. And your skin. Basically your face. Now would be a really appropriate time to try redic makeup.

  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, DO NOT EMOTIONALLY CUT YOUR HAIR. Stay away from sharp objects. And keep that hot, mermaid-haired picture of yourself in plain sight. You’re gonna need it.
I really hope this helps someone...
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