Great Lengths: What to Know When Growing Out Your Hair


Growing out short hair is not for the faint of heart! Longer hair requires more maintenance and TLC, especially on the ends. You wait impatiently, envisioning yourself with long, silky locks that are super versatile. You can't wait to get there.

But the caterpillar doesn't turn into a butterfly overnight. Growing the long tresses you desire takes time. A few weeks into growing out your hair you might have questions: Are there any good haircuts for growing out short hair? How can I encourage hair growth? Am I destined to look shaggy for the next few months? HELP!

Not to worry. We have the scoop on some cute transition hairstyles for growing out short hair, which are terrific haircut ideas for women over 40, plus hair-care tips and products to help you on your hair growth journey!

How Often Should Hair Be Trimmed When Growing It Out?

When growing out short hair, it can feel counterintuitive to get routine trims. After all, if your goal is longer hair, why would you want to take length away?

Regular trims are a must because long hair is more prone to split ends than short hair. The ends of long hair are older than the ends of short hair, and likely exposed to more heat styling, which further damages the hair shaft. When we ignore our split ends, they work their way higher up the hair shaft. This results in breakage and dull, brittle strands.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, our hair grows approximately 6 inches per year—and at any given time, about 85% of our follicles are in the growth stage, which can last from 2 to 7 years. Stylists recommend ¼-  to ½-inch trims approximately every 8 to 12 weeks, depending on hair length, texture and chemical treatments.

"More frequent micro trims are also a great option for keeping your ends healthy as you grow out your hair, while also maintaining length," says Emily Kirk, owner of Salon Shenanigans in St. Louis, Missouri. For micro trims, tiny amounts of hair are snipped much more frequently.

The numbers don't lie! Our hair growth rate for healthy follicles far outpaces the length we lose getting regular trims. So to make sure your longer locks look sleek and healthy, get regular trims, even if it feels unnecessary. (It's not!) You will love how trims help keep the ends of longer hair looking full and voluminous, too!

Be Sure to Show Your Scalp Some Love!

When growing out short hair, it's important not to neglect the scalp. "Stimulation of the scalp is great for hair growth," says Kirk. "A good scalp massage or scalp brushing gets the blood flowing." Vibrant, healthy hair growth comes from a nourished scalp!

There are some incredible scalp massages that will have you melting into the chair at the salon. But if you are short on time, you can also treat your scalp to a growth-boosting scalp massage at home. If you opt to treat your scalp to some pampering at home, remember: Even a few minutes a day count! Start with a scalp and follicle fortifying serum. Then apply gentle pressure, using either the pads of your fingers (no nails!) or a scalp brush to massage and distribute the serum evenly over the entire scalp.

Our Superpower Hair & Scalp Duo is designed to stimulate healthy blood flow to the scalp and promote hair health. The smooth, retractable aluminum ball-tipped prongs ensure gentle stimulation of hair follicles and even distribution of our follicle-activating Superpower serum!

And while we’re on the topic of products, it’s important to remember that your shampoo and conditioner also play a role in how your hair grows. Shampoos and conditioners that promote hair health by strengthening and moisturizing strands help decrease the likelihood of breakage, which only thwarts your hair growth goals. Our Wake Up Call Volumizing Duo contains bamboo, which is high in silica and mineral content to strengthen strands and support moisture retention.

Let Transition Styles Work for You!

Let Transition Styles Work for You!

Most of us who lived through the 1980s remember the awful, in-between stages of growing out our puffy bangs. When we're growing out short hair, in-between stages can feel like forever! The good news is that there are tons of cute styles to get you through the process of transitioning from short to long hair, whether you're trying to grow out a pixie cut or just your bangs.

  1. Accessorize!

    Using accessories while growing out especially short hair gives your style a polished look with minimal effort. Adding a barrette, some bobby pins or a headband makes this stage of hair growth look intentional and stylish. We love a wide headband and sleek bangs for gorgeous, vintage vibes.

    To get this look, brush bangs down onto your forehead and smooth with a smoothing product like our No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray. Gently backcomb hair behind bangs to your crown for volume. Spray with light- to medium-hold hairspray and place a headband on the "seam" between your bangs and the rest of your hair. Instant glam!

  2. Embrace Curtain Bangs

    If you already have longer locks and are simply trying to grow out your bangs, curtain bangs will save you hours of styling headaches. Right now, this low-maintenance haircut is super on-trend, and the best part is that curtain bangs are super simple. Just middle-part longer bangs (they should be sweeping your lower eyelashes), apply a little heat using your blow-dryer so your bangs become more moldable, and add one large Velcro roller to each side. (Be sure to position rollers to curl toward the back of your head!) Spray with hairspray, wait 10 minutes, and then finger-comb bangs to fall away from the face.

  3. Ask Your Stylist for an Interim Style

    Sometimes we don't want to grow out major length on our hair. Maybe you just don't want a pixie cut anymore, but you also don't want your hair grown out past your shoulders. We get it! Caring for long hair is a time commitment, and many of us are too busy to spend an hour or more on our hair every day.

    Not to worry! There are definitely cute options in the middle! If you want a slightly longer, low-maintenance haircut, consider a transition hairstyle for growing out short hair:

The shag is back! Updated for the 21st century, it's a great haircut for women over 40. And you don't need to worry about leaving the salon looking like Carol Brady from The Brady Bunch. Today's shags are softer and better blended. Bonus: If you have a pixie cut, your hair will naturally grow into a shag cut, so some stylish shaping is all you'll need!

The shag is back!

Another option is a bob or the ‘90s-inspired bixie—a popular pixie-meets-bob hybrid! These styles are great haircuts for growing out short hair, and they really allow you to change up your look with ease. The major impact of small changes, like moving the part in your hair or scrunching some waves into your tresses, makes these some of the most versatile cuts. (We love our Lift Me Up Hair Thickener for adding weightless volume and texture!) Ask your stylist for subtle layers to really amp up the volume!

Let Better Not Younger Help You Reach Great Lengths

The transition from short to long hair is no easy feat. Getting through the in-between stages of growth takes time and a level of patience that might qualify you for sainthood! Better Not Younger is here to help you maintain healthy hair from scalp to ends and reach your goals at every stage of growth hair.

Tell us: Have you made the switch from short to long hair? Share your favorite tips for growing out short hair in the comments below!

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