Growing out your hair with minimum awkwardness

Men, How to Grow Out Your Hair With Minimum Awkwardness

Considering growing your hair? Fades have dominated men's hair recently but what happens when you decide you want to grow your short haircut and go for a longer, looser style? Due to the extreme difference in hair length, the fade can be particularly challenging to grow out gracefully. How do you avoid the awkward in-between phases of hair growth? I asked hair experts Jerome Obry of Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes and Jesse Linares of Sam Villa for their advice for how to grow out your hair and skip the awkward middle stage. 

1. Prepare Your Hair Goals to Lay a Foundation

Obry stresses the importance of communicating your hair length goals to your barber, “My best advice would be to know where you’re going and what’s your goal in terms of length — It’s important for us stylists to know how to prepare the foundation. The choice of the style/haircut depends on a lot of different parameters. It’s the reason why we spend a good amount of time here at Martial Vivot on a consultation to define the styling habits of our clients and also their lifestyle, their work environment (most people in the city work in very corporate/conservative industries) and the amount of time they’re willing to spend styling their hair in the morning."

So come armed with some photos or idea of what you'd like to achieve but also be prepared to listen to your barber's personalized advice.

2. Cut Your Hair to a More Uniform Length to Start

Obry suggests cutting your hair shorter to begin the process, “Transitioning can be tough and a long process, especially because of the fade/ undercut trend. Most of the time, the disconnection created by barbers between the side and the top doesn’t leave much room for a dramatic change. If a client does come to me with this request, I usually advise them to go for a shorter haircut in order to catch-up with the sides and start over with a more even base."

It might feel frustrating to want to grow out your hair and instead end up with shorter hair. However, in the long run it'll pay off.

3. Keep the Edges Clean as You Grow Out Your Hair

Of course, hair will grow in all by itself. But that's not the best tactic if you want to keep a professional appearance. Linares emphasizes regular maintenance as your hair grows in, “Keep the edges clean: Transitioning to a longer, brushed-back style takes time and patience, and there will definitely be an "awkward phase" to push through as your hair gets to the length it needs. During this time, visit your hairdresser regularly for minor cleanups, especially at the neck and around the ears. Keeping the perimeter of the haircut tidy will allow the interior to grow in nicely without the shape looking unkempt.”

4. Learn How to Style Longer Hair

As for styling longer hair Linares advises, “Preparation is everything: Longer hair can definitely misbehave throughout the day, so disciplining it right away is essential. Using a blow dryer with the right preparatory styling products will set your look up for success. Focus more on foundational volume or smoothing products (depending on your needs) that can be blown dry into wet hair. This sort of styling will create the behavior you want in your hair, and going from wet to dry with the right product will provide longer-lasting control than just finishing products like pastes and pomades. Save those for last, to provide the final touch to the established look.”

Recommended Products to Grow Out Your Hair

Sam Villa Light Professional Ionic Blow Dryer

Lightweight (under 1 lb) and quiet ionic blow dryer delivers powerful airflow. Use it to create smooth, frizzless hair. Built-in ceramic/tourmaline ion generation.

Redken Heat Design 09

Good for controlling frizz on all hair types and provides a plush end result - perfect for foundational blow drying before applying paste or pomade.

Redken Brews Clay Pomade

Redken Brews Clay Pomade is a good finisher after blowing dry – it creates a pliable matte finish that just gets better the more you handle it. 

Martial Vivot Paste

 With a soft-to-medium hold, this product lets you sculpt your hair on your terms, adding volume and texture without a hint of stiffness. The organic, aloe-based formula pairs waxes and oils that sculpt and nourish strands, and rinse away easily.

Martial Vivot Comb

This comb is anti-static and the keratin, substance of the horn, activates the natural sebum of the hair. A horn product is unique from its appearance. Fournival Altesse is also the last company in the world to produce brushes entirely made by hand, continuing the shaping and empoilage techniques from the 19th century.