Stuck in a Hairstyle Rut? How to Break Free of Your Old 'Do
Whether you’re growing out a pixie or transitioning to natural hair, there comes a point when you just feel like you’re stuck in a hairstyle rut.
Stop feeling bad and start getting creative! We’ve come up with a host of perfect ways to break free of your old hairstyle, no matter where you’re at with your look.
Deciding to stop using relaxers is a big step. The move completely changes your hair’s texture, of course, and in the meanwhile you’re just stuck waiting.
“Expect to see a loss of length in your style because curly hair is naturally shorter,” stylist Larry Sims told Cosmopolitan.
“And don’t be alarmed if you notice a bit more dryness,” he added. “Curly hair is naturally drier than chemically treated and straight hair, because it’s easier for the oils secreted from your scalp to travel down the shaft of a straight strand compared to a curly one.”
The good news is you’re in the process of making your hair happier and healthier – even if you’re feeling anxious about the growing-out phase.
Here are two ideas for keeping the faith while you’re contemplating the big chop:
1. BANTU KNOTS
“A big challenge of transitioning is dealing with multiple textures – the curly new growth and the straight ends,” explains Christina Patrice at the blog Black Girl with Long Hair.
Bantu knots will help you manage both textures – without wanting to pull out your hair altogether.
Learn how to get the look from this tutorial.
2. LOOSE TWIST OUTS
Need to give your hair a break from braids or other protective styles? Change it up with a loosey-goosey version on a twist out.
“These are great for shorter hair lengths looking to play with a fun style,” writes Taylor Bryant at Refinery29. “Plus, you’re able to add some needed nourishment if you seal in the ends with a bit of oil or serum.”
Need more transitional hairstyles while you’re waiting for your big chop? Check out this list from Refinery29.
Growing Out a Chop
Maybe it was summer, and you rolled the dice on a stylish pixie to beat the heat. Maybe you just felt like a bolder and braver cut.
Whatever the urge to go super short may have been at first, now you’re feeling the growing pains.
“If you want to grow your hair out, the best thing to do is leave it alone,” suggests stylist Marcel Dagenais at Refinery29.
“Let it go until it has absolutely no shape that you can work with,” he emphasizes. “Once you hit the big, bulbous, weird stage, you can get the weight taken out and maybe dust the ends with a dry cut, but NO length.”
It’s not easy to wait out a pixie cut. That’s why we have two creative fixes for helping you out of your wait-around rut:
1. FASHION A FAUX BOB
If your hair is in that super-awkward, almost-but-not-quite bob stage – just go with it.
“Blow dry, straighten, and tuck the longest layer behind the ear for a short bob effect,” suggests Chelsey Pippin at BuzzFeed. “You may need a bobby pin or some hairspray to keep this sleek look in shape, but it’s worth a bit of effort.”
Plus, you can channel your inner Emma Watson!
2. DE-BULK & LAYER
Okay, so this requires a bit of cutting – but it might help you feel prettier while you’re waiting for your hair to grow.
Since short hair that’s in the process of growing out can start to “triangle” or “mushroom,” the key is to de-bulk.
“When looking at the perimeter of the haircut, your stylist should eliminate the weight from the bulky areas,” Morgan Willhite, the creative director of Ouidad, told Redbook.
“This will allow hair to collapse and lie correctly,” she added. “Removing excess weight can also help bypass the awkward in-between stage of growth.”
Need more suggestions for growing out your short ‘do? Try these ideas from InStyle.
Short Hair, Don’t Care
One of the many benefits of short hair is that it requires little to no styling. But what’s a girl to do when you’re tired of, uh, not doing anything?
Here are two tried-and-true ways you can shake up your short hair style without trying too hard:
1. GO AGAINST THE GRAIN
Tired of looking at the world straight-on? Try out an asymmetrical hairstyle to shake things up a bit.
“Asymmetrical cuts are not exactly geared toward wallflowers, but if a bold, eye-catching look is what you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than this,” writes Rachel Krause at StyleCaster. “Plus, it grows out super easily into a longer layered cut when you’re over it.”
Check out this list of asymmetrical styles from the Hairstyle Guru for more ideas.
2. EMBRACE THE WAVE
If you’re looking for a style that hits the “I woke up like this” mark, beachy waves are where it’s at.
Fair warning – beachy waves do require some prep work, especially if you don’t have naturally curly or wavy hair. But the result is cool that appears effortless, even if you did try – just a little.
On damp hair, apply a texturizing mousse, then rough dry with your fingers.
“Avoid too much smoothing with a brush,” advises stylist Lizzy Weinberg at Refinery29. “You want the ends to have a textured, unfinished look.”
You’ll have to twist sections of your hair and spray them with a bit of texture spray, too, so you can get that piecey, beachy look.
For more tips on how to rock beachy waves this summer, check out our blog post.
Long Hair Blues
Of course your hair looks great in a fancy updo – but that takes a ton of work and way more time than you have before running out the door for work.
Here are two of our favorite easy ways to switch up your look and break free of the blahs:
1. WILD SIDE PART
The easiest way to switch up your look with long locks is to experiment with a new part. Simple, we know, but changing where your hair falls completely transforms how you look.
First, suggests stylist Paul Warren, discover where your hair naturally wants to part. (Your hair probably has lots of opinions about where this should be!)
“Comb back your wet hair with your fingers, and then push forward with your palm at the crown of your head,” Warren told Refinery29. “Your hair will split where it naturally falls.”
From there, you can experiment with off-center, asymmetric, and wild side parts – just for fun.
2. LAYER UP
Tired of straight hair that doesn’t really, well, do anything? Think about adding some face-framing layers for more texture and movement, suggest the beauty editors at Allure.
“If your hair is naturally straight, this will probably be the easiest haircut you’ll ever have — and it’s a particularly flattering cut on those with tons of fine hair,” the editors write. “If your jawline is more on the square side, request pieces that start just above your cheekbones; those with an oval or heart-shaped face will look best with layers beginning around the chin.”
Voilà! A fresh new look for when you’re tired of your long locks.
Whether you’re transitioning before the big chop or just craving something different, there’s no need to feel stuck in a rut.
Switch up your part, add some layers, or go for something a little wilder – it’s all part of the fun.