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Ask a Hairstylist: How to Grow Out a Short Haircut When You Have Thick, Coarse Hair

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Growing out short thick hair

Q: I recently had my hair cut into a short pixie, and now I'm worried about how to grow it out. My hair is coarse and thick, and needs length to weigh it down. It was a big mistake to get the big chop!

Growing out short thick hair

Tanya wants to grow out her short haircut.

It's growing in now and getting thick and bulky. The layers on top are quite short, maybe five inches. Generally my hair is close to all the same length around the perimeter. 

Growing out short thick hair

Tanya's hair is thick, with a coarse texture.

What can I do to keep this tidy while growing it out? What will be my awkward stages, or am I past the worst of it? Any advice would be appreciated. I'm desperate! — Tanya

A: Tanya, thank you for sending along your consultation request. Most people can only dream of having your hair woes....

I love your thick hair short, but I do understand that it comes with its own set of problems.

The best way to combat the thickness in a short cut is to air-dry it. As soon as you put a blow-dryer to the job, it will create uncontrollable volume.

Super moisturized hair and KMS Hairplay Molding Paste will work here.

KMS Hairplay Molding Paste

KMS Hairplay Molding Paste

Using this on damp hair will seal in the moisture and give your hair some weight, so it won't puff up too much.

As for your cut, I'm totally into the fringe on your face—it frames your beautiful eyes. 

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From The Skincare Edit Archives

Anne Hathaway Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon 2013

Anne Hathaway at the 2013 Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon.

There is no reason to grow the nape at this point. Cropping the back of your hair like this will get you to the next stage.

Anne Hathaway Costume Designers Guild Awards 2013

Anne Hathaway at the 2013 Costume Designers Guild Awards.

Eventually you can move into a bob, once the top layer of your hair reaches the top of your ear. At this length, a fringe will be too boxy for your face, so just keep it long for now.

Anne Hathaway American Cinematheque Awards 2014

Anne Hathaway at the 2014 American Cinematheque Awards.

Once you have acquired more length, you can re-introduce the fringe and balance it out with long layers.

Taylor Swift Billboard Music Awards 2015

Taylor Swift at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards.

I am aware that you don't have this blonde hair, but it shows the layering that I'm talking about better than a picture of a brunette. You want to keep the ends soft, so it has a modern feel. 

Use the KMS Molding Paste here as well to keep the separation in the layers. Be sure to start out with a tiny amount of product, and emulsify it in your hands. Then, apply it in a scrunching motion from the ends up toward your face. If you need more product, then repeat.

I know that women like a quick-fix hairstyle, and this is yours—a top knot with soft wisps from the layers and fringe. 

Kendall Jenner American Music Awards 2015

Kendall Jenner at the 2015 American Music Awards.

To get this fringe, a flat iron should do the trick, and then a bit of the KMS Molding Paste to separate it into soft pieces.

I hope this helps you get your hair working well for you, Tanya!


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