Growing hair back (stylishly) after shaving head
August 15, 2007 8:01 PM   Subscribe

I shaved my head a while back and now I want to grow it out again.

Formerly, long, floppy, Beatles-esque hair. Now, buzzed, prickly, Army-esque hair. I like it but let's say I wanted to grow it back. What's the strategy?

I actually did try this and it reached a point one-month in where it just looked ridiculous constantly (the hair sticking straight out, long enough that it looked silly but not long enough to actually style) so I shaved it again. So by strategy, I mean how do you grow it back while neutralizing the several month puffball span.
posted by panoptican to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Invest in a hat or three. Wear them when appropriate. Stick it out when not. Get frequent careful trims from a good barber/stylist.
posted by cortex at 8:13 PM on August 15, 2007

My secret is to (1) don't wash your hair every day when you are growing it out and (2) use a tiny bit of Redkin Rewind #6 spread all over the palms of your hands to give a little sheen an lay-down to the spiky bits.
posted by 4ster at 8:15 PM on August 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

When I grew my hair back, I just put up with it being fuzzy and annoying for a while d:

Then I had it bleached white! and then it was more notably white than an inconvenient and silly looking length.
posted by ambilevous at 8:18 PM on August 15, 2007

Unfortunately, the puffball stage is one that just has to be lived through. Regular haircuts help- you have to have the back trimmed regularly, so the top can catch up (or else you'll have a mullet, which is not so cute).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:34 PM on August 15, 2007 [2 favorites]

Yeah, if you don't wash it every day it will start to lay flat even when it's pretty short. Just rinse thoroughly under the water. I'm doing this right now (from 1/8") and I didn't have an awkward spiky stage.
posted by stopgap at 8:36 PM on August 15, 2007

I had a shaved head as well, until I decided that I would like to have long hair at least once in my life. I just decided to let it grow out naturally. This was about a year ago, and in that year I have had one hair cut, and that was recently because it had finally gotten to the point that it needed to be styled.

My advice: It's going to look silly for a month or two, depending on how fast your hair grows. Get a hat or pretend like it's the 80s and buy some gel and spike your hair. Not much choice I'm afraid.
posted by pemdasi at 9:37 PM on August 15, 2007

I'm not sure what you mean. If your hair is long enough to give you problems then it's long enough to be tamed with some hair-care products. Try some styling wax, the dry kind. Put a bit on your hands and rub really fast to get it hot. This will partially melt the wax and you can get it in your hair really easy this way. Add more as needed.
posted by zardoz at 9:40 PM on August 15, 2007

You're only a week or two away from a flat top! Every guy ought to have a flat top, once in his life; don't miss your chance.
posted by paulsc at 10:06 PM on August 15, 2007

I agree, you should go for a flat top. I think this is totally cute on guys, in a 1950s kinda way. In all my pictures of my dad when he was a boy he has a flat top and is wearing a stripey t-shirt and it's sooooo cute.
posted by Brittanie at 10:44 PM on August 15, 2007

Speaking from experience, the puffball is indeed, unavoidable, but mercifully short. Maybe, like, two weeks. My strategy was to dye it crazy colors during its awkward phase, because I figured, hey, if I can't beat it, join it.

A couple weeks post-puffball, it will be long enough to put a little product in and make it sit. Then, just keep trimming up the back, and you should be through the worst of it.
posted by mckenney at 5:23 AM on August 16, 2007

I just grew out my buzz cut out over the past couple months. Shaved to whiffle length in mid June, and I'd say it's about an inch and a half right now with no puffiness. So, there's going to be an awkward stage, but it'll be relatively brief.

I used any one of several mousses, gels or dry wax to play around with my hair during the puff stage. Think of it as adding something just to smooth and moisturize the puffiness out. I'm sure if you try a few different things you'll find something to get you through it.

What I did was take dab of hairstuff and run it down from back to front (crown to temples) on top, and then finger comb the sides from the top of the head down. Spikey was an alternate look, one I really enjoyed. Run product through hair willy-nilly, and let it do whatever it's feeling like.

Not washing every day definitely helps, or at least use a good conditioner. Good luck!
posted by sarahmelah at 7:21 AM on August 16, 2007

If you REALLY want your hair to grow out, do this every morning when you wake up:
1. Look in the mirror.
2. Don't cut your hair.
3. Wait.
4. Repeat.
posted by nineRED at 7:56 AM on August 16, 2007 [2 favorites]

5. Tell partner not to make chia pet jokes or constantly rub your furball.
posted by barometer at 10:57 AM on August 16, 2007

I'm a girl who shaved her head in February/March, and I'm growing it out. I did go through a puffball stage (it was especially ridiculous when I just woke up) but what helped was combing the hair when it's wet. It dries how you styled it and looks a lot better. I'm not sure if it'll necessarily look good on a guy, though.

(Oh dear God NOT the flat top. I have a friend with hair like this and he looks like he escaped from the military. Considering his penchant for weapons, it's a little scary.)
posted by divabat at 9:03 PM on August 18, 2007

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