How to Grow Out
Your Buzz Cut

A barber’s tips for a successful transition to longer hair

Jake Gyllenhaal buzz cut

Jake Gyllenhaal showing off various buzz lengths in Jarhead and Southpaw.

If you’re one of the countless men who buzzed their hair in the early days of the pandemic’s lockdowns, then you can probably relate to what I'm going through. I'm ready for longer hair, but as my once-slick buzz cut starts to grow out, it's getting a bit fuzzy. And my head is starting to resemble an oversized tennis ball.

We reached out to Brooklyn-based barber, Doug Paster, who assured me that while this stage can be a bit awkward, there are some upsides. “A buzz cut can often reveal things about your hair you didn't know,” he says. “It can highlight areas where you might be thinning, it reveals your true hairline, and can more clearly reveal growth patterns and cowlicks.” Meaning we can use these natural cues to inform how we might wear our hair once it grows back. “Maybe try a new, more flattering way to wear your hair,” he suggests. “Forward and messy to shroud a shaky hairline or maybe change the direction of your part.” In the meantime, here are Paster's pro tips to help with your in-between hair.

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Apply some product

“As it starts to grow in, as soon as there is enough length that it looks more like soft hair, and less like prickly buzz, hair product is going to help a lot,” he says. “Especially if you can't make it to a barber.” He recommends Kevin Murphy's products because they work on all types of hair and ethnicities. Along with Evo's texture paste, which can help add a little definition and separation to even the shortest of hair.

Kevin Murphy Stimulate-Me.Rinse Conditioner

Stimulate-me.rinse conditioner,
$25.40 by Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy Thick.Again Treatment

Thick.again treatment,
$52.20 / $39.99 by Kevin Murphy

Evo Box O'Bollox Texture Paste

Box o' bollox texture paste,
$30 by Evo

If you can
go to the barber ...

“Managing the proportions between the top and the sides is key to a successful buzz grow-out. Keep the sides tighter than the top, which will help push a sense of strength and length up towards the top.”

But if
you can’t ...

“You can use trimmers to outline the perimeter of your haircut: in front of and over the ears and down the back hairline at the neck. This will keep things looking tidy. You can also add visual texture on top to break up density and bulk by using scissors, picking up small sections of hair at a time, and chipping into the ends to create small peaks and valleys.”

FYI

Hair grows about ½ inch per month on average, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. That's a total of about six inches per year for the hair on your head.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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