All The Info You Need For Growing Out A Buzz Cut

Every few years since the release of GI Jane in 1997, it has become popular for women to shave their heads into an extremely short buzz cut style. From Britney Spears to Cate Blanchett to Doja Cat, celebrities and influencers aren't immune to the allure of simply shaving off all your hair and calling it a day, as detailed by Dazed Beauty. Anyone who has ever taken part in this trend knows that the main downside to a buzz cut is the long, tedious, and awkward process of growing it back out once you're ready to move on to another style.


While growing out a buzz cut can be rather challenging, you shouldn't let the notion of it prevent you from experiencing the unparalleled freedom of shedding the physical and emotional weight long hair can carry (via Sartorial Magazine). If you've been thinking of buzzing your hair but you're afraid of growing it out later, here is all the information you need about the process before taking the plunge. 

What qualifies as a buzz cut?

There is sometimes confusion about the specific length of hair that is considered a buzz cut. A buzz cut involves "buzzing" your hair with electric clippers, according to Collins Dictionary. It does not require you to shave your hair down to the skin. The result is a tightly cropped look, sometimes with even shorter sides, but without any skin on the head ending up completely void of hair.


In the realm of short haircuts, a buzz cut is shorter than even the shortest pixie cut but longer than a smoothly shaved head. If your hair is long enough to hold even the smallest clip, pin, or barrette, it's probably too long to be considered a buzz cut. Some buzz cuts do feature a slightly longer section on the top of the head, but even this isn't long enough to really accessorize. Rather, it may be just long enough to showcase a bit of the hair's texture or curl pattern. Contrary to popular belief, buzzing your hair won't destroy your curls, as explained by Naturally Curly

How long does it take to grow out a buzz cut?

The human hair growth cycle consists of four phases: the anagen (growing) phase, the catagen (transition) phase, the telogen (rest) phase, and the exogen (shedding) phase. The length of each phase can be affected by genetics, diet, and overall physical health. However, most people fall somewhere within an estimated time range for each phase, according to Healthline.


A hair's growing phase typically lasts between three and five years. During this time, the hair is actively growing longer until it's either cut or enters the transition phase. The transition phase is when a hair prepares for the end of its lifespan. The strand's rate of growth slows and the follicle shrinks as it loosens its grip on the hair. This transition only lasts for about 10 days and then the hair enters the rest phase, where it stays in place but no longer grows. Finally, it reaches the approximately three-month-long shedding phase when it is released and falls from the follicle, making way for a new hair to grow (via WebMD).

What does all this mean for growing out a buzz cut? If you happen to have a slower growth cycle and you're looking to return to long hair, it could take two or three years or more to get where you want to be. However, nearly everyone can count on being through the most awkward stages and having a comfortable long pixie or short bob within six months. 


How to style your hair along the way

The most important part of making growing out a buzz cut tolerable is working with a hair stylist. While it might feel counterproductive, it is key that you continue to cut your hair while it grows out. A stylist can trim your growing hair into new shapes every month or two that minimize the awkwardness of growing out a very short cut and improve hair health (via Women's Health). This can especially help you avoid the dreaded mullet phase of regrowth.


When you buzz your hair, it will grow back at different lengths. Rather than trying to hide this, it can help to embrace shaggy, layered styles. Experiment with decorative clips, pins, barrettes, or even flowers. Ask your stylist about a razor or calligraphy cut to maximize seamless texture and embrace the organic nature of it all (via Salon 833). Growing out a buzz cut is an excellent way to remind yourself that beauty is imperfect and no situation is truly permanent.