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Tips for maintaining short haircuts during the 'growing back' stage

This is what your hair looks like when you leave the shop. But what does it look like a week from now?
This is what your hair looks like when you leave the shop. But what does it look like a week from now?
(Shamontiel L. Vaughn)

With the recent popularity of celebrities getting short haircuts (Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson), '80s babies may be remembering their days walking into beauty salons with photos of Nia Long, Halle Berry and Missy Elliott. But some may still be cringing about how their hair looked a week after the curls were gone and hairspray lead to hair itching nonstop.

In an earlier article, "Tricks for the upkeep of feathered curls and stacked curls in haircuts," I provided tips for keeping warm with short cuts; hair roller tips; avoiding scarves and gave an overview on curling irons. This entry will focus solely on upkeep of the back of your hair during the "growing back" phase.

What not to do: Use gel to slick your hair down.

What to do: If you want your hair to grow back, it is okay to let the top to middle grow back and keep shaving the bottom "kitchen" area until the other areas are too long for anyone to notice the fuzzy stage. But if you want your hair to grow in evenly all at the same time without constantly asking someone to shave the back of your head, I recommend products like Pantene Truly Relaxed Oil Creme Moisturizer. Hair gel can harden the back, bottom area of your hair. And the harder it gets, the more annoying that area will be to comb and brush. And you'll have to keep packing on gel or spritz everyday after taking a shower or sleeping, two activities you can't avoid that always ruin that sleek look. But with hair lotions, such as Pantene's, you can get the slicked down effect without the hard-as-nails hair and still be able to easily comb and brush as needed.

What not to do: Avoid washing your hair until you get to a beauty salon.

What to do: I know how crazy your hair may look if you wash it on your own instead of waiting the one to two weeks to return to your beautician. But in the meantime, dandruff and dirt buildup can lead to uncomfortably poking at your hair in addition to breakage. Brushed hair is better than dry hair because dry hair can lead to no hair. Always shampoo and condition your hair whenever needed. I usually wash my hair every two weeks when it's longer, but during my short cut phases, the buildup from hairspray and constant curling usually makes me wash my hair weekly.

What not to do: Buy one curling iron to fix your hair.

What to do: Before you get your haircut, walk around beauty supply stores. Look at their selections. Then compare their supplies to the haircut you want. My current haircut is three different lengths, which means (until my hair meets and grows evenly) I need three different curling irons. It's also pretty useful to consider a three-way plug instead of hogging up all the outlets in your home for one hairstyle.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest black hair & hair health entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Black Hair & Health channel at the top of this page.

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