The in-between stage


You don’t even have to say it.  I already know.

You are desperate for an update on the growth of my hair.

Ever since I cut off my hair over a year ago, I have been longing for it to grow out.  I have patiently not so patiently endured the days, the weeks, the months of the “in-between stage,” feeling dowdy and frumpy.  I have kept you up to date with the growth progress – all I can say is, lucky you.  It is now long enough to put in a ponytail without bobby pins, to French braid, to even do a fancy side knot thing when the occasion calls for it.

But I have a haircut appointment today during my lunch hour.  And – so help me – I am THIS CLOSE to chopping it again.  People, I do not have the PATIENCE for the in-between stage.  I remember back to this stage, and think, “That was cute!” even though we all know that at that point, I sure didn’t feel like it was cute.

But right now, my hair is an unruly mane of mediocrity.  It’s kudzu-gone-crazy.

I’m stuck.  I know that if I cut it off again, I’ll be starting back at the top of the downward helix of discontent.  If I just get a trim, and let it keep growing, I’ll continue being drab for a few months – but then again, maybe by the end of the summer, I’ll have flowing locks like Liv Tyler.

What should I do?

You have until noon, central time, to weigh in on the matter.  But then, it’s the moment of truth.



  1. Sarah on April 22, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    As someone who is in the same hair purgatory you are I say just get a trim, some new layers, and trim your bangs. I feel like that’s enough haircut to make me feel the way a haircut is supposed to. You know, like a better person ;)

  2. Christina on April 22, 2009 at 8:53 AM

    Don’t cut it! Wait it out. I, too, am in a horrible in-between stage from the dramatic chopping I did last year and I HATE IT! Its growing soooo slowly, but I know it will be worth it. I finally know that, for me, long hair is the way to go. Maybe you’ll decide differently but if you really don’t want to go short again, stick it out. Besides, I don’t believe for one hot second that you look anything short of gorgeous no matter what length your hair is at.

  3. Emily from Seattle on April 22, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    I agree with Christina…don’t cut it! I chopped mine off last August, and HATED it, so I’m thrilled to be in the boring hair purgatory stage. :)

  4. Kristin on April 22, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    Don’t do it! I cut all my hair off LAST June and it’s barely at my shoulders. Hair grows an average of 6 inches a YEAR! Think of all the time it will take to grow again…

  5. Carmen Goetschius on April 22, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    Hang in there! I am in the in between phase right now and I hate it, but it will all be worth it!!!

  6. Whitney on April 22, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    Don’t cut it!!!!!!

    For all of us who did cut it in a horrible in between stage and then ended up looking like Harry Potter and now have to suffer an even more horrible aftermath of hair purgatory, nay, hair hell!

    Or, maybe that’s only happened to me, but hold out. You want the long, Liv Tyler locks. Save the dramatic haircuts for life altering and dramatic situations you find yourself in.



  7. Alissa on April 22, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    If you can grow it long, do it! If not for yourself, then for all of us who hit scraggly at the shoulders and worse and worse from there.

    I gotta say, in addition to the beautiful writing and honest observations, the first two lines of this post are what really keeps me coming back. Laughter is a great way to start my day!

  8. Emily on April 22, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    I can see that I will be the odd one out this time.

    Annie, I know how much you admire Liv Tyler, but she has nothing on you. I myself am an avid fan of short hair (maybe because when mine grows it is not in the beautiful rich waves of your hair, but a limp, pathetic mess). To me it feels brave and sassy and willing to take a risk (um, I think that might be the same as brave).

    Anyway, I LOVED your shorter hair cut. I will cheer if you go short, but understand if you wait it out.

    Good luck.

  9. faith on April 22, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    Let it grow. Ask your stylist for cute ways to wear it during this in-between time.

  10. annie on April 22, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    The short cut IS really cute on you, but I think I’ll go along with most of the previous comments and recommend letting it grow.

    I have found that having long hair gives me the flexibility of “doing” it or NOT “doing” it. Ponytails are my friend! Of course, I use a lot of shampoo and conditioner, but… pros and cons.

  11. Em on April 22, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    GROW, girl, GROW.

    Do away with always needing bobby pins and to style it daily! From yet another frumpy-feeling gal in hair purgatory, I vote for a stylish trim, and let it GROW.

    Like my mom always says, “when you’re young, have LONG hair.” I suggest saving your short hair days for when you’re old and living on the Tuscan countryside. ;)

  12. Sarah Kate on April 22, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    I cancelled a “chop it all off” appointment a few weeks ago after making myself endure the rest of the icky stage. Just wait it out. YOu should be there right now. Good luck!

  13. wrecklessgirl on April 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    i went through this a couple weeks ago. you know what i did? i went in and said “chop it off as short as you want. a-line please.” i totally get all itchy on my shoulders and feel SO frumpy inbetween. i don’t think i’m a very good long-hair person anyway. i love short hair. i feel thirty, flirty, and thriving with short hair. you can quote me on that. just not on legal documents, please. ;)

  14. wrecklessgirl on April 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    oh, and if my previous comment wasn’t lucid: just chop it! you are a short-hair fun girl like me. and let’s be honest….most long-haired people just throw it in a BORINGASS ponytail anyway (and yes, ponies can be gorgeous if put up well, but that’s a different story!)…short would be so fun for summer. ciao, gorgeous.

  15. Tad on April 22, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    I know it’s too late, but go for the trim. You look great with short hair, but I think you look even better with long hair. You could pull off the Liv Tyler look.

    Lord knows you’re saucy enough. :)

  16. Emily on April 22, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    I’m waiting to hear what you did… please post an update, preferably with photos, as soon as you are able.

  17. Lyla on April 22, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    I think I missed the deadline. My vote is to just trim it. You can always change your mind and go chop it off later, but if you chop it off when you are uncertain… you can’t exactly make it grow back instantly.

  18. Allison on April 22, 2009 at 2:52 PM

    dang, that’s a long inbetween stage. my hair grows FAST. i have to trim it every few months myself just so it’s manageable. if i ever shaved my head accidentally (because, you know, that happens a lot…?), my hair would be back to shoulder length in like…three months.

    i feel like a chia pet all of a sudden.

  19. Andrea on April 22, 2009 at 5:36 PM

    Ohmygoodness… Liv Tyler is my icon of hair perfection, too! I swear to you, within two days of chopping my hair I ALWAYS see Liv Tyler on TV or something and realize the horrible deed I have done. Best of luck with the hair gods.

  20. it’s too late anyway, but i think you KNOW where i stand.

  21. Terry McNichols on April 22, 2009 at 11:21 PM

    Alas, I am too late to weigh in. And probably entirely too old. Hair comes and goes, but our insecurities live on until we die….

  22. hootenannie » Blog Archive » Result on April 23, 2009 at 8:00 AM

    […] The in-between stage […]

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