No Bad Hair Days: Your Grown-Out Hair Is Beautiful In Its Own Right — Here’s Proof

If you close your eyes and picture a classic hair commercial, what immediately comes to mind? Is it voluminous, bouncy curls? A slicked-back coiffe with not one stray hair sprung loose? Highlights that look like they were completed just moments before the shoot?
For what feels like forever, this variety of “done up” hair has been pictured as the ideal. But in reality, freshly blown-out, dyed, or styled hair is not the norm for most of us. In fact, the vast majority of the time, we’re in between appointments or hair-care treatments — or washes for that matter. So why aren’t we making space to celebrate the beauty of that in-between hair — to recognize the unique way hair color fades naturally in the summer or the drama dark roots add to our look?
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The way we see it, hair growth — be it changing length, texture, or color — often goes hand in hand with personal growth. It can be the physical manifestation of learned strength, a reflection of one's history, or a mark of identity.
To that point, we partnered with Nexxus, the protein expert in hair care, whose Between Washes and Wash & Care ranges of products were made for maintaining hair's color, style, and health as it grows out and its hue softens. Together, we asked three real people to share their own respective hair journeys and the ways their evolving strands have been symbolic of their own personal evolutions — styled below by Erol Karadağ, with decorative elements to accentuate their individual looks, from a self-proclaimed “sunflower fro” to chameleonic faded-blue highlights.

YÊN

Learning & Lengthening
“Hair and beauty in general is relatively new to me because I started my transition about a year and a half ago. My hair right now is the longest it’s ever been, and I’m learning more about it — how to work with my texture, how it naturally lays, what products to use — each and every day. Prior to that, it was always short because of the way society tells us how certain people should be, live, and look.”
Color As Self-Expression
“My earliest memory is of me telling my mom that I wanted to paint my nails pink and grow my hair out. So, with my hair now, I kind of wanted to merge the two together. When I first dyed my hair pink, it was such a freeing and celebratory feeling — almost like a liberation from the chains that society oppressed me with growing up, prior to my transition.”
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Looks That Last
“I love my in-between hair because it’s real and authentic. Not every person can afford to get their roots redone every month — that’s just not sustainable for most people in this world — so I’ve learned to embrace it. Plus, I think the contrast between the black and pink is pretty cool!”
Hair As Agency
“When I look in the mirror in the morning and see it grown out and pink, it makes me so, so happy. I can’t believe that I’m living my life how I want to — 20 plus years later. The 4-year-old in me who wished I had longer hair would be so shook that this is my reality now. Having longer hair makes me feel so much closer to who I always saw myself as mentally. Bringing that to reality physically is so validating and affirming.”
How to care: Extend vibrancy of your colored-treated hair by using Nexxus Color Assure Cleansing Conditioner every other day to avoid color-fading. Refresh and cleanse roots with Nexxus Between Washes Dry Shampoo Foam in between washes to add volume, and apply Nexxus Color Assure Masque once a week to maintain moisture and shine.

MANUELA

History, Heritage & Hair
“My relationship with my hair is very dynamic. When I was younger, I sought after straight hair. I didn’t appreciate what my hair represented because I constantly felt like it was too big and unruly. I didn’t think it was beautiful. Now, I love my hair because it’s part of my ethnic history and cultural heritage as someone who is of Afro-Colombian and indigenous descent. It’s what roots me to my country and my people.”
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50 Shades Of...Blue
“I grew up moving around a lot, so I’m someone who really loves change. I love seeing how things evolve — especially with my hair. I’ve explored so many different colors — from green to purple to, now, blue. Every day my hair fades and it looks like an entirely different hue. Some days the purple from my last dye job will shine through; some days it looks super bright and vibrant.”
Hair Care As Self-Care
“I take really good care of my hair; I have a lot of patience with it. I’ll make hair masks from things out of my fridge like avocado, eggs, and honey — pretty much anything high in protein. Also, when my hair needs a break, I love braiding it. Braids are very much in sync with my South American culture.”
Embracing The Curl
“First and foremost, I believe that beauty comes from within and that outer beauty only reflects what’s inside — my values and who I am as a person. When I embrace my curls, I hope it’s a reflection of how I love my Afro-Colombian roots and my culture. I never want to suppress that or let that be dimmed in any way. It’s such a vulnerable act, but it’s a way to allow people to see what’s inside; let them see a bit of who I am without an invitation.”
How to care: Cleanse and replenish curls with Nexxus Therappe Shampoo, followed by Nexxus Humectress Conditioner to seal strands and lock in moisture. To up your style on those in-between wash days, spritz hair with Nexxus Between Washes Air Lift Dry Texture Finishing Spray for a lasting lift and airy bounce.

JOI

Growing Up Curly
“I’m originally from the Bahamas — an island with very Eurocentric beauty standards. Back [when I lived there], it was very popular for people to either perm or slick back their hair because the general consensus was that you had to have straight hair to be beautiful. I was bullied a lot by my cousins and classmates for my curls. My school dean even once told me that I’d need to cut my hair in order to come back to school because my hair was ‘distracting.’”
Starting From Scratch
“My hair makes me feel powerful, like I can do anything. After chemically processing my hair [when I was young], all the hair at the crown of my head fell out. My roots were so curly and lush, and my ends were stringy and damaged — so I chopped it all off and have been rocking a fro ever since!”
Respecting The Natural Cycle
“I used to be shocked when I’d get compliments on [my in-between hair], but now, I’ve learned to embrace it. I view it as just another phase in my natural hair cycle.”
Nostalgic Coloring
“I love my grown-out hair color right now because it reminds me of home and being young and carefree. My ends were always a bit lighter because I was in the sun so often. And I’m loving this golden ombré hue — it reminds me of a sunflower.”
How to care: Nourish curls with protein-rich Nexxus Keraphix Conditioner, infused with keratin protein & black rice. Once a week, apply Nexxus Keraphix Masque to strengthen strands and restore the protective barrier. Use Nexxus Between Washes Revived Curl Crème on non-wash days for extra definition.
Styling:
YEN, look #1 — shirt by Topshop; shorts by Choosy; belt by Coco Sands. Look #2 — Top by ASOS DESIGN; skirt by alexanderwang.t; belt by &otherstories; ear crawler by Sophie Ratner; hoop earring and ear cuff by Mirta.
MANUELA, look #1 — top by Zara; pants by Whistles; earrings by Ming Yu Wang. Look #2 — turtleneck and trousers by Altuzarra; body worn underneath, talents own; boots by Tibi; earrings by Alighieri.
JOI, look #1 — shirt by Ganni; top (worn underneath) by Urban Outfitters; hoop earrings by Machete; skirt by Tibi. Look #2 — top, stylist's own; jacket by Beaufille; earring by Amanda Pearl.

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