There aren’t a lot of styles more classically fresh than a good fade.

But all good things must come to an end when you’re ready to switch your look up! If you’re growing out a fade hairstyle, we’ve got some tips to make this somewhat serious challenge less stressful for you and your strands!

A black woman with a fade haircut and clearly grown out sides sits in a concrete stairwell looking pensive

iStock/Hagen Production

First off, recognize it will take time.

When it comes to growing out a fade hairstyle, the most important thing is to remember it’s not going to happen overnight. While there are certain things you can do to help encourage new growth, there’s no such thing as a supplement time machine. Patience is truly a virtue in this curly endeavor!

Start using products designed to encourage new growth.

While hair growth starts at the follicle level and is promoted by different factors overall, there are certain products designed to help you along this part of the natural hair journey. Certain herbal ingredients are known to stimulate the circulation of blood flow so the scalp can foster new growth, while other minerals and proteins aid the body’s production of keratin. A few good products for growth include Alikay Naturals’ Essential 17 Hair Growth Oil, SheaMoisture’s Bamboo Extract & Maca Root Resilient Growth Masque, and The Mane Choice’s Manetabolism Plus Vitamins. Look for ingredients like horsetail and biotin to speed things up, but remember not to expect an extra three feet of growth by the time a bottle is finished.

Keep your scalp healthy!

Of course all new growth starts at the scalp. While many people think of the scalp as being more of the crown of the head or the top, you have hair follicles along the hairline, too! The healthier you keep your scalp and your edges, the easier it will be to foster that growth. The keys to a healthy scalp are regular cleanings, conditioning with emollients to add hydration, avoiding buildup which can clog pores and stunt new growth, and dealing with any issues before they get in the way. For example, if you have dandruff or buildup, you need to remedy the situation quickly so you can get your scalp healthier enough for those inches-to-be! Look for anti-fungal and anti-septic ingredients in your hair care like the neem and tea tree oil found in this Obia Naturals shampoo bar. You might also consider switching to a styling product with lighter hold during this transition to prevent buildup and over-washing. Camile Rose Naturals’ Moisture Milk comes to mind!

Consider a trim to get an even style

A big concern when growing out this look is how uneven your hair might be while the sides of your head catch up to your crown. If you have a lot of curls on top on the longer side and your fade is more on the short to medium length, a good rule of thumb is to trim your upper curls to get a more uniformed look that is less awkward. If you can’t bear to part with any of the length you already have, consider rocking some headwraps for a while! You might not even want to stop…

Make sure you’re protected while you sleep!

Breakage doesn’t rest, even when we are. If you aren’t wrapping your hair at night, even with a shorter fade cut, you are doing a disservice to your curls. As new curls come in, they have to be babied a little to ensure they grow long and strong. Make sure you apply your favorite leave-in conditioner and wrap your hair in a silk or satin wrap before you hit the hay each night to protect your strands.

Are you phasing out your fade, curlies?

Tag us @naturallycurly to show us your progress!


NaturallyCurly has been on a mission to educate, empower, entertain and inspire women to have healthy discussions about hair and beauty since 1998. We explore everything from self-acceptance to finding the best hair care products for all textures.

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