We’ve all heard that we should get a haircut regularly if we want our hair to grow strong and healthy, but how do we know when the time is right? In theory, a six-week visit to the hairdresser is fine, but there may be some exceptions to the rule depending on your hair texture and your haircut.
In order to know exactly how long you should wait before getting a haircut, we decided to get to the bottom of things. As intense as this conversation can be, we spoke to five experts to get all the tips and ways possible on how long a style can last if infrequent cuts affect the health of your hair and if there’s a one-size-fits-all rule for everyone to follow. Read on to learn how often you should be getting your hair cut.
General Golden Rule
When it comes to how often you should cut your hair in general, there is no one answer. But depending on your hair and what your end goal is, there might be a sweet spot. “Two key factors when asking [se é] time for a cut are as basic as this one: 1) Can’t get the styles you want anymore? And 2) are the ends of your hair visibly damaged?” Norton said. About a month after your last haircut, start asking yourself these questions. If you answer yes to either one, go to the salon.
Experts say between three and seven weeks for shorter cuts and bobs. According to celebrity hairstylist Richard Collins, if you have a specific style, like an Anna Wintour bob with bangs, then you probably need a haircut every three weeks to keep the look sharp and polished. “This is based on the fact that your hair usually grows about half an inch a month,” he adds.
Norton agrees that more frequent trims are a must to maintain the style and shape of a shorter one. But if you’re more relaxed about your look, then you might be able to stretch that out to four to seven weeks.
medium length hair
Professionals say getting a cut about three or four times a year should be enough. “If you generally have healthy hair that’s not damaged and you’re keeping it mid-length to long-length, you need to cut it less,” says Collins. “I only recommend three to four times a year just to clean the edges and touch up layers.”
Even for long, healthy styles, Abriol says you need to base your decision on how good you want your hair to look. “When you like to have your hair longer than your shoulders, layered or not, and it’s been more than three months, your shape has completely grown, and you’re ready for a new one.”
And it is important to remember that long hair is very old. Like anything that ages, the older your hair gets, the more fragile it is. Long hair is typically more susceptible to breakage, split ends, and looking thinner, especially if it has been chemically treated. Experts recommend visiting the salon every eight weeks.
Apply argan oil to the ends of your hair to help treat and camouflage split ends between the trims.
Argan oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the kernels of the fruit pit of the argan tree (also known as Argania spinosa) that grows in Morocco. The ingredient is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids. It also provides anti-inflammatory and moisturizing benefits.
Hairdressers specializing in natural texture recommend a maximum of 12 weeks between cuts. “Ideally,” explains François, “I would recommend six to 12 weeks for anyone with wavy or curly hair, while coils, tight curls and eccentric patterns could wait up to two months for a cut. If your hair is colored or heat-damaged, I would advise checking if the hair needs to be cut every time you are colored to avoid over-processing the ends.”
“Textured hair tends to be quite dry naturally and craves moisture,” adds François. As such, he recommends 12 weeks between cuts, but stresses the importance of time between washes: “The best number of days will vary from person to person, but every two or three days might be fine for wavy hair; every three to seven days good for curly hair; and every seven days or possibly more for coil and eccentric hair.
“If your hair is more prone to split ends or you have a lot of chemical treatments done, trimming every eight weeks will help keep your hair healthy,” adds Creighton Bowman, a Los Angeles-based hairdresser with a vast clientele that includes Winona Ryder, Kate Beckinsale and Laura Dern. Collins agrees, suggesting a cut every eight weeks if your hair is chemically damaged, especially fine, or frayed at the ends. More frequent haircuts can help prevent over-drying and breakage.
Do frequent trimmings boost hair growth?
Yes and no. Cutting your hair can help it grow longer and faster, but not in the way you think. Trimming the ends doesn’t affect the root (which is where it grows from), but it does prevent your hair from experiencing breakage and split ends that make it look like it’s slowly growing.