How Often Should You *Really* Cut Your Hair?
When healthy hair is the goal, we’re told that trims are the answer. Just how often the scissors should hit our strands, though, is a completely different story. We’re all about that post-haircut, fresh feeling, but how many haircuts are truly necessary each year? What are the signs that our lengths are ready to be cut? And finally, does the length of time in between haircuts vary by hair type or hairstyle? To get to the bottom of this, we reached out to Holly Dear, hair artist and CEO of Dear Clark Salon and House of Dear.
How Often Should You Cut Your Hair?
The answer: it depends on your specific hair. Keep reading to find out how often you should be cutting your hair according to your hair type, style, and length.
Regardless of your hair type, Dear says that the ends of the hair should be trimmed on a regular basis versus waiting for a big chop. “As the ends of your hair start to split, the hair shaft literally breaks into multiple pieces, turning a single hair shaft into little frayed edges,” says Dear. “This creates tangles, and the hair will appear very thin and dry—therefore, it’s important to cut the ends before any potential hair splitting.” To get out of split ends on top, this often equates to every six to eight weeks.
Trim frequency can also depend on the type of hair you have. While thicker hair overall is a bit more resilient, the delicate nature of fine hair or curly hair tend to require more trims. And if you have extremely damaged hair, Dear says not to go longer than eight weeks without a cut. “To regain hair integrity, we need to get the healthy growth caught up to the damaged ends by balancing the two with trims and proper at-home care to repair the hair,” she says. Bonus: while regular trims won’t directly lead to hair growth, it’ll give the appearance of thicker hair, which may make your strands look longer.
How often you cut your hair doesn’t always have to do with split ends. Certain hair styles will require a speedier timeline in order to maintain their shape. For example, bobs, which are defined by the cut’s strong lines and controlled movement, are best cut every four to six weeks, depending on the hair’s texture and growth patterns, says Dear. “Be sure to secure a stylist that understands your hair growth patterns and can effectively detail your desired shape and style,” she explains.
Have medium-length layers? You’ll benefit from getting your hair cut about three times a year, though getting it cut more often will ensure your layers always look on point. “Medium-length layers are created by the texturizing technique, which takes into account the hair’s natural texture plus the “C” curvature that helps support the [layered] shape,” she explains. “The more frequent the building of texturizing occurs (aka the more often you get your hair cut), the longer the shape lasts.”
Finally, if you have hair that’s past your shoulders, it’s roughly three to four years old. In this case, getting a quarterly cut is recommended. “Imagine all of the torture you have inflicted on your hair coupled with the lack of regular cuts,” says Dear. “This can all lead to split ends and breakage, making quarterly cuts important to maintain hair health, shape, and overall integrity.”