When you’re trying to grow out your hair, chances are you’ll try practically anything and everything to speed up the process. Scalp massages, gummies, homemade hair masks, maybe even headstands—who hasn’t gone out on a limb in the quest for longer locks? One method that has come up again and again is an old-fashioned trim, but does trimming your hair actually make it grow faster? We turned to experts Dr. Dendy Engelman, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at the Shafer Clinic in New York City, and Lacy Redway, Unilever Global Stylist and celebrity hair artist, to find out and get the truth about getting longer strands.
Meet the Expert
Does Trimming Your Hair Stimulate Growth?
It’s a question you’ve probably wondered plenty of times before: Does trimming hair make it grow faster? Sadly, the answer is no. (Didn’t you think that was too easy?) But regular trims are still crucial for getting longer, stronger strands.
“Hair grows from our scalp, so trimming the dead, damaged ends of your hair does not have a direct impact on hair growth,” explains Engelman. “However, trimming your hair does make it healthier overall because it stops dead ends from splitting higher up the hair shaft. [Splitting] can cause your hair to weaken and break, delaying hair growth. The health of the scalp and hair follicles is actually the most important factor in healthy hair growth.”
Benefits of Regularly Trimming Your Hair
As mentioned, regular trims are crucial for getting longer hair. “Maintaining regular trims will allow for stronger strands,” says Redway. “When your hair breaks less, it will keep its length and eventually start to grow.”
One of the biggest barriers to growing long hair is split ends and damage. When you wait too long between trims, hair is left with more split ends, so more length needs to be cut off at your next appointment, making your long hair goals harder to reach. “By eliminating damaged or dead ends, it also helps your hair look better and thicker."
How Often Should I Trim My Hair?
Ideally, Redway says a healthy trim cycle is recommended every six weeks. However, hitting the salon that frequently isn’t always realistic. “If you want to maintain the length of your hair, you should aim to get a trim about every three or four months,” Dr. Engelman says. “If you want to grow your hair out, wait five or six months in between trims.” But if you start seeing damage before the five-month mark, see your stylist ASAP.
How to Stimulate Hair Growth
Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type and its needs is vital. “I believe healthy hair starts in the shower with the products you use as the foundation of hairstyling and haircare, like a great shampoo and conditioner,” Redway says. “TRESemmé Beauty-Full Strength Shampoo and Conditioner is designed to help strengthen strands from within. When the hair shaft opens in the shampoo and conditioning stage, the products will grab onto your strands and create a barrier to help hair stay strong.”
Taking care of your scalp is the key to boosting hair growth. “Head massages and scalp massaging brushes improve blood flow to the hair follicles, which helps stimulate hair growth,” Dr. Engelman says. “Using the right hair care products is very important; make sure you’re using products designed to strengthen and support healthy hair, and avoid any damaging chemicals like parabens, sulfates, silicones, etc., which can weaken hair over time and hinder its growth.”
Buildup on the scalp can inhibit hair growth, so Dr. Engelman recommends clarifying it every few washes to remove dead skin cells, oil and any buildup from hair care products. Her go-to is the NatureLab Tokyo’s Clarifying Scalp Scrub, which exfoliates to remove impurities and stimulate healthy hair growth. “I love that it contains healthy ingredients like probiotic-rich sake water and is gentle on the skin of the scalp,” she says. “For faster and healthier hair growth, I recommend the Nutrafol oral supplement.”
The Final Takeaway
Now that you know the answer to does trimming hair make it grow faster, that doesn’t mean you should slow down your visits to your hair stylist. “Trimming your ends is a great way to keep your hair healthy and promote hair growth,” Redway says. “Wearing various hairstyles, including ponytails, can cause breakage and split ends. Split ends can then travel up your hair shaft, causing your hair to break in multiple sections. Maintaining a healthy trimming cycle will keep your hair intact, and you will start to see the results you are seeking.” Your Rapunzel-worthy strands are waiting for you.