We’ve all heard the old standard rule of getting your hair cut every six weeks, but we also know that some of the chicest women only get their hair cut a few times a year. So what's the deal? How long should you really wait before you cut your hair? We decided to get to the bottom of things and find out exactly how long a style can hold up, if infrequent trimmings take a toll on your hair’s health, and if there's a one-size-fits-all rule for everyone to follow.
How Often You Should Cut Shorter Styles
The experts say between every 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 to get your hair cut every three weeks to keep the look precise and polished. This is based on the fact that your hair usually grows about half an inch per month, he adds.
Stylist Paul Norton, whose clients include Gina Rodriguez, Hannah Simone, and Dianna Agron, agrees that more frequent trims are a must to maintain the style and shape of shorter ’do. But if you’re more lax about your look, then you may be able to stretch that to four to seven weeks.
How Often Mid-Length Hair Needs a Trim
The pros say that getting a trim about three or four times a year should suffice. “If you have generally healthy hair that isn’t damaged and you’re keeping it mid-length to long, you need to cut it less,” Collins says. “I recommend only three to four times a year just to dust the ends and touch up layers.”
How Often You Should Cut Longer Hair
Even for long, healthy styles, Tanya Abriol, whose client roster includes Kate Hudson and Gwyneth Paltrow, says you need to base your decision off of 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 longer than three months, your shape has completely grown out, and you’re ready for a new one.”
And it's important to remember 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 to appearing thinner. The experts recommend visiting the salon every eight weeks.
How Often You Should Cut Your Hair to Prevent Split Ends
“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,” and Creighton Bowman, who has styled everyone from Kate Beckinsale to Elizabeth Olsen. Collins agrees, suggesting a trim 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.
Apply argan oil to ends of hair to help treat and camouflage split ends in between trims.
How Often Natural Texture Needs a Trim
Hairstylists specializing in natural texture recommend at most 12 weeks between cuts. "Ideally, Lupita Nyong’o’s hairstylist, Vernon François, explains, "I would recommend 6-12 weeks for anyone with wavy or curly hair, while coil-y, tight curls and kinky patterns could wait as long as two months for a trim. If your hair is colored or heat damaged I would advise checking if the hair needs cutting every time you are having it colored to avoid over-processing the ends."
“Textured hair tends to naturally be quite dry and crave moisture,” François adds. 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 to three days might be good for wavy hair; every three to seven days good for curly hair; and every seven days or possibly longer for coil-y and kinky hair.”
How Often You Should Cut Your Hair in General
There’s no one answer, but depending on your hair and what your end goal is, there is a sweet spot that’s perfect for you. “Two key factors when wondering [if it’s] time for a cut are as basic as this: 1) Can you no longer achieve the styles you desire? And 2) are the ends of your hair visibly damaged?” Norton says. When you start to approach the three-, eight-, or 12-week mark, ask yourself those questions. If you answer yes to either one, head to the salon. You should also keep in mind that while regular haircuts don't make your hair grow faster, regular trims prevent your hair from suffering the breakage and split ends that make it look like it's growing slowly.