Rachel Charlene Lewis
Updated Aug 31, 2016 @ 8:05 pm

Whenever I tell people I haven’t had a haircut in five years, they’re always a *wee* bit horrified. We’ve all heard that if you don’t get a trim, your hair will never grow (something that’s never made sense to me, since, like, new hair grows out of your head, and what do the ends of your hair follicles have to do with anything?), and how do I deal with split ends?! But I have to admit: I haven’t had a haircut in over 5 years, and my hair is the best it’s *ever* been.

My last haircut was in 2011, when I was heading to college.

Credit: Rachel Lewis

I got it cut a little bit above my shoulders, whereas before it’d been a few inches above my bra strap. It felt light, and healthy, but it was also flat ironed within an inch of its life. Like many black and multiracial women, I felt pressured to keep my hair straight for it to be beautiful, so I wore it straight literally 24/7.

I hadn’t intended on no longer cutting my hair, but when I went to college at a PWI in a majority white area, there wasn’t anyone I trusted to do my hair.

Credit: Rachel Lewis

I stopped cutting my hair, but I also started wearing it natural more often. As a result of less straightening, it didn’t seem like my hair needed to be cut as often. It wasn’t dry, or breaking off. It seemed to be balancing.

So I stuck with it.

Credit: Rachel Lewis

I dyed the ends of my hair blonde, and then dyed them back to black, and it didn’t seem to cause a whole lot of damage. Plus, my hair was longer than ever, so I was seriously sending that whole “get your hair trimmed” advice some doubt.

That doesn’t mean my hair is perfect!


If I get lazy and “forget” to comb my hair, it’s tangly AF, and it takes a solid 20 or 30 minutes for me to detangle. It’s MISERABLE. But I do it (ugh), and then me and my curls are chill again. Otherwise, though, it looks like the above: pretty tangly.

But my hair is healthier and happier than ever.

Credit: Rachel Lewis

My curls are springy and hydrated (as long as I take care of them!) and not relying on hair salons to cut and clean up my hair means that I’ve learned *so* much more about my hair type, and what it does and doesn’t like. It’s going well for me, and I’m glad I ignored all of the negative voices telling me that not getting a hair cut was going to ruin my hair. That might work for them, but I’d rather listen to my hair than those with hair so different from mine that they’d have no idea where to start!

Not cutting your hair might not work for you, and that’s cool! Just like some wash their hair twice a day and some (like me!) wash it every week or so, what works for one person won’t work for another. And that’s totally okay! You do you, boo.