How Often Should You Actually Get Your Hair Cut?
Celebrity stylists break it down by hair type and desired length.
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For every person that enters the hair salon ready for a dramatic chop, there's also someone who positively shudders at the thought of cutting more than a single inch off their hair. While both experiences are valid, and when and how you choose to cut your hair is a personal preference, it is true that certain styles require more upkeep. So, is the general "every six weeks" rule of thumb universal when it comes to how often you should be getting your hair cut?
We wanted to know: How often do you really need to get your hair cut to keep it healthy? To find the answer, we tapped top hairstylists for their recommendations. Can you get away with only getting a haircut a few times a year? Or is it better to schedule regular snips? Ahead, find out how often stylists say you need to cut your hair to avoid damage, breakage, and excess tangling.
In general, how often should you get your hair cut?
"Everyone has a different hair type, texture, and styling routine, which can determine how well your hair holds up between haircuts and how often you need one," says Los Angeles-based celebrity stylist Bradley Leake. That being said, he suggests that getting a trim every six to eight weeks (depending on your styling routine and the health of your hair) is a good benchmark.
Palm Beach-based celebrity and red carpet hairstylist Melissa Peverini agrees. She tells us that regardless of your hair's length or texture, you should strive to trim it at least every six weeks to avoid split ends—effectively getting a fresh cut before any split ends happen or worsen. According to her, "once the split travels up the hair's cuticle, you can't repair it, so give your hair some love with a cut or trim before the damage is done and more cutting is required. This will also ensure that hair will remain healthy, bouncy, and tangle-free."
How often should you cut long hair?
If you're dead-set on maintaining your lusciously long style, we hear you. It can take a long time to grow your hair to its desired length, and you want to keep it that way. The good news is that Peverini says that long hair does not require cuts as often.
"Since it is less maintenance and you don't want to lose length, every three to six months will work for getting a dusting. If you begin to notice split ends, breakage, or if your hair tangles at the ends, this is an indication that it is time for a cut," she says. According to her, it is best to trim it before the damage is noticeable, since the longest parts of your hair are quite old and have fewer nutrients and strength. In between cuts, long hair can benefit from regular hair masks to restore some of that moisture and maintain its strength.
How often should you cut hair to maintain a short hairstyle?
On the flip side, Leake says that shorter hairstyles require more maintenance to keep their shape. Because of this, he recommends booking your haircuts every four to six weeks for short hair and every six to eight weeks for medium-length hair. If your hair is cut into a pixie or blunt bob, it may even require more frequent trims to keep it looking its best.
Peverini says a good way to tell that your short style needs a refresh is when you start to sweep it up or clip it back more than wearing it down. According to her, "this means it may be time to have the edges shaped."
How often should you cut curly or naturally textured hair?
People with coily, tight, and kinky curl patterns could wait as long as three months for a trim while still maintaining their hair's shape and health. "I recommend getting a haircut every three to five months for curls so they do not lose their shape or curl pattern," says Peverini. "Textured or curly hair also is drier than straight hair, so keeping the ends cut will hold the bounce and keep it looking healthy," she says.
Curly-haired people can also opt to get a "micro-trim" every eight to twelve weeks, according to Leakes. This process removes dead ends while still allowing for length and growth by having a stylist twist freshly washed, dry hair into sections to reveal split ends through the mid-lengths and then snip them off for smooth, strong, and healthier locks.
At the end of the day, though, when it comes to how often you should get your hair cut, you know your preferences best. If you want to make a dramatic chop, go for it. Or, if you'd rather keep your hair's length long and strong, you can do that and go longer between cuts, too. As Leakes tells us, "While everyone's hair routine is a bit different, these are some good guidelines to follow."