How Often Should You Actually Cut Your Hair? It Depends...


hair cut Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

There’s a haircut “rule” floating around out there that says you should make it to the salon for a trim once every six to eight weeks. While an OK rule of thumb, it’s not quite so hard and fast. The reality is that how often you need to trim really depends on your hair length and texture. For a full guide on how often – plus why it’s so important – we reached out to a few haircare pros.

Why Regular Haircuts Matter

You already know that getting routine haircuts helps your hair looking healthy and kempt. Think about how nicely a fresh cut lays, how shiny your strands look, and how your hair feels in between your fingers!

“Cutting keeps our ends strong because our hair growth isn’t even and is constantly in different phases of the hair growth cycle,” says Michelle O’Connor, hairstylist and creative director for Matrix. “This means that left on its own, our hair will end in an uneven state producing hair ends that are thinner and more susceptible to damage.”

Additionally, your hair is affected by the styling tools you use, and how often you’re using them. Celebrity hairstylist Michael Boychuck says, “Consistently using a heat styling tool on your hair – such as a flat iron or curling iron – tends to dry your hair out. This causes you to need a cut more often.”

Forgoing a regular trim can even stunt hair growth since damaged ends are more likely to keep breaking off unless they’re completely chopped. Long story short: keeping your ends trimmed allows for hair strength to be maintained. And it just looks and feels nicer tbh.

How Often You Should Get Your Hair Cut

Now that you know how important regular trims are, let’s talk about the right frequency for your hair length and texture.

Short Hair: 4 Weeks

short hair Source: John Shearer/Getty Images

Short hair needs to be cut more frequently “to keep the lines and shape of the cut looking polished,” notes Boychuck. If you’re trying to grow your hair from long to short, you can get away with six to eight weeks. You’ll definitely want to have it re-styled at around that mark, though, to ensure a more beautiful grow-out process.

Medium Hair: 8 Weeks

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You can technically visit your salon sooner than eight weeks, but Boychuck says you shouldn’t push it beyond that two-month mark. “This is to maintain shape and to keep hair from splitting,” he says. “The better you work with your hair, the longer you can go between cuts. Someone who works with hair well can create volume through styling which helps keep hair looking well maintained.”

Long Hair: 12 Weeks

hair cut Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Those with long hair have a bit more flexibility. “For long hair, it’s about maintaining overall hair health—versus maintaining the shape of your style for short hair,” notes O’Connor. Also, if your goal is to keep your length then cutting too frequently can result in a mid-length ‘do since hair only grows about ½ inch per month.

While salon visits are less frequent, people with long hair do need to be more mindful about keeping their hair healthy in the interim. Be mindful of how often you’re using styling tools, use protective treatments, and deep condition regularly.

Taking excellent care of your long hair can potentially help you push your haircut off for up to six months, but the ends might start looking a bit uneven and wispy by that point. At the very least you can request a micro-trim!

Textured, Curly, and Wavy Hair: 12 Weeks

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“Wavy, curly, and coiled hair types don’t need to trim that frequently. It can average from once every three months to twice a year, depending on the condition of the hair’s ends,” says O’Connor.

Again, you might be able to push it to four, five, or six months—especially if your hair is mid-length or long—but by that point, it might need a little TLC. O’Connor notes, “Even for the most extreme coily hair types, the hair stands to benefit from removing the older more fragile ends.”

All the above recommendations are, of course, “rules of thumb.” Really, it’s a matter of taking care of your hair in-between cuts and heading to the salon when your ends are dry, thinned, and uneven, or when your short/medium style is starting to lose its shape.

For more pro hair care tips, check out how to get your best hair ever in three easy steps.