Amid the million things you juggle on a daily basis, regular haircuts probably aren’t high on the list. Between finding the time to even book an appointment and actually showing up, keeping on top of your tresses likely falls by the wayside (along with cleaning out the pantry and fixing that squeaky door hinge).
Your time — and money! — is precious, though, so you might be wondering if you really need regular haircuts and, if so, how often. A hair pro is here to give you all the info you need… including why you might want to carve out time at least a few days a year for a trim.
Essentially, how often you’ll need a haircut depends on your hair type and any heat styling and/or chemical treatments you use on your hair, as expert hairstylist and Curls’ brand educator Janelle Sands tells Scary Mommy.
How often should you cut your hair?
Generally speaking, “Most people experience roughly ½-inch of root growth per month regardless of hair type. Therefore, every three to four months, a light trim of at least ½-inch to ¾-inch should be trimmed depending on your hair goals,” she says.
However, if you use chemical treatments or perform heat styling regularly, you’ll want to bump that up, trimming up to 1 ¼-inch every three to four months, says Sands. “The challenge with this in relation to hair types is that the more ‘texture’ your hair has, the more likely you are to feel like you do not see the new growth coming in. Hair shrinkage — which is typical for curly and coily hair types — gives the illusion that your hair is not growing.”
But plenty of people with these hair types skip haircuts, which isn’t great for the health and integrity of your hair.
Why are regular trims important?
The longer you wait between routine trims, “the more you risk acquiring more split ends which can cause damage up and along the hair strand,” says Sands.
It’s true. It might not seem like a big deal to skip salon visits, but according to Sands, “the hair hack of a lifetime is a regular recurring trim/haircut. When following a consistent haircut schedule, the hair will maintain its health with no fear of breakage.”
If you’re experiencing postpartum hair loss, you might be tempted to push off your haircuts even longer (especially since you’re, you know, exhausted and caring for a baby). But Sands shares that hair changes during the postpartum period are due to hormonal shifts “and a release of hair may occur which may look like excessive shedding,” she explains. “Due to these shifts, it is common for postpartum women to cut off a substantial amount of hair to give the illusion of a thicker, more consistent density. A postpartum haircut is also great for getting rid of the thinning strands and starting new and fresh.”
Of course, if hair loss at any time — not just after giving birth — concerns you, you will definitely want to check in with your doctor, as they can recommend solutions (such as multivitamins or supplements) to help slow the shed. Sands notes it’s recommended that “postpartum women continue to take their prenatal vitamins until healthy hair growth and retention resume, then slowly taper off the vitamins by lowering the dosage and finally switch over to a women’s daily multivitamin or consider a hair growth supplement.” But your doctor can help you with your specific concerns and restore your hair to a healthy, vibrant state.
How do you know when you’re due for a trim?
Sands shares a few surefire signs:
- You can see through the ends of your hair.
- Your hairstyle just won’t do what it needs to do.
- You visibly see split ends.
The TL;DR: “I recommend cutting a minimum of ½- to ¾- inch every three to four months at the very least,” she says. “To maintain your style, cut your hair roughly one to two inches every three to four months.”
But in those in-between moments when life just gets ahead of you, don’t fret. No one has ever died from skipping a haircut or two, but it does make a great excuse to get out of the house and allow someone to give you a little TLC, which you more than deserve.
So, if a haircut means you can treat yourself to a special coffee drink or gives you a free pass for some adult conversation with your stylist, no one will blame you for getting an appointment on the books. The to-do list can wait — promise.