How often should you cut your hair? A complete guide for all hair lengths and types

In case you’ve ever wondered how often should you cut your hair...

an image of glossy auburn hair, to depict story for how often should your cut your hair
(Image credit: Getty Images / Andreas Kuehn)

When it comes to getting your hair cut, no single rule applies to everyone. The prevailing opinion is that you should have it done every six to eight weeks, but this can’t possibly make sense for all hair lengths, styles and textures. Apart from daily haircare and only using the best shampoo bars, regular haircuts should be part of your regular beauty maintenance routine. To keep your hair healthy and strong, the key is getting it trimmed regularly. But how often? Here’s everything you need to know about creating a trim schedule based on your length and hair type.

Signs that it’s time for a trim

It's best to give your hair a trim before these signs appear because, by the time you see them, the damage is already done. Here are the telltale signs that you need a haircut:

  • Your hair snags at the bottom and tangles easily
  • The ends have a sticky, almost gummy texture
  • If you have curly hair, the curl patterns start changing their shape 
  • You begin noticing split ends 
  • Split ends start traveling up the hair shaft

General rule of thumb

On average, hair grows about half an inch per month, but depending on your hair's health, length and type, it may grow faster. Cutting your hair also depends on your hairstyle and whether you're growing your hair out or just looking to maintain a certain length. In general, six to eight weeks is as long as you might want to go without cutting your hair.

Short hair
Short styles, such as a disconnected undercut, short bob or pixie cut, need more regular trims and maintenance than other hairstyles. Growth will make them lose their distinctiveness, so to keep things looking sharp, you should get your hair cut every four to six weeks. 

Medium-length hair
Long bobs, layered shoulder-length, and tousled shags fall into this category. Medium-length hair tends to grow out better, so you can wait a little longer for a trim. To maintain a specific length, schedule a cut every six to eight weeks. If you are looking to add some length, extend the waiting period to eight to 12 weeks.

Long Hair that’s wavy or straight
Longer hair requires much less maintenance when it comes to getting a haircut, but it's also more susceptible to breakage. If you take care of your long hair exceptionally well, with hydrating treatments and minimal heat damage, your hair shouldn’t split or break too quickly. Wait eight to 12 weeks until your next trim. 

If you have bangs
If your bangs are straight, strong, heavy or blunt a quick pruning every two to three weeks will keep the look precise and polished. If they are wispy or side-swept, you can stretch your trim times a bit longer. 

Long layered hair
Layered hair requires more maintenance, since it doesn't grow evenly, but longer layered styles can stretch a bit longer between trims. If your style is short enough to keep face-framing pieces in place with long, extended sections past your shoulders, going for a cut after six to eight weeks is ideal. 

Fine hair that’s wavy or straight
Fine hair requires continuous reshaping without cutting off too much length. Fine hair is also more susceptible to heat damage than other hair types, so regular cuts are key to keeping it healthy and shiny. The ideal time to cut it is between four to six weeks.  

Tight coarse curly Hair
Curly, kinky hair tends to grow more slowly than other hair types, meaning you don't have to get it cut frequently. To maintain your length, get a haircut every three to four months, but if you’re looking to grow out your hair, ask your hairstylist to cut a quarter inch or less every visit. This will ensure you always have more growth than the amount you’re cutting off. 

Fine or medium curly hair
Curly hair can stretch out the time between cuts. You can get away with getting a trim every two to three months. But if your spirals are on the finer side, it's best to keep your trimming times close to eight weeks, since too much length can make finer curls look stretched and stringy. 

Damaged hair
The bad news is there’s no way to undo the damage from heat styling, coloring or chemical processing, regardless of your hair's length. Luckily, a monthly trim will gradually phase out the damaged hair while allowing enough time for healthy roots to grow in. If you want to grow out your hair, you can wait up to six weeks, but leaving it any longer will cause additional damage to your hair.

So, in conclusion... 

Healthy, trimmed hair will grow much faster and look more radiant. Trimming prevents your hair from suffering breakage and split ends. How often you should cut your hair depends on your hairstyle and texture, but no matter what, it’s time to book an appointment if six months have passed without a cut.  

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