How Often Should You Get a Haircut, According to the Experts?

How often should you cut your hair? We posed this question to a few Ottawa-based celebrity stylists just to get their expert insight on the topic. Their opinions varied slightly in a few areas, but we were able to make a solid conclusion: the frequency at which you should cut your hair depends on these 5 key factors.

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1. The Length of Your Hair

The length of your hair is a key component of your general appearance; a part of your signature look. You, therefore, cannot afford to cut the hair too short or allow it to grow too long. Also, short haircuts lose form more quickly and thus require more frequent haircuts.

Short Hair. Ella, one of our correspondents and a top hairstylist in Ottawa, believes that you should trim short hair like a pixie cut once or twice a month. “That’s how you will maintain the shape of your hair and make it easier for you to style it,” she says.

Long Pixie Cut with Swoopy Bangs

Instagram / @soraverly

Layers. With layers and face-framing pieces, you will need a cut at least once every eight weeks. According to Ella, “the layers are supposed to give your cheekbones and jawline the perfect frame. If you wait for too long, the layers might start feeling and looking outgrown, and that’s how they lose their magic.”

Robin agreed with Ella, adding that people who have lots of choppy layers should get their cut after every 6 weeks. “The layers may appear crooked if you wait until the 8th week,” she says.

Medium Length Hair with Curtain Bangs and Choppy Layers

Instagram / @megumicolor

Medium-Length Hair. The stylists agreed that changes in medium hair are more or less unnoticeable. You can go for up to eight weeks without a cut and still maintain a perfect hair shape.

Long Hair. Changes in long hair are even more unnoticeable. “Your long hair won’t need an all-over trim for at least 8 weeks”, according to Robin. “It is important to refresh your bangs a couple of times in between trims and cut off split ends if you have them. I’d say the same about layers,” she adds.

Healthy Long Haircut with Curled Ends

Instagram / @salon_dhella

2. Do You Want to Grow Your Hair Out?

If yes, you need to trim your hair once every three months. Cutting your hair when you want it to grow really long might sound counterintuitive, but it is what will keep it strong and healthy. According to Ella, “you need to remove dry, damaged hair to prevent them from breaking and ruining your length goals.”

Because some stylists always seem to cut more hair than their clients need, Ella suggests hair dusting instead of hair cutting when you want to grow your hair long. “Hair dusting means your barber or hairstylist will only cut off the split ends, leaving the rest of the hair intact.”

Robin didn’t want to commit to a specific timeframe as long as trimming split ends is concerned. Her answer was simple: “Trim them as soon as they come up”.

3. Hair Type and Texture

Lily and Penny, two celebrated hairstylists in one of the top hair salons in Ottawa, believe that the type and texture of your hair affect the average waiting period between haircuts too.

– If your hair is straight, you will need a haircut every 12 weeks if you’re to maintain the shape and style of your hair.

– Thick-haired individuals can be a little conflicted. On one hand, their hair doesn’t grow out as fast as thin hair does. That means they can go for a couple of months without needing to refresh their hair. On the other hand, without regular maintenance, it becomes almost impossible to tame thick strands. Our experts agree that the best thing to do when you have thick hair is to visit your hairstylist frequently for a professional opinion on what you need to do. Coarse hair falls in this category of thick hair and you will need to trim it once every couple of months.

Layered Undercut Bob for Thick Hair

Instagram / @headrushdesigns

– Thin-haired individuals have to be wary of breakage. You will need a haircut at least once a month to keep it strong and healthy. If your hair is fine, you may need a trim every 5-6 weeks. “Fine hair starts to break pretty fast when left to grow out too long”, says Lily. She also added that “regular haircuts are mandatory if you’re to keep your fine hair shiny and healthy for long.”

Ash Blonde Hairstyle for Thin Hair

Instagram / @hair_do_salon

– If you have wavy wavy hair, you need to get your hair cut at least once every 10 to 12 weeks. For individuals with particularly fine strands, the average waiting period could go down to under eight weeks depending on your preferred style.

– If you have curly hair, the average waiting period can be from eight weeks to a few months. Penny believes that this hair texture requires more maintenance because it gets dry fast and tangles easily, but if you take care of your curls the right way, they will maintain a nice hair shape and allow for less frequent trims. However, if you prefer heat styling and chemical treatments to alter your natural texture, you will need regular trims every eight weeks to maintain hair health.

Rounded Bob Cut for Curly Hair

Instagram / @rodrigocintra

– Kinky or coily hair grows very slowly, so you can go for 3-6 months without needing a haircut. “The good thing about having natural hair is that it almost looks the same way even after going for months without a trim,” says Penny.

Healthy Voluminous Natural Hair

Instagram / @pinkgrinch

4. Do You Have Bangs?

While hair growth might be less noticeable on longer haircuts, it can make a huge difference in terms of bangs. Front blunt bangs are the most high maintenance as even a bit longer hair will start getting into your eyes and the hairstyle will lose its appeal. Cut it every two to three weeks. Side bangs and curtain bangs that can be pushed to the sides grow out seamlessly and don’t require frequent cuts.

Copper Hairstyle with Curtain Bangs

Instagram / @shoji.i

Penny also warns that cutting your own bangs would be a bad idea. “You run the risk of pulling your bangs too hard and ruining them! Bangs must be perfect because they are right at the front and center of your face.” If you have to trim them at home, at least don’t use kitchen scissors. Also, better cut them dry, not wet, as bangs can shirk and change their form as they dry.

5. Your Haircare Routine

No matter what popular commercials will say, the best way to get rid of fried hair and prevent further damage is to cut it off. This is why experts warn against exposing your hair to too much heat or chemicals. If your hair is heat damaged or chemically treated, you need to trim it every few weeks for optimal hair health.

So, what’s the most prolonged period can you realistically go without cutting your hair? The answer lies within one or a couple of the points we’ve shared above. Just remember that the goal is to keep the hair healthy and shiny. Every time it looks like it’s losing a nice shape or looks limb and unmanageable, head to a good salon for help!