How Often Should You Get a Haircut? Here’s A Good Rule of Thumb

How often should you get a haircut

Reader Question:

Hi Cindy,

I’m currently 54 years old and always had a pixie cut. But now, I’d like to grow it out longer into more of a bob. While it’s growing out, how often I should go to my hairdresser to get it cut? Thanks!”

Barbara Sanders
Boston MA

Hi Barbara, if you’re anything like me, your hair is an essential part of your look. The way you style it can either accentuate your face shape or make it appear less attractive. Your hairstyle will also influence how often you should get a haircut.

Hair grows approximately 1/2 an inch per month, so it is recommended to get a haircut every 8 weeks to prevent breakage.

But the reasons for getting your hair trimmed go far beyond maintaining the shape. I spoke with Diana Keyes, hairstylist at The Wolf & The Hair in Centerville, OH, about the benefits of regular trims.

Diana told me, “Most people don’t know that getting regular and frequent haircuts can help promote healthy hair growth by getting rid of your split ends.”

Not only are haircuts great for minimizing your chances of split ends, but it is also a great form of self-care.” I couldn’t agree more! That’s why I put together this science-backed guide. In just a few minutes, you’ll know every facet of the answer to “How often should you get a haircut?”

This guide will teach you:

General Rule of Thumb

Even as a hairdresser, it’s impossible to find a one-size-fits-all rule for haircut timing. This is because hair comes in all kinds of lengths, textures, and styles.

So, it all depends on the look you want to achieve and your type of hair.

But then how do you know when it’s time for a haircut? By asking yourself a few specific questions.

First, consider if the length of your hair is currently hindering your ability to style it the way you want. Additionally, you should take a close look at the ends of your hair and check for split ends or damage. (Source)

Start taking these factors into consideration 3 to 4 weeks after your most recent trim.

Maintaining Healthy Hair: Timing and Amount to Cut

Hairdressers (including myself) agree that getting a haircut every 1.5 to 2 months generally works well.

If you’re growing your hair out, I suggest visiting your barber or hair salon only 3 times a year.

Many people believe that cutting their hair more often will make it grow faster. In reality, this isn’t the case at all. Your hair will grow half an inch per month on average, regardless of whether you give it a regular trim.

All this is to say, there isn’t a concrete sweet spot for every single person out there. What works for you may not be the best for someone else.

The best haircut frequency to keep your hair healthy and looking good depends on your hair type and style. (Source)

At the same time, never or rarely cutting your hair is a recipe for split ends and damage. This is especially true if you’re not providing your hair with the care and nutrients it needs to thrive. (Source)

Rule of Thumb for Bangs

If you’re rocking bangs, the ideal frequency for trims is roughly every 14 to 21 days.

Bangs are one of the first things people notice about your hairstyle. So, chances are people will notice if your bangs are too long.

It’s important to cut your bangs at least every 21 days. This cadence will keep them looking great and highlight your best features. (Source)

How Often to Get a Haircut According to Length

Maybe you like to wear your hair in a buzz cut or a skin fade. On the other hand, you may prefer to grow medium-length waves or long locks. Regardless of your current style, getting your hair cut at the right cadence is important.

I asked Diana to shed some light on the risks of skipping haircuts. She told me, “One of the biggest downsides to not getting your haircut very frequently is that once you start to see split ends, your split ends will only continue to grow even longer.

So when you do finally get your haircut, you may have to cut more hair than anticipated in order to remove all of your split ends.

Having split ends will cause your hair to tangle and knot much easier, making it difficult to brush or do any sort of styling to your hair. If not cut or dusted, your split ends will eventually start to break off themselves and leave you with an uneven length.”

Split ends, tangles, and breakage? No thanks! Let’s dive into the haircut frequency that’s best for the length you like to keep your hair at.

Short Hair

Someone with short hair getting a haircut

If you prefer to keep your hair short, then the sweet spot is to visit your barber or stylist every 14 to 28 days. This will allow you to maintain the precision of hairstyles such as clipper cuts, bobs, and pixies.

You’re actually better off cutting short hair well before a month has passed. This is because your hair grows at a rate of approximately a half inch per month.  (Source) Therefore, if you wait that long, your once precise hairstyle will start to look rather untidy.

You should note that cutting your hair every 14 to 28 days works best if you’re keen on keeping your hair short and tight. If you’re not as adamant when it comes to this, then you can actually wait for up to 7 weeks before you cut your hair.

Medium-length Hair

Someone with medium-length hair getting a haircut

If you keep your hair at a moderate length, you’ll only need to get a trim every 3 to 4 months. This is under the assumption that your hair is healthy and isn’t suffering damage from chemical or heat styling. (Source)

If that assumption is true for you, then a quarterly trim will work just fine in keeping your hair looking great. This frequency works best for managing volume and minimizing split ends.  (Source)

If you do have extensive damage and split ends, you’ll need to get it trimmed more often. Visiting your barber or stylist every 2 months should help you to better manage your hair’s health.

Long Hair

Someone with long hair getting a haircut

The general way to go if you have longer hair is getting it cut 2 to 4 times a year. This is the ideal frequency for managing your long hair’s weight and reducing split ends.

Where your perfect cadence lies within this range depends on your hair type and the way you wear your hair.

You should decide when to trim your long locks based on the breakage and split ends you’re encountering. (Source) If you don’t dye or use heat styling on your hair often, you’re unlikely to need to cut it more often than every 6 months.

Hair Type Considerations

If you have an afro or curls, your ideal haircut cadence will be different from someone with straight hair. Keeping your hair healthy and in tip-top shape requires a bit more care.

Recent chemical treatments should also influence how often you get haircuts. This is especially true for fine or textured hair.

Let’s get into more detail on how your hair type affects haircut frequency.

Curly Hair

Someone with curly hair getting a haircut

Maintaining your curls is crucial for keeping them looking healthy and bouncy. Your best course of action is to get a haircut once every 3 months, on average.

Again, this is assuming that you aren’t chemically treating your hair or using hot tools daily. If you are, your curls may be more prone to damage and split ends. You may need to get it cut a bit more often.

Another assumption behind this advice is that you want to maintain your hair at this length. If you want your hair to grow out, then a haircut once every 6 months is the way to go.

No matter how often you choose to trim your curls, remember they’ll shrink up. You might only need a half-inch off during each visit, unlike people with straight hair.

Damaged Hair

Hair with split ends being trimmed

So many things in life can damage your hair. Chemical treatments, hot tools, hard water, brushing too hard… There’s a lot to look out for! Plus, naturally fine and dry hair types are even more prone to split ends and breakage.

Regardless of the cause of your damage, you’ll want to pay your barber or stylist a visit every 1 to 2 months. This cadence can remove the worst of your split ends and improve your hair’s health.

I know what you’re thinking. “How will my hair ever grow out if I cut it that often?” You’re right– it’ll take time.

But tending to your damaged ends limits breakage and makes growth more noticeable. Basically, your hair will grow faster and healthier if you trim off the damage.

Frequently Asked Questions on Haircut Timing

Is it OK to get a haircut every month?

It’s perfectly fine to cut your hair once a month. In fact, I recommend this frequency if you have a short hairstyle.

But if you have a precision haircut– like a fade– you may want to get shaped up every 2 weeks.

Do frequent haircuts boost hair growth?

No, cutting your hair often doesn’t have anything to do with your follicles or boosting hair growth. (Source)

Forget frequent haircuts. If you want your hair to grow faster, you should try either Cliganic Jojoba Oil or Cliganic Argan Oil. I love these products because they’re sustainably sourced, cold-pressed, organic, and cruelty-free.

Argan oil in particular has numerous benefits for your hair shafts and scalp and can prevent hair loss. (Source)

How often does the average person get a haircut?

On average, men get their hair cut approximately 6 times each year, which is about once every 2 months.  (Source)

Women tend to visit their stylists less often. The average frequency for females is once every 3 months.

Can a haircut damage your hair?

In most cases, a haircut absolutely will not damage your hair. The exception to this is razor cuts. When done improperly, cutting hair with a razor can create split ends and damage your hair. (Source)

How do you know you need a haircut?

When deciding whether it’s time to get a haircut, you should ask yourself 2 questions. Is your hair too long for you to style it the way you want? Secondly, is there significant damage at your hair’s ends?

If the answer is yes to either question, then it’s time to take a trip to the barbershop or salon.

How long after lice treatment can you get a haircut?

The key here is to make sure that the treatment has 100% done away with the infestation. The general rule of thumb is that your hair is completely lice-free if you don’t find any after 3 weeks of applying the treatment. (Source)

Only then can you be sure that you won’t run into an awkward situation with your barber or stylist.

How can you maintain an afro?

To maintain your afro, aim for trims every 8 to 12 weeks. This cadence will keep the shape sharp and prevent tangles.

How often should you get a dog’s haircut?

You’re going to want to get your dog’s haircut every 10–12 weeks on average.

If you regularly brush your dog’s hair, you may be able to get away with less frequent visits to the groomer. Regular brushing also reduces your dog’s risk of getting annoying skin conditions. (Source)

Do children need haircuts more often than adults?

According to Diana, “There isn’t a real difference between how often children and adults should get their hair cut. However, it could depend on the texture and hair type you have.

If you have finer or thin hair, you will also want to make sure to get your haircut every 8 weeks to prevent split ends. Children tend to have finer hair, so it is important to get regular trims.

If you are someone that uses a lot of heat tools to style your hair, you may want to consider getting haircuts every 8 weeks or sooner to avoid breakage and split ends.”

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