Right after the complicated demise of a toxic relationship. When you scroll past an Insta-famous blogger or celebrity who dramatically changed their look — and looks incredible. When you have been throwing your hair up into a messy bun after a workout, before going into the office, from the moment you wake up, or basically any and every chance you get. Or perhaps, when you are purely — and plainly — bored. Whatever the reason for wanting a new hairstyle, hopping into the hot salon seat is fun when you are in the market for change. On the other hand, knowing when you need a haircut is a completely different story.
Much like exfoliating your skin regularly, getting consistent trims will ensure the vitality and the vibrancy of your locks. And though most people enjoy the fresh blowout look, few folks make haircuts for health a priority, according to celebrity hairstylist Gregg Giannillo. After all, touching up your roots, ends and every strand in between often feels like a luxury, and not quite as important as say, a check-up at the doctor. Even though it is a cosmetic experience, our hair is important to tend to, especially since Giannillo says it gives us insight into our overall body. Dry ends? You could need more water. Brittle hair? You could have a vitamin deficiency. A trusted and professional hairstylist can warn you of any signals your hair is sending your way — but like your doctor, you have to visit him or her consistently so they can get to know your locks.
Here, a guide to why getting haircuts is important — and how to know if you are overdue:
Why is getting regular haircuts a must?
In addition to building a rapport with your stylist and having someone to tend to the TLC of your hair, Giannillo says frequent visits actually helps you achieve the silky-smooth, bouncy hair that most people desire. “Maintaining fresh ends are as crucial as taking supplements to enhance hair growth. What many people do not realize is that the ends of the hair flake off much like the surface of our skin. This microscopic dust eventually leads to split ends, and if the hair is breaking off faster than it can grow from the scalp, no real length will be achieved,” he explains.
If you are someone who traditionally has hair that tangles easily or is difficult to manage in general, TV and film hairstylist Tracey Moss says consistent salon visits will help to strengthen your strands. When you have a regular cut, she says it helps to keep fullness to the very end of the hair shaft and to maintain a nice, polished style that’s smooth and, well, obedient.
And, regular haircuts actually maintain the cut. Hair pro and founder of Spoke & Weal, Jon Reyman, explains when your hair grows out too long, you may lose your shape. “Or your density gets overwhelming making your hair heavy or difficult to style,” he adds. “Getting regular haircuts will also help manage damage and strength around the perimeter.”
How often do most people need haircuts?
Like with anything that is a personal aesthetic choice, there is not a perfect rhythm with haircuts. Most people will figure out the ideal time between visits as they get to know their guru — so make sure to ask your go-to for his or her recommendations. Generally speaking, though, Giannillo says most people should aim to get manicured every four to six weeks. “The reasons vary from someone who likes to maintain a consistent look, to someone that has hair that is prone to damage. Some can last much longer if the shape is precise, then the cut just evolves as oppose to growing out,” he explains.
Moss notes even if you are attempting to add more inches to your hair, there is a difference between a full-on cut and a trim. A haircut involves an overhaul of the entire head — from bottom to top and all around — and should be booked on that four to six weeks schedule. However, if you think your ends are becoming fragile, pop in for a trim as needed. And for men? Moss says dudes who have fast-growing hair might get a cut every two weeks to keep their style just as they like it.
How does hair texture impact haircuts?
Though your sister was born with gorgeous, bouncy curls — your hair won’t hold a twirl for more than a hot second. And your best friend? She can wake up, forgo a brush and look put together. How our hair responds to cuts depends heavily on one very important factor: texture. “If the hair is dry and brittle, breakage is more likely, and therefore frequent trims are needed. However, someone with strong healthy hair can go way longer,” Giannillo explains.
Another reason you could need more frequent cuts could be due to how much you process your hair or use heat. If you get highlights or single-processed every season to change up your hue, or you use a blow dryer, curling iron or straightener every single day, Moss says you are most likely to need more frequent cuts.
How do you know when you need a haircut?
If you have a second, go stand in front of a mirror right now (or pull out your iPhone) — and take stock of your hair. If any of these signs describe your hair, go on and book an appointment ASAP.
You have split ends.
Giannillo says that when examining the bottom of your locks, look to see if you have visible breaks in the strands. These will look like tree branches, and he notes this is the last stage before breakage. “The sooner you cut them off, the sooner you will begin to have healthy hair,” he adds.
Your hair just can’t.
Think about how you are on a Monday when you went all out on a Sunday Funday. If this describes your hair, then Moss says you should get a trim. She explains that when our hair becomes lifeless and refuses to hold a curl, shape, or just can’t do anything, it is time for TLC.
You have uneven ends.
As long as you went to a highly-rated hair pro, you definitely didn’t leave the salon with uneven ends. So, if you have them now it is time for a tune-up. “The fact that there isn’t a solid line across the baseline means breakage has already happened. It’s what happens after the split ends, which could have been avoided,” Giannillo explains.
Your curly hair isn’t working anymore.
If you are on team Curly Gal, an indicator that you are in dire need for a trim can be found at the end of your locks. “If you have curly hair and your hair stands are no longer in the same formation, you need a cut. Regardless [of] how tight, loose or wavy the hair is, if those ends are straight and not flowing with the rest of your hair, you know it’s time,” Moss says.
Your hair is very thin.
According to Giannillo, uber-thin hair is another form of breakage, but it also has a lot to do with a person’s unique growth cycle. “Everyone loses 100 to 150 strands a day and most of us never notice,” he continues. “But sometimes the hair is left untouched for so long it falls out faster than it can grow back, and the cycle gets a larger and larger gap in being able to catch up.”
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