It’s the beauty lesson we’ve been told for as long as we can remember: you need to cut your hair every six to eight weeks to maintain its health. But can one blanket rule really apply to all hair textures and lengths? We thought surely not.
To get to the bottom of exactly how often our lengths should be trimmed, we spoke to two of Australia’s top hair experts: Simon Bright, Creative Director of Sydney salon Jonny + June, and Megan Yabsley, hairdresser and trichologist for De Lorenzo Hair Care. It turns out we were right: it does depend on the style you currently have. Here, they’ve broken down their advice according to hair length.
But…first things first. Why is it important to get regular haircuts? According to Yabsley, “the hair on our head grows an average of one centimetre per month, so when the hair is long, it may be years old and been exposed to many causes of damage over that time. We generally split the causes of damage into three categories: mechanical, which is caused by combing, brushing, shampooing, hot ironing and blow-drying; environmental, caused by sun or UV rays, wind, saltwater and chlorine; and chemical, which is caused by colouring, [chemical] straightening and perming.” Yabsley adds, “This damage causes the ends of the hair to become fragile and brittle. By trimming the hair regularly, damaged hair is removed and the overall look, feel and manageability of the hair is improved.”
Now, here’s how to know when to book in for a cut.
According to Bright, “heavy, blunt, box or over-the-eyebrows fringes should be trimmed every two weeks to keep the shape. If it’s a soft, wispy or side fringe, then you can stretch it out to every three weeks.”
If you were considering chopping off your lengths and opting for a shorter ‘do because you thought it would be low maintenance, then you may need to rethink your hair makeover. “It’s very important to know that short hair involves a lot more effort to maintain as the style needs regular trimming to keep the shape and reduce weight,” says Bright. In fact, Bright wouldn’t advise going longer than four weeks without a visit to your hairdresser.
Bobs and lobs
Fortunately, the two most popular hairstyles of the moment don’t require rigorous upkeep. “As these styles have clean, strong lines that grow out softly and keep their shape, a freshen-up every six weeks is all that’s needed,” explains Bright.
Medium to long hair
If you make sure to care for your long hair by using nourishing and strengthening hair treatments like De Lorenzo Protein Complex Strengthening Treatment Spray or Jonny + June Original Treatment, and reduce potential mechanical, environmental and chemical damage, Bright says haircuts are only necessary every eight weeks, and even then they can be stretched out to once every 12 weeks if your hair is in very good condition.
As a general rule, the more ‘styled’ your hair is, the more it will need to be maintained,” says Yabsley. She recommends those with layered hair have a trim every four weeks to “maintain the correct length and shape, especially for layers that fall round the face and cheekbones.”
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.