When Should You Cut Your Hair?


Some people get manicures every week, facials every month, and cut and color their hair every three to four months. I am not one of those people. I just cut my hair and realized it had been nearly a year since I'd cut it last. The ends were tapered and damaged, I felt a little too witchy when I wore my hair down, and my gray was showing more than I like it to. But the thing that finally got me to get it together was seeing a photo of Rachel Weisz on the red carpet at the Golden Globes. Her hair (and, well, all of the rest her) was perfection: Deep side part, soft, not overly-styled waves, the length hitting just at the collarbone, and a deep, warm, dimensional chocolate brown color that glimmered with lighter brown highlights. I wanted it!

Anyway, all of this made me wonder: when do you know it’s finally time to cut your hair?

For me, despite my hair being damaged and too long, it took becoming entranced by celebrity red carpet hair to compel me into the salon chair. But I polled the (Slack) room for other indicators:

  • “When you can’t remember the last time you got it cut.”
  • “When it gets stuck in your armpits when you dance.” (I’ll let you guess who submitted this one. OK, here’s a hint.)
  • “When your hair looks like this: Y”
  • “When it’s tough to comb through the ends of your hair.”
  • “When all the layers disappear and you’re impossibly back to one-length hair.”
  • “When your loved ones start to express concern.”
  • “When you just got out of a serious relationship.” Kidding! Don’t cut your hair after a breakup! Call a friend or a family member or a therapist instead.

I also asked the actual hairdresser I saw at Spoke & Weal, Peter Covington. He said you should cut your hair when it starts to feel damaged and dead. “Damaged hair feels rougher than the rest of your hair,” he said. “If you run your hands through your hair from the root to the ends, you can feel where it starts to get a little fuzzy and frazzled and that’s the dead stuff that should go.” I pressed him on the commonly held belief that regular trims also keep your hair healthy and growing. “I think that’s a myth,” he said. “I don’t know if cutting your hair makes it grow any faster but it definitely makes it look better.” And there you go.

—Leah Chernikoff

Photo via ITG