Wondering, “how often should you get a haircut?” After all — you don’t want to wait too long between salon visits. Our complete guide answers this question and much, much more.
How Often Should You Get a Haircut?
The other day, I complimented my younger brother on his awesome fade haircut. He found a new barber he really likes and has been going to him for a few months. When I asked how often he goes in for a haircut, he told me at least once every 2 weeks.
I was shocked and ready to schedule a barbershop intervention at first. Every 2 weeks, minimum? It sounded crazy excessive, so I did a little research. Turns out, for certain cuts and hair lengths, getting a haircut every 2 weeks is right on target for short hair.
Since I have long hair, I don’t need to visit the salon as often to keep my cut maintained. But experience and research have shown me that regular visits are still key to making sure my hair has shape, looks healthy, has body, and isn’t frazzled with a million split ends.
The truth is that your hair may look “fine” to you a few weeks after a haircut, but it will always look better with the right haircut and trim frequency. Since many people are wondering the same thing – how often should you get a haircut – I decided to lay it all out for you in this guide.
- How often is normal, and what’s excessive?
- What’s the average haircut schedule for men and women?
- Does getting your hair cut more often encourage or stunt hair growth?
- Should fades and other styles be cut more frequently?
I’ve got answers for you. Keep reading to find out if you need to be in the stylist’s chair more or less than you currently are.
How Often Does the Average Person Get a Haircut?
Before we really break this topic down, let’s start with the broad average. How often does your average person get a haircut? Here’s the data for men and women.
- Men get haircuts more often, about 6 times per year. That equates to a little more than one haircut every 8-9 weeks.
- Women go to the salon about 4 times a year. That’s about one haircut every 13 weeks.
What’s up with the difference in how often men and women get haircuts? It’s because men tend to opt for shorter cuts. Short haircuts have a short lifespan because they show growth much faster than longer haircuts.
When you get a short haircut like a fade, buzz cut, or shaved style, you’ll be able to see that it’s growing out in as little as a week or two. Compare that to the longer haircuts women tend to get (not all – we see you, pixies and crops!).
You you’ll see why women visit the salon much less frequently than men. When the cut is longer, hair growth doesn’t show as obviously, and fewer trims are required.
Another factor in the haircut frequency difference between men and women is the cost of getting a haircut. Women’s haircuts ($66 on average) are more expensive than men’s haircuts ($40 on average).
So even though a man might visit the barbershop more often at 6 times a year (about $240 total), he’ll still pay less per year for haircuts than a woman who visits the salon 4 times a year (about $264 total).
We’ve looked at how often the average person gets a haircut. Now, let’s look at how often you actually need a haircut to make your hair look its best at any length.
How Often Should You Get a Haircut With Short Hair?
If you have short hair, how often do you need to go in for a haircut? When we say short hair, we’re talking about hair that is chin-length or shorter. Shaved hair, buzz cuts, fades, pixies, bobs, etc. all fit under the short hair umbrella.
- Very short hair: Every 1-3 weeks
- Short hair: Every 2-7 weeks
Very short hair needs to be cut every 1-3 weeks. If you have a fade, tapered cut, a shaved head or shaved section, or buzz cut, aim to get a haircut at least once every 2 weeks to keep the cut from looking grown out.
It’ll also keep the ends looking healthy. Short hair should be cut every 2-7 weeks. We’re talking about chin-length hair, bobs, and longer pixies here. Since the hair is a little longer than very short styles, a few weeks of new hair growth won’t throw off the look as much.
If you aim to get a haircut once a month for more precise cuts or every other month for relaxed cuts, your hair will always look healthy and have the correct shape.
How Often Do You Need a Haircut With Medium Hair?
Medium-length hair generally refers to hair anywhere from chin-length to shoulder-length. This popular length encompasses tons of haircuts and styles. And fortunately for you, it’s a relatively easy length to maintain with the right haircut frequency.
- Medium hair: Every 12 weeks
- Fast-growing, damaged, or layered medium hair: Every 8 weeks
Medium hair should be cut every 12 weeks or so (about once every 3 months). If you wait much longer than that, your hair will begin to venture into “long” territory.
Split ends and weighed-down waves and curls are also a concern when you don’t get haircuts often enough with medium hair. If you have fast-growing hair, damaged hair, or lots of layers, you can benefit from heading to the salon or barbershop a little more often.
Try getting a haircut every 8 weeks (about 2 months) to maintain your length and shape if 3 months leaves your hair looking a little overgrown.
How Often Should You Get a Haircut With Long Hair?
You’ve heard the phrase “Long hair, don’t care,” but that’s not the case if you have locks past your shoulders. Long hair requires a lot of care, including regular haircuts that don’t sacrifice your length.
You can’t avoid trims if you have long hair. Not even if you’re planning to continue growing your hair out. Skipping trims is a surefire recipe for disaster.
Split ends, weighed-down curls and waves, shapeless tresses, uncomfortable weight, grown-out layers, and thin ends are all on the table if you avoid cutting long hair for too long.
On top of that, long hair=old hair. It’s been on your head for a long time to reach that length. And during that time, you can bet it’s been:
- Exposed to the elements
- Heat damaged
- Roughly shampooed
- Chemically processed
- Pulled up with ponytail holders
- Brushed while wet
All of these things damage your hair over the years. So your long hair has actually been through a lot during its time. It’s seen some things, man. The least you can do is give it a trim regularly to get rid of the oldest hair at the ends.
So while you don’t need to be in the salon every 2 weeks to maintain gorgeous long hair, you’re going to need a cut every 3-4 months to make it look its best. Don’t freak out about losing length.
Your hair grows about half an inch each month. So if you get an inch cut off, it’ll grow back healthier within 2 months. If you’re really reluctant to lose even an inch of length, you can tell your stylist that you want to get a trim.
They’ll add some layers while keeping your length. If you get regular trims, you won’t have a ton of split or thin ends that need to be cut each time.
Haircut Frequency FAQs
Now that you know how often short, medium, and long hair needs to be cut to look its best, can we talk about some of the questions we all have about haircut frequency?
How Can You Tell It’s Time for a Haircut?
If you’d rather rely on how your hair looks than regularly scheduled haircut appointments, there are a few cues you can look for. These indicators will show you when it’s time to get a haircut.
- You can’t make your favorite style work anymore. Grown-out hair doesn’t have the same shape anymore, so the styles you’ve been doing for the last month or more just won’t work anymore.
- Your bangs are in your eyes. You loved those side-swept bangs at first, but now they’re in your eyes constantly.
- Your hair has visible damage. Your hair doesn’t look super grown-out, but the split or thin ends are really wrecking the look.
- Your waves or curls have all but disappeared. Your long hair used to be wavy or curly, but now the natural texture is straighter.
- Your layers look stringy. Layers give movement and body to hair, but the ends will look stringy and thin when they start growing out.
- Your hair is lying flat. You used to have plenty of volume at the roots, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep your hair from lying against your head.
If you see any of these things happening, it’s your hair’s way of saying it’s ready for a cut.
How Often Should You Get a Fade Haircut?
Detailed short haircuts need to be refreshed more often. Extra length becomes obvious in a short time with haircuts like fades and details like a shaved part. While a haircut every 2-3 weeks is acceptable for most short hair, fades and detailed haircuts benefit from being cut every 1-2 weeks.
When a shaved part starts growing out, it’s going to look funky (and not the good kind). Same for the shortest sections of a fade. If you have a skin fade or another starkly contrasted ‘do, make sure you can get to the barbershop every week or so to get the back and sides refreshed.
How Often Should You Get Your Hair Cut to Help It Grow?
While hair usually grows about 0.5 inches per month, some hair grows slower than that. If you have a poor diet, nutrient deficiencies, hormone disruption, or even high levels of stress, you might see less growth than the average person.
Many people with slow-growing hair want to do anything they can to encourage growth faster. Haircuts have long been associated with helping hair grow faster. But the truth is that cutting hair off the ends won’t make it grow from the roots any faster.
Trims don’t accelerate hair growth at all. What they do, however, is make sure that the hair on your head looks as full and healthy as possible at the ends. Scraggly, wiry split ends may add length to your head measurement-wise.
But they don’t visually add much length to your hair because they’re not full and healthy. So don’t obsess over losing a little length to get rid of damaged ends. You’re better off getting a ½ inch trim every 10-12 weeks to keep the ends manageable and healthy.
Is It Bad to Get a Haircut Every 2 Weeks?
Is it a bad idea to get a haircut every 2 weeks? This is a great question because the answer will differ depending on your hair length and how long you want it to be. If you have short hair, you should absolutely get it cut every 2 weeks (maybe every 3 weeks).
If you have medium-length hair, a cut every 2 weeks is probably too often. Aim for getting a cut every 8-12 weeks to keep your medium length looking healthy without growing it out long.
If you have long hair, you definitely want to wait more than 2 weeks in between haircuts. Opt for a cut every 3-4 months instead. You have to give your hair time to grow at its normal rate (about 0.5”/month) between cuts to avoid sacrificing length.
Is It OK to Get a Haircut Every Week?
It’s OK to get a haircut every week if you shave your head or sport a buzz cut. Anything super short can survive being regularly maintained once a week.
Since your hair only grows a tiny fraction of an inch in a week, you probably won’t have much to cut off if you get cuts this often. But it’s not a bad idea if you like a clean shaved head or a very short buzz cut.
How Often to Get a Haircut: Quick Summary
So, how often is a haircut needed? Here’s your quick cheat sheet.
- Very short hair: Every 1-3 weeks
- Short hair: Every 2-7 weeks
- Medium hair: Every 2-3 months
- Long hair: Every 3-4 months
This is based on average, healthy hair that grows 0.5” per month. You might need more frequent haircuts if your hair is very damaged, prone to split ends, or fast-growing. Be on the lookout for the signs your hair needs to be cut (see the FAQs above) rather than waiting for a scheduled time.
Remember that getting a haircut doesn’t have to mean taking off a large amount. When you get regular haircuts, they’re really just trims that knock off the damaged ends (the oldest part of your hair).
And if you do decide to grow your hair out, don’t skip those regular trims. Long hair that is healthy and full at the ends looks infinitely better than hair that is half an inch longer due to wiry, damaged ends.
If you want to stay on top of things, go ahead and pre-book your next few visits with your barber or stylist. This helps you keep your length and cut maintained, build a strong relationship with your stylist, and get you into the habit of getting regular cuts.
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