At OlyCurl, we get this question a lot. The answer is complicated, and often depends on your desires, lifestyle, and your specific curls.
Why is it so complicated?
There are many factors that go into how long a haircut will last. What does "last" mean to you? Does it mean how long will my style retain this shape? Well, again, that depends. A shorter, above-the-ears haircut will need to be trimmed in about 8 weeks. A medium-length, above-the-shoulders will need to be trimmed in 8-10 weeks. Longer haircuts can be trimmed 10-12 weeks to maintain the shape and volume. However, if there are a lot of layers, like in a shag, then we would need to trim up that droopiness in about 10 weeks.
Do you do a lot with your hair as far as hair ties for working out, or swimming? Do you occasionally (in a moment of weakness) use a curling iron or wand on your curls? Then those ends are being damaged and as I always say, "split ends beget split ends!", so we would need to trim those ends in about 10 weeks. While you're at it, why not do a detox at the same time? If you have been using the occasional "heat protectant", then you will have some build up on your hair and you wouldn't be having the best results with your curls.
Are you "growing it out"? Is your hair otherwise healthy and you follow our regimen for curl care with sulfate-free and silicone-free products? Then a 12-week trim is in order. Depending on the health of your ends, we may only need to dust 1/4". If the ends are a little dry we may need to take 1/2" or more. It really does vary. We can make our professional recommendation based on how the ends look and feel, but it is always up to you to make that final decision.
Are you growing out a previously really short hairdo? Then we recommend coming in every 10-12 weeks in order to reshape and adjust the growout so that you don't have to look weird as you grow out something that was very drastic. It is nice to have an interim style while you are still growing out. Oftentimes, just growing it from a really short look it can get a little strange! Don't worry; we can make adjustments as you go so that you never have to explain to nosy friends that you are "growing it out". For example, this adorable wolf cut (below), after about four months really starts looking like a pretty shelfy and severe mullet. It is best to come in and have things adjusted to avoid being mistaken for Billy Ray.
Your stylist should be making recommendations based on all these factors! When you prebook your appointment, you will be glad you have that to look forward to when things start to get droopy and misshapen! Remember: Haircuts do not last forever. They expire, and we are here to help you stay on top of your look!
She had grown weary of the same old curly triangle-y and unimpressive haircut. When curly hair is cut straight, there is no way to predict how that cut will turn out when worn curly. Sure, we are taught that the curls will spring up when they dry, but they don't teach us what we are supposed to do about it. Because of this, layers can leave a weight line (many people call it "The Shelf"), and a blunt cut can look like a pyramid. With results like these it is no wonder Curlies are leaving the salons.
How can that be? Didn't her hair grow? While performing our 10-Point Curl Analysis, I made the observations that her hair was quite fine and also thinner on the top and sides. Upon further discussion, it was discovered that her mom also has thinning hair. This is, unfortunately, something I see quite often behind the chair. Female pattern balding is a real thing and I have discussed it at length in this blog. The life cycle and subsequent shedding of her hair is not allowing her hair to grow much longer, or even past her shoulders. To date, I am not aware of any way to change the life cycle of your hair.
But... what can be done about genetically thinning hair? Certainly, taking supplements, like Biotin and Gelatin, and making sure that you are eating a healthy diet are the first thing. Being sure to protect your scalp while in the sun can also prevent recurring sunburns which result in a thicker, regenerated scalp. Talk to your doctor about Rogaine for Women. It has been proven to be the most effective solution for hair loss. Yes, I even use it daily for the thin area of my crown.
When I received the photos along with the photos she submitted of herself, I was not sure I could deliver on her desires. I was fully prepared for the "manage her expectations" talk. She didn't look like she had enough hair to pull off the big volume and shape of the models in the photos.
Once we started talking about ingredients and the products she was using, I realized that her hair was weighed down with a lot of lesser-quality oils and creams. This chokes out the moisture in the hair and does not allow water to penetrate and truly hydrate. Just look at the difference in her curls before and after. Her curls were stringy and limp. I even wondered if she had low porosity curls, but once we detoxed and removed all the build up I could tell her hair was thirsty and it drank up so much water. She actually had normal porosity.
I seriously was surprised and thrilled at the same time! I couldn't have asked for a better conclusion to this two-hour service.
Doesn't she look so much younger and vibrant? Have you been waiting years for the perfect cut? Or just to be listened to and understood by your hairstylist? Drop your comments below and don't forget to come see us.
About the Author
Working exclusively with curls for the past five years, Yukiko is the owner of OlyCurl, the only salon in Washington State that caters to Curls and Waves only. When she is not knee-deep in curls at the salon, or working on the business of salon ownership, she enjoys needlecrafts, reading, and playing with her pup.
As members of CHA (Curly Hair Artistry) and your local curly hair specialists, we welcome you to learn along with us!