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!
As members of CHA (Curly Hair Artistry) and your local curly hair specialists, we welcome you to learn along with us!