It's never explained to us how often we should actually get a haircut and most of us go to the visit the barbershop on average every 2-4 weeks for short to medium length styles, but is that right?
Well, the decision on how often you should get your haircut will normally come down to one of 3 things:
1. How fast your hair grows
2. The style you have / want
3. How you judge that your hair is too long
Let's explain that further and start with number 1.
1. How fast does your hair grow?
It can be very annoying when you have fast growing hair. You feel like you need more regular haircuts and you find it harder to keep your hair looking barbershop fresh for longer. But the biggest benefit of fast growing hair is it means you're growing hair.
So ask yourself, would you rather have fast growing hair or have no growing hair? For most of us, I think that's a pretty simple choice. So it's time we stopped complaining and counted our blessings!
Now we've got that out of the way, on to number 2.
2. What style do you have or want?
The style you want / have is possibly the biggest factor in determining how often you need to get a hair cut. Unlike how fast your hair grows, which is purely genetic, this is 100% down to you and your barber.
Different styles and the way they are cut will look noticeably different over different lengths of time. For example for a skin fade you're looking at needing a haircut every 1-2 weeks to keep it looking ultra fresh. Whereas on average you'd be looking at a cut every 3-4 weeks for most short-medium men's hairstyles before they get noticeably messier. And for longer styles you could probably get away with every 6-12 weeks, depending on where you are in your hair growing journey.
Now let's get scientific, slide our white lab coat on and become Dr. Regal Gentleman for a second. Hair grows at an average rate of 0.5 inches per month. That's a number 4 in guard length on the clippers. That means if most of us were to shave our heads now, then in a month's time we would have hair that looks something like below.
So based on that, then it becomes very clear that if you have a skin fade on the back and sides then you're gonna have noticeably more hair on the side of your head by the end of one month, which is why you'll need more regular trims. But, if you have a long luscious mane, would you really notice an extra 0.5 inches on top of it at the end of the month?
And then there are the added extras. Things like hard parts and shaved shaped hairlines will all potentially add a ticking time bomb to your haircut and mean that it needs to be freshened up quicker. Whereas naturally softer hairlines and partings will extend your cuts beyond their usual sell by date.
Basically the more unnatural you go with your hair, then the quicker that it will likely need to be cut to keep it fresh in your eyes. So, if you're not someone who wants to get their hair cut every few weeks then communicate this with your barber. Your barber can then look to work on softer haircuts as oppose to more harsh cuts.
If you plan to grow your hair out then communicate this with your barber too. You and your barber can then work on a plan to grow your hair out the best it can be, and maybe arrange a trim every 4-6 weeks to make sure it's not growing in messy.
Now on to number 3.
3. How do you judge that your hair is too long?
We all have our ways of judging. It could be as simple as once you have hair on the side of your head. It could be when your hair starts sticking up once you get out of bed in the morning. It could be when your hair becomes a lot harder to style. Or maybe it's those short sticking out bits at the side of your head that you get.
Whatever it is, will also determine how often you should get your hair cut. If you're finding yourself needing too regular trims for your liking then think about what it is that is annoying you. Once you've found this then once again communicate this with your barber at the start of your next trim. If your barber knows what it is that is annoying you when it grows out, they may be able to fix it or recommend a more suitable hairstyle.
It's important to remember that it's not always your barbers fault. Don't get us wrong, it could well be but sometimes it isn't. Sometimes we just want hairstyles that are too harsh and then expect them to still look perfect in 8 weeks. It's just not realistic.
So figure out what sort of person you are, and how you judge your haircut. Then look to communicate this with your barber. If you're someone who loves your ultra fresh skin fade and is happy to visit the barber every 1-2 weeks then do it and forget worrying about how often anyone else gets their hair cut. But if you love your skin fade & can only get a haircut every 4 weeks then you may need to get used to how it grows out or maybe that style isn't for you, and maybe you need to switch it for a longer length on the back & sides with a softer blend.
It all comes down to the sort of person you are, how quick your hair grows, what you judge your hair growing out on and the time and budget you have. Once you get to grips with that then you can start to communicate it with your barber.
Do aim though for the 3-4 week mark for a good guideline for you to be needing a haircut. If it's any sooner than that, then you want to really consider what we've mentioned in this post.