"Cutting your hair regularly keeps the hair healthy and strong and keeps split ends at bay," says Emiliano Vitale of É Salon in Sydney. "Regardless of split ends or not, hair looks so much stronger and healthier when it is cut regularly."
But do we really need to go to the hair salon every few weeks, and what are the benefits if we do? We asked three of Sydney's top hairdressers what is the best way to keep your hair looking tip top. Here's what they had to say.
If you're wondering whether getting a haircut will damage your hair, fear not. The main causes of dry, damaged hair are the sun and all the heat styling we use. The result? Split ends.
One of the main reasons you know it's time to get your hair cut is when you can actually see your split ends. "Split ends are the result of the hair strands' age and general lack of moisture. Hair lacking in moisture causes split ends, rough texture and frizzy or fly away hair," says Sally Schmidt, director of Wilson Marz salon in Sydney.
She adds, "Regular trims every 6-8 weeks – depending on your style – will keep the hair looking healthy as it keeps a solid line at the tips of the hair. Hair can have a ‘ratty’ appearance when the ends are left uncut."
Elie Kashi is a stylist and blonde hair specialist at Royals Hair in Sydney. He says "There are many things that cause split ends ranging from heat damage (from not using heat protectors when styling) and chemical damage to not maintaining the hair on a regular basis with the appropriate hair treatments both at home and in the salon."
In his opinion the most common cause of split ends is "heat damage from styling and not using heat protectors."
My Hair is Layered - How Often Should I Get a Cut?
How regularly you should cut your hair definitely depends on your hair type, and longer layers are fairly easy to look after. "If you have a longer layered style regular trims every 8-12 weeks will keep the hair healthy and therefore make the hair easier to style," says Schmidt. "When the hair is regularly cut it is much easier to manage at home."
Kashi adds that hair often tends to grow unevenly, so if you really want it to keep its shape he recommends a haircut every 6-8 weeks.
Keeping Short Hair in Good Shape
"A shorter hair style needs more frequent trims," says Schmidt. "Anywhere from 4-6-8 weeks depending on how short the style is. A short, cropped pixie cut may need 4-5 week trims to keep the cut nice and tidy. A longer textured bob may only need a 6-weekly trim to keep it looking fresh."
Growing Out a Short Haircut
Going from short to long is a process and there's a fair bit of work to keep it looking good along the way. Sometimes it's worth leaving it a bit longer - particularly if you have a bob as it can hold its shape fairly well.
Schmidt says, "When growing out a short hairstyle it is recommended to still have maintenance haircuts, mainly to trim the ends to allow the shorter lengths around the sides and crown to catch up with the length at the back."
And don't be in a rush. "It may take up to 12 months to achieve an all-one-length bob that can then be grown out.
A regular trim will keep you looking stylish and not too shaggy whilst all the shorter hair catches up with the longer hair," she says.
Vitale adds that "Scarves and headpieces are always great accessories to keep hair looking good whilst growing a shorter cut out."
Looking for the best way to grow out a short haircut to long hair? Vitale explains the natural progression of growing out a cut: "Pixie to graduated bob; graduated bob to bob; bob to lob; lob to shag then shag to beach waves."
Get Your Hair Cut and Coloured at the Same Time
"I do a lot of blonde colour work and normally I cut the hair in the same visit every 6 to 8 weeks," explains Kashi. "That way we freshen up the colour and cut in one visit and my clients leave with fresh and healthy looking hair."
It can also save time and money getting it cut and dyed at the same time. Hair grows at approximately 1.25cm per month, so that's how much you'd need to get cut each time you visit in order to keep the shape and health of your hair at its best.