My mum’s always been very blunt when it comes to hairstyles—and I don’t mean with the scissors. She’s the kindest, most genuine person I know but if your hair is too long, she’ll tell you. And I don’t mean in a subtle, “when’s the last time you had a haircut?” kind of way. Oh no. As a writer herself, she is much more descriptive. Let’s just say, there’s nothing like the word “ratty” to get you into the chair.
Growing up, she was always a fan of regular trims so as I child, I got them. And whether it came from her or not, I always believed that frequent cuts helped to stimulate hair growth. But after years of diligent haircuts in pursuit of mermaid-like hair, it turns out that this tale is actually a myth. Since hair grows from the root, not the end, cutting it won’t make it grow after all. We spoke to Monique McMahon, Director of cult hair salon, QUE Colour to find out more.
“Cutting your hair regularly actually prevents your hair from splitting on the ends, so this is what creates the illusion that your hair is growing faster. The hair is much more healthy overall,” says McMahon. “No split ends means no breakage which means longer-looking hair.”
So while cutting your hair might not make it grow faster, it’ll keep it looking healthy. By leaving your hair for too long between trims, it becomes prone to breakage and splitting. If this occurs, when you eventually get around to having it cut, you’ll have to chop it higher than previously desired. In this way, regular trims can help you to maintain longer hair but it won’t promote growth.
So, how often should you get it trimmed?
On average, hair grows around 5-6 inches per year, which is about 1/2 inch each month.
“If you have long hair and want to keep it long, I’d recommend [getting a trim] every 8-10 weeks unless your hair is extremely fragile, then every 8 weeks you should keep it healthy and help build strength,” says McMahon. “If your hair is cut in a shorter style and you want to keep it looking sharp, you’d need it trimmed every 6 weeks.”
“We’ve just developed a new service called ‘Dusting’ which is for people wanting to trim and condition hair without affecting its overall length. Using a special scissor technique, we ‘dust’ off split ends and flyaways to leave it looking smooth, glossy and frizz free. It’s a clever little technique,” says McMahon.
And what actually helps hair to grow?
According to McMahon, it’s all about the condition you keep it in. Getting regular trims or ‘dusts’ and choosing quality products is vital. She suggests using shampoos, conditioners and styling products that are free from SLS, silicone and parabens to nourish your hair and manage its PH balance. In turn, this keeps the hair shaft smooth, full of elasticity and supple.
“Lastly, diet goes a long way in keeping hair growth on the right track. Avocado oil, coconut oil and fish oil all contribute to shiny, healthy hair and skin, as do nuts and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Make sure you get enough sleep and use silk pillow cases to keep hair smooth and glossy and prevent unnecessary breakage.”