When it comes to growing out long and luscious locks, many of us will entertain many different ideas of how to do it. But it's time to debunk the long and popular belief that cutting hair will make it grow faster. As nice as it would be for a regular trim to help achieve mermaid-length strands, ARROJO cosmetologist Kelly Rowe let me know that unfortunately, this is not how it works. "It is a myth that you need to get frequent trims to grow your hair out," she tells me via e-mail. "Hair grows from the root not from the ends so a trim has no effect on the hair other than making it look healthier and shorter." Bummer.
But where did this idea even come from, counterintuitive as it is? Well, the more time allowed between trims means more time for ends to become damaged and split. And if split ends are left untreated, they could break off higher than where one might trim anyway. In this way, split ends can end up making hair shorter than an actual trim. So even if regular trims can't make hair grow longer, faster; well-timed trims can help keep hair healthy and prevent it from breaking.
So when is the optimum time to trim if you're trying to grow out your hair? Rowe says, "Hair grows on average 1/4-1/2 inch a month with little variance. When trying to grow your hair out it should be trimmed every 10-12 weeks depending on the health of your hair." Of course, the more frequent the trim, the longer it will take for hair to reach your desired length. So the key here seems to be to really pay attention to the health of your hair. As long as you don't notice any split ends or breakage points, keep the trims to a minimum.
And the best way to avoid needing trims is to maintain strong and healthy hair. Rowe suggests, "Keep hair growing faster by maintaining a balanced diet that includes plenty of healthy fats and protein. Also, keep hair stressors [like coloring and heat styling] to a minimum. Anything that is going to put stress on the hair is going to weaken the strand, making it more likely to break before longer lengths are reached." So even though cutting hair does not actually make it grow faster, keeping hair healthy and trimming only when necessary can help hair reach its long and strong potential.