Why You Need A Haircut EVEN if You’re Trying to Grow Out Your Hair
“Should I get a haircut if I’m trying to grow out my hair?“. This is a question we get a lot in the beauty industry. While it may seem counterintuitive to cut your hair when you’re trying to grow Rapunzel-like locks, there are many reasons why it’s actually necessary. Sustaining a regular haircut schedule may even help your hair grow longer and stronger over time. Effectively, we’ll discuss the importance of keeping your hair healthy, making sure it looks good along the way, and maintaining your hair texture.
Keeping Split Ends at Bay
Split ends and damage are the two biggest enemies of a long, shiny mane. Split ends happen when the hair shaft is weakened until it eventually frays at the end. These weakened ends occur for multiple reasons. Consistent heat styling, chemical procedures, and exposure to extreme weather are the main culprits. However, even simple things like wearing a ponytail in the same place every day, aggressive towel drying, and over brushing can cause breakage and brittle ends. You may have heard the myth that you should brush your hair 100 times per day to keep it healthy. In reality, this much friction can actually cause split ends and breakage. This article gives an insight into the origin of that myth and why it no longer applies today.
Unfortunately, once an end splits, there is no putting it back together(no matter what your hair products claim). The only way to get rid of them is to cut them off. Worse yet, if they are not removed, the hair can actually continue splitting up the shaft, causing further damage. This is the common reason hair grows quickly at first and then seems to stop growing at a certain length.
Wait, So Hair Products Don’t Help?
While hair products may not be able to fix split ends, they can help prevent them. If you’re prone to split ends or use consistent heat or chemicals (like color, perms, and relaxers), look for a professional product that adds protein to the hair. The protein helps by “spackling” the holes in your cuticle that can lead to weakened, damaged ends. Protein should be used sparingly, so make sure to rotate your products every-so-often. If your hair leans toward the more dry, frizzy side but doesn’t have signs of mechanical or chemical damage, opt for a professional product that adds moisture.
But I Don’t Want to Cut Off My Growth!
For the reasons mentioned above, it’s important to get a haircut even if you’re trying to grow out your hair. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to get a mega-chop at every haircut. We recommend getting a cut every 8-12 weeks for growth. Hair grows at an average of a 1/2 inch per month. With this logic, if you cut off 1/2 an inch every 3 months, you’ll still be netting and average of 1 inch of healthy growth. Let your hairstylist know what your hair goals are so that you get the results you’re looking for with no surprises. Keep in mind that if it’s been a while since you’ve gotten a haircut, your stylist may have to cut off more in order to get it back to a healthy condition.
Adjusting the Shape as You Grow
If you’re going for a dramatic grow-out, it is helpful to get haircuts along the way to adjust the shape. For example, when you grow your hair out from a pixie cut or bob, the layers will need to be tweaked in order for your haircut to flow and style properly. Otherwise, you may find yourself with heaviness or stringiness in places you don’t want it. Your hairstylist can help you map out a plan to make sure you hair looks stylish at every phase of your grow-out journey.
This is equally important for people growing out shaved sides to a mid-length or long style. Often the nape of the neck will appear to grow longer than the rest of the cut. This can cause an awkward shape or unbalance. Getting regular trims helps maintain a groomed appearance along the way.
Maintaining Your Wave
When people with curls or waves grow out their hair, it’s not uncommon to see the curl pattern loosen with the weight, but if you notice that your curls maintain their shape up top and start to loosen or straighten out at the bottom, it’s time for a haircut. Curly hair needs a lot of moisture and protein. When your hair is devoid of these, the curl pattern can start to break down.
While moisturizing and protein-infused products can help, regular haircuts are a great way to keep you texture even. If your hair is healthy but you notice that your curls loosen out evenly as they grow, this is probably because the hair is getting heavy and pulling down on your curls. To combat this, add layers to release the weight of certain sections. You should see a bounce back of curls and more fullness throughout the cut.
Other Tips to Grow Out Your Hair
Getting regular trims is arguably the most important part of growing your hair long and strong. Along with maintaining a regular haircut routine, there are additional things you can do to optimize growth.
Quality Hair Products
As previously mentioned, products serve as a great way to protect your hair from getting damaged in the first place. If you’re a chronic heat-styler, we recommend always using a heat protectant to mitigate damage. Using a deep conditioner once a week full of moisturizing ingredients helps hair to retain its shine and vitality. Protein is great for hair that is prone to damage, frequently heat styled, or color treated. Protein-rich products add strength to the bonds between hair molecules.
When purchasing products, make sure to stick with salon brands for best results. Products purchased outside of the salon, such as drugstores, supermarkets, and third party websites are heavily diluted with fillers, chemicals, and water. Not only will the minimal amount of active ingredients do little for your hair, but the added fillers and chemicals can actually damage your hair further and leave a waxy residue. Salon quality products are highly-concentrated and high quality, meaning you can use much less product for a significantly better result.
Now, what if you see a salon brand in a drugstore? This is called diversion and is actually a huge red flag. Haircare brand, Matrix, states on their website, “diverted products can be counterfeit, diluted formulas, or old, expired formulas that may not be safe to use”. Many salon products now come with a warning label stating they can not guarantee an authentic product that will perform as tested if purchased outside of a salon or authorized salon website. Furthermore, these products will typically sell at a higher price point than their salon counterparts. Consequentially, you pay more for a less effective and in some cases, damaging, product hiding behind a salon label. In order to make sure you’re getting the product that you’re paying for, always buy directly from a salon.
Getting the Right Nutrients
The second line of defense is to make sure all of your nutrients are in order. Eating a varied diet is an easy way to do this. There are also vitamins that address the hair directly. Biotin, or B7, is commonly touted as a hair growth miracle. The truth is that it’s really only effective in people who have a biotin deficiency. While biotin is important for hair health, most people are fully sufficient. However, pregnant women and people with brittle hair and nails are more susceptible to biotin deficiency and may be helped by supplementing their biotin. Before you start any new supplements, check with a doctor to make sure they are safe and necessary for you body.
A supplement that could potentially help with hair growth and health is collagen, though the research is fairly new. 95% of the hair strand consists of Keratin, which contains a variety of amino acids. According to an article by Mind Body Green, “Since collagen peptides deliver these key amino acids, a targeted collagen hydrolysate supplement can help provide the body with the very building blocks of hair.” Collagen peptides also assist with the body’s own production of collagen. This specifically helps the skin. Since the scalp is a part of your skin, it’s predicted that it could play a role in hair growth as well. While it seems very plausible, this connection is under further research.
Focusing on Scalp Health
Speaking of the scalp, keeping your scalp and follicles healthy encourages hair growth. The scalp is the birthplace of hair, so keeping it at the correct pH and keeping the skin healthy is imperative to hair health. This study claims that oxidative stress caused by an unhealthy scalp can impact premature hair loss, such as alopecia.
Another concept which is gaining more attention is the effect of scalp massage on hair growth. While more research is needed, there is evidence that scalp massage improves overall health and thickness of the hair. It does this by increasing blood flow to the scalp (promoting easier nutrient absorption to the follicle) and by stretching the dermal papilla cells (effectively changing the gene expression of hair-cycle related genes). There is also evidence that scalp massage can calm the nervous system. This is important because stress is a large factor in sudden hair loss. We recommend performing regular scalp massages at home and talking to your stylist about it at the salon.
Start Your Hair Health Journey
If you’re ready to start growing strong, healthy hair, the first step is to book a trim with one of our student stylists. Head to our Guest Services page where you can look through available services. Feel free to book online or over the phone. If your hair needs a little extra TLC, book an additional service such as a conditioning treatment or clarifying treatment to lock in nutrients and renew your scalp. With the guidance of our instructors, our students will happily create a plan to keep your hair healthy and help it grow to its full potential.
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