As the old adage goes, one must go for a trim every six to eight weeks, lest your hair fall right off your head. Kidding! Turns out, waiting until week nine—or ten, or eleven—isn’t really going to kill you (or your strands). But there are a few other ways to keep your hair healthy between trims. We spoke to hairstylist Michael Duenas and Lorean Cairns, cofounder of NYC’s Fox & Jane to find out the best ways to prolong the time between haircuts, because we’re all not-so-secretly lazy.
Skip the Six-to-Eight-Week Rule
If your hair is relatively healthy—minimal split ends or breakage and your texture hasn’t changed—wait until you’re at least 12 weeks out. “A proper haircut will keep its shape much longer than six to eight weeks,” Duenas says. But there’s one exception: “If you have healthy, short hair and you’re looking to keep your haircut the exact same length, then the six-to-eight-week rule will apply to you.”
Get the Right Cut
The rule of thumb is the shorter your hair, the more often you need a trim to keep the shape. But if you’re among the lazy, long hair is probably the way to go: “Long hair takes more time to care for at home, and short hair takes more time to care for at the salon,” says Cairns. Duenas suggests long layers or a modern shag that’ll grow out nicely. “If you cut it to one single length, you may lose some volume at the top.”
Style by Hair Type
As you might’ve guessed, keeping your hair healthy between trims isn’t exactly one-size-fits-all. “If you have wavy or curly hair, then leave a little bit of conditioner on your ends when you get out of the shower,” he says. “When it’s dry, shake it out; you’ll have perfectly imperfect curls or waves with little to no frizz.” If you have trouble keeping your hairline in check like I do, try twisting your curls in their natural direction and pinning them up until they’re dry.
“If you have straight hair and want to have a slight wave, towel dry, apply a little leave-in conditioner like It’s a 10 Leave-In, then brush it smooth and wrap it into a high top knot.” Once it’s dry, you’ll have a nice wave without the heat damage. But if you’re looking for a more dramatic look, Duenas suggests getting (re-?) acquainted with heat rollers. “Conair makes a great roller set that collapses into smaller rollers once they’re in your hair,” he says. “You can even buy the rollers on their own if you don’t want to use any heat.”
Cairns recommends the knotted look, too: If your hair is thinner and falls flat easily, “try wrapping your hair in small twisted buns—two to three sections around the head—to keep your hair smooth and wavy,” she says.
Use a Mask
Duenas recommends dousing your hair in a hydrating mask like DevaCurl Heaven in Hair or Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Balm-to-Oil Pre-Shampoo Mask once or twice a week. “Keeping moisture in your hair will drastically help your hair, requiring less frequent trims.”
Wash Your Hair Less
The less you wash your hair, the more moisture it retains. “If you can, try to wash your hair only a couple times per week, and switch to a gentle cleansing shampoo” unless there’s a ton of product buildup. “If you go to the gym every day, just wet your hair and scrub your scalp to avoid overshampooing.”