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The ultimate hair upkeep timeline

Some of the most simple hair care concepts can often be the most confusing and cause the most mistakes. That’s why we consulted a true hair expert to get the details on how best to take care of your strands.

Woman getting new haircut

How many times have you forgotten to reschedule your cut or color when leaving the salon? How many times have you asked yourself, “How often should I really be visiting my salon?” If you’re like most women, you’ve probably encountered these dilemmas more times than you can count. To help take the confusion out of the hair upkeep timeline, we consulted Justine Piecuch, stylist at Boston’s renowned Jeffrey Lyle Salon. Here’s what she had to say!


Quick hair guide


  • Short hair: 4-5 weeks
  • Medium hair: 4-6 weeks
  • Long hair: 6-8 weeks


  • Every 4-8 weeks

Deep conditioning treatment:

  • Every 1-2 weeks

After most of us leave the salon, the first thought on our mind should be “Oh wow, my hair’s looking fantastic,” but being the scheduling gals we are, it’s often “Ooh I need to remember to reschedule before I forget!” We asked Piecuch just how long we should wait between cuts.

“Before leaving the salon the last question is ‘When do I need to come back?'” she says. For haircuts, you might not want to wait the two-month period that many experts recommend.

“Nothing looks its best after two months. It’s hard to style and the amount of conditioner you need to detangle is a waste,” she says. “If you’re trying to grow length, it’s most important to get it maintained. Believe it or not it grows faster that way.”

Long story short (no pun intended!) — don’t wait too long. The longer you wait, the worse your hair could get, and no woman is happy when her hair isn’t, trust us. A woman’s hair is such an important part of her look that it’s important to take care of it with frequent trims, Piecuch says: “As I always say hair is the most important accessory, you wear it every day!”

Every head of hair is different, so it’d be impossible to give a generalized recommendation, but to help give an idea of when to head back to the salon, we’ve come up with a few celebrity-inspired timelines!

Emma Watson

Short hair

Think Emma Watson or Michelle Williams, ladies. This type of short ‘do looks best when you keep on a four to five week haircut schedule. See more short hairstyles >>
Mena Suvari

Medium hair

Anything between ears and shoulder length (think Mena Suvari’s chic bob here) can typically work best with a four to six week schedule. See more medium hairstyles >>
Jessica Simpson

Long hair

Long hair like mom-to-be Jessica Simpson requires a bit less maintenance than shorter lengths, so you can go between six and eight weeks between cuts. See more long hairstyles >>

Hair Coloring

Those of us who wear our natural shade with pride are lucky enough to have one less hair concern to worry about: coloring. But if you color your hair a different shade, you need to be vigilant about the upkeep. Piecuch says anywhere between four and eight weeks is the standard time for a new hair coloring appointment, but that timeframe can vary greatly based on individual factors.

For instance, if your re-growth is gray or there’s a big contrast between your roots and the end of the hair, you may be in the four to six week schedule zone. Whatever zone you fall in, there’s one common denominator, Piecuch says: The longer you wait the worse it’s going to get: “One disadvantage of going longer is that you will be so overdue you may need much more work than you would have, resulting in longer time spent in the salon, a greater cost and the given: You’re going to hate your hair.”

The bottom line

No two heads of hair are alike, and the time it takes for your individual strands to get straggly between hair cuts and hair coloring might vary greatly from the next gal, but the best way to keep on good terms with your hair (and really, we all know our hair calls the shots, not us!) is to keep to a schedule. “Rescheduling your appointment is the simplest way to stay on track,” Piecuch says. “Work with your stylist to understand the upkeep. Find the cut and hair color most suitable for you. Trust me there is something for absolutely everyone.”

More hair care tips

How to correctly shampoo, condition and treat your hair
Get luscious locks in minutes
Does a good blow dryer really matter?

Photo credit: Lia Toby/, FayesVision/, Three Kings/

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