When to Go to the Salon

When to Go to the Salon

Haircuts can be expensive, so check out these tips before scheduling your next appointment.

By: Kate Hanley

Stylists will tell you to get your hair cut every six to eight weeks, but considering the price for a professionally done ’do — and that doesn't even include color — it's tempting to get as much mileage out of a salon visit as you can. When does lackluster hair outweigh the cost of making an appointment? Here are what the pros say are telltale signs it's time:

You're Reaching for Clips, Headbands, or Elastics
If you're constantly tucking face-framing fringe behind your ear, blowing your bangs out of your eyes or wanting to pull your hair back in an accessory, you could likely use a little shaping up.

"Ask your stylist for a cleanup appointment — a shorter, cheaper appointment that just trims up bangs or fringe and helps you get more mileage out of a cut," says Kelly Madigan, director of education at Alibi NYC Salon.

It's a New Season
You change your wardrobe when the weather changes, so why not your hairstyle too?


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"In summer, people like longer, looser, more natural styles, while in winter the look is more finished," Madigan says. Making an appointment at the start of each new season not only keeps you current and tuned to the environment, it's also a great way to ensure that you don't go so long without a cut that your hair gets damaged.

Your Morning Routine is Getting Longer
"When your hairstyle takes longer than 15 minutes to put together, your haircut has grown out a bit too much," says Miami celebrity hairstylist Oribe. Hair that has outgrown a cut has a mind of its own. A trim and some fresh tips from your stylist can have you looking better — faster — every morning.

Your Hair Takes Forever to Dry
A damaged hair shaft becomes porous, meaning it retains more water and takes longer to dry, says Jamie Bagley, founder of Adollup Salon in San Francisco. If your blow dry is taking longer than usual, take it as a clue and get those damaged ends trimmed off.

Your Color Undergoes a Noticeable Change
You know it's time to make a color appointment when your roots start getting long — more than half an inch, Oribe says. But you may not notice when your overall tone shifts. Bagley suggests taking a photo of yourself when your color is at its prime, and then checking in with that photo every few weeks so you can see when unwanted tones start shining through.

Kate is a writer and speaker living in Rhode Island whose passion is helping busy people find bite-sized serenity. Her book, The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide has been hailed as "yummy," "ingenious," and "witty to boot." A reformed over-tweezer, she is learning patience by letting her brows grow back.

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