Signs That It’s Time to Cut Your Hair

Is your hair trying to tell you something? Listen up, and let those strands speak for themselves.

Your locks may be letting you in on the fact it’s time to visit the hair salon for a trim or a whole new cut. And, guys, you’re not immune from being overdue for the barbershop, either. Here are 10 signs that could be signaling you need to cut your hair — stat.

1. Split ends have shown up

Girl is cutting her damaged hair with scissors

Damaged, split ends are a sure sign that it’s high time for a haircut. | iStock.com/alfimimnill

Split ends might be the most common answer to the question of if you need a hair cut or not. It’s not hard to know if you have them — the ends of your strands will take on a stringy, straw-like appearance. You can also tell by twisting a small section of hair and seeing Y-shaped, feathery splits protruding. They’re most common for females, given their longer locks in combination with the propensity to use more damaging styling methods, such as flat irons, color, and chemical straightening.

No matter, split ends are a telltale sign to get to a stylist. Temporary fixes like moisturizing products (or even coconut oil) will only go so far.

2. You’re fighting flatness

young girl applying hair spray on her hair

Can’t pump up the volume in your ‘do? Time for a cut to fix the flatness. | iStock.com/fizkes

No one likes to fall flat, and the same goes for your hair. Bouncy, voluminous locks signal healthy strands and a good cut. But, if your hair has completely lost its volume or if it has shape-shifted into a strange, lackluster silhouette, it could be time for a cut.

Hair — especially longer hair — gets easily weighed down and more or less shapeless once face-framing layers grow out and split ends take hold. This will quickly cause a lack of volume. So, fix the flatness and get a cut!

3. You’re trying to get out tangles

Woman is washing her hair

If tangles have taken over, it’s time for a trim. | iStock.com/esp2k

All that tangling is often nothing more than a result of split ends and damaged strands, which actually tend to stick to each other like brambles. So if knots are popping up and your hair is getting hard to brush through — especially after a shower — then it’s likely time for a cut.

4. Ponytails have become your new best friend

dark-skinned pretty woman tiding up her hair

If ponytails are becoming your go-to style, it’s time to refresh your ‘do with a cut. | iStock.com/VladimirFLoyd

Ponytails have their place, especially in the gym — or, if you’re pulling off a particularly sleek one for a night out. But, if you’re just throwing your hair into a ponytail or a bun on the daily, it could be a sign your hair needs to be cut. The ponytail can become the sweatpants of hairstyles — meaning, you’ve become complacent and don’t care so much about styling those strands. Worse yet, they can actually damage your hair even more.

The surefire cure? A cut, or at least a trim. You’ll soon have a whole new lease on life — or, at the very least, your hair will.

5. Styling takes longer

Woman combing brushing her long smooth hair in bathroom

If your styling routine is taking longer than usual, your hair needs to be tamed with a trim. | iStock.com/Voyagerix

If you’re noticing your morning styling regimen is taking a lot longer than usual, it may be your hair telling you it needs a cut. From de-tangling those split ends to battling against damaged and dry locks, it can all add a lot of minutes to making your ’do look presentable. That’s often why the ponytail becomes such a tempting option.

6. Boredom has set in

brunette woman with beautiful long curly hair

Bored with your look? Time for some scissor action. | iStock.com/mirelabella

Speaking of a new lease on life, if you’re just plain bored with your ’do, then it is high-time to go from dull to dynamic with a fresh cut. Your enthusiastic hair-spiration will soon return. Sometimes a drastic change is necessary to buck the boredom — going from long locks to a short bob, for example. Or, sometimes just adding layers or cutting a different shape will do the trick.

7. Bad hair days happen every day

A model prepares her hair backstage at Concept Korea fashion show during New York Fashion Week

When bad hair days happen more than good, it’s time to get a cut. | Monica Schipper/Getty Images

We all have our bad hair days, especially when humidity strikes. But, what happens when those bad days start outnumbering the good? If it’s business as usual when it comes to your styling methods and your strands simply aren’t cooperating, it may be time to take that hair in for a cut.

8. Scruffiness has taken over

Man sitting in barber chair getting a haircut

Scruff and extra hairiness is a sure sign to go to the barber. | iStock.com

Guys, we’re talking to you. A bit of scruff on the face can be sexy, but outgrown bushiness around the ears and neckline is far from handsome — it just looks unkempt. If you’re not rocking Fabio hair and have a shorter, cleaner cut, then it’s going to be readily apparent when it’s time for a good trim. In fact, GQ says eight weeks is about as long as you should go between trims.

9. Your ’do is dated

red-haired young woman with a colorful candy

If you’re still channeling your youth with just your hair, it’s time to grow up. | iStock.com/Belyaevskiy

If your hair could pass for a #ThrowbackThursday style or a college yearbook photo, then it’s probably time to stop living in the past and consider a fresh new cut. For the girls, this could mean cutting in some textural layers, or going from long, one-note locks to a dynamic lob. Guys: You might need to chop off some of that longer, frat-house party hair when you graduate from beer pong to the boardroom.

10. You need a life change

fashion blonde with stylish short hairstyle

If you need a paradigm shift, start by cutting your hair. | iStock.com/deniskomarov

Sometimes we don’t realize how much emotion and identity is tied up in the security blanket of our hair — that is, until we come to a fork in the road of major life change. Maybe it’s that college graduation or an exciting new professional chapter. Or, maybe it’s a more painful transition out of a relationship or a stressful move across the country. Whatever it is, a fresh hair cut can breathe new life into your outlook. It’s a small change that makes a big difference in defining the next chapter of your life.

Taryn Brooke also contributed to this story