Is there any credibility to this popular belief?
You’ve all heard it, trimming your hair will make it grow faster. Your friends say it, your hairdresser says it, and your mum said it so it must be true right? Wrong!
There is no scientific basis behind this common misconception. It is a fact that human hair grows at the rate of about 6-10 inches per year the actual rate of which is determined by genetics. Hair is made up of dead cells so unfortunately, there isn’t any way that the live cells at the root of the hair would be aware of their dead cousins getting trimmed off at the end and get stimulated to create more hair like crazy to make up for it! The idea of it is ridiculous.
A possible reason why people think this is because cropped hair that gains an inch in two months looks like a dramatic change hence you would think that the hair is growing faster than shoulder length hair that gains an inch as well but it’s more of a subtle difference.
So is trimming necessary then? Yes and no. If you want to keep your ends blunt and even or you are trying to keep your hair at a certain length then trim away! It certainly is not necessary to the health of your hair. If what you want is to grow your hair long, all you need do is remove any split ends you see. This is called ‘dusting’ the ends.
If you are a huge fan of heat styling your hair (blow drying, flat ironing etc) then you will probably find that you get split ends more than usual due to heat damage. Unfortunately nothing will help heat damaged hair except for a pair of scissors!
Contrary to another common misconception, split ends will not travel all the way down the hair shaft to the root! More likely, it will just peel off to the side leaving a dry fuzzy hair end which will more than likely break off at the point the split end stopped. Remove these split ends as all they do is make your hair ends look dry and unhealthy which is not the idea when your are trying to achieve long healthy hair.
If you are taking care of your hair however, conditioning regularly and keeping the heated appliances to a minimum, a light dusting of your ends now and then is all you need to keep your hair healthy while retaining maximum length. See the article on how to find a regimen.
Originally posted 2010-02-14 04:29:25.