woman cutting hair in a salon

The musical Hair once celebrated hair that grew "long as God could grow it." For most of us, especially if you are in your mid-30s or older, that's simply too long. Anything longer than my shoulder blades feels sinfully youthful and perhaps unflattering. But when is the best time of year to get your hair chopped? If you only get one professional cut a year, when should that be?

It turns out: RIGHT NOW. Or at least in the next few weeks.

"The best and most exciting time to get a haircut is in the fall," says Rodney Cutler, owner of the New York-based Cutler Salons. "It's a great time to give your hair a boost of TLC after the summer damage from sun, salt, and being outdoors. Also, I find that most clients are ready for a change this time of year."

Hair is a funny thing. No matter what we do with it (and when), everyone from our stylist to our parents has an opinion. Cut it short? Your husband is likely to freak. Keep it long? You are too old to wear it that way! On and on it goes. Of course, our hair is our own and it is the one part of our body that we can change and shift and primp in whatever way we desire without worrying about it long term. After all, it grows back.

But even if you are the "never touch your hair and let it grow natural" type, all hair needs a periodic clean-up to stay healthy. "There is a perception that hair grows faster in the spring and summer," Cutler says. "But it's really more a result of clients wanting to grow their hair out in order to be able to pull it back during the warmer months.

"The summer is when hair tends to experience the most damage from wear and tear (hair is exposed to the elements more and pulled into elastics frequently resulting in dry, broken locks)," he says.

That means right now, you may be sitting on a world of damage. So why not get a few inches chopped or go for something chicer and more exciting?

Of course, it's not just about the cut. There is also color to consider, says celebrity stylist Charles Baker Strahan. "I recommend lowlights to add warmth and depth to your color [in the fall]," he says. "However, if you wear your hair shorter, I actually recommend keeping it shorter during the summer and then allowing it to grow out during the fall and winter months. It's a great time to experiment with different layers and lengths."

Make sense, right? Less chlorine, salt water, and sun exposure do make for healthier hair.

Fall is a time of new beginnings in every way. New school year. New supplies. New clothing. So treating yourself to a fresh new hairstyle makes perfect sense!

Do you get your hair cut in the fall?



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