I've recently taken up a new hobby.
I know it sounds crazy, but from September 2007 until May 2010, nothing sharp touched my hair. No trims, nothing.
I started to doubt the health of my hair. How could one go two and a half years without a single haircut? People didn't believe me when I told them that.
It's true, though. I remember my last haircut because it was a doozy. After that, every time I thought about getting a trim, I remembered my last haircut.
I was told that I needed to trim in order for my hair to grow. That somehow, your hair grows faster if you trim. That doesn't even make any sense! Your hair follicles magically know that your ends have been trimmed and that stimulates growth? B.S., I say.
I do think that it may have the appearance of faster growth. If you're having breakage from the bottom, it's going to seem like you're not growing. You are growing, but your growth is breaking off. If you need to trim (and a lot of people honestly do,) you are having decreased breakage, causing gained length.
I guess I'm one of those super lucky people. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but I wasn't always this gentle with my hair. I remember ripping a brush through my wet tangles, listening to the sound of my hair breaking and thinking nothing of it.
When I finally started to evaluate my hair, last November, I surveyed the damage, thinking I would have to cut a huge amount of my hair off due to self-inflicted damage. I was amazed to discover my length was in pretty good shape. I started pampering my hair, using moisturizing treatments, gentle combing through tangles with a yak's horn comb, and giving up the elastics for wooden hairsticks and forks and I think it's helped a lot.
So, new hobby. I've started to S&D. That's "Seek and Destroy" and it involves bright light and a sharp pair of scissors. I literally go through my hair, strand by strand, looking for split ends. Once found, I snip them off just above the break. It's time consuming, but it's fun to do while watching reruns of Buffy and it's just so damn satisfying. "SNIP!" Plus, I preserve the length.
I know that if I went into a salon and asked for a trim, they'd probably insist on cutting inches off (because that's what's happened every time I've been in a salon.) I know my hair isn't damaged. The longest split was under an inch and most are just at the tip of my hair. The vast majority of my hair is split-free. No need for a drastic cut.
So, if you're looking to grow and want to forsake the salon, S&D. I think you'll find it's immensely satisfying to cut the split ends out and watch them fall to the floor.