Saturday, February 19, 2011

Trimming Natural Hair

Trimming Natural Hair

Since I've been natural the topic of trimming has been one of the most complex that I've come across. When I first went natural I would trim every two months like clock work, based on the fact that I didn't like how my ends felt.(Not a full proof technique, but its what I did.)  For some reason my ends would get this dry crispy feel no matter how much I moisturized or sealed.  So I would twist my hair and trim my ends.  After many online discussions with naturals who'd been at this for a while, I found that a LOT of women were not trimming the ends of their hair at all, but simply preserving them to maintain their length.  I was told that by trimming my ends so often that I was cutting off my progress, or that I could be trimming off perfectly good hair?  I also noticed many women were growing their hair nicely with this practice, so I continued to seal and protect. This seemed to be working, I had a good  7 month stretch, and then the dry crispy rough ends returned....

Dry & Crisy ends

Opposite side

I did everything to "repair them" (the jury is still out on whether or not that can be done once weathering has set in, but that's another post!)  My hair begin to get a lot of tangles,  knots, and snags.. so the ends had to go!

My hair grows in layers so I don't trim directly across
Twist should be same thickness throughout

After much research I've learned that ends should be trimmed regularly about a 1/4 inch every 2 to 3 months to get rid of weathered splitting ends. (From what I understand the ends of our hair begin to naturally split at about 3 months.) Of course, how well you take care of our hair could determine the frequency of your trims on an individual basis. Also note that: frequent blow outs and heat styling could increase your need for frequent trims. As well  as, hair that has been chemically treated. All of these things will increase the rate at which your hair age,  causing it to become weak, dry, and split. 


This is the diagram that I use as a guide for my trims

This guide has proven fairly accurate for me, (I choose to trim in twist verses braids) and I use small sections of hair to twist, to ensure that it's even within that twist. My hair grows in layers so I section my twists accordingly.  

I am so pleased with my trim. My hair feel and looks great! No more crispy  weathered ends!   It's healthy and thriving...

If you've been on the fence about whether to trim your ends. Do it! You do not want to hinder your growth progress by holding on to ends that can damage the rest of your hair.  For me. taking off 1/4 inch every 3 to 4 months is all apart of healthy maintenance and does not hinder my growth progress but helps it along.  It also gives me a peace of mind, because I know  I am doing every thing I can to ensure that my hair is flourishing at every stage. So ladies keep your hair Healthy and Happy. Trim those ends...   


Anonymous said...

Good post! Trimming 1/4 inch every 3 months (or in my case 1/2 inch every 6 months) keeps ends in good condition while still allowing for length retention. You end up trimming 1 inch a year in total and theoretically retaining 5 inches.

Anonymous said...

I hear so much about needing to trim, and not needing to trim (if you eliminate all damage) that I don't know what to believe. But hey everyone is different. Right now I'm trying to hold on to length for dear life. I miss having long hair and plan cutting the ends New Years 2012. But my hair is really uneven and I kinda want to cut off the damage (really bad) and that diagram that you posted up of the braids looks like the second one. Uhhhhh????

Chan said...

Thanks Anonymous for taking the time to read. Yes that's a good way to look at it! And when you look at it that way, it's not bad at all.

Thanks gorgeousgab for posting your comment! In the end most people are going to do what they feel is best for them, and their hair? Like I did. (My choice is to trim before things get to far gone.) lol..Your comment was so funny, I felt the exact same way when my twists looked like the second photo in the diagram. But, if you start doing very minor dustings you won't notice the difference in length at all. Your hair is still growing 1/2 every single month. So if you are cutting less than that you're not going to miss it, and your hair will look and feel better. Much love, let us know what you decide! : )

Dee said...

your twists are so freaking moist and healthy!!! i concur about trimming but I only do it when its needed.

Chan said...

Dee, I agree that if your ends look fine and you aren't having any issues, like knots, splits, weathering, or extreme tapering, then I wouldn't see a need to trim it back? Everyone is different, I'd like to think I could stick to a 3 to 4 month routine but if my ends feel and look fine, I can't say that I would personally hack them!