The concept of cutting your hair to help it grow definitely sounds contradictory; however, trimming your strands can serve as beneficiary for your hair’s health as well as your personal length goals in the long run.
The benefits of trimming include fuller, healthier ends, less breakage, and length retention. At the beginning of my natural hair journey, desperate to save my heat damaged hair, I refused to go anywhere near scissors. I was convinced that if I held on – no matter how scraggly, wispy, and weak my ends were – that my hair would grow. It wasn’t until I began trimming 2 years into my natural hair journey that my hair began to grow. I rapidly went from shoulder length hair to my current chest length and I attribute this growth, not only to being wiser about how to handle my hair, but also from incorporating trimming into my regime.
How often should you trim?
For some, trimming regularly every 6-8 weeks or 3-4 months (no matter the state of their ends) works. Others trim by gauging the health of their hair and ends and then trim accordingly (this could range from every 2 weeks to 2 times a year). I personally follow a combination of the two. To manage my hair and ensure that it is protected and grows, I wear my hair in a protective style (box braids, Marley twists, crochet braids, etc.) for 6-8 weeks and then wear my hair naturally for no more than 2 weeks. I typically trim my hair after I remove my protective style, however, if my ends are fine, I do not trim and restart the protective style phase without trimming. While this method works for me, a trimming regimen is truly personalized. If you do not have a regimen, it is important to at least know when your hair is desperately crying out from some trimming.
Signs you should trim your hair
Lots of Knots: Single strand knots are essentially when your strands decide to tie themselves and they can cause chaos in your hair. The more your hair tangles, the more prone it is to breakage. To avoid knots keep your hair stretched and lather your ends with oils and moisturizers. However, if it’s a bit overwhelming you can get rid them by clipping individual knots on particular strands that are low on the hair shaft.
Lots of Split-Ends: Split-Ends occur when the hair fiber, literally, splits. The longer you let a split end sit, the more it will split and travel up the hair shaft, eventually causing breakage. Trimming your ends can aid in removing a majority of split ends but you can also search for split ends in the hair and remove them.
Wispy Ends: To check if you’re ends are wispy, first, section off a medium portion of your hair. Then hold your hair up against a wall in a room with nice lighting and look through your hair. If you can easily see the color of the wall through your hair, then it indicates that it may be time to either (1) trim your ends or (2) pay more attention to them because they are more prone to breakage.
I hope you all enjoyed this trimming guide and see it as an invaluable part of your natural hair journey. Here’s how Ijeoma trims her hair: