The Link Between Trimming Natural Hair and Hair Growth

The Link Between Trimming Natural Hair and Hair Growth

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?
Before I started trimming in 2013

August 2013. Before I started trimming  and before the bitter East Coast winters took all this California girl’s melanin lol

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.

May 2015. Reaping the benefits of trimming through growth and thicker, healthier hair.

May 2015. Reaping the benefits of trimming through growth and thicker, healthier hair.

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:

Have you noticed any positive changes in your hair by incorporating trimming? How often do you trim? Have you been able to achieve growth or maintain healthy strands without incorporating trimming?

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  1. Carolyn
    June 2, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    I just did a big trim of about three inches. My mom freaked out but my hair is still pretty long and I notice my hair sheds less? I think those bad ends have been shedding and breaking like crazy and really discouraged me. Overrall trimming is needed even if it’s a little bit at a time. I plan to do another one in a few months.

  2. Charlotte Roberts
    June 1, 2015 / 5:17 pm

    I just started . I felt like I needed to save every inch for growth. I will check in 3-4months if it beneficial.