Hey you guys! November's blog post is all about trimming your hair! What does it mean to trim? Why do we need to trim our hair? How can you tell when it's time for a trim? And, then, after being armed with all of this information, how do you do the darn thing?! All of these questions and more will be answered to the best of my ability, so keep reading!
Hair trimming, also known as dusting, is a preventive measure that involves cutting the ends of your hair to avoid the formation of split ends. Split ends are damaged portions found at the tips of hair strands, often caused by over-manipulation, heat damage, color damage, improper product usage, or everyday wear and tear. Split ends can take on different forms including,
- hair strands splitting into two or more
- the presence of white dots at the hair tips
- the occurrence of single strand knots
It's important to know that trimming your hair will not increase the pace at which your hair grows (the ends of your hair have nothing to do with the follicles in your scalp!); it will however help to retain length, make your hair easier to style and improve your hair's appearance.
Why is Trimming important?
When a split end appears, it's only the beginning of a damaging process. Split ends will continue to travel up the hair shaft, causing frizz, weakening the hair, and leading to breakage. To prevent further damage, it's crucial to trim off the split ends. Regular hair trimming is especially important as it helps prevent the formation of split ends, reducing the amount of hair that needs to be cut. This is particularly beneficial if you're aiming to retain length and promote healthy hair.
So, when should You trim?
There are actually a few philosophies on this:
There are actually a few philosophies on this:
Trimming your curls is an essential part of maintaining healthy hair, but the frequency and approach can vary. Here are three common methods for trimming curly hair:
- Scheduled trims: Many curlies follow a routine of trimming every 2-4 months. However, there is a risk of cutting off healthy hair if you trim too early, which can hinder hair growth.
- Search and destroy: This method involves regularly inspecting your hair for split ends and trimming them as you find them. It's a more sporadic approach, and the risk is that you may miss some split ends that require attention.
- "Listen to your hair": This method involves being attentive to signs that indicate your hair needs a trim and taking action accordingly. The goal is to avoid unnecessary trims and retain more length by sacrificing only damaged ends. However, waiting too long to trim may result in the need to remove more length than anticipated.
By paying attention to these signals, you can make informed decisions about when to trim your curly hair.
- Tangles - The ends of your hair keep getting wrapped up into one another.
- Your hair's shape out of whack - Your layers are off-balance, one side of your hair is longer than the other.
- You have single-strand knots - Single-strand knots or "fairy knots" form when a single hair tangles upon itself. These little devils are brutal because they invite innocent strands to the party, getting them tangled up in the mix. You'll notice more of these when it's time for a trim.
- Your curls are limp - Your curls are weighed down and lack life.
- Your hair is shedding more than usual - you'll find yourself pulling out perfectly healthy hairs while wrestling with the rats nest that is becoming your hair.
- Your hair is just more difficult to style - enough said.
I personally employ a combination of methods 1 and 3. I have a recurring event on my calendar - every 3 months, it's time for a trim! HOWEVER if before the 3 month mark occurs, I notice some of the signs above, I may choose to trim early. Or, if I hit the 3 month mark and have noticed none of the aforementioned signs, I may choose to wait an addtional week or two.
How to Trim your Hair?
When it comes to trimming your hair, there are numerous methods to choose from. In my research for this blog post, I came across approximately 16 million different approaches! However, there's one crucial piece of advice that all these methods have in common: Invest in a good pair of sharp scissors. Resist the temptation to grab those old scissors from the junk drawer that you used for last week's art project with your child. Those scissors are not suitable for cutting hair and can actually cause more harm than good. Since they're not designed for hair cutting, they may leave a blunt or ragged edge, leading to additional split ends. Instead, opt for a pair of styling shears, such as the ones from Tweezerman. These shears are specifically designed for cutting hair and can be used on both wet and dry hair:
Here are a few YouTube videos that I like that give step-by-step instructions on how to trim your hair. There are PLENTY of others out there, so if you don't like these, you'll find a plethora to choose from on the world wide web!:
Coily & Kinky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=3IPNYJpq7pU
So, hopefully, you found this post helpful and can use it to craft your own trimming philosophy! If you have any tips on trimming that you'd like to share with the curly community, please comment below!