All About Trimming

Written by Brandi, ZedHair contributor and natural hair blogger at Soul Hair


I am not a huge fan of trimming or cutting my hair. Never have been. It took everything in me to let go of my shoddy looking relaxed hair when I did the big chop. I love the free feeling after a major cut but getting there is so tough! Last year I was forced to give in to the trim because my hair was breaking but now seeing how well I’ve retained length since, I am now going to have to hold myself back from being a trim addict!

Why trim?

  • It gets rid of damaged ends which leaves behind the healthy hair that will be able to grow without breaking. No matter how well you care for your hair, you will need a trim at some point. Hair is dead as soon as it emerges from the scalp so damage is inevitable since your hair cannot repair itself.

Trimming myths

  • It does not increase the growth rate of hair, that is a myth. It only removes damaged ends. Removal of these ends just allows you to retain length better but the rate of growth will be the same.

How often?

  • There is no hard and fast rule on how often. Some people do it once a year, others every 6 weeks. The aim should be to trim before your ends get so damaged that you need a cut. Rate of damage depends on how you care for your hair.
  • If you relax your hair it is recommended you trim after every relaxer application.
  • According to hair naturally begins to split after around 3 months. To prevent any permanent damage from these naturally occurring split ends, it is advisable to trim every 3-4 months or 12-16 weeks to help to keep your hair healthy and strong. But this is just general advice, you should also take into account the health and state of your hair to determine when to trim.

Trim often if:

  • Your hair is damaged (ends are frizzy, dry, breaking and splitting)
  • Your hair is often exposed to heat
  • Your ends are tangling and knotting up a lot
  • Your hair is often worn down on your shoulders
  • You don’t moisturize and seal properly
  • You have extreme feathering (you hair thins out a lot towards the ends)
  • You relax your hair

Of course if your hair is the opposite of the above points then you don’t need to trim as often.

Trimming methods

  • Dusting: The hair is plaited in two-strand twist, the twist is stretched with the fingers and a very small amount of hair is cut off the end.  You can do this on your own without help but the disadvantage of this method is that it’s not easy to see what you’re cutting and your hair may end up being different lengths. However if you often wear your hair curly this may not matter. To help it be more even the twists should be as small as possible.
  • Straighten and trim. Straighten by doing a blow out and/or flat ironing. Having the hair straight allows the hairdresser to see the ends properly and ensure more even cutting. This cut is best for those who like wearing their hair straight. If you have significantly damaged hair this is also the best method.

I personally have decided to use the dusting method regularly depending on the state on my ends. I got a big-ish trim done last year and so far my ends have been behaving. I dusted a week ago so I’ll just keep an eye on the ends and when they start misbehaving, I’ll dust again. At least once a year though I will get my hair straightened for a professional trim.

Note: Use hair shears to cut your hair. Using ordinary blunt scissors can do more harm than good and actually cause more split ends to develop.


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