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4 Reasons NOT to Trim Your Hair

Avatar • Dec 19, 2012

Trimming-natural-hair3

By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom

Trimming is an important part of a natural hair routine helping to keep damage at bay and allowing the hair to keep gaining length. Your routine could be as simple as trimming half an inch every 4 months, regularly dusting the ends (cutting off a quarter inch or less of hair) or the more time consuming but more hair preserving ‘search and destroy’ where only damaged strands are targeted. Some naturals, however, can fall into the trap of trimming too much. Here are 4 instances when trimming is not necessary and possibly counterproductive.

1. You trimmed it last week

If you have recently trimmed your hair and you spot split ends soon after it may be the case that you need another trim, however it could also be the case that you missed a few damaged strands. Wait for at least two months before you pick up the scissors again. Constantly cutting your hair may lead to very slow or no progress. Do not obsess about having no split ends, for some hair, this is just not possible.

2. You notice one side is longer than the other

The purpose of trimming is to get rid of split ends and old damaged ends. You can also use it to even up hair length but  for some people one part of their hair can grow faster than the other. Sometimes it is the front that grows longer than the back or the left side faster than the right or the crown faster than all other areas. In whatever case, it can be very  counterproductive to keep evening out the length if all that is happening is that one part of your hair is growing faster. Natural hair worn in a curly or stretched style really does not require even length.  As long as the ends are free of split ends or obvious damage, keep the uneven lengths and grow all the hair to your desired length before choosing to even it up.

3. Your ends appear thin/ see through but you regularly do search and destroy trims

If your chosen method of trimming is only cutting off damaged ends, it is highly likely that your ends may appear much thinner than the bulk of the hair. In this case, it is not necessary to trim your hair to get rid of the see through ends.  Since you are only cutting damage, it is always the case that some strands will be longer than others. As long as you are able to keep on top of damage and split ends, you do not need to trim the hair any further.

4. Your ends are dry or do not curl like they used to but you cannot see split ends

As hair gets older, it will be more difficult to maintain moisture simply because the cuticle layers are depleted and it is easier to lose moisture. Dry ends or ends that are not able to curl are not necessarily signs that you need a trim. Examine the hair and see if you can see visible signs of damage such as split ends. If you do not see damage, all those ends require is a little more water, oil and/or moisturiser and spending a lot time in tucked in styles to conserve moisture.

Are you scissor happy? When do you decide it’s time to trim your hair?

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Pretdva
Guest
Pretdva

I’m definitely scissor happy! Thanks for this article. I really needed the information.

J.Nicole
Guest

Yea I am scissor happy also. My hair tends to grow in layers or uneven & it makes me want to correct it with scissors. I remember being told if you want your hair to grow, you must cut it. So, that’s what I did. I’m slowly learning that scissors are not the only cure when something doesn’t look as perfect as I want it to.

r
Guest
r

I did not intend to thumbs down this comment but am scrolling using a very sensitive Android phone and it won’t let me change it.

merry
Guest
merry

i have splits. but, i don’t rush to cut them as i don’t really comb my hair — at least not in more than six months. i figure having splits is just part of having my natural hair. i noticed after a trim last year, i had splits soon after. they could have come from the rough handling of the stylist or just because they feel like living in my hair. at any rate, since i’ve been cleansing with ayurvedic herbs/henna/clay the ends are no longer rough feeling. but i still have to work on maintaining moisture. but i’m happy… Read more »

Caramelcurl
Guest
Caramelcurl

This article came right on time! I am a little over a year natural and I feel like the longer my hair gets, the thinner the ends look, which I HATE. My hair is 4a/b and shoulder length. When I was relaxed I would trim my hair so that it was straight all the way across. I have trimmed my natural hair several times (in twists, I have yet to straighten), and I am still not keen on how the ends looks. However after reading this article, I understand that having thinner ends does not necessarily mean that they are… Read more »

Jennifer Kennedy
Guest

Agreed! I always thought that the thin see through ends were completely damaged. But, I never cut them because I have so many!! My hair also tapers at the end, so I thought that was another sign of damaged ends.

amandine
Guest

I was scissor happy. It annoyed me when my ends looked split although I just trimmed them the week before. or they kept tangling or won’t curl.. but I figured out it’s jsut my 4c texture. there’s not much I can do.

Jennifer Kennedy
Guest

I’m a search & destroyer and because of the amount of time it takes, I don’t use scissors too often. I would say that I cut my hair once to two twice a year. I used to trim my hair when my ends were rough — and even after a good trim, they still felt rough! My hair continued to grow, so I stopped using that as my guide. Now, I spend time inspecting my hair and only trim when I notice a ton of splits, knots, or holes — and usually there are a lot of broken hairs on… Read more »

Yayer
Guest
Yayer

What about constantly trimming ssks? As soon as I feel a lump on otherwise smooth strands I cannot help but snip snip even though I know this slows progress, other naturals leave them alone and that this will result in uneven hair that will become more tangly hence creating more knots.

Should they just be left alone?

Yvette
Guest
Yvette

Good question. What I’ve done is just cut those individual ssks (like in search and destroys), but if there are a lot all around, then I trim. I’d be interested in hearing what others do.

Kayla
Guest
Kayla

I just leave them. I good deep conditioning and keeping my hair stretched seems to get rid of most of them, but of course ssks still persist. So I guess I just focus minimizing them instead of constantly cutting them off.

Heart Curly
Guest

I trim every six months (I am due for a trim in january). I used to trim every 2 months smh. I recently just chopped off some heat damaged ends towards the front because it was really bothering me. I hated seeing the roots tightly curled and the ends straight/wavy. I agree that it’s best not to obsess over cutting your hair.

Dimples
Guest
Dimples

Yes, yes I am scissors happy…whew, I can admit it after reading this because I have been told I trim my boys hair too often. I trim their hair every two months even sometimes before then If I let them wear beads in their hair I always dust just to be on the safe side…besides that I try to keep their hair at a certain length because they ask, except for the youngest he can care less but I keep his trimmed to I’m not sure if its waist because some have told me it’s thigh but it shrinks which… Read more »

francene
Guest
francene

I’m definitely scissor happy I’m constantly snipping a stray strand, finding a random spilt‐end, or just chopping a few inches off at a whim. I cut my hair recently, although I know I didn’t need it just to better define my layers. (And I love the way newly cut hair feels.)

Tia
Guest
Tia

the problem with my hair is that my ends are always BUSHY. I always thought it was due to damage.Buts as soon as I trimmed, the “newer ends” would start to frizz up as well. I think # 4 has given me a new perspective on things.

yoco
Guest
yoco

I don’t have a set schedule but follow my hair cues. Ironically, my hair usually needs trimming aligning with the seasons, with summers off. So, I’m trimming 3xs per yr about 1/4th of an inch or less in the Fall (usually August or September), Winter (usually December or January) and Spring (usually April or May).

I tried that search and destroy method, but I have way too much hair and it takes way too much time. I usually only finish the front of my hair (less than a quarter of it) before I give up.

Joyce@MommyTalkShow
Guest

I’m definitely not scissor‐happy. But my ends wouldn’t twist any more and were extremely knotty. So I trimmed them — a little less than the amount in the image above.

E.P.
Guest
E.P.

My hair grows faster on the left side than right side. However, I never trimmed to even out. I will trim ssk if there are a lot. After my last trim my ends felt rough right away, but I figured it is the colder months drying my hair out, as well as a recent henna treatment where I didn’t deep condition afterwards like I usually do. I actually threw my scissors away when I got a profession trim in April and I think that forces me to take care of my ends better because I didn’t have the option to… Read more »

S.Howard
Guest
S.Howard

My hair is a 4a with sections of 3b, shoulder length. When I was getting relaxers I was obessed with my hair being even because I equated that with healthy hair, though I know this rule along with others I use to follow are no longer useful or necessary any longer. I think the answer to this question and many others is mositure. I find that if my hair is dry it tangles and knots, though if mositurized I can put my fingers thru it and not have a problem. Another point to evaluate is how are you detangling your… Read more »

S.Howard
Guest
S.Howard

I forgot to mention that it takes a certain type of scissors to cut hair and if they are not the right kind the blade can actually shread the hair instead of cutting it evenly.

Stevie
Guest

Since I’ve been natural I’ve trimmed my hair 3 times, once a year. My hair looked exactly like that picture maybe worse and my stylist told me it did not need a trim, it was just dry. I did the baggie method for one whole month and it made a dramatic difference. So glad I listened…

Robi
Guest
Robi

Thank you for the tips! After Christmas break I’m going to do a major trim‐ about 4 inches and start my hair growth process again. Wish me luck!

luminous
Guest
luminous

I dust my ends every 2–3 months. I never really trim my ends.

hairscapades
Guest

I am a search and destroyer, but I don’t obsess over it. I just cut any split ends and knots that I feel/see on wash day in the course of pre‐pooing/finger detangling and during styling. My ends were definitely thinner b/c of this and the older age of the hair. I don’t worry about having a blunt “hemline” because curls don’t require it. But, I do still want to eventually have a thicker perimeter. This was when I flat‐ironed my hair recently (one pass w/the iron only, I wasn’t trying to get my hair bone straight). I got a cut… Read more »

Azziza Robinson
Guest
Azziza Robinson

Oh, I wish I saw this a week ago! I have supa dry ends that aren’t at all split! I cut some of my ends off. I knew I should have just kept moisturizing them! Oh well. Now I know for the future! 🙂

Kwl0711
Guest
Kwl0711

This is quite a timely article. Especially now that’s it’s winter time. I, too, equated even hair with healthy hair. But I’m learning that that’s not true. My left side grows longer than my right — and my bottom right hand side is what I believe to be 4B, which looks, acts and grows completely different than the rest of the hair on my head. But when it’s stretched, it’s just about in line with the rest of my hair. The SSKs and splits happen all over, but I only get rid of the obvious ones, and try not to… Read more »

Angela
Guest
Angela

Hi, I have fine, relaxed hair, what can I do to both strengthen and thicken it?

bscales
Guest
bscales

Stop relaxing! Go natural. Strength and thickness returns with healthy hair.

bright_like_diamonds
Guest

Try stretching your relaxers.

Mana23
Guest
Mana23

Relax less, roller sets to avoid damage caused by heat, and protein treatments. Be blessed.

vera
Guest
vera

I use Doo Gro Mega Thick Lotion To Thicken My hair,I use the Doo Gro Anti‐ Breakage Lotion on my ends. I do this everyday before i get in the shower and after I get out to moisturize my sides back, I put this on while it is damp on the sides that seals the moisture. I also us a product called Just natural, I Have found that the more natural product i use on my hair the better it is. I also keep my hair tucked in a ball it tends to hold moisture well that way. I don’t… Read more »

Caresscurls
Guest
Caresscurls

Best to space out your relaxers. Cut your split ends and often do deep conditioning and protein treatments. Doo grow oil works too.

Victoria
Guest
Victoria

you can have healthy permed hair. to strengthen make sure your hair is getting the balance of moisture and protein. make sure you check out your porosity. for protein you can deep condition with eggs, mayo, your favorite moisturizing conditioner, and coconut or jojoba oil. your porosity depends on how your hair gets moisture and retains (keeps) it. Google “S.S. Tresses blogspot” and look for the Porosity blog also to thicken it, make sure you keep up with trims, deep conditions, and scalp massages. You can massage your scalp with a mix 2 carrier oils and 1 essential oil of… Read more »

Natalie
Guest
Natalie

I get my hair trimmed at the most twice a year when my ends starts to feel very dry and crispy and don’t stay moisturised I know it is time for them to go. I’m not bothered by split ends or SSK I don’t do search and destroy, life is way too short.

Britney
Guest

I think the exact same way. I refuse to stress over split ends. I get a my hair straightened and trimmed every 6 months. My hair is healthy and growing just fine.

amaka
Guest

Hey guys do you know any cool vloggers and fashion bloggers who would be interested in receiving products from a company and vlogging/blogging about it? please contact me asap on this matter and put in the attn list to sherley. must have huge amount of followers! bestonusa@gmail.com

Gabriella
Guest
Gabriella

I feel like my mom is scissor happy concerning my own hair… I’m 14, and so she basically pays for me to get it trimmed every 4–6 weeks. This involves flat ironing, blow drying, and all the works. I don’t feel as if I need to go this often, but is trimming a bit more objective than I’d believe?

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

This could be true about your .mom. Ask her could you go every 8 to 10 weeks this spring to fall.. Do a length check at every trimming. Before and after trimming. Give the results to your mom. If your hair is growing, ask her to keep this schedule.

M2
Guest
M2

Gabriella, is your mom natural or does she have relaxed hair? She may be doing to your hair what she does to maintain her own hair. I also think it could be the styles that you’re wearing your hair in that could make you need a trim more often then 8 to 10 weeks. I used to trim my hair often also. However now since I never wear it straight, I stopped trimming it straight and started just dusting the ends. the heat was causing more damage which required me to continue to trim.

Charlotte
Guest

You need to repeat the part about split end free hair twenty times over. It is true, it may not be possible for everyone, and from experience it is not necessary. I have always had long hair and now my hair is hip area and I am just now for the first time in my life trying to get rid of split ends. I mean I usually dusted them in the past but I never worried about getting all of them. I am sort if obsessed with the idea, which is probably true, that of I had no split ends… Read more »

awesome
Guest

you should trim your hair,but i only do it 1/4 inch and still big results. im 11 bye the way so pleaase dont send any harsh comments:D

Marcelo
Guest

search and destroy trims” hahahaha next time I see my barber I’m going to ask her to do that for me. I get my hair trimmed about every 4 months and that works for my 3b curls, if I go any longer then my hair gets a bit to frizzy to my liking and any sooner I have found that it is just unnecessary. 4 months seems to be the sweet spot.

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anonymous
Guest
anonymous

Huh???

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

LOL

tahmina
Guest

I no this Is way Out of the question but why Do u need clip ur hair when u have spots
No harsh comments this Is written by My five yr old sista

kelli
Guest
kelli

Hi iv been natural for 11 months my hair seem to be growing pretty good but my edges are all broke off. I’m wondering is it because i wear a baseball cap all day. work in a stinky oily factory. Any suggestions plase help.

Tambe!
Guest
Tambe!

Check the edge break line against the baseball cap. There could be a light rubbing of the cap that is causing the breakage. Also watch your edges when you shower–edge lines are fragile and your hair could be getting wet outside of your hair care regime.

AAA
Guest
AAA

If you do find that the hat is the problem, try wearing a thin scarf or satin headband around your edges while you work to keep the hat from having direct contact with your hair. Also an option is use castor oil around your edges and massage daily to stimulate that area.

Alice
Guest
Alice

I HAVE A GREAT IDEA!!!

Spend an exceptional amount of money on a treatment from a high‐end salon instead of going to cheap ones. Unlike your cheap ones, high‐end stylists are actually licensed, professional, and have extensive knowledge to help you with your hair problems.… and stop looking at websites for answers.

Not a single soul who moderates this site is a licensed Cosmetologist. Think.

M2
Guest
M2

Lol @alice. I bet she has the perfect salon for you to go to as well. to hers. Sweetie, people have been taking care of their own hair for a lifetime. Some doing an awesome job n some not. and I know you’re not even insinuating that all licensed stylists know how to do hair. like with any other profession, it proves they passed a test.

teri
Guest
teri

Alice you are right in terms of the product we put in our hair, but you don’t have to pay exorbitant prices to get quality products. It depends on the hair and how well we take care of it.

scorpioc
Guest
scorpioc

Alice is a moron

Sorry, not sorry

Giovanna
Guest
Giovanna

Since I’ve stopped relaxing my hair, I’ve taken care of it myself for the past five years and it’s healthier, thicker and longer than it had been for the DURATION OF MY TIME SPENT ON RELAXERS/EXPENSIVE HAIR SALONS…and it’s due to the fact that naturalistas, however many of them have licenses or not, have taken the time and effort to post tips regarding natural hair care. I’m sure you know as well as we do that most salons do not cater to natural Afro hair. The last time I asked a professional about her salon treating natural Afro hair, they… Read more »

MaryKravets
Guest

Thank you for such useful and interesting information! I used to think, that trimming hair is necessary almost every month, but I like long hair and it was really sad story for me…

Mirtha
Guest
Mirtha

hello i just want to know if i can use a serum repair instead of trim my hair, because i dont like the idea of make my hair shorter, it’s that ok? or i really need to trim my hair over time?

BlueGeisha525
Guest
BlueGeisha525

Tressrme or nexxus split end mender

Your welcome 🙂

tO2OAmAzon
Guest
tO2OAmAzon

I arrived here just in time. I’m transitioning. I had braids over a perm and left them in knowingly too long. I risked and I suffered. My hair matted and locked. 11 hours in, I called in from work and grabbed the scissors. I only chopped the dreadlocks. I got more braids and more braids and more braid. Not more perms. Now I am on my way. I did twists for the first time last week and saw those fiery red tips. I clipped clipped clipped. Put in more twists and they were still there. Clip clip clip. I’ve become… Read more »

Sarita
Guest

Sometimes you may not be trimming your hair enough. I found that trimming my ends more often instead of going as long as possible has actually grown my hair and my ends are not “see through” or finer than the rest of my hair. Also you have to cut enough off because if you’re not, you may still have split ends. Split ends break your hair from the ends up, so be careful not to cut too much but make sure you cut enough. This is advice from a professional hairstylist.

Nolu
Guest
Nolu

I need help. I have not cut my Afro for maybe over two years, I do braids very often for two months and leave my hair out for 2 weeks or a little more and I usully twist and moisturize my hair before I go to bed. But Ive noticed thining in my hair at the ends and these areas are see through when I stand opposite the sunlight and yet people say my hair looks rich and full. I have not properly looked through my Afro to find split ends but in areas I have looked I’m not finding… Read more »

Nolu
Guest
Nolu

I left out that I also do find that the ends break off and have knots

shay
Guest
shay

I would trim…

MrsJHJ
Guest
MrsJHJ

Also, there are licensed hair braiders (under which u can braid, relax, wash and wrap, care for natural hair) such as myself that scroll through the forums. I like reading the articles just because. I’m also natural. Even though cosmetologist/hair braiders may not always speak up (at least I find the info is good) it’s not that there isn’t support from us. Although I did point out on one of my blogs that I didn’t know how many licensed women run the sites, I also stated it didn’t matter because the info is awesome. I also spoke on own hair… Read more »

Besa Gashi
Guest
Besa Gashi

can somone tell me why my hair in the back of my head is not so curly and in the front so curly ? what can do to make it the same

Me
Guest
Me

A lot of women have mutli‐textured hair, as in you can have different curl patterns all over your head naturally. So if you don’t have heat damage or left over chemical effects, then it’s just your genetics. For example, the hair on my temples have a tighter curl pattern than the rest of my hair…so I have to give them a little extra TLC.

Melind
Guest
Melind

Agree with you, trimming might not be the best idea to get rid of split ends. However, I just like short haircuts and recently got a new one and now thinking about some color. Can someone tell me which color would suit me best? My skin color is light brown. I already searched and got few articles like — http://www.betrendsetter.com/best-hair-color-dark-skin/ but still not quite satisfied. Hope someone can advice me, thanks in advance 🙂

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