My natural hair journey has been going insanely well for the past three years. And this is significant since despite helming a hair blog called ‘Black Girl with Long Hair’ I, in fact, *did not* have long hair for a very long time. I still don’t, but at 14 inches since my second big chop in April 2014, I’m doing pretty damn good.
It seems the length just keeps on coming.
After 8 tortured years of testing and trying every routine under the sun, of learning — through countless misadventures — the unique ways my fine 4b/4c curls behave, I finally assembled a routine that has resulted in strong, shiny hair, healthy ends and consistent length. Like seriously, my shed hairs are as hardy as pieces of twine. I could use them to create a rope if necessary.
And maybe I got a little too cocky. I started dropping the, ‘Well if you cut it off it will just grow back. Hair grows you know.’ in conversations. I got used to women at the salon craning to see my length whenever my stylist did a blow out. I got used to the wide eyed, ‘You did the big chop just three years ago!’ when asked about my hair journey. And you know what they say — pride comes before a fall and, in this case, an excessive trim.
The last time I trimmed my hair was three months ago. Sounds long, doesn’t it? Not in the world of low-manipulation and regular deep conditioning.
Let’s switch to some hair talk here…
The question of trimming is a heated one in the natural hair community. Many mainstream salons (that service all races of women) will tell you that anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks is the proper time frame depending on whether your hair is color treated or you use heat frequently. But many naturals swear by search and destroy and/or paying attention to the feel of your ends and responding appropriately. Ends that are split, heavily knotted, don’t curl easily, or feel thrashed and dry need to go.
I keep my hair in braids (using my own hair) for 4 to 6 weeks at a time, with up to 1 month of wash and go’s in between, depending on the humidity. This Brooklyn humidity is on ten, so I’ve been doing my braiding seshes back to back. My ends were smooth, soft, retaining moisture incredibly well and honestly, felt like butta. All I really needed was a search and destroy Instead, I decided to do a full on, ‘whole head’ trim.
I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and started snipping. After a few minutes I stopped to examine the ends I was cutting. Like, honestly, there was not ONE frayed or split end to be seen. And maybe a couple knots. Yet I was cutting half to 3/4 inch pieces at a time. But I persisted. I told myself, ‘Imagine how full and thick your next wash and go will be!’
By the time I was about 75% of the way through I knew for certain the trim was a mistake and all I was really doing was eliminating my length.
After it was over I didn’t have the emotional energy to deal with what I’d just done so I went right to sleep.
The next morning I woke up and my braids looked visibly shorter. Every time I pulled my fingers through I could FEEL the last inch or so of my hair missing. So here I am, cycling through horror and denial.
I mean, at least my new ends are great. But I think this officially qualifies as my first hair mishap of 2017.
Have you ever ‘over-trimmed’? Tell me about it so I feel better :/