If you are a hair naturalist, your hair length is probably the part of your hair that you cherish the most.
Now, this may sound counterintuitive but if you do cherish your hair length, you need to make trimming a part of your hair routine.
This article will show you why. It will also guide you through trimming natural hair for growth so that you do not end up giving yourself a haircut instead of a trim.
Why you should Trim your Natural Hair
When you trim your hair, you cut off knotted or split hair ends in your hair.
It is different from cutting your hair, which means reducing your hair length for any other purpose.
The length of your hair that you remove when you trim your hair is way shorter than the hair length you lose in a haircut.
Okay, so why should you deliberately reduce your hair length by trimming it? Here’s why:
1. To get rid of split ends
Split ends are dry, brittle hair ends that can make your hair appear unhealthy.
They usually occur in natural hair and they get worse when you do not attend to them.
If you leave split ends untrimmed, the split extends to other parts of the hair ends, and you may end up with a mass of weak, fragile, and brittle hair.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to ‘cure’ split ends. Trimming them off is the only real way out.
When you trim split hair ends, you remove the damaged part so that it does not affect your entire hair strands and prevent breakage.
It’s like taking a rotten apple out of the bowl to save the other apples.
2. To promote healthy hair growth
Trimming your hair removes the damaged part which could have been caused by heat, chemicals, or overuse.
This prevents the damaged part from affecting your hair growth.
Removing damaged hair also makes way for new hair to grow and so trimming promotes healthy hair growth for you.
3. To prevent knots and tangles
If you have curly natural hair, then finding knots or tiny ‘balls’ when you run hands through your hair is likely common.
When these knots stay for long, you will find it hard to comb your hair because you’ll always have tangles.
Regular trimming prevents this.
4. For easier detangling
Since trimming prevents your hair ends from curling around each other and forming knots, your hair strands become easier to detangle.
There will be fewer knots in the hair, and the split ends will be gone. This is an added bonus of hair trimming.
These are the hair benefits of trimming. If you want these benefits without having to visit a salon, it’s time to learn how to trim your natural hair at home successfully.
How to Trim Natural Hair at Home
First off, you’ll need a pair of sharp scissors (or preferably hair shears), a wide-toothed, tight-toothed comb, and a mirror to see what you’re doing.
Once that’s set, you have to choose your preferred trimming method and swing into action. There are three safe methods to choose from:
1. Stretched Hair Method
The goal here is to stretch out your hair so that you can easily trim off knotted or split ends.
Here’s how you go about it:
- Split your hair into smaller sections
- Pick a section and comb it
- Stop combing when you feel tangled spots or where your hair begins to thin out
- Place your fingers close to the comb
- Remove the comb while leaving your fingers in its position
- Use your scissors to trim off hair strands above your fingers
- Comb to ensure that the knotted parts have been removed
- Move on to other sections
In this method, the more sections you part your hair into, the more likely you are to trim your hair accurately.
You can also use a blow dryer to stretch out your hair before trimming to get a more accurate result.
2. Two-Strand Twists
If you’re worried about losing your hair length, you may consider this a safe method. You tend to cut out less hair here so start with it if you have the ‘trimming phobia.’
- Twist your hair all around (the two-strand twists where you divide the hair into two and just twist).
- Pull out each ‘twist’
- Locate the frizzy and coarse ends of the twist i.e. the part of the hair that bends diagonally
- Snip off the unwanted parts of each twist with your scissors.
Note that the smaller you twist your hair, the easier it would be to locate frizzy ends and the more accurate your trim would be.
3. Search and Destroy Method
This method is literally a “search and destroys” method because you have to patiently search through your hair for splits and knots.
Because there’s no straightforward, defined process to trim, the search and destroy method is usually time-consuming, especially if you want to do a thorough job.
Here’s how to do it:
- Let your hair down
- Look for single strand knots and split ends
- Cut off affected strands
Since you’ll be cutting off random, affected strands, your hair may end up being uneven in length with this method.
But on the bright side, you get to avoid trimming off healthy strands.
Tips on Trimming Natural Hair
You can now choose your best trimming method and get ready to trim your hair. But before you start, here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you get a perfect trim.
1. Cut carefully
You should pay attention while trimming your hair to ensure that you do not cut more than the required length.
Do not rush the process, especially if it is your first time.
2. Cut when dry
It’s best to cut your hair when it is dry because hair is usually weak when it is wet, so there’s a higher risk of unnecessary hair loss.
Wet hair trimming is best left to professionals because they are more experienced and can trim carefully without damaging your hair.
3. Get special scissors
Do not use the same scissors you use for random things for trimming your hair.
You need very sharp scissors to accurately trim your hair and using your trimming scissors for other stuff will make it blunt in no time.
4. Be flexible with your hair
You are in control of the amount of hair that you want to trim off.
This totally depends on the condition of your hair so there’s no fixed length that you must cut off every time you trim your hair.
So you can choose to trim off different lengths each time you trim your hair.
5. Pay attention to your hair
Observing your hair regularly would help you know when it is the right time to trim off weak, split ends so that they do not damage your hair growth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Trimming Natural Hair for Growth
It’s natural to have a few more questions about trimming hair.
I’ve fetched your answers to some frequently asked questions here:
How often should I trim my natural hair for growth?
To keep your hair healthy, you should trim it when the ends become weak and split.
If you trim your hair today, you should wait for another three months before trimming again.
This will keep split ends at bay while ensuring that you do not overcut your hair. When you trim your hair regularly, the need to trim it will become less frequent.
Should I trim my natural hair wet or dry?
While it is easier to trim your hair when it is wet, it is best to trim it when dry.
Hair becomes weak when it is wet so there’s a high chance that you will lose some extra strands.
Unless you’re an expert, you should ensure that your hair is dry before trimming it.
Does trimming make my hair grow faster?
Regular trimming does not make your hair grow faster. When you trim your hair, you cut off the hair ends and that has nothing to do with your scalp.
Hair grows from the scalp so if you want your hair to grow faster, you have to do something to the hair follicle or scalp and not the hair tip.
However, when you trim your hair, it becomes healthier and you’ll lose less hair from breakage and splits. This makes it seem like your hair has grown faster.
When should I trim my 4C hair?
You should trim your 4C hair every three or six months, depending on how healthy your hair is.
When your hair is healthy and well maintained, you may not get split ends at all for up to six months.
Paying attention to your hair will help you know when it needs a trim.
What happens if I don’t trim my hair?
Well, your split ends spread all the way to the hair shaft.
You’ll have weak hair strands that would break off eventually.
Even when you have new hair growth, it will not be noticeable since the present strands are breaking off easily.
You’ll also have knotted hair ends that easily get tangled with other hair strands. Combing your hair becomes a hassle, and you will find that you lose a lot of hair when you comb.
Does trimming make my hair thicker?
No, when you trim off the weak strands in your hair, it does not increase your hair thickness.
Trimming helps to maintain your hair and has nothing to do with the overall density of your hair.
Should I get a haircut after trimming?
If you are getting a haircut, then there’s no point in trimming your hair since a haircut will remove your hair ends and even more.
Trim for Healthy Hair
Trimming is an excellent way to keep your hair healthy.
You’ll eliminate split ends and knots that could otherwise ruin your hair.
With any of the three methods above, you can be sure to successfully trim your hair right at home.
Choose your best method and get right to it, remembering to use the right scissors and cut carefully.
And if you’re unsure about trimming your hair yourself, you can always ask a friend – or better still, a professional – for help.
The goal is to successfully trim your hair and enjoy a smooth hair journey!