I’m often asked, “Jenell, my ends feel so rough, what can I do?” After asking when was the last time they had a trim, I’m never surprised by the answer. For many newly natural women, they’ve never trimmed their hair because they are so focused on retaining length that they don’t realize how harmful not trimming is to their hair. Trimming your hair is a very important part of your healthy hair regimen because it's the only way to truly remove split ends and damage at the ends of your hair. If you don’t remove the damage at the ends of your hair, the damage will travel up the strands and further damage the rest of your hair. Additionally, when your ends are trimmed your hair looks better because the thin, weathered ends have been removed leaving your hair fuller and thicker.
Trim wet or dry? That is the question
There is much debate about whether your hair should be wet or dry when trimming. Even amongst the professionals, there is no true consensus. Here is something for you to ponder: Your hair appears longer when it's wet due to the weight of the water. I mean, we all know about the shrinkage we experience when our hair is dry and not stretched, therefore cutting your hair while wet could leave you highly disappointed about your final length and shape when your hair returns to its dry state. If your hair shrinks above 50% of your true length, every inch trimmed will leave your hair shorter. Trimming your dry hair will give you a better visual of the length and a better idea of the finished result.
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to get my hair trimmed and styled by celebrity hairstylist Diane Bailey who prefers cutting hair while it's dry because she has better control over it. While blow drying my hair she explained that when she’s trimming and/or cutting hair while it's dry, she can see the lines that the hair forms. Hair has more of a definite shape when dry, so cutting it in this state makes the trimming or cutting process more accurate and leaves the client satisfied.
How often do I need to trim?
Your hair should be trimmed to maintain it’s length, but the frequency is always a big discussion. We all take care of our hair differently and our lifestyles vary. Manipulation from hair tools and even your own hands impact your hair negatively, weakening it with every use. For the woman who wears her hair loose in an afro, twist outs, and braid outs, she needs trims more regularly (3 months) because her hair is manipulated more often and not protected from the environment. However, the woman who keeps her hair in twisted styles or pulled away in buns experiences less manipulation and can go much longer without a trim (4-5 months).
When I visited the very talented celebrity stylist Tameeka McNeil of Jaded Tresses, she advised using protein treatments like the Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment to restore the protein in your hair, keeping it strong. Giving your hair proper protein treatments reduces the frequency in which you’ll need a trim.
Trim with the best
When trimming your hair you can’t just use any pair of scissors. Normal scissors will gnaw through your hair and cause even more split ends. You should invest in a pair of good quality, sharp shears. Dull blades can damage the hair causing split ends and rough lines. This is counterintuitive to your healthy hair regimen. A sharper cutting blade is more efficient and results in smooth lines, which is your goal with trimming your hair. There are thousands of shears to select from, and I highly suggest you read consumer reviews to help you make a decision.
Don’t stunt seeing your growth by growing in fear of trims. Trims are a very necessary part of seeing the progress of your hair growth and the sooner you accept this, the closer you are to longer, healthy hair.