Trimming is the easiest way to instantly give your hair a healthier look without drastically changing it. However, mastering the technique behind trimming curly hair is a professional talent. Be sure you know what you are doing before you trim your hair or find an experienced curly hair stylist, or else that big chop you planned for next year may happen today. Here are a few tips that you should follow when trimming your curls. 

Get the right tools

Trim your curls while damp

Many stylists believe that cutting wet hair gives you better control, but the trouble with cutting hair wet on curlies is that our hair shrinks. Our wet curls are by no means the length of our dry curls. Oftentimes, trimming hair while wet can result in over cutting. As a rule of thumb, the curlier your hair, the more it will shrink as it dries. Instead of cutting hair wet or dry, trim your tresses while they are damp. Make sure that you scrunch them to add the true texture to your locks. The slight wetness of your hair will help to give you more control, yet the slight dryness will help you to visualize the actual length and reduce shrinkage.

Get a dusting instead of a trim

Dusting involves cutting under a 1/4 inch off of the ends of the hair, while trimming usually refers to cutting more length from the hair. If you have been asking your stylist for a trim and feel disappointed when they cut too much, then try asking for a dusting. This allows you to snip off your dead ends without altering your current hairstyle.

MORE: You’ve Been Asking for a Trim, but You Really Want a “Dusting”

Search and destroy method

This method involves searching for single, damaged strands and cutting off the split ends, rather than doing an overall trim. This is ideal for transitioners who are growing out straight hair, or if you are trying to remove damage while maintaining your length. Start by detangling the hair with a comb. Twist the hair into several pieces and the twists will expose the dead ends that need to be trimmed. The dusting technique is executed best when the hair is dry or slightly damp. This allows you to see where the hair needs to be trimmed. If the hair is too wet, then the hair that is in need of a trim will not be as noticeable. Watch Rocio’s video for a full demonstration.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, trimming your hair will prevent frizz, split ends and give your hair an overall healthier look. Be sure that you determine what type of trim you are looking for before you begin. Be sure to consult your stylist for anything that requires a drastic cut or eliminating severe damage.

This article was originally published in August 2011, the photo and copy have been updated for grammar and clarity. 

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