How many times have you gone to the salon to ask for "just a trim" when all of a sudden half of your length is lopped off? Foregoing cutting your hair is not the answer to gaining length. Why? The split ends will accumulate and only get worse, traveling up the hair shaft and damaging more of our hair.
It is important to take care of your ends whenever you notice they are looking really frayed. There are 2 options: trimming and dusting. Each person is different.
There are 2 options: trimming and dusting.Wavy or curly hair can usually go 3 or 4 months without a full trim and just minor dustings in between. It all depends on your hair type, length, and other factors. Here's how to tell what your hair needs.
TrimmingIn order to maintain healthy ends hair should be trimmed when necessary. There's no use holding onto long hair with thinning, damaged ends. Cutting off the damage and retaining length will be far easier. There is a myth that says trimming hair often makes your hair grow faster. This notion is completely false. Hair is no longer living as soon as it emerges from the scalp, so trimming the ends makes no impact on growth. Maintaining healthy ends will help with retaining length. It will help with breakage, which is often the true culprit of your hair not growing. The key to trimming hair is knowing what needs to be trimmed and what doesn't.
DustingThis involves cutting under a 1/4 inch off of the ends of the hair to keep them in the best possible condition. Trimming often removes a larger amount of hair, so for those that are conscious of keeping their hair long dusting is a good alternative. Dusting is usually done every few weeks, often at home, which lessens the need for trims. When dusting look for thinning or uneven parts of the hair. Hairs are most protected and less likely to get damaged when they are around the same length as each other. Dusting also makes for better length retention, too.
Split end menders are just a temporary fix
All hair is susceptible to split ends regardless of whether you chemically process your hair or if it is natural. Split ends can't be permanently repaired despite the claims from some specially formulated haircare products. These products can only temporarily glue split ends together so they appear repaired. Splits can occur at any point along the hair shaft but tend to occur at the end of the hair (hence the name). It is often advised that split ends should be cut as the split can travel up the hair shaft. Whilst this can happen, often splits tear or break off around the point they started. It's best to just cut the split ends anyway as they can prevent full length retention.
When trimming, cutting or dusting hair, always ensure you use good quality scissors that are sharp. You don't want to cause damage as you're cutting it off. Make sure you are in good lighting to see exactly which parts of the hair are damaged. You may do this on either wet or dry hair.Keep in mind that as curly girls, trimming hair while it's wet may result in losing more length than you realize since curly hair does have shrinkage. It is important hair is cut straight across and not at an angle as this exposes more of the cortex layer of the hair which could lead to damage. If you've had hair layered using a razor blade or cutting at an angle you might find you have a few split ends, this is simply because the hair has not been cut evenly.
How to Dust Your Own Hair at Home
- Divide your hair into somewhat equal sections. Twist and clip the sections firmly on your head. If you have curly hair, consider putting your hair into several small two-strand twists to make dusting your hair easier to control and see.
- Use cutting shears specifically designed to cut hair. It's worth the splurge to buy professional hair scissors when dusting or trimming your hair. Regular scissors actually aren't sharp enough to cut through hair without causing damage and possibly split ends, so always opt for hair shears when dusting your hair.
- Unclip one of the sections. Try to go from the hair in your front bangs and work your way around.
- Examine each and every one of the ends. When you see a split end, then move on to to the next step.
- Trim no more than 1/4" from the ends of your hair. Anything more is no longer dusting and considered a haircut! If you're dusting your hair while it's styled in two-strand twists, cut no more than 1/4" from the end of each twist.
- Repeat all the steps until you have dusting all sections of your hair. This might take a while so plan ahead