I totally get why many shy away from trimming. Hair shrinkage coupled with the fear of scissor-happy stylists make some naturals run the other way. When you’ve worked hard to achieve and maintain some length, you’re not tryna hear nothin’ bout no trim!
While quite a few naturals shudder at the sound of a pair of shears, others have come to grips with the fact that trims are, in fact, necessary for overall hair health. Yes! Some may not need one as often as others, but they’re good for you! The question comes up, though, “how will I know when I need a trim?”
Here are four things to look out for:
Be it be a single-strand (aka “fairy”) knot or a couple of unruly strands that have become a bit too friendly, it’s a telltale sign that damage is afoot that, literally, needs to be nipped in the bud. Truth is, with kinky/coily hair, they’re inevitable. I’ve found that they occur more often when my hair is worn loosely because (1) the strands are out and free to do as they please, like knotting on themselves and (2) those loose ends are exposed to the air and, therefore, prone to dryness. To keep knots at bay, do your best to keep your hair as moisturized as possible, focusing on the ends, and wear protective styles as often as you can, especially as your hair gets longer. When you DO find one of those little buggers, clip it off. But if you find yourself lopping off more than a few, it may be time to give your stylist a call.
Like knots, tangles can be quite annoying, ruining all plans of the perfect twist-out. When you begin to experience a tug of war with the ends of your hair a little too often… *snip-snip* The preventative measures for knots also apply here. In addition, keeping your hair stretched by way of plaits or twists, especially at night, will help to lessen the chances of tangling. But if you’ve already found yourself in Tangle Town more than you’d like, get in that stylist’s chair!
I’ll file this one under “my hair isn’t growing”. Sadly, breakage has tricked many naturals I’ve come in contact with into thinking that their hair growth has come to a screeching halt no matter what they do. While there is such a thing as maximum terminal length, breakage may actually be the issue. When your hair breaks as fast as it grows, it creates a bit of an optical illusion that your hair hasn’t grown at all. Dryness is one of the main culprits. With no moisture, there’s no elasticity and the hair will easily snap or break with the slightest bit of manipulation. Which leads me to our final sign…
When a hair splits, if left unchecked for too long, the split will travel up the hair shaft. Guess what? You went for a trim but now you need a CUT! “Don’t do it Miss Celie!” 😀 If at all possible, deal with the damage as soon as you find it and you will save yourself a lot of headache and, most of all, your hair!
Again, the frequency of trims will differ for a person who often wears their hair loose or manipulates it daily in comparison with one who wears more protective styles. There’s no hard, fast rule for all. BUT, a decent enough schedule for a trim is about once every season or four times a year… at least it’s a good memory aid for when to do it. 😉 Some can go six months, some prefer or need to do it more often. The point is, be regular in keeping your ends healthy and your hair will definitely thrive!
What signs alert YOU that you need a trim? Do you wait for these signs or do you take precautionary measures? Are you a self-trimmer or do you leave it to the pros?