Here's the deal with trims: I've been to too many stylists in my life who confuse "trim" with "haircut". Since I've gone natural, I've either attempted to do my own trim, or just hoped for the best when my stylist pulled out the scissors. Lately, however, I've been bad. Really bad. And really lazy. I admittedly had an overdue trim that I should have gotten in August...but didn't get it until my next appointment at Curl Bar Beauty Salon in November. Yikes, I know. I've since learned the error of my ways, and I'm here to help you! To borrow from Jay-Z, Bee did that, so hopefully you won't have to go through that.
Hair ends are the senior citizens of your hair strand, so you've got to treat them with the same care and tenderness that you do with Grandma and Grandpa. Sealing/moisturizing ends and doing protective styles that keep your ends away from friction and harsh weather will help, but every once in a while, you've got to let those ends go.
For me, not trimming meant:
- crunchy, crispy ends that wouldn't hold a twist
- an audible and tactile difference when combing through my hair shaft
- ends that frizzed
- fairy knots and split ends that traveled up my hair shaft
- drier than usual hair in general
After my long-overdue trim, I found:
- the ends of my twists coiled perfectly
- my entire hair shaft felt smooth
- my hair was more moisturized
- my twist-outs and Bantu knots were more uniform with no obvious curl difference in the ends
One thing I learned during a consultation at Curl Bar is that our hair ends are the part of the shaft that draw in the most moisture - therefore, if your ends are dry and damaged, you're limiting the amount of moisture getting to the rest of your hair.
I'm from the school of thought that there is no one-schedule-fits-all decision on when you should trim your hair. Some trim every 6-8 weeks, some once a quarter, some do mini-trims or dusting once a month, and others trim just as they see fit. I am personally going to commit to trimming once every quarter, whether by myself or at the salon.
Here's how I've always done my own trims:
- Thoroughly wash and detangle hair
- Blow hair out on medium heat
- Set hair in approximately 20-25 two-strand twists
- Hold the twist taught and use the width of a pinky finger to measure the length to be cut
- Using sharp trimming scissors, snip and continue
Trimming not only helps to ensure the health of my hair, but it makes me even more diligent in taking care of the Grandma and Grandpa of my hair shaft. Moisturizing, sealing, and protecting hair from snagging along my winter scarves and frigid weather becomes crucial, because the more you take care of your ends, the less you'll have to cut. It doesn't mean you'll never have to let go of ends - but hopefully you won't wait as long as me to get a fresh start!
When was the last time you got a trim? What was the worst trimming experience you ever had?