There she is, the girl who has long hair with stringy, frazzled ends. These are ends that look like they are just dying to be cut off and thrown away for good yet she refuses to cut her hair, believing that if she does then her hair will be “short”. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s headed down that road regardless because damaged and split ends only lead to more damaged and split ends.
No one wants to get an involuntary pixie cut because they were trying to hang on to unhealthy length right? If the ends of your hair are see through and straggly looking, chances are you are the girl referenced above and you need to do something about it.
Don’t get upset! We’ve all been there. We get so hung up on the length of our hair that we forget about the health of our hair from root to tip. If your goal is long and healthy hair, then you won’t get there by hanging on to hair that is the complete opposite.
Instead, your hair will not only be damaged on the ends, but eventually it will spread to other areas of your hair, like mid shaft and complete hair loss. In the end, you will have no choice but to snip off more hair than you ever wanted.
Knowing when to trim your hair can be especially hard for ladies with natural hair, however some of the signs are still the same. So we have created a short list of clues below, and we also identify how thinning ends can make things worse. After you read this maybe you will muster up the courage to call your stylist and ask for a healthy trim.
You’re brushing or running your fingers through your hair and they get stuck, repeatedly. This one is pretty simple and probably one of the most obvious signs that your hair is in need of a good trim. If the ends of your hair are still tangled even after you have thoroughly detangled your hair or if you have to yank the ends of your hair apart, you need to look for the shears.
You might second guess yourself with this one because we all know that curly hair tends to tangle naturally, but when your ends are thinning, they tend to tangle even more than normal.
You have to the difference between a regular tangle and tangles caused from split stringy ends, thin ends cause the worse tangles in comparison to a regular thick strand that are not split.
2. See through ends
Unless your hair is extremely thin throughout, you should not be able to see through the ends of your hair. This sign indicates that your ends are split, breaking and thinning at various levels.
You need to cut off the split ends so that your hair doesn’t split further because you leave them for too long, your hair will start breaking off making it almost impossible for you to retain length.
3. Single strand knots
Single strand knots are common to all curly girls, but when you have an abundance of them it might be a clue that not only do you need to employ some stretching techniques but you might need a good trim.
What typically happens is your strand will wrap around itself cause in small annoying bulb. When your ends are thinner, it is easier for the strand to do this so that is why an abundance of SSKs is a really good clue that your need to get a trim.
Unless you have some serious skills it is virtually impossible for you to unravel those knots, the only way alleviate the problem is to cut them off. Oh, and as tempting as it might be to just yank or pull them off, this makes matters worse so just go get a trim.
Have you ever wondered why your hair seems to stay frizzy no matter what products you use? Sometimes, frizzy ends that don’t behave are a tell tale sign that you need a good trim. When your ends are thin you do not have enough of them to clump reducing frizz. The thinning ends become frayed as
they are exposed to the environment and manipulation. Thinning ends cause frizz and frizz might mean you need a trim, Nno mystery there right?
A few tips
Once you have assessed your hair, it’s time to make a decision. You’re smart and you have probably decided that trimming is the way to go. You can start off slowly by trimming a little hair over the course of several weeks or you can do the all or nothing method and hack off every bit of damage. The choice is yours, but either is acceptable.
If you decide to go the slow and steady route, then be sure to protect your ends so that you don’t cause even more damage. Braids, buns, and weaves are perfect for hiding your strands until you’re done with your trims.
After you have trimmed your hair, take care of your ends! Keep the ends of your hair moisturized so that your hair doesn’t get too dry and brittle causing more split ends.
Sleep on a satin pillow case or wear a silk scarf* to prevent dried out hair and breakage. You can also do regular deep conditions and finger detangle instead of using a comb or brush. Finger detangling is time consuming, but it will keep your strands intact.
Don’t be afraid to call a really great stylist for a professional trim, sometimes we get caught in a cycle of ‘dusting’ or just trimming here and there, but a really good trim from a professional can really help to get your hair looking and feeling great not to mention giving you a great foundation to start a healthy hair journey.
Keep in mind that everyone’s hair is different even when it comes to trimming, some may only need to trim once a year, while others may have trim their hair more often.
The important thing is that you recognize when your hair needs to be trimmed and do something about it before it turns ugly. Once you understand your hair’s needs and are consistent with the way your hair needs to be trimmed, the trimming process will become more like maintenance for your hair and less of a necessity.
How do you know when you need a major trim?