I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of regular trims or the idea of trimming for accelerated growth. Certainly it seems to work for some people in the sense that they get plenty of growth anyway so that whatever they cut off is much less than what they grow. More power you if you are that person.
For me and lots of other women however, our growth rate is on average 4-5 inches per year. With such slow growth, it would be plain silly to trim length unnecessarily every month. If the ends have splits, knots or you are just trying to keep your hair at a certain length then trimming is certainly prudent otherwise I’ve always thought that it’s a waste of time, and hair!
Consider the ‘lead hair theory’. It is the idea that you should not trim your ends regardless of how thin/uneven they look until the bulk of your hair reaches a particular length (your goal length). The longest hairs should not be 2″- 4″ longer than the bulk of your hair, if they are, those should be trimmed. There have been a couple of threads about this on Long hair care forum, some in favor of and some against the idea.
Take for instance the hair of one of the forum members. The two shots are taken five months apart without any trims in between. You can see that the bulk of her hair has caught up with the ‘lead hair’ in the second photo. It should come as no surprise to have ends that seem thin one month then suddenly fill out a few months later. At any given time some of your follicles are actively growing, some are resting while some are shedding and further still hair follicles grow at diferent rates anyway!
The point with this method of trimming is to give yourself mini goals to start with. For instance, you can aim for arm pit length as a starting point. Some strands will get there before others and that’s ok but when the bulk of your hair reaches arm pit length, get a blunt trim to even your ends then start again with a new goal length.
Ultimately I think of lead hair theory as a method of keeping to a regular-ish trimming schedule. It prevents the scissor happy among you from chopping off 1/4 inch here and a 1/4 inch there haphazardly and for no purpose. Hey, I’m all for blunt healthy looking ends but it’s also important to recognize that your hair doesn’t always want to co-operate. Even in the absence of breakage, hair doesn’t remain in a blunt cut for very long.
If your hair is healthy and you have good hair care practices don’t always assume that the shorter lengths of your hair are due to breakage!
Originally posted 2012-06-05 19:00:00.