You keep your hair conditioned and your scalp clean, keep your ends in tip top shape, and manipulate your hair as little as possible. So, why has your hair stayed at the same length for well over a year? Well, if you’ve gotten into the habit of trimming more than you’re growing, that’s a fair explanation why! “But don’t I need to trim my hair on a strict schedule to keep my hair’s hemline neat?” Well, yes and no. The schedule you should adhere to when trimming your hair is really personal but there are a few key points to keep in mind.
1. You don’t need a trim after every relaxer. You’ve stretched for 16 weeks (or more), kept your ends very well maintained, and you’re super excited to see your growth. When you come from the sink, you see your hair hanging will past your shoulders and you couldn’t be happier! That is, until your stylist utters the five most nerve-wracking words ever uttered in a salon, “Girl, you need a trim!” Any stylist worth her license (she is licensed, right??) will only give you a trim if your hair needs it, not just because it’s relaxer day. Not only can trims at the salon stunt progress on your hair journey, they can take a toll on your wallet. Regardless of your desire to support black business, don’t do it at the expense of your hair!
2. Your hair doesn’t grow faster with a trim. One of the most widely spread pieces of misinformation (apart from water dries out your hair) is that your hair grows faster when you cut it. Just like the water myth, this one works against every law of nature under the sun. Don’t let anyone make you believe that cutting your hair will help it grow. Ain’t. gonna. happen! This isn’t to say that your hair won’t benefit from a good trim. Your hair will hold styles better when there aren’t split ends throughout. Trims can also help prevent your hair from splitting clear up the hair shaft. A trim can be a great thing; it just isn’t a hair growth aid.
3. Avoid trimming faster than your hair grows. Retaining length is one of the biggest challenges that face highly textured hair so you should be taking steps to achieve this. On average, hair grows about ½” each month but if you’re cutting 2 inches every 4 months, your growth will be negligible. Trimming whenever you lay eyes on your shears is the fastest way to lose all your progress. If you prefer having a schedule for your trimming, set the time frame and the amount you’ll be cutting. Sticking to the amounts you’ve set in order to avoid becoming scissor happy. Always start by cutting less; you can always cut more if needed but you can’t undo an overenthusiastic cut.
4. Consider dusting instead of a full-blown trim. Your hair may not need a thorough trim if you keep your hemline in tip top shape. Instead of taking off 0.5” each session, you can use the search and destroy method. With this method, you’re going through each strand (search) and eliminating (destroy) any splits. These sessions can be more time consuming but also prevent you from sacrificing length. Plus, you’re getting splits that appear mid-shaft as opposed to just what’s happening on your ends. You’ll notice less snagging as the hair is able to move more freely and you won’t see all your progress on the floor!
Have you been sacrificing your progress?