Jay Cee: What you should know about Trimming your Hair
The first step in the 6 months growth challenge is trimming your hair. Do not trim off healthy ends, that’s reducing length unnecessarily. Here is why we trim off damaged or split ends:
- Splits travel up, so the longer you leave them the further up they go. They then multiply which means you will have to trim even more hair when you finally get round to trimming. So it’s better to trim a little now and salvage that length.
- Damaged ends do not allow your hair styles to look nice especially when you want curly styles.
- Damaged ends cause more breakage and knots.
So how do you know if your hair needs trimming?
SIGNS OF DAMAGE
1. Visible splits on individual strands of hair.
2. The ends of your hair snap off easily.
3. The ends start to knot and tangle easier than is normal for you.
4. The ends become harder to keep moisturized and start to look dull.
5. Thin, whispy looking ends.
6. Your hair generally looks thinner.
7. Your ends don’t curl right. For example when you do styles like twists, coils or rod sets the ends fray out instead of curling uniformly.
8. Hair becomes harder to detangle and has a lot more single strand knots.
9. Hair does not shrink-this is most likely an indicator of heat damage. Whenever water hits your hair it should curl up and shrink. That’s what healthy natural hair does.
10. Your curl pattern becomes looser and even straight in some areas. This is typical of heat or colour damage.
11. The hair shaft tapers off. It should be the same length from top to bottom.
Get into the habit of checking your shed hair. You will be able to catch things like split ends, a wonky curl pattern and increased single strand knots that way.
If your hair has heat damage you can choose to trim all the heat damaged hair at once. Alternatively, just trim a little periodically until it is all gone. If your hair is long it is easy to see the split ends yourself. If it’s still short you may need some help from another person.
You have options when it comes to trimming. You can either do it yourself or have a stylist do it for you. You can do it on straightened hair or trim without straightening. The benefits of seeing a stylist is that it is easier for them to see exactly where to trim. Also, since they tend to trim on heat straightened hair, they will get a more even result. However, you need to see a stylist who knows exactly what they are doing. Otherwise you run the risk of heat damage since most overdo it with the blow drier and flat iron. Heat damage will set you back several steps back from your length goals. You want to avoid that at all costs.
If you do it yourself you must make sure that you have a sharp pair of scissors that you keep specifically for that purpose. Do not use them to cut paper, nails, cloth or anything except your hair. Blunt scissors do more harm than good.
Personally I prefer to trim without heat straightening. I normally do small twists or plaits (matutas) then trim off the tapering ends. You can wear the twists or matutas as a style afterwards or do a twist out or braid out. The disadvantage of trimming your own hair is that you may trim off more or less than is needed. Your hair might end up slightly uneven. The advantage is that you aren’t likely to get heat damage and you save money.
See these pictures of split ends, weathered ends and heat damaged hair so you know what to look out for. When is the last time you trimmed your hair? Comment below to share your experiences and tips!