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How to Know Your Hair is in Dire Need of a Trim


Natural Hair Trim
Photo Credit: Michael Hull


If you are anything like me, you may not have the warmest feelings towards the idea of trimming your hair. I have always been scissors-shy even when I had relaxed and straight hair.

Unfortunately for me, going natural has made me a lot less comfortable with hairstylists holding scissors around my hair. However, occasional trimming is important for the healthy of your natural hair. It reduces breakage and limits the number of split ends. It also improves the general appearance of your hair. It’s important that you trim your hair regularly regardless of your hair goals but if you are trying to grow out your hair, a bit of a trim can ensure that your damaged ends do not destroy the rest of your hair.

So how do you know if your natural hair needs a trim? Well you may need a trim if your hair has one or more of the following qualities:

1) Your hair is knots galore

Single strand knots, multiple strands knots, big knots, tiny knots, you have them all in your hair. Detangling your hair has become an all day affair that even your beloved detangling gel isn’t able to conquer. When your ends are so damaged that they begin to form knots no matter what you do with it then you know the time has come for a trim to save your hair from itself.

2) The ends of your hair stick out after a perm set

Or any other style that involves curling your hair. This is because after using a lot of heat and other stuff on your hair, the ends of your hair may no longer curl like the rest of your hair. Also if your hair is uneven (especially if not intentional), this may lead further contribute to the forming of knots and frizz in your hair thereby encouraging the further damaging of your hair so if you notice that your ends are curling like they used to, it may be time to take a pair of scissors to them.

3) Your hair seems to have reached a plateau

If you’re hair seems to knot have stopped growing even though you are practicing regular moisturizing and healthy routines for maintaining natural hair, then maybe its time for trim. Sometimes our hair gets caught in a cycle of “grow a little, shed a lot”, where your hair is likely to shed a lot of any hair growth achieved due to breakage often caused by having unhealthy ends. If its isn’t unusual to find a large amount of your hair shedding whenever you style it, and your hair doesn’t seem to be growing you might be due for a trim.

4) You’re about to put your hair away for a while in long term protective styles

So here’s the deal: even if you know you need a trim, and you know that it will be good for your hair in the long run, most of us struggle with a bit of post-trim regret, where we feel uncomfortable about the new length of our hair. One great way to avoid this is by trimming your hair just before you do a long-term protective style like box braids or kinky twists. This will allow your hair sometime to grow relatively unseen while masking your new length for some time and it will prevent your unhealthy ends situation from becoming unbearable while in a long-term protective style.

5) Your hair is lacking volume

If your hair is lacking the shape and volume that is usually part and parcel of your natural hair experience it might be time for a trim. Uneven layers may not always lead to a distinguishably different look in the hair of a naturalista especially if the ends are only slightly thinner than the rest of your hair, but when it gets pretty bad, it becomes noticeable whether you are doing a twist out, or a basic wash and go. If you feel like your hair is lacking the shape, volume and life it usually has, a trim could be just what you need to inject some life back into it.

Trimming your hair is an essential part of taking care of your natural hair and although it can be difficult to do, it should be done regularly in order to keep your hair looking and feeling gorgeous and healthy. So what do you think? How do you know it’s time to trim your hair? How often do you trim it? Let me know what you think in the comments below.


Frances Uhomoibhi
I am a 20-something Naturalista with a love for all things Black. I love writing, spoken word, and doing social justice work. Living in London, I hope to help young black girls to love their beauty inside and out.

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