Everything You Need to Know About Trimming Your Natural Hair

Trimming is an essential hair care routine that many people with natural hair avoid, but it is necessary for overall hair health.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about trimming your natural hair. So, continue reading!

What Does it Mean to Trim Your Natural Hair?

Trimming is the process of removing unwanted hair using a special tool, a pair of hair shears, with the goal of promoting overall hair health.

Reasons People Don't Trim Their Natural Hair

There are two major reasons why most people with natural hair don't trim their hair:

1. Fear of losing length

If you're aiming for a certain hair length, it's understandable if you fear that trimming your hair will reduce your chances of reaching that length. But is that actually true?

Our natural hair grows about ½ inch every month, meaning your hair can grow about three inches in six months. Trimming your hair every four to six months will only take away less than an inch of hair, allowing you to retain most of your length.

However, if you don't trim your hair, you may not retain length, as split ends and breakage could cause you to lose two inches or more of hair. So, regular trimming can actually help you maintain your desired length.

2. Laziness

Don't be embarrassed, sis, it's something anyone with natural hair can relate to. Sitting down and having to go through the process of trimming your natural hair can be exhausting.

It could take hours, and you have to make sure you don’t trim more than you should. However, you have to remember that one of the secrets to healthy natural hair is trimming regularly.

When Should You Get a Trim for Your Natural Hair?

You should get a trim for your natural hair when you experience any of the following:

1. Fairy Knots

Fairy knots are those tiny balls of tangled hair that form at the shaft or tips of your natural hair, making it difficult to comb all the way through. If you experience these frequently, then it is time for a trim.

2. Split Ends

Split ends are damaged tips or the oldest parts of your hair. They can occur when your hair is often exposed to harsh weather conditions, you frequently use heat tools such as curling irons, flat irons, and blow dryers, or manipulate your hair too much.

If you don't take care of split ends, they can continue to split all the way up to your hair shaft and damage the rest of your hair. When you notice that you have split ends, it's time for a trim.

3. Frizzy Hair

Frizzy hair is hair that stands out from the main body of your hair, giving it a messy and unkempt look. If you notice that you have frizzy hair, it may be time for a trim.

4. Excessive Breakage

Although some amount of breakage is normal when combing or styling natural hair, if you notice small curly clumps of hair falling out excessively, then it's time for a trim, girl!

Benefits of Trimming Natural Hair

1. Helps retain length

Trimming your hair won't stop it from growing, but it can help you get rid of split or dead ends that prevent you from retaining length. By cutting away damaged hair, you create space for healthy hair to grow and thrive!

2. Get rid of split ends

Trimming your hair can help get rid of split ends that occur naturally due to wear and tear from combing, styling, over-manipulating, and using heat styling tools too often, among other causes.

Although split ends are normal, if you don't get rid of them as soon as possible, they can continue to travel up your hair shaft, causing your hair to thin out and look rough and untidy. Trimming your hair ensures healthy hair growth and eliminates split ends.

3. Corrects hair damage

Trimming is one of the safest ways to correct hair damage caused by exposure to heat tools (hair straighteners, curling irons, blow dryers, hot rollers, etc.), poor handling by a stylist, or even products. You can either choose to cut off all the affected ends at once or trim them monthly until the damaged parts are completely removed.

4. Promotes overall healthy hair

Trimming your hair promotes overall healthy hair. When you trim your hair, it becomes easier to detangle, comb, and style. You'll also notice that your hair feels fuller and thicker, from roots to ends.

How Often Should You Trim Your Natural Hair?

Trimming your natural hair is necessary for maintaining healthy hair. It is recommended that you trim every four to six months, removing about half an inch of hair each time. However, if you are trying to get rid of damaged hair, it is advised that you trim monthly.

3 Different Ways to Trim Your Natural Hair

There are several ways to trim natural hair, including:

1. Two-strand twists

Trimming your natural hair is easier when you put it in twists, as opposed to trimming it as is. Also, putting your hair in twists allows you to easily identify split ends twist by twist.

2. Curl by curl

Trimming your hair curl by curl is recommended if you have type 3A to 3C hair.

3. Search and destroy

As the name suggests, this method involves searching for split or dead ends and trimming them. However, it can be more stressful and time-consuming than other methods. Also, it can lead to unevenly trimmed hair.

Don'ts of Trimming Natural Hair

  1. Don't use any other pair of scissors besides professional hair shears to trim your hair.

    Using kitchen scissors, sewing scissors, office scissors, etc. can leave your hair with crooked ends and may further complicate your split ends, causing damage to your hair.

    Also, make sure to use your hair shears only on your hair. Using them for other purposes will only lead to blunt ends.
  2. Don't cut your hair when it's wet or dry. At its weakest state, wet or dry hair can lead to breakage and hair damage. Instead, trim only damp and well-moisturized hair.
  3. Don't rush when trimming. Take your time. Rushing may lead to mistakes such as cutting more than the required hair length or even hurting yourself with the sharp edges of the hair shears.

    By taking your time, you can get rid of the damaged ends and provide space for healthy hair growth.

How to Trim Your Natural Hair: DIY Step-by-Step Guide

You can choose to trim your hair at a professional stylist's salon, or you can save costs by doing it yourself. If you want to learn how to trim your natural hair at home, this tutorial is a great guide to help you.

What you need

To properly trim your hair, you will need the following tools:

  • Professional hair shears
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Detangling brush
  • Fine tooth comb

Step 1: Wash and detangle your hair

detangling hair
  • Always start with freshly washed, detangled, and moisturized hair. Even if you detangled your hair during washing, make sure there are no knots or tangles.
  • To detangle, part your hair into sections so it can be easier for you to work with. Then, take out one section at a time and use a wide-tooth comb to detangle from the ends to the roots.

Step 2: Use your detangling brush to detangle

second detangling
  • Next, run a detangling brush through the section of your hair to ensure it is smooth and free of tangles.

Step 3: Do a final detangle with a fine tooth comb

detangling a third time
  • Use a fine-tooth comb to detangle your hair thoroughly. This comb will help you identify the ends of your hair that need to be trimmed.
  • As you comb through, you will feel constant resistance in some parts of your ends. This should be between a quarter to half an inch of hair.

Step 4: Identify hair that should be trimmed

identifying hair to be trimmed
  • With your g at the ends of your hair, place your forefinger and middle finger in between the ends. Then gently remove the fine-tooth comb.

Step 5: Trim off split ends

trimming split ends
  • With your fingers pointing straight up, use hair shears to trim the ends. Make a mental note of the length of hair you trimmed off. If you trimmed a quarter of an inch, repeat the same for the rest of the hair.

Step 5: Repeat the steps

putting hair in twists
  • Repeat the process for the other sections of your hair and voila! You have successfully trimmed your hair. Make sure to moisturize afterward to keep your hair hydrated.

If you want to learn more about trimming your natural hair at home, check out this helpful YouTube video tutorial by Naptural85. She demonstrated the steps mentioned in this article.