Growing out a long beautiful head of natural curls (at least once) is every natural hair beauties dream. However, if you want to maintain strong and healthy hair, regular trims are essential. No one is exempt from experiencing split ends and hair breakage. Let's not forget that normal wear and tear, and exposure to the elements (change in seasons) has an effect. Combine all of that with your daily habits, and the oldest parts of the hair's shaft will start to split. Hair grows on average a half an inch per month on all types of hair.
One of the keys to strong and long healthy hair is keeping your ends trimmed every 12-16 weeks (3-4 times a year). Now I know there are some people who have had traumatic experiences with “trims” that turned out to be major cuts. Just to give you a better understanding of the terms a dusting is a quarter of an inch or less, a trim is an inch or less and a cut is two inches or more.
Sometimes cuts are necessary depending on the severity of the split ends or damage; and it also brings back the shape of the hair. The best way to trim hair is when it's blown out, as it promotes for a more accurate trim/dusting.
Keeping a regular hair regimen is key. Making sure you shampoo hair properly, followed by proper deep conditioners, steam treatments, and even protein treatments aid in the success of strong healthy hair. Did you know that certain styles we wear are contributing factors to needing a trim? Just to name a few, we love ourselves a good twist out/braid out and even puffs. If those styles are not maintained with the proper moisture and oil sealant it will in turn promote dry ends, which will result in breakage and or snapping of the ends. Protective styles with less manipulation are best (i.e. pinups, up do's). Believe it or not certain clothes we wear even contribute to split ends like wool sweaters fabrics with rough materials because the hair is rubbing up against it. Also, going to sleep without the proper hair covering (i.e. satin/silk bonnets/scarfs) also contributes to split ends.
Signs that you are in need of a trim
Visible split ends – You can actually see your split ends. Ladies split ends are like a pair of pantyhose with a run in them. If you don't put nail polish on it to prevent further running it will keep on going; as with hair it will continue to travel up the hair shaft and stunt hair growth.
Ends easily snap/break Don't confuse this with hair shedding where the hair breaks at the root.
Ends are transparent You can see through the ends, which are wispy and feathery looking.
Balls/fairy knots on the ends
Ends are dull, raggedy, dry and look frayed
Benefits of a trim
Healthier and shinier ends. You will have better curl definition and your twist sets will finish much smoother on the end, which makes hair look more polished and professionally styled.
Easier to style and holds styles longer
Detangles much easier
Well “Natural Beauties” thanks for letting me share some general tips to follow when you are creating a trim schedule for your hair. Of course, seeking the guidance of a hair care professional is always recommended to ensure you are getting your hair trimmed at the right time for your specific hair needs. Until next time.