Trimming by Monique Bland
Ever since I went natural many years ago, I often wondered should I trim the same way that I did when I was relaxed. Guess what? The simple answer is no. Let me just take you back. I remember when I was relaxed; every time I went to get my hair “did” the stylist would faithfully trim my hair, which equated to being every 6 to 8 weeks.
Naturally, when I first went natural, I followed that same regimen for some time. As the years passed, I started questioning myself: Why am I not retaining length? Why am I cutting my hair so much? In reality, I was trimming hair just to be trimming hair.
For us naturals, trimming is not a must do. Don’t get me wrong, we should trim our hair BUT we don’t have to trim on a schedule like before. Keep in mind if you wear your hair flat ironed or use heat tools, you may find that you need to trim more often.
Well, why do we have to trim? The simple answer is weathering – this is the process of our hair splitting, tangling or knotting. So now, let’s talk about how to trim our natural hair.
First of all, if you are in doubt, please visit a professional. Also, if you are trimming yourself, invest in a good pair of hair shears that will be devoted only to trimming.
Trim while twisted: this is my personal favorite way of trimming. I do not wear my hair straight often so this is an easy way to Do It Yourself. Start with clean hair and do small or medium twists. Let the hair dry naturally and cut off the very end of each twist (1/8, 1/4 or even 1/2 inch).
Trim while blown out: This method works if you wear straight styles regularly and need visually even hair. Start with clean hair and using heat protectant, carefully blow out your hair moving quickly (so as to avoid heat damage). Once it is dry, take section by section and trim all over.
Hair by Hair Trim (eyeing method): Take sections of clean, dry hair and while looking in the mirror, clip each section to your desired likeness.
I believe one unique difference about trimming natural hair is that it is best not to trim while wet. We have to remember that natural hair is prone to shrinkage. Also, each of our heads may have several different textures that shrink at a variety of different rates. If your hair is cut or trimmed while wet, you may be in for a rude awakening once your hair fully dries!
Finally, what can we do to retain length and to overall trim less? (1) Wear protective styles such as twists, coils, buns and/or cornrows. You can even try extension styles that are not done too tight; (2) Avoid heat – plain and simple, excessive heat can cause damage; and (3) Protect your ends with good oils such as olive, coconut, jojoba and/or shea butter – remember those are the hairs that you’ve had the longest.
Happy Trimming . . . Or Not.
Monique Bland, natural hair stylist
Keep It Natural Hair by Monique