Note: This method also works for transitioners.
If you’ve never trimmed your own natural hair, the thought of doing it on your own can be downright scary.
And if you are too nervous, I’d recommend going to a stylist. Shaky hands and hair cutting don’t go well together. 🙂
But I’m telling you… it’s not hard at all.
Put Your Hair in Small to Medium Sized Twists
Note: Make sure your hair is detangled before you twist your hair.
The more twists you have the better because you can be more accurate.
First trim hair off your first twist. How much you trim will depend on the health of your ends.
If this is a routine trim, just take a smidgen (less than a quarter of an inch). If you have damage, trim past the damage. If you don’t trim enough, the damage will just travel up your hair shaft. You’ll end up having to cut even more hair months later.
Cut your losses now!
Next, take another twist near the one you just trimmed. Hold it right next to the recently trimmed twist and pull them taught, holding their ends between your index and middle finger. Now trim the same amount off that twist so they are both the same length.
Continue until you have completed your trim.
Easy breezy! That’s it!
Now, this only works if you want all your hair to hang at the same length. Obviously if your hair is in layers, this method can get tricky. I’d recommend using a stylist to keep your style intact.
Always Use Hair Cutting Scissors
It may be tempting to grab those scissors you keep in that junk drawer in the kitchen. 😉
Just say no! Paper cutting scissors are not made for trimming your hair, and they can actually cause split ends.
Only trim your natural hair with hair cutting scissors. You can buy them at Sally’s Beauty Supply and most local beauty supply stores. They will run you more than paper cutting scissors, but they are worth it and will last a long time.
How Often Should You Trim Natural Hair?
There is no right answer. If you wear your hair in lots of protective styles (your ends are pinned up or tucked away) then you won’t need to trim your hair as much. I know women who only trim their hair once a year.
However, if you wear a lot of wash and go’s and/or styles that create tangles/knots, then you may have to trim your hair more often. Generally if you wear your hair loose a lot, you have to trim more.
It never hurts to take a smidgen off your ends every couple of weeks to maximize the health of your ends. You’ll actually gain length faster because you are keeping your ends healthy and preventing breakage.
Remember, hair always grows. What prevents people from retaining length is breakage, and that often comes from not trimming enough.
Your hair grows 1/2 inch per month so if you snip off a smidgen regularly, you will still gain length. I know that seems counter intuitive, but trust me… my hair always seems to grow faster when I keep my ends trimmed.
That’s because I’m retaining more length and not having to trim off damage after neglecting my ends for so long. I learned a big lesson about trims and made a video about it after having to cut 5 inches off my hair.
How Do You Know When It’s Time for a Trim?
There are some pretty clear cut signals…
- Your hair gets harder to detangle
- You hear snagging when combing through your ends
- Your twists unravel easily when they used to stay sealed
- Your ends feel dry and knotty
- Your twists get really skinny near the end (lots of breakage)
Read more about the best nighttime routine to protect your ends and retain/gain length.