Some say “yes, of course, you can trim your hair at home” whilst others say “no, you definitely need a pro stylist to trim your hair” who’s right and who’s wrong? 🤷Let’s look at the facts:
There are many anecdotes about how and when to trim and cut natural curly hair:
- You must trim your hair regularly
- You should trim every 3 – 4 months
- Trim hair when it’s wet
- Cut hair dry
- Hair has to be straight for a proper cut
- A trim is at least an inch
In addition, there are many philosophies about the right way or wrong way to cut hair, and if it’s curly there’s a completely different set of rules.
What’s a curly girl to do, when they want a cut or trim?
What Are The Typical Hair Issues
What’s the condition of curls? Do you have a hair issue that needs fixing?
- Is your hair breaking?
- Does your hair feel hard and coarse?
- Do you have split ends?
- Is your hair difficult to style and unable to hold a style?
- Are the ends of your hair frizzy?
- Are you transitioning?
- Does your hair tangle easily?
If any of the above apply, you may have an issue that can be resolved by a trim, cut, big chop or just getting a fresh new look.
But why do some curly girls have a fear of a hairstylist with a pair of shears in hand? The truth is because of their experiences with scissor happy stylists. Or because of the nightmare, they heard from a friend who had 4 inches of hair cut when they asked the stylist for a trim.
Hair Length And A Trim
The length of your hair can be a general indicator of the age of your hair.
Hair grows ½ inch a month if you start with a TWA (teeny weeny afro) a year of growth would be 6 inches, 15 inches of hair would be 2.5 years of growth (a general observation) accounting for split ends, trims and any breakage.
Therefore if you cut 1½ inches of hair, it’ll be the equivalent of 3 months of growth a four-inch cut would be 8 months.
What goes wrong in the hairstylist chair when you want a ½ inch trim and you end up with 3 inches of hair on the salon floor? The stylist may be attempting to get a perfect cut, symmetry, or remove broken and uneven hair and keeps cutting until this is achieved.
If your hair is in good shape it’s important that you trim no more than ½ inch if hair growth and length are the goal. Hair should be cut or trimmed when needed, albeit there are timeframes the main indicator should be hair health.
Methods of Cutting Curly Hair
- Wet Cut
- Dry Cut
- Rezo Cut
- Straightening Hair Before A Cut
- Trimming Hair At Home
- Seek & Destroy
Wet Curly Cut – Ouidad Cut
The Ouidad Carve and Slice technique is done on curly wet hair. “The advantage of cutting on damp hair instead of dry curls is that it allows the stylist to better understand the natural curl pattern and, in turn, give a more effective cut. Most curl types should be cut on an angle.
Because the hair is more stretched it’s easier to make a clean cut, to have control of the hair, and see the different textures of the hair and how they’ll fall.”
Dry Curly Cut – DevaCut
Created by Lorraine Massey of Devachan salon the theory being that each curl is cut at an angle to ensure the curl pattern is not disturbed and to see how it‘ll fall. The cut is on dry hair, the idea behind the dry cut is that hair is worn dry not wet. Hair is cut in its most natural state to see the true curl pattern.
The entire Devachan process is 60 to 75 minutes in duration and includes the cut coaching, transformation service and drying time.
The Rezo Cut
The Rezo cut created by master stylist and curl expert Nubia Suarez, is a cutting technique designed to enhance the volume, shine and texture of curls. The goal is to maintain both length and texture. The cut allows for movement of curls and maintains the same and even length of hair all around the head.
Straightening Hair Before A Cut
Some stylists will only cut hair when it’s blow-dried and flat ironed straight to ensure that all split ends and damaged hair can be seen. However when curly hair is straightened and cut it’s difficult to determine the amount and length of actual curls.
Another consideration is identifying different hair textures when hair is straightened. It’s key to remember that tighter curls upon reversion will be shorter than looser curls.
The method used to straighten curly hair may also be a cause for concern for curly girls. Blow-drying and flat ironing curly hair at high heat for a cut could lead to potential heat damage.
But if you alternate your daily styling between curly and straight hair straightening hair for a cut may be a good option.
Trimming or dusting shouldn’t be avoided if an increase in length is the goal. It may seem counterintuitive to cut hair if you want it to grow. But trimming supports healthily hair growth and a regular dusting of ends that are split and have knots will make curls healthier.
Regular dusting or trimming less than 1/20th of a centimetre will eliminate split hairs that are microscopic. It’ll eliminate split ends before they travel up the hair shaft and become a bigger issue and you’ll have no choice but to cut inches of broken and damaged hair.
Trimming Hair At Home
Question – Do you always have to go to a salon for a trim?
Answer – No, determine the health of your hair and your hair goals. If your hair is in good shape, it’s moisturized, you have no breakage and you’re happy with your shape, there’s no need for a salon visit.
One method for a light trim of ¼ of an inch or less with good shears at home is to use twists and snip the ends.
If you are in between salon visits and choose to trim or dust your ends, a good pair of quality cutting shears are necessary, never use household scissors. Trim ends in small sections, so you’ll see light and frayed ends. When a section is trimmed clip it up and move on to the next section.
Split Ends/Single Strand Knots – Seek and Destroy
Single strand knots can become a real issue when you’re a kinky or coily girl because a head full of tiny knots is difficult to style, it feels rough and it appears dull. Eliminating split ends can be achieved by dusting, trimming or by the seek and destroy method. READ: 10 Steps To Avoid Single Strand Knots.
It’s inevitable if you have tight curls and kinks that you’ll end up with single strand knots. Seek and destroy is an efficient way to get rid of them instead of waiting for a scheduled trim.
Consistent moisturization is an antidote to dry hair and split ends, it reduces the need to trim or dust hair because it’s healthy and thriving.
Professional Stylist Cut
There may not be a right or wrong way to cut hair. It’s all about personal preference and what’s best for your curly hair. This post provides the information you need to make an educated decision. You may decide you want a bob, a pixie cut, Devacut or Rezo cut and so you’ll need a professional to do the job.
It’s key that you ask the right questions of your stylist so you’ll receive the exact cut you want.
- How many years experience?
- How many years working with curly hair
- View before and after samples of there work do they have examples of the cut you want?
- How much hair will be cut for desired results?
- Will it be a wet cut or dry cut?
- Will they have to blow dry and flat iron hair?
- Will the temperature of heat applied affect your curls? READ: Just Say No To Heat Damage – What You Need To Know Before Applying Heat
Ensure you’re happy with all the answers and they fully meet your expectations. Go to the appointment with how you normally wear your curls., so that you don’t leave the salon with regrets.
As with most things, there is no right or wrong answer that applies to everyone, you determine what works best for you, your lifestyle, your skills, your stylist and the needs of your curly hair.
Do you know someone considering a salon visit or they want a new look, email them this article!!