Cutting and Trimming

hair-shears.JPGThe case for using a pair
of good quality hair scissors

Recently, I saw an online post where someone was asking for advice on doing their big chop, but didn’t have money to go to a barber or beautician to get it done. Posted advice included telling the young lady to cut her hair with just any kind of scissors. I had to weigh in on that with a resounding noooooooooooo! You don’t go cutting or trimming your hair with a regular pair of scissors. In her case, I don’t think I got to her soon enough because she later posted that she had used a pair of finger nail scissors. Now that’s just asking for trouble. Even with the highest quality pair of shears, which are designed to leave a good clean edge, cutting the hair traumatizes the shaft…so just imagine what any ole pair of scissors will do to your hair. Well actually, no need to imagine. Simply take a look at the picture below:


Even if you think your regular scissors is sharp enough, they’re likely not, and you’ll run the risk of leaving your hair even more prone to tearing and splitting. In fact, if you do your big chop with poor quality scissors, you may be contributing to a condition known as scab hair — rough, dry hair that’s hard to keep moisturized. Scab hair can be very frustrating and discouraging for new nappies who experience it so if you can do anything to not contribute to this condition, your hair will be better off for it.

So do yourself a favor and invest in a good pair of hair shears. You don’t have to break the bank to do it. You can buy a pair at places like Sally Beauty Supply, Wal-Mart or Walgreens for under $10. In the end…yes the pitful pun was intended, isn’t your hair worth it?

6 Responses to “Cutting and Trimming”
  1. hawbakr says:

    Hi NappyMe, this post has me curious about how often you trim, how much you usually trim off, and what your method of trimming is.

  2. nappyme says:

    Hi Hawbakr,
    I have no set schedule for trimming my hair and will do so when it seems to really need it. Since my hair is in protective hair styles like 99% of the time, I don’t feel the need to trim very often. So far that as averaged out to be maybe six months apart.

    I usually have my hair in micro twists, and then I just snip off the ends. If you’re wearing your hair nappy, you don’t have to worry about even hair. Precision cutting isn’t necessary because shrinkage is very forgiving.

    Thank goodness

  3. Adela says:

    Hi Nappyme
    I did the big chop in October 2006. My hair has gotten so rough at the ends and it is difficult to moisturise because I believe I used the wrong scissors. Can you advise what I should do at this point to correct this rough state.

  4. nappyme says:

    Hi Adela,
    Welcome to NPP101!

    Sounds like you need to do another trim…this time with the proper scissors.

    Good luck!

  5. Kimmie says:

    Can you offer me some baby hair care advice? I am an adoptive mom of a beautiful Ethiopian baby girl.

    I don’t have a clue about how to take care of African hair, I bought two books, Plaited Glory and No Lye, to educate myself. But could you give me some advice on how to care for a baby’s hair.

    I bought the “pink lotion” that was recommended by some of my friends at church, but honestly it feels chemically to me. Would straight Shea butter be better as a moisturizer for her?

    I so appreciate your help. God bless you …your blog is such a blessing!

    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

    • nappyme says:

      Hi Kimmie,
      Congrats on the new addition to your family. That’s simply wonderful. And I can well imagine that you may feel challenged trying to take care of your new baby’s hair. Yes indeed textured hair can certainly present some challenges. And I’ll tell you that just becuase I’m African American, doesn’t mean that I still wouldn’t experience some challenges in trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. My niece hair didn’t respond to much of anything that my sister tried when her daughter was a small baby and she searched high and low for something anything that would keep her baby’s hair (and even as she grew older) moisturized, soft and supple. So that’s what you’re going to have to do too.

      However, I’m not going to leave you in the cold like that. Cause I have a wonderful resource for you. It’s called the Ethopian Adoption blog. Mary Owlhaven has a wonderful blog and goes into great detail about how she learned to take care of her daughter’s hair. She has learned all about products, accessories and she’s a master at styling hair. Oh…did I mention that she’s white? Shoot, if I didn’t know that and I only saw those children and their hair, I’d think their mom was black.

      Here’s the link. . I pop over there sometime just to catch up on what’s going on with her and the kids. I think if you network with her and others who have adopted children from ethiopia you’ll be well on you way to learning how to care for your new baby’s hair.

      God bless and good luck!

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