How Do You Know When You Need A Trim?
Three months ago, I bit the bullet, straightened my hair to see just how bad my ends were. Prior to entering NP’s box braid challenge in November, I’d had a sneaky suspicion that they were pretty bad because the ends of my twists just felt thin and anorexic. Dispite the evidence, I was hoping the challenge and lack of manipulation for a long period of time would be just what the doctor ordered. But as I braided it up and later when I retouched my braids on different occasions, I could tell I had several inches of thin, damaged hair.
It was very clear they needed to come off. So in late February, I pressed my hair and to my horror my ends just looked incredibly chewed up. Heart sick, I decided to go ahead and get a precision cut to get rid of my scraggly ends and also to eleminate my remaining layers.
While I thought the cut went well, I was always concerned with whether or not all the damaged ends had come off. My beautician originally wanted to cut off more, but I suspect she didn’t just so she could salvage some length and make me feel better.
But as I look at the pic of that final cut, the ends still appear to be see-through and very thin to me. And based on what I saw in the picture, I’ve also felt that I’d have to do another substantial cut fairly soon.
Today, I’ve pretty much come to terms with that reality. As I touched up my hair in the style I’m currently wearing, I can tell that more hair needs to come off. Most likely the one-and-a-half inches that I’ve managed to retain since the last cut. And here’s the proof right here.
At the moment, I’m not in any particular hurry because my ends have been pretty well protected all these months, first in another set of box braids and now in a bun fashioned from flat twists. I’m hoping and praying my ends don’t get worse until I can get around to getting another hair cut.
Determining When You Need a Trim or a Cut
So how can you tell when YOU need a cut or at least a good trim? See the list below:
1) See through wispy ends
2) Ends tangle and knot easily
3) An over abundance of split ends
4) Twists or braids feel thinner and less substantial as you get to the ends
5) Single-strand knots are in abundance making your ends feel like fine-grade sand paper
Now, if you can check off any or all of these items in the above list, then you seriously need to consider a trim or even a really good cut. However, if you’re like most naturals, you’re likely not fond of going to salons. If that’s the case and you don’t need a precision cut, then get a good pair of shears, twist your hair up and snip off those ends. Don’t worry about a little uneveness because with shrinkage, you’re not likely to notice. Fortunately, nappy hair is very forgiving in that regard.
Self Trim/Cut vs the Salon
But if you’re requiring a precision cut, then you’re going to have to find a good beautician. Most that I’ve encountered cannot cut highly textured hair in its natural state or even when it’s been stretched in braids. I’ve tried it both ways and have had some horrible hair cuts. That’s also why I opted to press my hair before going to the beautician this last time. As you can see it turned out fine. However, I will caution you about using heat because it can be damaging if you don’t know what you’re doing. Make sure you use a heat protectorant and the minimal heat possible.
If you decide to go to a salon, go in for a consultation prior to allowing a beautician near your hair with a flat iron or pressing comb because even a professional can make a mistake. Not only will the beautican have an opportunity to assess your hair, this is also your time to ask questions and learn what you need to know with regard to their thoughts and techniques about handling natural hair. Also take the time to check out the salon and how they treat their patrons. If they’re not talking to suit you, or something doesn’t sit right with you, do not return. If everything seems right, then schedule and appointment. But in the end, it’s your decision so make sure you’ve done your home work and choose a beautician wisely if you decide to go this route.