Why Do we Trim and Cut Hair Anyway?
Our hair just naturally takes abuse— from styling to the effects of sun, wind and winter --we lose pieces of the hair cuticle all of the time leaving the layer underneath (cortex) exposed. The older - meaning longer your hair is the more abused and damaged it is. By the time you actually notice this damage you are probably saying to yourself “uhh! I need a trim!” Since hair naturally grows into a tail shape our strands are thinner on the ends. This means that the ends are weaker and more prone to breakage, damage and dryness. And truthfully these thinner ends tend to break away on their own in time and take with it healthy hair that you would have kept if you decided to trim it. By trimming or cutting it before it gets to that point you are controlling how your hair looks and how healthy it is. Trimming your hair also helps prevent single-strand knots.
The Difference between Trims and Cuts
At Urbanbella we define a trim as a service that just results in dusting off any dead ends of your hair. This may range from taking off 1 inch or less of hair. For a tapered cut it is usually more focused on cleaning up the sides and nape of your hair cut and dusting 1/2 inch or less off the top of your hair. With a trim you are not changing your look. If your hair was uneven before a trim then it will still be uneven after.
Haircuts are focused on the following four specific things:
- changing your look or style of your hair.
- fixing a bad haircut.
- reshaping your hair for areas that have grown out of shape over time.
- Cuts are necessary when there has been a lot of damage to the hair or if it has been too long since your last cut or trim.
A Big Chop is an entirely different animal which we dive into that more here in this Blog Post.
Keeping a Schedule for Your Cuts and Trims Makes it Easier and PrettierWe typically recommend keeping your cuts and trims up on a schedule. This is one of the easiest ways to manage your natural hair...and to be honest with you...this is how the pros do it. By pros I mean natural hair professionals, women in professional careers/conservative work environments and women who have been natural for a long time. These ladies know how to manage their hair so it looks good EVERY DAY! So if you are in any of those categories or want to be in them go ahead and commit to a cutting/trim schedule and keep it. This guideline below should help you out if you are trying to pick one for you.
- Medium/Long Hair Trim - Every 4 Months - When the season changes
- Medium/Long Haircuts - 1 Time a Year
- Short Hair Trim - Every 6-8 Weeks
- Short Hair Cuts - 2-3 Times a Year or Every 4 Months - These grow out very quickly
Ask yourself this series of questions to also help you determine if it's time for trim or cut
- Are you getting Fairy Knots? If so, it's time for a hair trim.
- Can you quickly style your hair? Meaning, does it just fall into place like you like it? If not, it's time for a haircut.
- Do you wear your hair tied back in a puff most of the time? A Haircut can fixt that.
- When you detangle with the Urbanbella Conditioner is it nice and easy to comb through? No? It's time for a trim or a cut.
- If you style your hair (particularly with twists or rods or coils) do your ends look thin and see through? If so it's time for a trim.
- After you style your hair and it dries, do you have straight ends or sections? Yes? Consider getting them cut. Your life will be easier.
Should I have My Hair Cut While it's Curly or Straight?
We will always encourage you to work with salons and stylists that specialize in working with curly and natural hair. We prefer cuts and trims that work with your hair in its natural state. At Urbanbella we cut your hair wet with Urbanbella Conditioner applied. This allows us to see how your curls perform while you style it. If you're going to wear it curly and coily it should be cut and trimmed that way. Even if you are going to wear it straight from time to time, cutting it while it is textured will not prevent a blow-dry or silk press from looking great.
With that being said...you can get a great haircut while your hair is blown out and looks great curly. I have had many cuts like this over the years and they looked wonderful. It's best to look at the stylist results, decide you trust them and their results and let them do their thing their way. Stylists are artists and they see hair in ways that you and I cannot. Build a trusting relationship with your stylist by looking at the results they have produced for people that wear their hair the way you want to.
- What to expect with a trim or cut
- You may notice after a trim or cut that your hair coils up a lot on Day 1 but this goes away. Once the dead and dry ends are clipped off hair seems to draw in a little bit but this usually stretches out in a few days.
- You can learn a lot about how your hair grows by chatting with your stylist during your cut or trim. Ask them if your hair grows more in the front or back. It's easiest to get these answers where there is an established relationship and they have been managing your hair for a while (at least 2 or 3 cuts or trims)
How Do I maximum growth and length?
Taking good care of your hair is the key to retaining length. Start with these best practices for best results.
Cleansing and conditioning your hair weekly has many benefits but the one I want to highlight here is that it keeps your hair well hydrated and adds additional moisture. By keeping your hair hydrated you reduce the amount of hair that needs to be trimmed. Let's take a look at how Urbanbella products help with this. Our No.4 Hydrating Conditioner contains coconut oil. Coconut Oil is known for helping your hair retain it's protein levels which means your hair retains moisture and looks beautiful. It also means that your hair holds on to it’s natural protective barrier--so less damage. If you are a fan of the Urbanbella Coconut Cream Repair Mask you are getting a double dose of Coconut Oil and Protein to help protect your hair and especially your ends. Now of course we can't all use coconut oil so the Urbanbella Neat Nourishing Conditioner is a special blend that contains Amino Acids. This ingredient is a powerhouse for natural hair and I love it! It helps us retain hydration in our hair and it gives it a nice shine. But most important to you is that it adds a protective barrier to your hair on the cuticle helping to fill in damaged areas. It also goes below the cuticle to the cortex (made of protein) and increases the elasticity of your hair. All of this helps reduce the need for trims and it makes your hair less fragile. So frequency is key with anything in order to see and experience great results. This is why I recommend weekly washing and deep conditioning with the Urbanbella System for Natural Hair Care.
Let’s continue adding more benefits of weekly washing and conditioning and you get detangling. This also reduces the number of single-strand knots in your hair. One of causes of single-strand knots or Fairy Knots is shedded hair wrapping itself around your hair strands. With regular washing and detangling you are removing that shedding hair before it wraps around another strand and therefore reducing how often and how much you have to trim and cut your hair.
Implement the Urbanbella Wash-N-Go technique for your styling routine. Over the years I have learned a lot about how different styles affect the hair and twisting the hair has shown to be rough on the ends. The Wash-N-Go technique involves smoothing the hair and encourages a healthy hair shaft and cuticle.
If you are transitioning or trying a different style through the cold months then a Rod or Roller Set is also easy on the ends of your hair.
I hope this guide is helpful to you. As always feel free to ask any questions by commenting below. I also would love to continue this conversation with you in our Private Group on Facebook. You will find me there along with many other members of the Urbanbella Tribe. Click Here to Join us!