Many hair care professionals recommend that your hair be trimmed every 3-4 months. For some of us though, this time frame may be too frequent, or not frequent enough. There are varying factors that can affect how often one should get their hair trimmed, and it may not be the same each time depending on any underlying hair damage. Nonetheless, there are signs we can look for in our strands that show its time for a trim.
Whether we like it or not, here’s why we need hair trims:
Although many of us want to preserve our length, hair trims are necessary. In fact, we need trims to keep our strands healthy and strong. The ends of the hair shaft can begin to split for different reasons. Split ends can be caused by anything ranging from previous hair damage to over manipulation. Untreated split ends or going too long without a trim can cause further splitting up the hair shaft. This can result in breakage, and often times visibly dry, brittle ends.
Here are 5 signs its time for a trim in natural hair:
1) INCREASE IN TANGLES – MULTIPLE SINGLE-STRAND / FAIRY KNOTS
If you notice that your detangling process is becoming increasingly more difficult and / or time-consuming, this can be one of the signs its time for a trim in natural hair. More specifically, if you are getting multiple single-strand knots throughout your hair, it is time for a bit of a trim. To note, these kinds of knots are normal to get with the different types of curls, coils, and kinks of our natural hair. The spiral, oval-shaped strands and density of afro-textured hair tends to cause them to intertwine with each other recurrently.
While it is expected to get single-strands knots, repeated over manipulation can cause them to worsen. This ends up leading to breakage or hair that really does need to be cut due to the fact that these fairy knots can not be unraveled. One way you can limit tangles is by keeping the hair strands smooth with a heavy sealing oil. Keeping your hair in stretched styles can also lessen tangles.
2) YOUR ENDS FEEL ROUGH TO THE TOUCH
Another one of the more obvious signs its time for a trim in natural hair, is if your strands feel rough and brittle. While our natural hair is naturally prone to dryness, excessively dry hair can lead to rough and brittle ends. The natural oils our hair produces at the root have a more difficult time traveling down to the ends of curly, coily, and kinky strands. A good trim can help to make your hair appear and feel healthier. However, consistent moisture will alleviate dry ends. But, dry hair isn’t the only cause of brittle ends that may need to be trimmed.
The friction from the ends of the hair rubbing against our clothing can lead to rough ends and breakage, causing reduced length retention. Try to keep your hair off your shoulders when possible to keep your ends healthy and lessen the number of times you need a trim.
3) LESS DEFINITION THAN USUAL
Have you noticed less curl definition than usual, particularly towards the ends of your hair, or frizzy ends with your styles? It may be time for a trim. Hair strands that have been deprived of moisture can result in the appearance of frizzy ends which is an easy fix. However, a consistent turnout of hairstyles with less definition than usual at the ends can mean that your strands are lacking anywhere from moisture to protein.
Our hair strands are made of protein and require it from our diet but protein treatments can also help. A weakened hair shaft can prevent your full curl formation from coming through. This can be from damage, over manipulation, or not enough protein consumption. You can strengthen your hair with the help of a protein treatment. However, if it is permanent damage it will need to be trimmed off.
4) SEE-THROUGH ENDS
Place a sheet of paper behind the lower half and ends of your hair. If you can clearly see through the density of your hair, it may be time for a trim. Hair that that is see-through at the ends may have some sort of underlying damage caused by heat damage, chemicals, etc. Using heat tools or chemicals repeatedly has been found to cause thinning hair. If this is case, these dead ends will have to be trimmed off to restore your hair back to health.
5) HAIR THICKNESS EXCESSIVELY TAPERS OFF TOWARDS BOTTOM
This reason of signs that its time for a trim in natural hair is similar to what causes see-through ends. You can notice thinning tapered ends more clearly when your hair is in twists or braids. It is also caused by possible previous permanent hair damage. Harsh combing when detangling may additionally cause breakage at the ends, leading to the gradual appearance of thinner ends. To add, split ends that have traveled up the hair shaft can cause thin tapered ends. Since split ends cannot be mended and must be cut off, this is a sign that your hair needs a trim.
Hair that needs a trim can also be a reason why your hair does not appear to be growing. Here are some other reasons why your natural hair “isn’t growing” and how to fix it: