Ask The Expert

Ask the expert: How often do I really need to get my hair trimmed?

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Whether your hair stylist calls it a  “trim,” “clip,” or  “clean up,” it is safe to say that’s code for “your hair is getting cut!” But, what if I told you the key to hair growth is in the trim? 

Yes, it may sound strange, and completely “anti” hair growth, but truth be told, regular trims are necessary to maintain healthy hair.  You can go from blog to blog and see different answers on how often one should trim their hair, but according to Milady Cosmetology Standard, a professional cosmetology book, one should trim their hair ends every eight to twelve weeks, which is about every two to three months.

We all know when it comes to hair, each person’s routine will be different.  But, there are several factors that ought to be considered before deciding on a regular trim schedule.

1. What condition is your hair in?

Hair that is healthy will be visibly healthy, right? Hair that is damaged will need to be trimmed more often. Little trims or full haircuts are the only fixes for damaged hair.  It is a myth that certain products can fully regenerate the hair strand after damage.  If you are experiencing shedding or hair breakage, see a professional hairstylist, as you will need to get your hair trimmed more often to begin to get rid of the damage.

2. Do you have healthy hair?

Healthy hair will always fulfill the three “S’s”— STRONG, SHINY, and SOFT.  Those who have healthy hair can begin a regular trim schedule of every eight to twelve weeks.

Hair is made up of protein and amino acids. A healthy cuticle or outer layer should be STRONG and able to withstand day to day practices like brushing or use of hot tools without damage.  If you fear that you do not have strong hair, then try using a protein treatment from your local beauty supply store.

Is your hair shining? The SHINY appearance of the strand is a reflection of the porosity or moisture in your hair. A highly glossy appearance is the result of regular deep treatments and moisturizing.

Healthy hair will always have smooth cuticles, creating a SOFT feel. This has nothing to do with your texture type! No matter if you identify as 3b or 4c, your strands should never feel hard.  Hard hair can be caused by lack of moisture or over processing. Often, hair that is hard to the touch, will act unruly and will not respond well to hair products.

3. What about trimming natural hair?

When you go on YouTube, you can find hundreds of girls cutting their hair curly.  There many techniques available online, but how do you know if your trimming accurately? A curly cut or trim will never be as accurate as a trim or cut that is performed on straight hair.  When the hair is curly, it isn’t fully elongated and can appear shorter at first glance.  However, when a professional hairstylist trims hair, they use proper tension to get the full length of each strand.

When transitioning from relaxed to natural, it is very important to regularly trim your hair.  The big chop is a technique that will get you back to your natural hair the fastest, but it certainly is not the only way to journey back. Many people choose to transition or cut off their relaxed ends little by little. These people will need to see a hairstylist at least every 4–6 weeks, to help ensure they do not lose their hair to day-to-day friction.

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