How to Trim Your Own Natural Hair

Experiencing tangles, breakage, and hair that doesn’t look its best? It might be time for a trim. Trimming is essential to healthy natural hair and length retention. Here’s why:

  • Split ends naturally start developing a couple months after every trim. When you don’t trim split ends, they continue to split all the way up the hair shaft. This results in the loss of the entire strand, rather than just the end.
  • Split ends and single strand knots catch and snag more easily on each other, increasing tangles.
  • Tangles are enough of a problem on their own, but they also increase breakage, especially if you don’t detangle gently.
  • Split ends also make your hair (particularly your ends) look scraggly, frizzy, and unhealthy.

unhealthy natural hair

Most stylists recommend that you trim your hair once every 3-4 months, depending on the health of your hair. If you treat your hair exceedingly well you might not accumulate split ends for 6-8 months. But most of us don’t trim our hair as often as we should, for two reasons.

1. Trimming your hair feels like losing length. Trims do remove a small amount of your length, but let’s do the math. In optimal conditions your hair growth about half an inch a month, so in 4 months your hair can grow about 2 inches. If you keep your hair healthy, a trim will remove less than ¼ to ½ an inch, leaving with you with most of your growth.

But if you don’t stay on top of trims and split ends, they will spread up the hair shaft and you’ll need to take off more length when you finally do trim your hair. Additionally, your split ends will lead to breakage in the meantime, reducing your length even more. For example, if you double the time between trims to 8 months, your hair will grow 4 inches- but you could lose 2 inches or more to breakage and split ends, as opposed to two small trims of ¼ inch each in those 8 months. So you retain more length when you trim your hair regularly.

2. We’re lazy. It's just the truth. Setting up 4 haircuts a year takes time and money. That’s why NaturAll Club is bringing you tips on how to do it yourself!

how to cut your own natural hair

Trimming your hair can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but there are so many benefits. It takes less time. You don’t have to leave your house. You are completely in control of how much length you take off (we’ve all had a hair stylist take off way more than we asked for!) And once you have the right tools, it’s free!

How to trim your own hair

  • Only cut your hair with professional hair shears. Really sharp scissors like these are non-negotiable; in fact, if you aren’t willing to get a pair, you’re better off not trimming your hair at all. Any other scissors will leave a jagged end that is far more prone to splitting in the future. And once you have hair shears, don’t use them for anything besides your hair. Otherwise they will grow dull.
  • Cut dry. Some people cut hair wet because wet hair is more stretched, so it is easier to see and make a clean cut. However, your hair is also weakest when it is wet, so trimming wet can lead to more breakage and damage.
  • Cut carefully. We have provided a range of common methods below for cutting natural hair and some are easier than others, but any of them can go wrong if you rush or don’t focus. Give yourself plenty of time, especially the first time you do it.

how to trim your own natural hair

Trimming methods

  • Two-strand twists: When you twist your hair, notice the frizzy, dry, coarse ends at the very bottom of your twists? You can go twist by twist and snip those off, leaving soft, clean ends. This is a great method for those with shorter hair. The smaller you make your twists, the more accurate your cut will be!
  • Curl by curl: As opposed to twisting your hair, let your hair fall in clumped curls. Then go curl by curl, trimming off the scraggly ends. This method is recommend for those with looser curls (type 3A - 3C.)
  • “Search and destroy”: You can also leave your hair down and carefully look through your ends for split ends and single strand knots, snipping them off when you find them. Warning: this method is time consuming, and will leave you with hairs of slightly different lengths since you won’t cut every hair.
  • Blowout: To provide the most visibility for a clean, even cut, use medium heat to stretch your hair before you trim. This method is time consuming as well because it involves doing a full blowout, and you’ll need to be careful to not damage your hair with heat.

Give one of these methods a try and skip the hair salon! And now that your ends are healthy again, use NaturAll Club’s Avocado Deep Conditioners to reduce split ends from now on!

healthy natural hair

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  • Chioma

    This seems really great. I don’t know if I should go for it because all my life I haven’t trimmed my hair once. And I am starting to think that is the reason why I am having growth problems. These are amazing tips and I am definitely going to try the two strand twist method. Thank you.

  • Dione Parker

    My 4c hair have been shedding quite a bit and stringy ends. I twisted my hair and trimmed about 1/2 to an inch in June. I also noticed the following month that some areas If my hair had stringy ends so I dusted ends off. I really take care of my care and should see more length and do not know why. What is your method to receive length. Help and thank you

  • Itohan

    I love this post

  • Nikki

    I wonder how some of us have no split ends after 6 or 8 months, then? This has been confirmed by my hair stylist.

  • Fitchick2016

    Thank you so much for this post. I have tried every method listed. I find that the two strand and blow out methods work best for me. I trim my 4b/4c hair every 4 months.

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