To Trim Or Not To Trim? When Should You Cut Your Hair and How Often?

July 5, 2012  |  

It’s one of the biggest questions we have to answer in this life: how do I know if I should trim my hair? Okay, so I was being sarcastic, but it IS pretty important. Some people will tell you not to trim your hair at all if you want it grow. Some will say that you need to trim it every six weeks. Some say a couple times a year. Which one is it? Well, it pretty much boils down to the individual nature of your hair and your goals.

One of the most important things to note is that hair grows an average of one half inch every four weeks. Some people have hair that will grow faster, some slower, but the same rules are applicable whatever the case may be.

If your hair is chemically processed, your hair will probably need to be trimmed more frequently. Processes such as the traditional relaxer, Brazilian keratin treatment and texturizers can make hair brittle and dry, in turn causing split ends. In order to keep them from traveling further up your strands, they will need to be cut. Don’t fret though if you’re trying to grow your hair out; more than an inch cut is usually not necessary and if treated well afterward, another trim will not be needed for a good amount of time.

Natural hair tends to be able to go a bit longer between trims. Some women still feel most comfortable getting trims every six weeks while other natural ladies get their hair trimmed once per year. This may also depend on the porosity of your hair. If your strands have low porosity, it may need fewer trims, while highly porous hair will need them more frequently as this type of hair can be more susceptible to moisture loss and breakage.

Both chemically processed and natural tresses will need trims if constantly subjected to heat from blow-dryers and flat irons. In order to minimize damage, it’s always a good idea to apply a good heat protectant such as the Got2B Guardian Angel or Redken Smooth Lock Heat Glide when styling.

Most of all it’s about knowing what to look for. In order to avoid over or under trimming, it’s best to not follow an exact date marked on your calendar for every few weeks. Instead, if your ends feel rough, look ragged, are tougher to curl or are resistant to moisturizing products, it’s probably time to grab a pair of shears or head to your favorite stylist.

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  • Slim Goody

    Im going natural and am 15 months post relaxer. Throughtout me transitioning (LTT), I never got my ends cut, so when I got my hair flat ironed for professional pictures, I decided to get two inches cut off (I have 4 inches of new growth). I figured it was time to get it cut so I wouldn’t get split ends. When the lady styled my hair, I noticed that the front was significantly shorter than what I expected, but I don’t fret over it anymore because it will grow back (my hair is to the middle of my back). I still have at least another year or two until all the relaxer is out my hair. I won’t need another trim (or did she cut it??? lol) until next year sometime. So I’m good.

  • Veratta Pegram-Floyd

    I have chemically relaxed hair but outside of the chemicals I put very minimal heat on it and I wrap it up at night. I trim my hair every other relaxer (about every three months).

  • FromUR2UB

    I kind of hate when people are so afraid to sacrifice any length, that they’ll have about 2, 3 or 4″ of wispy hair on their ends. If they’d bite the bullet and trim past the point where the hair keeps breaking or shedding one time, it will grow stronger and fuller, faster.

    • Veratta Pegram-Floyd

      I completely agree. I was once afraid of trimming my hair and when I finally gave in, I found that my hair began growing more after I started trimming it on a regular basis.

  • Ladybug94

    Most folk don’t have issues with getting their hair trimmed. The problem happens when you ask for a trim and you get a cut.

  • Anon

    There’s no set time to trim your hair. If you’re taking care of your hair properly then you won’t have many split ends. So how often should you trim? You should trim as needed. I didn’t get a trim for nearly 2 years and only got an inch cut off…