Many of us have been scarred at some point or another by a scissor-happy hairstylist whose trim turned out to be a cut. As a result, we shy away from maintaining a regular trimming schedule, as recommended by most haircare experts, including when it comes to our little ones. However, failing to keep up with a trimming schedule does more harm than good — especially when it comes to length retention.
“Holding on to damaged or split ends is like holding on to a pair of pantyhose with a run in it. If you do not use something to stop the run in will continue to split,” Just for Me Hairstylist, Adrienne Leak told MadameNoire. “Cutting off the damage will prevent the split in the hair from continuing to tear up the hair shaft which ultimately causes more breakage and damage.”
While there is no set age for when children should begin having their natural hair trimmed, Leak recommends waiting until they are able to sit still for a decent period of time.
“I first trimmed my daughter’s hair at 2 years old, but there is not a definitive age for a toddler’s first trim,” explained Leak. “If they can sit still and are cooperative, then 2 is a good age to start as their hair is beginning to grow in longer and fuller. If they are a bit more rambunctious consider waiting until age 5 when they have matured a bit and can sit still for longer periods of time.”
As for how regularly you should trim your child’s hair, the stylist had this to say:
“Hair, in general, starting at age five should be trimmed every 6-8 weeks,” she said. “Under age five, I recommend every three to six months.”
While Leak recommends parents leave the trimming to the professionals, the times in which we currently live means that many parents will be caring for their kids’ hair at home.
“Of course, as a professional, I’d recommend going to the salon for a trim, but social distancing makes a good case for a homemade trim,” said Leak.
So how does one go about trimming their child’s hair at home? The stylist had this to say:
“First, determine the cutting tool needed. Use cutting shears on hair 3 inches or longer,” she advised. “Use clippers with a 1-1 1/2 inch guard and trimmers on hair 3 inches or shorter.”
Once you’ve selected your cutting tools, it’s time to select your other supplies.
“Prepare the environment,” said Leak. “Gather the tools, products, and toys, you’ll need before starting. Always start with clean hair. Shampoo and condition the hair with Just for Me Curl Peace Ultimate Detangling Shampoo and Conditioner. Follow with Just for Me Curl Peace 5-in-1 Wonder Spray for leave-in conditioning.”
Once the hair has been properly cleaned and conditioned, Leak recommends parting “the hair into four different sections and band each section, detangling each section thoroughly and create a two-strand twist from scalp to ends, and finally, using the tip of the shears to lightly nip split ends until the desired amount of hair is removed.”
Refer to this chart to spot split ends on your own head or your little one’s.