Whether you're natural, relaxed, or somewhere in between, trimming your hair is shockingly important. Although it seems counterintuitive a quick snip ensures health and length retention in the long run. Not only does it leave your ends even and poppin', but it also prevents damage like split ends and knots from wreaking havoc on the rest of your hair. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure that out. Contrary to her warnings, I can only remember allowing my Mom to trim my hair twice during my childhood. Twice! Ever since I was ten years old I assumed my hair was incapable of growing past my shoulders and that people with waist-length hair were all wearing weaves. It wasn't until I moved to Toronto that I was forced to take full responsibility for my own hair - and then I discovered how naïve I had been.
Fast forward a couple of years and I'm doing everything right. I've got a standing date with my weekly hot oil treatments, I use a sulphate-free shampoo and co-wash on occasion, and even trimming has become a part of my life again. It can be a bit complicated to trim 4C hair especially when it's short, so when I came across a handful of naturalistas on YouTube demonstrating their techniques I felt emboldened. Many of them described a simple method of sectioning the hair into squares, making two-strand twists, and then clipping off the ends where the twists start to thin out. This approach is very popular because it makes trimming the back of your head easy.
I experimented with the twist-trimming trick a few times, feeling so proud of myself each time for overcoming my aversion to losing length. However, it recently dawned on me that I've been guilty of one fatal mistake: I never examine my ends post-trim! I figured that since I had gotten rid of the thinning parts, the remaining hair was healthy and strong. Not so. The damage my hair had endured over fifteen years sans trimming had spread further toward my roots than what I was cutting off. For this reason, whenever I trimmed my hair I was only touching the tip of the iceberg. Further up each strand there were more knots and mid-strand splits just waiting to break my hair.
So today I awoke with the conviction that I was going to chop it all off. All the damage, that is. (Can't go too short - I'm hoping to try Marley twists next week!) Using this layering technique by the lovely Osa Osula I went section by section diligently shearing off two inches of hair. I was liberal and I was aggressive. I'm just sick of my hair not growing!!! Resisting cuts and trims has cost me years of length and, more importantly, years of health. Do I regret being so stubborn? I can't say yes, because if I had the shiny, thick tailbone-length hair that I'm supposed to have today I never would have thought to create this blog. ;)
Does trimming your hair bring you anxiety or are you excitedly looking forward to your next big chop? Share with me in a comment below!