Why Black Women Fear Getting Hair Trims

Many of you have probably heard the term, 'Cut Happy', used to describe a hairstylist who does more cutting than necessary when all you asked for was a trim! I, myself, have been subjected to being viewed in this way. Believe me, I know the ties Black women have to their hair length. We have been  subjected to Westernized beauty standards for so long that many of us believe we are not complete without our hair being at least shoulder length.  I, too, was that little girl running around with a towel or t-shirt wrapped around my head, imagining it was my real hair. Miscommunication is often the reason for fallouts between hairstylists and their clients when it comes to TRIMS. To a good stylist, a trim is for one of two things: getting rid of any split ends that could cause major damage in the near future or keeping the ends cut to maintain the hairstyle you are currently wearing. 

Hair Language

Hair language is different for stylists and their clients. Despite many women’s negative experiences with getting trims, not all stylists are “cut happy.” I have actually met stylists who rarely do trims and don’t like to cut at all. Believe me, it shows in the health of their client’s hair. Paper-thin, see-through hair doesn’t make for a nice hairstyle. For a good stylist, a trim means one of two things: getting rid of any split ends that could cause major damage in the near future or keeping the ends cut to maintain the hairstyle you are currently wearing. When asking for a trim, the amount of hair that will be taken off should be discussed (unless you trust your stylists' judgment as to what your hair needs). In normal circumstances, a trim is taking off ½ inch-2 inches of hair. In an abnormal circumstance, taking 2-3 inches or more off of damaged curls or chemical damaged hair is necessary. However, for some clients, they think it should only be a pinch-½ inch taken off. SMH!  

Why do we need trims or cuts?

Our hair takes a beating when we use chemicals, products, and styling tools. While the use of these styling aids are helpful to us, once the harm has been done...those ends have to be removed! One of my longtime clients was talked into going to another stylist to get a silky, straight iron out on her Natural hair. Well, she ended up with major curl damage! Guess who had to fix it for her? It took us a whole year to get her hair back to its Natural curl pattern.

Consider this: Think of a split end as a thread unraveling on a garment. It will continue to unravel until it's clipped off. Hair, in the same way, will continue to split from the ends up to the scalp if left untrimmed. This results in shedding and thinning.

Want Healthy, Long hair? 

Don’t put off trims. Another misconception about trimming is that many women who want their hair to grow believe getting a trim hinders the growth. When you avoid trims YES, your hair has more length. However, it will not look healthy because the split ends will be traveling up the hair shaft. When that happens, you no longer need a trim but an actual haircut. The dread of seeing your length shortened is nothing compared to how much faster your hair will grow now that the damage gone! Practice getting trimmed about every 6-8 weeks if you wear your hair straight, and every 3 to 4 months if you wear your hair natural (depending on your hair care regimens). A trim cycle will grow your hair. Before you know it, you’ll become Pro-Trims!

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