How to Trim Natural Hair

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by Mary Wolff

Beautiful hair takes work. As if the constant washing, conditioning, and styling isn’t enough, hair needs to be trimmed on the regular to keep it healthy. Hair with dead and damaged ends is hair that has stopped growing. A lot of curlies struggle with length and refuse to trim. You may think cutting hair will decrease length, but it is only temporary, and it will help length in the long run! When it comes to taking on a do it yourself approach, there are a few methods to consider on how to trim your natural hair to make it even easier.

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The most important part to remember when trimming natural hair is to remove the dead and unhealthy hair to make room for the healthy, beautiful hair to come. The frequency of trims depends on the health of your hair. When ends look dry and damaged while the rest of the strand looks fine, it is time to cut your losses. Don’t fear the scissors. They can be your hair’s new best friend! There are some pretty basic ways to trim your hair, depending on your level of time and commitment.

For those looking for a fast way to get this job done, it is easiest to simply cut off the bottom of each strand uniformly and call it a day. This is called full end trimming, and you do it in sections until all strands have been trimmed. It’s the easiest way to trim and perfect for a quick cut.

While full end trimming is often the easiest, there are other methods available for trimming your hair. If you have hair that is not all the same length, dusting may be a better approach for trimming dead ends. With dusting, you section off the hair like before, but this time, you twist hair and trim off the surface. You repeat this until all sections have had their turn with the scissors.


Another option for at-home trimming is taking on a Search and Destroy attitude. Simply seek out the hair that is damaged and trim only that hair, as opposed to cutting all your strands and possibly losing healthy hair in the process. Time-consuming? Yes. Saves on hair lost to scissors? Yes. This approach is great for the curlies who are a little scissor-shy.

No matter how you choose to take care of those damaged ends, the most important element is the removal of dead hair that may impede your growth goals. Women are told all the time that cutting hair makes it grow faster. While cutting hair won’t make it grow faster, unlike some urban legends claim, dead hair does get in the way of new hair growing. If you’re looking for healthy hair and added length, it may be time to get the scissors out and get to work!

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