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Curly Nikki

Trimming Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202119 Comments

Trimming Natural Hair

Charrise asks:

What is the most effective way to trim?

-Describe your hair (coily, curly, wavy, fine, coarse, etc.)

– Do you ‘Search and Destroy’, clip the ends of twists, or
straighten to trim, or go to a salon?

-How often do you trim? How do you know when the time has come?

CN’s Response:

– My hair is fine and wavy (mostly s curls with a few coils).

-I conduct Search and Destroys and on occasion, will clip the ends of my twists.

-It depends on the condition of my hair. If my curls are acting a donkey and tangling and snagging no matter what I do, I’ll snip the ends of the twists prior to rolling them for a Twist-n-Curl (I do this a few times a year). Usually it’s a micro trim (less than an inch), but sometimes I’ll chop off more (like last December).

I conduct Search and Destroys whenever I happen to grab a curl and can see more than a split end or two without straining. I do this while sitting in front of the TV, or standing in the bathroom mirror… even while on the internet. The lighting in all three situations is perfect! After snipping a few, I become anal and my sessions can last more than an hour. I cut just above the split and apply moisturizer as I go. After I finish a S&D, I’m usually on my way to re-style, because it leaves me with a frizzy, undefined mess.

So yeah, I trim when detangling becomes more difficult than usual, and when I too easily run across split ends.

Also, I buy my hair shears from Target, Sallys, Walgreens, or Ulta. I never spend more than fifteen dollars and ONLY use them for my hair. I threw my shears away in early January because my preggy hormones were making me reach for them more often than usual. I’ll probably buy another pair in August.


  • JennUpenn says:

    Oh and by the way, my hair is thick! It's probably 4b or 4c. I'm not 100% sure. Let's just say that it's thick 100% Nigerian hair :)

  • JennUpenn says:

    I just trimmed my hair last night. I did small/medium twists all over and I cut the ends where it began to tapper off. I absolutely love the result. My hair looks great all over. My main issue is that I CANNOT stop touching my hair. I just love to play with it. Anyway, before last night, I hadn't trimmed my hair since October! Yikes! I was well over due.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have 3c, it's very thick but each strand it selves are fine.
    I just do search & destroy sometimes, i can never estimate with my hair how much i have cutted hahahah so i prefer s & d. :) Eventhrough it takes long, i like to do it with on pc or watching tv. Just spend two hours today!? But it was indeed needed. I think over the next 6 months i will do it more regular, i want it longer for the summer.

  • Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair is wavy/kinky.I dust my ends once in a while when needed.I braid my hair and use my hand as a guide(Feyes Method) and snip off the hair that sticks out! It's a great way of keeping up with my ends its addictive though.

  • Zena says:

    @ CocoaDreamee…I don't think you can feel split ends..but you can definitely see them…it a piece of hair that is split…like ripping a piece of paper in half. It's best to find them and cut them where the split begins so it dosn't continue to split up the hair shaft.

    I have hair like yours…very tight coils….4b hair and I don't have a trim schedule either. I trim about every 6 months. It's better to trim when the hair is straight.

    The search and destroy method doesn't work for me. Too much work and too much time. If I see a knot or a split end…I will cut it, but that is when I see one. I don't search for them.

  • ForeverCurlyCatrina says:

    – My hair is curly. It's more fine and soft on the edges and in the back and more coarse in the middle.

    – I tried the search and destroy method. It took me several hours to finish one side of my head and I gave up. I then tried cutting the ends of my twists, but realized that was not for me at all. Finally I decided to go back to my old faithful routine of straightening and going to the salon to get it trimmed every 3-4 months. I'm most comfortable with this method. When I blow dry and get a trim, I feel like they may be cutting off too much. I don't like using the amount of heat necessary to get my hair straight, but I figure that it's not too bad as long as I treat my hair really kindly the rest of the time.

    -I trim every 3-4 months. When I start noticing large numbers of individual knots on the ends of my hair, I know it's time. I've seen these knots cause splits in the past which I know are only going to get worse.

  • Anonymous says:


  • CocoaDreamee says:

    I have thick, coily hair (very tight coils)
    I only do search and destroy if there is a knot I just cant get out, I usually just tug and it comes out right above the knot, (as I type this I see how bad that sounds LOL) but uh…I don't have a trim schedule anymore. When I do trim it's when my hair is in twists. Here's a stupid question, what does a split end look/feel like?

  • Anonymous says:

    Oops, forgot to say that my strands are mostly medium, but I have some that get pretty fine and some that get a lot coarser. I really have a mixed bag of every factor you can think of for hair on my head.

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair is tiny kinky S waves that coil into O's on the ends, around 12" give or take a few all over.

    I typically trim the ends of twists. I was doing every other month, but I'm now trying out every 6 weeks. I have a calendar reminder set. I also search and destroy when I see something and feel motivated.

    However, I think having someone else trim would be more effective, simply because they can see my entire head at once and wouldn't tire from the arms up thing.

  • Lauren S. says:

    Thank you, Nikki for the post. But I also have a question. When you have small knots in your hair do you cut those out as well? Or do you allow them to grow out?

  • theboldandcurly says:

    I have curly hair!

    The easiest way for me is to twist the hair, then trim the ends that look raggedy, dry and brittle…I could go to the hair salon, but I prefer to do most things by myself.

    I usually trim every 6-8 weeks, or whenever my ends are looking real crusty

  • Anonymous says:

    which brands of scissors are good? so many choices!

  • Pennerad says:

    Nikki you've read my mind!!! i've been wondering about this.
    did a search and destroy recently but only on a half of one of the rear quarters on my head b/c of lack of time. will probably recommence this as a regular practice.
    i trim when there are too many splits and when my hair becomes less manageable. the ends are usually very rebellious anyway, but when they REFUSE to smooth, i know it's time to cut.



  • Anonymous says:

    My hair is fine and coily. I got my first trim last month since my big chop which was three months ago. I trimmed it because my ends were tangled and knotty. So I will probably trim every two to three months.

  • Anonymous says:

    – My hair is thick and curly

    – I do S&D as well as straighten to trim

    – Color has dried my ends so I trim to get rid of splits and move closer to getting the dreaded color out of my hair. When the ends are dry and my fro looks ragged, I know it's time to cut (usually every 2 months).

  • Afrochic says:

    – My hair is kinky and curly (but manageable)

    -After trying to cut my hair by myself (horrific experience), I have learned my lesson and I go to the salon to get my hair trimmed.

    -I trim my hair every 6-8 weeks at the salon or when i notice that my ends are really dry and brittle.

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