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Curly Nikki

Natural Hair Challenges

By January 27th, 202120 Comments

Natural Hair Challenges

Straight Natural No Chaser
by Dr. Kim Hodges

This past April, I celebrated my one year natural hair anniversary. However, my happy anniversary moment was soured by my most recent salon visit. Until this month (May) I had not visited a salon to have my hair straighten or ends trimmed. I was under the misguided assumption that my hair was fine in its natural state and that trims would not be needed as frequently. I WAS WRONG! My hair stylist had to trim 2 inches off to completely remove my split ends and the growth that I experienced in that past few months became obsolete. I was very upset with myself because in the past, before being natural I visited the salon every three months to get my ends trimmed. However, during my natural journey I spent most of my time focused on styling and using minimal heat. Now with all of the time and effort I spent using little heat and using sulfate free products, I did not pay any attention to the ends of my hair! I went 7 months without a trim and paid the ultimate price. I do realize that it could have been much worse and I am glad that my hair is healthy again but at what expense. I will never ever wait 7 months between my trims. My hair was past my shoulders and now it is above my shoulders. Wow what a difference! On a positive note, I know that my hair will grow really fast, and thanks to my loving stylist, I am already scheduled for my July appointment.

My advice to all naturals, transitioners, and relaxed ladies, get your ends trimmed. Don’t get caught in the myth that natural hair does not need to be trimmed! Your hair will be healthier in the long run. My stylist recommends that I get a trim every 3 months. I also know that with this type of schedule she will be able to trim more or less depending on what my hair needs during salon visits. The loss my length because of split ends has definitely helped me understand and appreciate the value of a trained -eye/professional stylist. I know there are naturals who have been trimming their own hair for years and have been successful, but I am certainly not one of those people. My type of hair has to be trimmed and that is the bottom line for me to obtain and grow healthy natural hair.

My stylist also had me bring in the products that I have been using on my natural hair. And because she has been my stylist for many years she was able to help me eliminate unnecessary hair products. I now have a small army of hair products which include Miss Jessie (MJ) Shampoo and Conditioner, MJ baby buttercreme, and MJ stretch silkening creme. I have decided that out of the many products I have tried MJ works best for my hair. I even called the MJ salon in New York to make sure I was using the products correctly! I informed the stylist about my hair needs and she suggested that I use the MJ silkening crème once a week when I wash/co-wash my hair and use the baby buttercreme to refresh/moisturize my hair daily. I tried this technique and it worked! This regimen has worked well for me and has helped me maintain a moisturized wash and go style.

In summary, please make sure you get your ends trimmed or at least make sure they are not splitting. Also make sure you moisturize your hair and use products that suit your hair needs.

CN Says;
Once, every month or two, I dust the ends (micro trim) of my twists, especially when my hair is more tangly than usual. I also conduct Search & Destroy missions regularly (seek out splits and snip just above them).

What’s your trim schedule? Do you do it yourself?

Have you had any setbacks (either related to unrelated to trimming)?


  • Anonymous says:

    everybody hair is different if somebody wants to use mineral oil let them it's not that serious. What works for one might not work for the other. Great article about trimming it's about time for my next trim.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, did your stylist contribute your hair damage/split ends to the hair color? Lifting the color of your hair can cause dry, fragile hair, split ends and major damage to the hair shaft. I would definitely stay away from color and continue to trim on a regular base. Deep condition at least once a week to restore porosity, (balance/moisture) to the hair. MISS JESSIE’S products contain MINERAL OIL
    & PETROLATUM (which coat the hair shaft-not absorbed) and a slew of other no, no's. Just food for thought!

  • Breanna says:

    I trim my hair whenever my twists don't look twirl correctly on the ends or if they look a little thin like. I don't wait 3 or 6 months to dust my hair. I think that you should be able to look at your hair and know that it needs to be trimmed or dusted. But to go a 6 months or a year w/o a trim is crazy. If your hair tangles up more than usual it's time for a trim, and if you do alot of blowdrying and flat irons you might need a trim. Though we all like to do different styles on our hair sometimes those styles will cause you to have split ends and ssk. Just keep the hair moisturized and take your vitamins, and keep the hair dusted/trimmed as needed. Sometimes we're all so busy in wanting or needing the length so badly that we neglect the ends thinking well it's growing so it's healthy. Learn from your mistakes and keep your hair because it will grow but don't slack off on trimming more if needed.

  • Anonymous says:

    I personally trim my ends professionally twice a year. I dust my ends in between whenever I feel necessary. I just cut the ends of my two strand twists and i'm done 🙂

  • Meniko says:

    Been natural almost 4 years and until recently had a professional stylist trim my hair wet with conditioner in it. I was due this month but decided to just trim my braids (braidouts) myself.

    I usually wear a wash n go, puff or braidouts and have not straightened my hair since Dec. 2009.

    I do a demi gloss color (dark brown/almost black) every 3-4 months, deep condish after a protein treatment once a week (I swim once a week so the only time I poo) and try to detangle my hair (co washes) every 3-4 days. I usually wear a puff on top of my head at night (or braid it) and always sleep on a satin pillowcase.

    I do lose some strands when I detangle but no split ends or broken ends–I will keep this regimen up and see how my ends look come Fall.

    My hair has grown tremendously since my last professional trim (Feb) probably due to the weekly protein/deep moisture conditioning which is the primary change in my regimen since Feb.

    I try to stay with the same products–Darcy's botanicals for braidouts, Kinky curly/Hair Rules for wash n gos (leave in/styling products), Renpure/Avalon Organics condish for detangling, Karens Body beautiful Luscious locks/Aveda Brilliance for deep moisture conditioning, Aveda and KC Come clean poo for weekly poo clarification.

    My hair is past my shoulders when curls are pulled down…may straighten on low heat flatiron in the winter but sooo afraid of heat damage/curls not returning….heard Hanna Elite is best flatiron (100% ceramic) if used with their heat protectant…anyone used this flatiron? If so did you have damaged curls?

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that naturals who don't use heat or color shouldn't have to trim their hair as someone who relaxes. People who use chemicals and/or heat have hair that is essentially more damaged than someone who doesn't use these things. Also I think split ends overtly mess up the aesthetic of straight hair. Almost everyone who mentions that they desperately needed a trim only found out once they were looking at straightened ends. So to me unless you straighten on a regular basis or are suffering from abnormal breakage (since breakage will always happen), trimming every 3 months or more than twice a year is so excessive.

  • Anonymous says:

    I hadn't trimmed my ends for 18 months since my big chop. I decided to do it because I noticed a little more tangling recently. My stylist just trimmed maybe around 1/2 inch; definitely less tangling now. The frequency of trimming varies by the head of hair but the process doesn't have to be complicated. My stylist performed the trim on dry hair just released from 9 day old small twists. No wetting or straightening needed.

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG you are so right about this. I had alot of growth but wanted to try a color. I did a home color which I liked (didn't love) but was not aggressive enough with deep conditioning. Big mistake! Since I wasnt deep conditioning regularly and my ends weren't being trimmed I started seeing that everytime I combed my hair, hair would just fall out. ): When I finally went to the salon for a trim, she took off at LEAST 3inches. A friends mom was shocked that so much had to be taken off. (Imagine a 3inch cut plus all the shedding, smh) Now my hair rest just on my shoulders which i don't mind because it will grow back. I was just looking forward to doing more free styling in the summer time. My hair is much better now anyway and I will be looking at my ends very closely and try to follow a trim schedule of every 3-4 months.

  • Levone says:

    Great article! I think that a trimming schedule can differ per head of hair. I like to keep my hair professionally trimmed every 3-4 months whereas my daughter can go every 6 months (my stylist mentioned every 3 months and she definitely only takes off what's needed). This is really the only time I visit a salon.

    My hair is of a finer texture and curls tightly on the ends so I find that works best for me. I've been really progressing quite nicely since starting this.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nope, i dont trim…I "search & destroy" if i see some knarly ends but that is rare…maybe its just my hair type, and care that allows this. I'll have it dusted one day if needed. Not all hair types are weak and needs ends trimmed.. My individual hair strands are quite thick and the cuticle is smooth i think that helps protect it from split ends. As well as wearing protective styles and moistuirzing my ends everyday

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Ladies,

    Can I add my two cents :-). I trim my ends every 6 months and I have never had a severe amount of hair cut off… usually a dusting. I know that not every head is alike, so please take this with a grain of salt.

    Oh, I can also add that I rarely wear my hair straight… it is usually styled in two strand or flat twists with my ends tucked (below bra strap length hair).


  • DreamchaZer says:

    Hi ladies. I was at the "Curly Girl Collective" meet up in NY yesterday (AMAZING MEET UP LADIES), and the owners of Miss Jessies stated, naturals should not trim their hair more than twice a year. I know everyone is different when it comes to this. I did protective styling from Sept 1st through March 30th, and used no heat during this time. Went to get a curly girl cut last weekend and had barely any splits. Maybe the more you do to your hair the more you need to trim?

  • Angelique says:

    This is a great article and I'll definitely do the dusting when I do the twists, and a 3 month trim. I myself just lost 2 inches of hair due to not getting it trimmed. When I first transitioned, I looked all over the web and on blogs, and you do see a lot of conflicting information.Hence why I am beyond happy that I found But for natural hair, you will always see 5 sides of the story. In this story alone, Dr. Hodges loves MJ, where-as, it's said to be forbidden to use parrafin and mineral oil based products. I tried MJ and I personally don't think that my hair likes mineral oil. But if there's one thing I've learned is that each person's hair is as unique as the person and you have to do what's best for you. You're hair looks absolutely amazing. Thanks again for posting.

  • MsAkira says:

    The ideal that natural hair doesn't need to be trimmed is promoted by many "expert" naturals that say if you take good care of your hair and utilize protective styling then your ends will not split. If you don't have split ends then you don't to trim.

    I question how true this is now?

    I still have somewhat of a twa that comes to the bottom of my ear. I have grown fond of the WnG and I have tried twist & bantu knots. When I detangle my hair I have examined my dead hair the ends aren't split. I will do more research on this topic before making a decision. Maybe the dusting?

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG, this is so true! I've been natural for 3 years and never thought about trimming my hair until recently…when I blow dried my hair (for the first time) and that's when I saw how damaged my ends were! It was disgusting! I had to trim about an inch or more.

    It sucks to have to cut your hair when you're trying to grow it long, but it's better to have healthy hair first and length will come with time!

  • Anonymous says:

    the miss jessie's silkening creme is not a chemical it is a styler like the curly pudding. The "silkener" is the chemical that they only have availble at their salon

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for posting this! I wanted to note that if your ends were in good shape 7 months ago and you've been taking care of your hair since ….you could probably use a trim, but 2 inches?? It sounds like there was existing damage or maybe the products or current styling you are using is problematic. You seem to love MJ but in my experience their products, especially the silkening is VERY damaging. So in your case it may be less about regular trimming and more about product/styling choices? I use all natural products and although I need trims- it is more like dusting. 2 inches of damage in 7 months may be to be something of greater concern that a trim….just something to consider 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Excellent article!

  • atribitt says:

    i haven't had a trim in 3 months. I wasn't going to get another one. ever. i just feel like the salon stylist was so busy trying to cut my hair into a shape and that's not what i care about (i wear my hair curly 100% of the time and my hair has naturally grown out into a nice shape). I just want trimmed ONLY what is needed. That's not something i'm willing to sacrifice on trial and error stylist search. i just dont know what to do… #lost

  • Na says:

    What is installing the idea that natural hair doesn't need to be trimmed? I trim everytime I see the thinned ends when I twist/braid. How is this way of thinking any different from relaxed women who hold onto split ends just for length? Natural hair should be trimmed more often than relaxed hair. What is the rush for the length? It will come with time. ***Sigh***

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