How often should you trim your ends is a frequently asked natural hair question. In my early years of being natural I was using the “trim as needed” rule. I can tell you I have since learned my lesson. From one year to the next instead of my hair getting longer it was getting shorter or that’s what it looked like anyway. And my ends were a lot thinner or maybe a better word is frayed. Split ends were to blame for my lack of length retention and damaged ends.
Before I answer this question let’s put a hair rumor to rest. No, trimming your ends won’t make your hair grow faster. That’s a myth and common misconception about growing and maintaining hair. But a regular trim should be apart your healthy hair regimen.
No matter how rock solid your hair regimen is or how much you protective style; you’re not doing your hair any favors by skipping regular trims. By the time your hair is showing signs of needing a trim, the damage has already been done. You may end up chopping off more hair than you anticipate by ‘trimming as needed’.
How Often Should You Trim Your Ends with Natural Hair?
Because your hair is natural meaning you’re forgoing the use of chemical relaxers that weaken the hair’s structure, you no longer have to trim your hair every 6-8 weeks. You can stretch the amount of time in between each trim. Hair naturally begins to split around 3 months. To prevent any permanent damage from these naturally occurring split ends, you should schedule a trim with your stylist every quarter. Scheduling a trim every 3-4 months or 12-16 weeks will help to keep your hair healthy and strong.
Scheduling a trim every three to four months will help maintain the shape of your style and remove naturally splitting ends. Hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch a month. If ends are clipped regularly, you will only remove about 1/4 inch or less which will leave you with noticeable growth and length retention. Caring for your ends properly in between trims by sealing your ends with hair butters or oils can prolong the need for a trim but I still would wait longer than 5-6 months.
Should You Trim Your Natural Hair More Often In Winter Months?
Yes, winter clothes and accessories combined with dry air creates more split ends according to Felicia Leatherwood of Loving Your Natural Hair With Care tweeted during the Fall With Eden BodyWork Twitter Discussion. “Trim about an 1/2 in every 8-10 weeks between the months of October – March”. I believe its safe to say this advice is more applicable in some climates more than others. If you live in areas with moderate climates more frequent trims may not be necessary. Just pay attention to your hair it will tell you what it needs.