By Jc of The Nat­ur­al Haven Bloom

Here is some food for thought! Trim­ming could allow your hair to attain a longer length. It sounds strange but what my fel­low lab rats dis­cov­ered is that hair will grow until it reach­es a crit­i­cal length when it appears to grow slow­ly or not at all (Jour­nal of the Soci­ety of Cos­met­ic Chemists, pg 155–75, 1978.).

To under­stand why this hap­pens, I will start by explain­ing why hair starts to taper (mean­ing the strand becomes thin­ner as it gets far­ther away from the scalp). Sim­ply put, the cuti­cle wears away. Remem­ber that the cuti­cle is not just one lay­er, it has sev­er­al lay­ers to it (jog your mem­o­ry by click­ing here).

As the hair grows from scalp to tip, the dam­age to the cuti­cle increas­es because the hair at the tip is old­er and has been sub­ject­ed to more tor­ture (comb­ing, wet­ting, dry­ing, roller set­ting, heat setting.….…etc).

Cut­ting the tip of the hair off may be an excel­lent way to pos­si­bly trig­ger a new longer length.

Q: So why trim hair if you want longer hair?
A:
 Trim­ming hair when growth appears to be slow or stag­nant can allow hair to reach a new longer length (read the first part here!). When the cuti­cle lay­er (out­side cov­er­ing of the hair) is thinned down, it no longer offers as much pro­tec­tion to the inter­nal cor­tex. The hair at the end there­fore becomes a split end hot spot (see the dia­gram below!!)

Q: How much hair should be trimmed?
A:
 The first trim depends on dam­age. All thin­ning ends ide­al­ly should be cut off, this could be an inch or it could be 5 inch­es. Nat­u­ral­ly it is a very per­son­al deci­sion if the hair cut could result in a sig­nif­i­cant appear­ance change, in which case you can be more con­ser­v­a­tive and just do sev­er­al small chops.

Q: How often should hair be trimmed?
A:
 After the first trim, you can choose to let the hair grow and trim as lit­tle or as much as you like. If you are inter­est­ed in get­ting to a new longer length then log­i­cal­ly, you have to trim less than your hair grows. If you work on the half an inch a month growth rate, then cut­ting half an inch every 3 to 4 months may be log­i­cal.

Q: How do I know my hair has been trimmed enough?
A:
 I can only give a sub­jec­tive answer to this ques­tion. I would say that after a trim, if you notice many split ends soon after, then you prob­a­bly did not trim enough. If you trimmed enough, your hair should not split as much or as often as before (at least this is my the­o­ry!)

What is your view on trim­ming? Is trim­ming just cut­ting hair or is it use­ful?

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32 Comments on "Does Trimming Hair Actually Make it Grow Faster?"

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Amber jambs
Hel­lo, I hope this works for me but, I’ve had some seri­ous­ly bad moments with trim­ming my hair. i went to a Salon and the woman who did my hair was cool but, she obvi did­nt know any­thing about black hair. She kept teas­ing my hair try­ing to fig­ure up what to do and then cut like 4inch­es of my hair. I havent been right since D..=!!!!I mean empha­sis on it was my child­hood hair that I lost for the first time and I’m 20 so I’ll nev­er get back for years when I’m all old and ugly and will… Read more »
Maidei Janda

where can i get my short afro hair trimmed with a pro­fes­sion­al hair­dress­er in lon­don please help

Monday omoye

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Asia

I only trim when my ends feel rough, and that’s usu­al­ly twice a year at the most. It all depends on your hair and how it grows. Everyone’s trim­ming rou­tine will vary just as hair growth varies. Here’s a few of my hair pic­tures: http://knotsoknappy.weebly.com/my-natural-hair-journey.html

stephanie

I believe everybody’s hair is dif­fer­ent. I’m a black woman with nat­ur­al hair just start­ed wear­ing it nat­ur­al about 2 years ago. I have bangs, and flat iron once a week. I noticed that I need­ed to trim my bangs very often. And that’s when I real­ized if I trim my hair it grows more. So I now I’ll trim my hair once a month. My bangs seem to need it a lit­tle more often than that.. and boy is my hair grow­ing! final­ly I haveat 43, I have fig­ured it out!

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Funmi

my hair almost nev­er splits, its the sin­gle strand knots i most­ly wor­ry about and i only trim them off when they get real­ly annoy­ing and i can feel them at the ends

ambi

yes folks trim for “even and more pol­ished look­ing hair” i’m okay with that I just wish they would admit it and SAY that is why instead of pre­tend­ing it’s mak­ing their hair health­i­er or grow faster…it’s not, I haven’t had a real TRIM in about 3 years when a styl­ist against my wish­es took off about two inch­es I’m almost at my waist length goal got about an 1.5 inch to go and once I reach it I MIGHT think about a trim

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[…] you missed this infor­ma­tive post by Jc, please do read it.  The bot­tom line is that trim­ming does not make the hair grow faster. […]

Make Hair Grow Longer Faster

There is no quick fix for fast hair growth. Your hair grows in cycles. The best way to make get longer hair is to keep it healthy. You can do this by wash­ing your hair to keep the fol­li­cle clean and clog free and to keep your scalp mois­tur­ize. Also take care of split ends. It’s not that your hair isn’t grow­ing fast enough. It might just be that the rate of break­age is faster than the rate of hair growth. So, con­trol­ling break­age should be the pri­or­i­ty.

Jo Somebody

I trim SSKs when I’m too lazy to bag­gy them away. Oth­er­wise trims will not hap­pen and my hair will grow. I try to look after my ends.
Relaxed or nat­ur­al, I’ve searched and I’ve searched and I’ve nev­er seen a split end. I just don’t get it! But I’m not com­plain­ing! When relaxed, my issue was thin­ning ends, so I trimmed when need­ed then (rarely). Now nat­ur­al, my issue is SSKs, so I trim when need­ed now (more often because I self-trim now where­as I salon-trimmed before).

goyta
one thing i think is that if you’re try­ing to grow your hair long, your ends will not always look per­fect all the time. we tend to push our­selves to trim often when it’s not par­tic­u­lar­ly nec­es­sary. it’s sole­ly for aes­thet­ics. if none of us ever cut our hair, imag­ine how many long heads of hair we’d see run­ning around in our com­mu­ni­ty. now, what the hair might actu­al­ly look like would be anoth­er sto­ry alto­geth­er lol but no doubt, we would all have the length that we desire. so i think that we strug­gle to achieve a kind of… Read more »
JO

“imag­ine how many long heads of hair we’d see run­ning around in our com­mu­ni­ty. now, what the hair might actu­al­ly look like would be anoth­er sto­ry alto­geth­er lol ” — 

That made me smile i won­der too LOL

Jo
Trim­ming is help­ful for main­tain­ing your length if you are not grow­ing out your hair or for get­ting rid of damaged/tapered ends. Per­son­al­ly for me,i will not trim just for the sake of my ends look­ing per­fect as my hair is worn most­ly in curly styles where that isn’t an issue. Split ends can­not be elim­i­nat­ed but you can be min­i­mized through a com­mon sense approach. At the moment I’m aim­ing for a par­tic­u­lar length goal so will not trim until then.If need­ed i will dust the ends. The pres­sure to trim often come from the styl­ists and some­times from our­selves and… Read more »
Ashley

+1

Marie

Anoth­er thing, if you don’t trim with hair scis­sors or prop­er­ly sharp­ened scis­sors, it may lead to more split ends.

april

My ends were real­ly split and my hair was break­ing pret­ty bad so until I can get to the salon for a trim I applied an Aphogee two step pro­tein treat­ment. Its one of the best best prod­ucts for dam­aged hair. It stopped my hair from split­ting and break­ing after one use. I then applied olive oil and Kinky curly cus­tard and my hair feels and looks healthy again.

merry
Q: How do I know my hair has been trimmed enough? A: I can only give a sub­jec­tive answer to this ques­tion. I would say that after a trim, if you notice many split ends soon after, then you prob­a­bly did not trim enough. If you trimmed enough, your hair should not split as much or as often as before (at least this is my the­o­ry!) i sort of believe that if you’re not care­ful, the process of trim­ming could lead to more splits. i don’t think it’s nec­es­sar­i­ly the case that you didn’t cut enough at the time. so, last… Read more »
T.

But it’s not the trim­ming itself that caused that, it was her rough treat­ment of your hair after the trim.

merry

she combed/handled my dry hair before the trim. i feel like she start­ed the process of fur­ther weak­en­ing some of the strands.

Yaasha
I end up doing the whole dust­ing and search-and-destroy method more than most because I don’t real­ly have the lux­u­ry of time to put my hair into pro­tec­tive styles, so I wear my hair out every day. I’m a per­former in a mar­ket that’s not too recep­tive of hair­styles that are per­ceived as overt­ly afro-cen­tric, so my safest style is hav­ing all my hair out because it looks more “Brazil­ian” that way (I’m a sam­ba dancer). I search and destroy every time I detan­gle, and I dust every month because I have col­or-treat­ed hair that will be pret­ty angry with… Read more »
Landry

I think it all depends on how much wear and tare one places on her hair–that is a mouth­ful, huh? For exam­ple, if you don’t use direct heat on your hair, or you pro­tec­tive style often, you may not need to trim as often as a some­one who blow dries often and/or is con­stant­ly manip­u­lat­ing the hair. Just a thought…

Chefjones09

I am glad that this arti­cal was post­ed. From what I have learned is the more you do to your hair depends on when you should trim. Like for exam­ple after or before get­ting a press out the heat can do some slight dam­age to the hair so trim­ming can help. also if you col­or your hair with a non nat­ur­al hair dye it is help­ful that you trim every few weeks just to keep it from look­ing to crunchy on the ends.

mlank64
Frankly,I just dust and do “search and destroy” and that seems to be enough for me. My hair seems to be thriv­ing very well and looks healthy. I think it comes down to aes­thet­ics. Some nat­u­rals like an even more pol­ished look. I think hair growth nat­u­ral­ly grows uneven and if you like a more even look than cut when­ev­er nec­es­sary. But, as long as you keep hair mois­tur­ized and dust off ends when nec­es­sary, I still don’t think you need to arbi­trar­i­ly cut the ends in an attempt to “grow your hair”. Growth comes from the roots, reten­tion is… Read more »
Jo

+1

Vonnie

I’m glad they clar­i­fied in the arti­cle because the arti­cle head­ing can be mis­lead­ing and feed into that old wives tale, lol.

I trim, dust, what­ev­er you wan­na call it my hair about every 6 months. I take good care of my hair, and ends, so that is a good time frame for me. I was once research­ing nat­ur­al salons in the MD area and one spe­ici­fied that in order for the hair to be kept healthy you MUST trim ends every 4–6 weeks. I exit­ed that site quick­er than you could blink.

Bumper

Inter­est­ing arti­cle. I under­stand that cutting/trimming the hair when it is dam­aged can lead to length reten­tion in the long run as the hair is no longer break­ing, but I’ve yet to be con­vinced that trim­ming on its own for no oth­er appar­ent rea­son caus­es the hair to grow (although it does neat­en up your style). I last cut my ends 17 months ago and my hair has con­tin­ued to grow healthy and strong with­out addi­tion­al trim­ming. I should add that I use very lit­tle heat and most­ly wear two strand twists.

Vonnie

You’re right, it doesn’t. It sim­ply keeps dam­aged ends at bay, pro­tect­ing the rest of your hair. I won­der when that old wives tale will die out lol.

Ashley
Agreed. JC men­tions that trim­ming when your ends are tapered is help­ful. For me, I’m not trim­ming any­thing until I actu­al­ly see SPLITS. And lots of them. Trim­ming exces­sive­ly = trim­ming exces­sive­ly. Point blank.  I haven’t got­ten a “real” trim in over a year, and I do search and destroys when need­ed (a few times a year). I have over 14 in of hair. If I was trim­ming a 1/2 inch every 3 or 4 months, I’d be cut­ting off up to one-third of my growth every sea­son. It would have tak­en me three times as long to get to where… Read more »
Monzi

Great arti­cle!

@missmaplecherry

Wow! Nice one there. I’ve been think­ing of whether to trim or not. Espe­cial­ly as I read in anoth­er blog that trim­ming should be done once a year.
My hair is relaxed any­way but shoul­der length. I just may let them trim the ends dur­ing my next trip to the Salon.
Nice one. Xx

Calandra
Thank you SO much for this arti­cle! I was just hav­ing this dis­cus­sion with my styl­ist the oth­er night. I have been nat­ur­al for 13 months, and I have had only 2 trims in that time peri­od. We agreed that I don’t need as many trims as I had when I was relaxed, but we agreed that trim­ming pro­vides the same pos­i­tive effects whether relaxed or nat­ur­al. The rea­son we got into this dis­cus­sion is that I had read on SEVERAL nat­ur­al hair blogs/sites/FB pages, that nat­u­rals shouldn’t be “fooled” into think­ing that we need­ed trims. A per­fect exam­ple of… Read more »
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