Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hair Growth, Layers, and Trimming

As a professional hairstylist, there are a few things i have heard, read, and that  people have asked me that i would like to hopefully clear up and better explain for some. If i have forgotten anything or anyone has questions they need answered, i will be back to update this post with any further information.
Now, lets begin!


~ Hair grows approximately a 1/4 of an inch to a 1/2 of an inch per month
(Remember, these are average hair growth rates and hair growth will vary from person to person, with some people growing faster or slower than these rates)

~ Hair is not Symmetrical.
 It is completely normal, and very common, for our hair to grow faster and fuller on one side. As we are not perfectly symmetrical from our left side to our right of our bodies, sometimes with one hand or foot being a little bigger, same goes for our hair.

~ Hair does not grow in layers.
I wanted to clear this up because i see a lot of people, especially naturals saying that their hair grows in layers and this is not true. I will do my best to explain....

If you shaved your head bald and and let all of your hair grow out again, each strand of hair should be the same length ( give or take some length depending on the way your hair grows). 
With each hair being the same length, it will seem as though your hair grows in layers with the hair in the nape area reaching your shoulders first, while the hair in the front is growing to the chin, the hair on the sides past the ears and so and so forth. 
Being that there are higher and lower points on the head, these same length strands will hang down, in a layered effect.


For some reason, a lot of people seem to be confused as to when to trim, why to trim, how much to trim and who should trim. I've heard everything from some people thinking they need to trim every month or 6 to 8 weeks, to some who believe they don't need to trim because they are natural.
A lot of people tend to forget that a lot of rules that pertain to hair are generalities because most people do not follow the same hair regimen, seeing as how our hair is all different.
Think of the same when it comes to trimming.
Here it goes...

Trimming is truly only needed as necessary.

Reasons why to trim:

  • To remove split/stringy/see through ends.
  • To remove damaged hair due to chemical processes such as color, relaxers, perms, texturizers, Brazilian Keratin Treatments, Japanese straightening treatments, and bleaching processes (to name a few).
  • Keep ends freshly trimmed.
Trimming every month to me seems excessive unless you are slowly trimming away hair that is damaged in some sort of way or are in some sort of transition, or your hair grows fast and you are trying to maintain a certain length. 
Otherwise, if your hair is healthy there is no reason to need to trim every month. 

Trimming every 6 to 8 weeks would be a good regimen for someone who is trying to maintain healthy ends and has chemically treated hair. Because chemically treated hair has been weakened and is more susceptible to damage, it will more than likely need to be trimmed at a faster rate than hair that is natural, this goes for all hair types. 

Now of course if someone has really strong hair (let's say Chinese hair for example) and they have a chemical process done, they may not need to have their hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks because their strands are really strong.

Just imagine, lets say hypothetically your hair grows 1/2 inch per month, thats 6 inches a year. What if you kept your ends in such a good condition that you'd never have to trim them. Imagine how long your hair would be!
Get it? lol.

NATURALS .Yes you need to trim too. 
I have found that many naturals have a lot of split ends and it can be the reason why their hair is feeling coarser than usual and may be hard to comb through. It can also play a big role in the way your hair curls up if your ends are split and dry. Naturals who wear a fro especially should want to trim because their ends are constantly being exposed to damage from the elements of styling and everyday life. Also, women who get knots in their hair should trim these knots away if they can't be detangled, instead of ripping through them.

I hope i did a good job of explaining =)
If there are any questions or anything is unclear, please feel free to ask and i would love to see what your comments are.
SP = )


  1. Very informative blog.

    I don't have split end but I think I'm gonna keep trimming regulary as the curl pattern at the ends is different from roots/top I think it might be heat damage....

  2. Aha! So I am trimming like I'm supposed to! I mentioned on my post about trimming that I have to because I have single strand knots and because of the chaos from the semester, I neglected my ends. I am slowly cutting out splits/knots each time I wash. I do not have time to sit and do it all at once because I have so much hair lol.


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