If you haven’t done it, you’ve at least thought about how to trim natural hair at home. I’m sure you know this is a job for your stylist, but when the salon is closed and you’re looking in the mirror like, “who dis?!,” drastic measures must be taken. In this case, that means pretending shears are your specialty and hoping you don’t cut too much or end up with a lopsided ‘do.
First things first, please don’t try to give yourself an America’s Next Top Model-level makeover. Like an at-home fade or short crop, the goal of a DIY trim should be to simply clean up your look and nothing more. In the case of textured hair, expert hairstylist and African Pride Brand Educator Robin Groover recommends focusing on the removal of split ends.
Ahead, a three-step guide to trimming your hair, minus the anxiety. (Be sure to treat your hair to a moisturizing mask or cleanser afterward too. Also avoid cutting your hair while it’s wet to see its true length and how short or long you want to go.)
STEP 1: Identify Split Ends
You’ll know it’s time to nix split ends when your hair is generally unruly, even as it’s styled to precision. “The shape is no longer crisp or sharp when the hair is styled smooth and/or straight,” says Groover. “The split ends create knots for curls and coils on the ends. And as a result, the hair will often break on the ends resulting in length stagnation.”
STEP 2: Trim Hair Based on Curl Pattern
For wavy hair: “Braid each section. Hold the twist or braid at zero degrees, closest to the shoulder area, and snip the less dense strands. It’s easier to do frequent tiny trims than trying to cut at once.”
For curly hair: “Section the hair into 6-8 sections and twist or braid each section. Smooth the hair into a straighter form with a blow dryer or air drying, then brush for a more even texture. This helps the form to be more even for better precision. Twist each section. Hold the twist at zero degrees, close to the shoulder area, and snip the less dense strands.”
For coily hair: “Section the hair into 6-8 sections and twist or braid each section. Hold the hair into a straighter form and create a straighter panel with an ionic blow dryer. This helps the form to be more even for better precision. Twist the hair in each section. Hold the twist at zero degrees, close to the shoulder area, and snip the less dense strands. It’s easier to do frequent tiny trims than trying to cut at once.”
STEP 3: Split End Care
Prevention is best when it comes to split ends. The math is simple—smarter treatment leads to less breakage. “Monitor the cycle of unruly hair when it’s time for a trim. Once you have identified the time period, be proactive with scheduling an appointment to get ahead of any damage,” adds Groover. “And, be very careful detangling the hair when styling.”
One of her favorite treatment combos includes pairing a leave-in, like the African Pride Moisture Miracle Leave-In Conditioner with an oil, like the Moisture Miracle 5 Essential Oils.
“I mix the two and then paint the mixture on the ends of the hair for 20 minutes before rinsing,” she says.
Keep calm and snip safely.
Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.