If you’re on a hair growth journey, the very thought of trimming or cutting your hair, for any reason is anathema to you. And of course it seems counterproductive to cut your hair off when the ultimate goal is to get it to be longer, but I promise you, there’s logic here. And not in the ‘there’s a method to this madness” kind of way. Trimming your hair and keeping your ends healthy is always going to lead to longer hair.
Hair grows. That is as certain as the sun rising in the east. To achieve longer lengths, what you need to do is keep your ends strong and healthy. This way they don’t break off and result in stagnant or worse, negative hair growth. Negative growth occurs when you lose more hair through breakage than hair that newly grows from your scalp within a given time, for example, one month. Generally speaking, hair grows between a quarter to half of an inch each month, but in order to see that growth you must lose less from your ends whether you actively remove it through trimming or lose it unwillingly through breakage. And since the ends of our hair are the oldest part of it, there is likely to be some loss or damage to them just through normal wear and tear. The aim is to keep that loss as minimal as possible
Why are my ends breaking?
As stated above, it is not unreasonable to expect that you will experience some amount of hair breakage. After all, depending on the length of your hair, your ends could be several years old and as it does with everything else, age can and does take its toll. Therefore, even if you do everything right, you will lose some amount of hair due to the effects of aging and manipulation over time. Using heat and wearing your hair down are also causes of weakened ends and once weakened, if the ends aren’t treated and fortified, splitting and breakage will result.
Prevention and Cure
Once the ends of your hair have started to become worn and weathered, the only way to prevent the inevitable is to trim the worn sections of your hair off so that split ends do not develop or have the opportunity to travel up the hair strand and cause damage to a greater portion of the hair strand. The longer split ends go unattended, the more opportunity for the damage to spread and the more of your length you will lose either because you have to cut it off or it breaks off itself. A great way to keep your ends intact and less exposed to the risk of damage is to wear your hair up so it does not have the opportunity to rub on your clothes where the friction can result in damage to the hair. You could also:
- Minimizing the use of high heat
- Avoid using even moderate amounts of heat for long periods
- Use a heat protectant before blow drying or heat styling your hair in order to keep your ends healthy.
Once you have employed these strategies, you’ll only need to trim very little from your ends and in so doing, be able to achieve your goal length in the shortest possible time.
Here are some additional tips for keeping your ends healthy to minimize not only the frequency with which you need to trim, but also how much hair you will need to remove at each trim.
- Use heat only sparingly and only on the coolest available settings.
- When choosing a flat iron or curling iron, select one that allows you to set the actual temperature used.
- Air-dry your hair as much as is possible. If you must blow dry your hair, do so on a cool setting after removing as much water as possible from your hair before starting the blow drying process. This will ensure your hair needs to be exposed to as little heat as possible for as short a length of time as possible in order to become dry.
- Pay particular attention to the ends of your hair when applying your hair products, particularly your moisturisers and heat protectant.
- Trim your ends as often as is required. Do not hang on to ends that are damaged for the sake of length. Healthy hair is the only sure way to achieve and maintain length.
If you are looking to embark on an intentional hair growth journey, there are lots of things you can and should do in order to achieve optimal results. You should:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Drink lots of water
- Trim your ends to get rid of any damage
- Handle and style your hair with care
- Keep your hair moisturised and free from knots and tangles
- Trim your hair as needed along your journey to prevent split ends from developing and or spreading.
Trimming your ends is ultimately about keeping your ends healthy so they don’t break off. The results of your hair growth will definitely become more evident once your ends are healthy. Following the steps above should lead to results within a few months as long as there is no underlying medical condition that is hindering your hair growth. There is no one solution, but if you’ve been trying and failing to grow your hair longer, take a look at the list above and see what’s missing from your hair growth regimen.
Happy hair growing