How To Trim Natural Hair at Home Without Heat

November 05, 2021

How To Trim Natural Hair at Home Without Heat

How to Trim Natural Hair At Home, Without Heat

If there’s anything 2020 taught us when it comes to our hair, it’s that we have to learn how to trim natural hair at home. Not having the ability to go to the salon or have your stylist come over and give you a much-needed trim was humbling, and for some of us, may have even set our hair growth back a notch.

Getting rid of split ends is so important for natural hair growth. The reason being is if you don’t get rid of those split ends, then they gradually start to travel up the hair strand towards the scalp. 

But How Do You Know When To Trim Your Natural Hair?

You’ll know your hair is due for a trim if your hair:

  • Feels rough and brittle 
  • Tangles a lot more than usual
  • Is harder to moisturize or struggles to retain moisture, even though you’re using the same techniques and products that previously worked for you
  • Breaks off more and will look sparse where the breakage has occurred.

That last sign is really important because this is the primary way we can tell where exactly we need to cut the hair.

How to Trim Your Natural Hair at Home

Note: Our recommendation will always be to go to the stylist if you can. Although the methods we’re sharing below are great to help you maintain your ends without a salon visit, a stylist will be more likely to cut the hair effectively and precisely all around. Plus, a stylist will be able to assess your hair’s overall health and help you tweak your individual routine effectively to better meet your specific goals.


Get The Right Tools

So when it comes to the tools, you need a really good pair of shears. A good pair of hair cutting shears are incredibly sharp, meaning that they will cut clean across and not leave microscopic ‘jagged edges’ that might make you more prone to developing split ends in the future. If you can, avoid using household scissors to do this. Household scissors are often not as sharp, and the fact that you use them for so many different things will contribute to them getting dull over time.

A good-quality pair of shears can last you a lifetime, and they come in all price ranges and snazzy designs. You can buy a good pair online for anywhere from $10 to $30 on average.


Stretch Your Hair With or Without Heat

The key to trimming your natural hair evenly is to stretch the hair. We don’t advise you to do a DIY trim on wet hair or curly or kinky hair in its natural state. It’s easy to take off a bit too much in certain sections when you try to cut the hair in its shrunken, kinky or curly state. This will negatively affect how your hair falls in certain styles. But if you still really want to do it on wet hair, look up the two-strand twist method.

If you decide to stretch your strands by blow-drying or flat ironing, use a heat protectant and try to style your hair at temperatures below 300°F to reduce heat damage. Luckily, you can stretch your hair without using heat. 

How to stretch natural hair without heat

There are lots of methods that you can use to heatlessly stretch your hair, such as banding, African threading, plaiting, etc. You just need to pick the one that works best for you.

For the braiding method, apply your leave-in conditioner to freshly-washed, damp hair, split the hair into sections and firmly, but not tightly, braid all the way from your roots down to your ends. Once dry, unravel the hair and use a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to comb out the hair from ends to your roots. The result is stretched hair that looks similar to a blowout.


Section Off Your Hair and Get to Trimming

Once your hair is stretched, separate your hair into sections and work on one section at a time. Our 5-pack of Crocodile Clips is great for this because each of them can hold a lot of hair without the risk of snagging on the hair the way bands might. Now, it’s time to find out where exactly you need to cut the hair.

Dead ends are like fake friends: you can see right through them. The solution to either of those fakes is to cut them out.” - WillOnAWhim, 2017.

Ain’t that the truth? It honestly really is this simple! 

Working in small sections, you’ll need to hold the section taut, comb it to make sure all of your hair is evenly stretched, and hold your hair about an inch or so from your ends. What you'll be looking for in this 1-inch section is sparseness. 

If you notice that your hair has a relatively even thickness all the way from your scalp, but then begins to become extremely sparse at a certain point, then that’s a good sign that you need to cut everything below that section off.

How much you take off while trimming your natural hair will vary, but often, if you’ve been taking care of your hair properly, you’ll only need to take off about an inch or much less.

After trimming that hair section, comb through it one more time, and check for any residual bits with unusual tangling and roughness (when compared to the upper portion of your strands) and sparseness at the ends. If you notice that those are still there, make another cut to take off the remaining split ends. Once you’re done, tuck that section away and repeat on a new section until you’ve covered your whole head of hair.

Note: How much you take off is going to be a matter of personal preference. While some people are okay with cutting lots of inches to get rid of all of their split ends at once, others prefer to do smaller trims more often so that they can preserve length. The ideal situation is to cut the whole damaged section off, but if you’re not comfortable with that, don’t feel pressured to do so.

With that mini-class on how to trim your natural hair by yourself, I’m sure you now know to take care of your ends even when you can’t make it to the salon. Feels powerful, doesn’t it?

Have a lovely weekend!

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