View Full Version : How much and how often should I be trimming if I want to grow out my hair?

May 18th, 2013, 07:41 PM
My hair is just past collarbone length. I was hoping to get to APL by the end of the year, but as it turns out, I have bunch of damage. I don't want to lose this length I worked so hard for, but I also want to keep it healthy. My plan was to cut 1/4 of an inch off every 2 to 3 months. I last cut my hair in March and I'm going next week to get another trim. After that, I was planning on waiting till about August or September for my next trim.

Will I be losing a lot of length this way? I don't like the way my hair behaves at this length, so I definitely don't want to maintain here. Sometimes I'd rather just maintain at BSL, and then cut all the damage off once I get there. But...I don't think I'll be reaching BSL at least till next Spring or Summer.

Which sounds like the better option? Trimming a bit as I go every few months, or grow to BSL and then trim off all the damage?

May 18th, 2013, 07:49 PM
What about S&D?

May 18th, 2013, 07:51 PM
What about S&D?

My hair still feels like it's too short to do that properly; also I have no clue what a split end looks like or if I've ever had one.

May 18th, 2013, 08:09 PM
What are you calling damage then? Dots? Bent ends?

May 18th, 2013, 08:15 PM
I trim about 0.5-1" off my hair every three months, and it still grows very well and shows new length pretty fast, I'd say. I also clarify and chelate my first wash after each trim. :)

May 18th, 2013, 08:39 PM
I trim a quarter of an inch every 2-3 months, just like you planned... I'd say trims are not necessary unless you are getting split ends.
I'd say don't trim off more than half your monthly hair growth at once if you're trying to grow.

May 18th, 2013, 08:44 PM
I trim 1/4-1/2" off as often as I feel I need to (in reality, every 3-4 months). I trim when my ends feel crunchy/tangly, when I get a lot of splits, or when my hemline gets uneven or I get really frustrated with the last 1.5" of layers. :lol:

May 18th, 2013, 08:59 PM
I would trim off 1/4" every 2 mon. Unless you trust your hairstylist to NOT trim off more than you want trimmed, I would learn how to trim it myself. There are lots of how to trim videos on UTube to learn how to do it yourself. Is is not hard to cut it yourself - you are just trimming off the very ends of your hair.

May 18th, 2013, 09:17 PM
What are you calling damage then? Dots? Bent ends?

This is also a question I have as well...maybe there is an actual solution to the issue at hand besides trimming it.

May 19th, 2013, 05:36 AM
Some folks get by without trimming at all. Others simply S and D frequently (weekly or so) and grow fairy tale ends. Others microtrim 1/8th to 1/4 inch every 1 to 2 months, taking off half or less of growth. Still others (I am in the camp) do a 1/4 to 1/2 inch trim about every 3 to 4 months.

It depends on your hair. For me, without trimming I could never get beyond mid back due to breakage. At some point the ends got so dry and damaged they would just snap off. The hair forms these pesky white dots that turn into splits o the ends, or, for me, would snap off if further up the hair.

You can experiment with your hair care - stopping damaging habits such as heat, ratty brushes and combs, dye and adding what is good for your hair (seems to be different for everyone) to keep those hairs in great shape.

May 19th, 2013, 06:59 AM
If you had split ends, you'd know it. I have very fine hair so most strands are almost invisible, and the pieces of a split are (of course) even finer yet. They are really obvious anyway. I'll get massive snarls and tangles, and in detangling it'll be obvious that somehow my hair is forming mats where the splits start. If I look at the hairs while I detangle, it will be easy to see that some of the hairs have split and are causing the tangles.

I don't see white dots on my hair often. Most of my hair is too fine and transparent for a white dot to be easily visible.

Bent ends are more obvious on my hair, but in and of themselves they're not necessarily damage that needs to be cut off.

My hair will cheerfully split at pixie length. It doesn't mean I'm doing anything wrong necessarily. My skin is pretty dry, and that includes my scalp. My hair is fine, and fine hair tends to dry out easily. So despite not using a blow dryer or any other heat styling, I still can wind up with splits in very short hair.

Depending on exactly how careful I'm being with my hair, I can need trims around every 6-12 months. 9 months is a pretty workable interval for me. For me, even just trimming splits tends to count as a trim, so I have a scheduled day each month where I can check for splits if I want.

May 19th, 2013, 07:20 AM
I don't think you would be trimming too much at all. In fact even with trimming 1/2 inch every 3 months it would not be too much.

May 19th, 2013, 07:27 AM
I didn't start trimming until apl and now almost mid back I trim myself I trim 2 inches but I had layers I was removing. Otherwise I'd trim one inch or less if you trim 2 inches like I did do it about once a year.

May 19th, 2013, 07:31 AM
This is also a question I have as well...maybe there is an actual solution to the issue at hand besides trimming it.

The damage my hair has is that it's completely fried to oblivion from bleach and the flat iron. It's completely destroyed my wave pattern. My hair looks and feels disgusting, like its fake matted hair or something. Also my hair is very fine in texture, so it's extra sensitive. I'm sure I probably do have splits, but it's hard for me to personally tell with my hair flying in every which direction.

Half tempted to cut to just below a chin length bob to get the worst of it off, now that I think it over. It's completely unmanageable. I've tried deep conditioning, babying it, and just letting it be, and it's still a frizzy mess.

May 19th, 2013, 08:07 AM
If you can trust the person trimming to only cut a quarter inch off, then I say it's not too bad, but I'd trim every 4 months just in case. Hairdressers tend to overestimate the length to trim off.

May 19th, 2013, 10:24 AM
I agree with Lapushka and the poster before her, I'd trim myself because hairdressers tend to take off too much. At APL you could realistically trim it yourself and if it's uneven it won't be as obvious because of your waves :)

Personally I trim about .5-1 inch every 3 months, but I'm trying to get rid of see through ends :)

chen bao jun
May 19th, 2013, 07:12 PM
I would wait a bit if I were you. When I first got on this forum, I thought I had a ton of damage on the ends, they felt so crunchy, dry and fried. After I learned to do SMTS and keep the ends up basically ALL the time, my ends began to improve a lot. it did take months. I have done some dustings since and it could use a trim I am sure, but is growing anyway and it won't need as severe a trim as I thought. I think your hair only really needs trims to grow if you are prone to splits. Though you'll want to trim eventually, you may want to hold off until APL. You won't notice the condition so much if it's always up and it really may improve. Just a thought.

May 20th, 2013, 04:45 PM
I'd probably wear it up as much as possible (I loved octopus clips at that length) and wait six months or so between trims, or a year if splits aren't a problem. I self-trim, but I still find that my trims are bigger than I plan on, so I stretch them as much as I reasonably can without resorting to S&D, which isn't compatible with my mental health.

May 21st, 2013, 12:22 PM
I wouldn't trim loads to start with. My ends are very damaged (bleach and heat) and I can go a few months in between trims without them looking too bad. Personally I prefer to trim more less often because a) it's harder to self-trim a very tiny amount and b) you feel the benefit more. I have been doing a microtrim (0.25") every month but I'm about to switch to 0.5" every four months if my hair can take it. If necessary I'll do 0.5" every three months instead until the damage is gone.