View Full Version : Growing Damaged Hair - to trim or not to trim

April 28th, 2014, 10:52 AM
I have maybe .25" of healthy virgin hair on my head and then I have a shoulder length amount of hair that has been bleached within an inch of its life. I've been using henna, protein treatments, oiling, SMT, etc. and it is getting much better, but now I'm not really sure how I should go about growing it out, and would appreciate some advice!

My original plan was to get a trim every 8 weeks, but only trim half of the growth. I'm realizing now that that would only be a half inch when I go in for a haircut, and I don't know if I can really trust any hair dresser to do that. Also, the ends of my hair that touch my shoulders seem quite alright and healthy and strong, it is mostly the finer hairs around my hairline that are damaged... so I don't want to be trimming hair that is alright and leaving hair that is wrecked.

What would you do? Should I go in for a trim every 3 months instead? or at 10 weeks? Since my hair is at shoulder length I can't trim on my own.

Is it really that bad to leave a split end there? Is there any way to repair a split end? I noticed a couple split ends that are only on hairs that are 2 inches long or so! Does that mean that they've broken off already? Oi! Bleach is so terrible. I can't believe I got myself into this mess.

I decided that it means more to me to have long hair than to have healthy hair. I don't want to be trimming and growing for a year and then still have shoulder length hair.

Thanks in advance for your input!

April 28th, 2014, 11:01 AM
Split ends cannot be repaired. Trimming really depends on how your hair looks and feels. If it seems healthy at the ends, you can always S&D (Search and Destroy) the individual split ends you find. I myself am microtrimming out taper due to being harsh with my hair (without realizing it!) and some layers I didn't want. Microtrimming works well for me, but you might not need it if you are happy with your hemline.

April 28th, 2014, 11:02 AM
Don't leave splitends alone. Snip them. They can split more along the shaft and break. I trimmed my hair about once every 3 months just to even them out myself. I don't get that an inch trimmed but about 1/3-1/2 of the inch. I get splitends and I usually snip those whenever I see them. I hate most hair stylist/hair dresser/hair pro/ whatever they called themselves sometimes cause they do this trim and miss splitends anyways. I do a lot of sections when I trim my hair. Small and thin sections just to make sure I get most splitends and not cut way too much length.

April 28th, 2014, 11:04 AM
I would snip of the splits with a pair of hair cutting scissors as you find them. If the oil, deep conditioner and other treatments are working..and length is the goal...you could let it get to maybe APL and then do your trim plan of half the growth from there. Without trims you should get there in a year, even with a few trims you could feasibly do it also. At that point you would be able to microtrim the tips yourself.

The best plan may just be no plan. Just evaluate the hair each month and decide then if you can get thru to another month without trims.
Do you have layers? I find those are the hardest to grow out under a stylists care. Unfortunately they re also the part that tends to need trimmed the most. Can you wear hair up mostly to protect them to buy a few months?

I am actually doing the same thing you are doing. I cut to SL March 19. . A month later it has already hit CBL and it seems to be holding fine. I cancelled my trim for April and will decide again in May. I will be keeping an eye out for your posts to see how you are doing and what you decide :) Seems like we are on the same track.

April 28th, 2014, 11:15 AM
S&D and microtrimming at hair salon until your hair is so long it's easier to trim yourself. I do recommend to learn to trim yourself, saves a lot of money and tears.

April 28th, 2014, 11:21 AM
I say S&D like crazy with the help of your mirror. Every time you see splits just snip them away. Keep some sharp hair scissors handy that you don't use for anything else.

April 28th, 2014, 11:22 AM
I grew out very, very damaged hair over the course of several years. The article in my siggy sums up how I did it :)

April 28th, 2014, 11:23 AM
I say trim. Rehabbing damaged hair is more trouble than it's worth.

April 28th, 2014, 11:24 AM
I've been growing my hair out from shoulder length too and have been trimming it myself ever since i got the cut which i originally also did on myself, it has only been corrected by a stylist once. But i found self trimming fairly easy just cutting the ends very blunt and straight across. I'm too lazy to do S&D but if you don't feel confident about trimming yourself, i would only visit a salon every 3 months or so and do that whenever you notice split ends in between appointments.

April 28th, 2014, 12:14 PM
If it's bleached within an inch of it's life (It's fried) I would pixie it. Grow out the color, forget about the splits, enjoy the wild and craziness of being free with a pixie and then grow back out. If you're dedicated, you'll be at shoulder length in a year or so with light layers and you won't be babying split ends, using excessive products to keep the fried hair acting as an imposter for normal healthy hair and you can trim the bottom to start growing the pixie out.

Can you tell I don't deal with very damaged hair? It GOES!!! lol

April 28th, 2014, 12:27 PM
I know when my hair was damaged I cut it off to shoulder length. It was still permed damage. I did daily oil treatment of argan for frizz, coconut for the benefits, and sweet almond oil. I mixed up in a mister bottle and misted my hair and scalp with it. I wore it up in a pony tail. My hair is so thick that's all I could do. It grew to apl I had a trim done and grew it out. My hair has been growing since. I've had a few minor set backs unwanted layers I grew out and a section of broken hairs. I grew them out until I s&d the splits off in that area now it's back with healthy ends. I do agree self trimming is good and s&d is great too.

April 28th, 2014, 12:38 PM
As ErinLeigh suggested, sometimes it's best to have no plan and just wing it. I've been struggling with the same dilemma for 8 months; my ends are extremely dry/damaged/breaking thanks to dye & bleach. I stopped bleaching & using heat, and have just been S&Ding ever since. For some reason I can't just bring myself to trim or do a big chop, even though I know that would probably be the best option. I just want my hair to get longer so badly, I don't want to lose a single centimeter. I think that if length is more important to you than health, you should just keep S&Ding as it grows out until it is long enough for you to feel comfortable with cutting off the damage.

April 28th, 2014, 12:44 PM
I personally think you should chop off all the damage and start fresh. It's a lot of extra work to repair it and you'd probably end up trimming it all off anyways from regular trims.

April 29th, 2014, 01:30 AM
Thanks for all the input everyone!

I wish you all could have seen my face every time I read a suggestion to just cut it all off into a pixie. :shocked: I think that they do look great, but for some reason I really identify with long hair. Whenever I cut my hair even to my shoulders I feel like...not myself. Then I obsess over growing it out again. When will I learn?

I will continue to treat it like fine silk, and start doing S&D as needed. I just bought new hair scissors yesterday, so that was good timing. I trimmed my hair myself a lot when I was somewhere between APL and BSL two years ago, and it was so freeing to feel like I didn't have to go to the hairdresser. I went an entire year without visiting a hairdresser and my hair was healthier than it's ever been. Maybe I will just S&D until it gets long enough to cut myself.

Nightshade your article on growing damaged hair is pure gold! It addressed everything I'm going through and I really appreciate reading it.

ErinLeigh, strength in numbers! Keep me updated on your progress! You're about one month ahead of me so it'll give me something to look forward to.

Having no plan is great advice too. I tend to over plan my life, so that is great advice in general for me. :)

April 29th, 2014, 05:02 AM
This sounds really familiar to me, I was in the same situation 3 or 4 years ago. I went for a trim every 12 weeks until all the damage was cut off so I didn't lose too much length. Keep up with the treatments and try to protect your ends as much as possible!

April 29th, 2014, 06:38 AM
I am in the same situation, and I think S&D and microtrimming every 2-3 months is the best option if you don't want to sacrifice your length. As said above, keep oiling and moisturising (especially your ends). You will get longer, healthy hair eventually, so be patient! and happy growing :)

April 29th, 2014, 06:42 AM
Personally I would trim it but you said that length is more important to you. I would say trim half an inch every 3 months - assuming your hair grows at an average of 0.5 inches per month, you will still gain an inch of growth every 3 months.

April 29th, 2014, 06:52 AM
I agree with those that said cut/trim. Damaged hair is damaged. It cannot be healed or repaired. It can be "disguised" a little, but I've found that it's best to just bite the bullet and remove it and go forward with better care. Whatever you do, good luck and I hope you reach your goals soon!

April 29th, 2014, 11:23 AM
I'm in a similar situation although my hair is longer (around MBL) so self-trimming is more feasible. I think the big chop/no chop is such a personal decision. If you'd enjoy having short hair for a bit anyway you could go for it, but personally I LOVE having long hair and damage is an annoyance but doesn't really bother me. I just S&D and micro trim. If I were you I would just space the salon visits out a bit more so that if they do an inch instead of half an inch it's not a big deal. Also if you find a stylist who is willing and able to just cut a quarter inch off at a time, stick with him/her! Back when I got haircuts I went to a woman who had long hair and completely understood how frustrating it is when your stylist cuts more than you want because she decides it's too damaged. She would just take a tiiiiny bit off, then ask if I wanted more.