For Girls with 4C Hair when their Love for Coils Ain’t Enough: Trimming
I used to run from them as a child. I mean, make a b-line for the closest vacancy or excuse to change the subject. As soon as someone tried to s-p-e-l-l the word I would immediately remember the homework I needed to finish or the laundry I just had to do.
Trims, man. I do not have fond memories.
There was never a science to trimming. Or dusting, for that matter. My ends would get lopped off when they were “bad”, as if they were a child who needed discipline or a tree that bore rotten fruit. The few times I landed in a hair stylist’s chair, it was simply assumed that I needed a trim to compliment my freshly relaxed, oil-sheen-slicked-stiff, portabella mushroom doo.
Y’all know the one I’m referring to. Don’t lie.
Because of these perpetual trimming nightmares, I never learned to associate trimming my hair with positive outcomes. I never learned to connect the removal of hair to a love for army of 4C coils and a nurturing of their potential. Honestly, when my ends were clipped they stood zero chance of retaining their integrity because I never had a consistent moisturizing, sealing, or deep conditioning routine. So what happens when you stay trimming with no plan after the trim? Child– you have ear length hair for life and then complain that your hair “just doesn’t grow”. Couple the “it don’t grow” narrative with the “I have 4C natural hair and so it will never be long” pity party and well, you’ve got a pretty sinister view of trimming and length retention in general.
Here’s the thing. Trimming is an essential part of your hair care routine, especially for us gals with 4C hair. Notice that I did not mention a scientific formula for when to time your trims or a well-known beauty salon to where you should get them. Understand that because our strands contain more coils than other hair types, [read: we have the MOST coils] our ends are prone to dryness since the sebum has difficulty travelling from our scalp on down. We must be vigilant with our moisture routine in order to circumvent this. Consistently dry ends will split, break or incur
single strand knots, all of which must be trimmed to allow our hair to flourish.
Yes, philosophically loving your coils just the way they sprout from your scalp is wonderful. It really is. But if you are seriously on a journey to retain real length– not those claw looking see through ends– you’re going to have to trim, my friend.
For anyone curious about why I’m talking trimming, I recently did a deep trim of 1.25 inches. Detangling was getting ridiculous and split ends were everywhere. I tried to avoid the session by conducting a “search and destroy”, but when 8 of 10 strands looked cray, I decided to lop them off and give my coils a fresh start. That’s how you have to be. Gangsta with it. Talk yourself through the process if you have to, but get it done. Your coils will thank you.
The result? Less knotting. Less tangling. Less shedding. More fullness. The best part is that within the next 4 months, that hair will grow right back. But this time, it will look lovely. –Jamillia
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