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The Natural Hair Pop Quiz – Part 2: Does Trimming Your Hair Make it Grow?

Adeola Adegbusi

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It’s time to answer another question in our Natural Hair Pop Quiz! Last week we found out that African hair does not grow slower than other afro-textured hair textured. Click here if you missed it.

In continuation of the natural hair pop quiz series, the second question that we’ll be looking at is;

Question: Does trimming your hair more regularly help it grow faster?

Natural Hair Pop Quiz - BellaNaija - May 2015002

Answer: False, trimming your hair doesn’t help it grow.

Prior to my discovery of the natural hair community, I use to be told that trimming the hair regularly would help it grow. Even though this advice didn’t make sense to me, I still made sure that my hair was trimmed regularly, because I liked the smooth and cleaner ends that I got after every trim. The only thing was that my hair never grew like promised.

A popular hair care tip that we’re often told is to cut our hair often so that it can grow. And when someone experiences major hair damage, they are often told to cut their hair so that new growth can grow longer and healthier. Though this is true to some extent, a hair trim or hair cut will only temporarily solve the problem, it won’t eliminate the root cause of the hair damage.

So if you’re one of the few people who just don’t understand this hair advice, let me explain the reasoning behind it.

Why have you been told to trim your hair?
No matter how careful you are with your hair, the older and longer your hair gets, the weaker its ends get. The reason is that the cuticle layers on each hair shaft gradually chip away as the hair grows farther from the scalp.

When the hair first grows out of the scalp, it is at it’s healthiest state. However, with frequent washing, styling, twisting, combing, brushing, braiding, pulling, blow drying and what not, the multiple cuticle layers of the hair will gradually start to reduce in numbers, until the cortex (inner layer of the hair) is exposed and left unprotected.  This gradual loss of the cuticle layers is the reason why the ends of your hair or twists are much thinner than your roots.

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Eventually, these thinning ends will split into multiple thin hair strands which can turn into single stranded knots (SSKs) and/or get tangled with neighboring (healthy or unhealthy) hair. Since split ends are damaging to the portion of hair that hasn’t yet split, they have to be trimmed away, so that they don’t damage the rest of the hair that’s still healthy.

Ever heard of the phrase “One bad apple ruins the whole bunch“? Split ends are the bad apples of our kinks and coils, and if they’re not removed, they can “spoil” the rest of our hair.
Natural Hair Pop Quiz - BellaNaija - May 2015
Does trimming your hair lead to hair growth?
No, because hair growth cannot be controlled by things that are done to the hair after it has grown out of the scalp. Hair growth is only controlled by internal factors such as your genetics, diet, health and lifestyle. This means that a simple hair trim will not change your genetic composition.

Can a hair trim help you get longer hair?
Yes, because when unhealthy hair is trimmed off, it allows the healthier portion of the hair to grow to its fullest potential and to retain as much length as possible.

In conclusion, hair trims don’t help your hair grow longer, but simply help in length retention.

What are some of the things you do to retain length on your natural hair? Share them below and/or on social media. Don’t forget to tag us – @bellanaijabeauty and @coilsandglory

Photo Credit: TheNaturalHavenBloom

Hi, my name is Adeola, I'm a natural hair blogger who is passionate about helping YOU to achieve your hair goals, whether it be to have longer hair, softer hair or a healthy head of hair in general. I know what it’s like to be clueless about natural hair, and this is why I’m here to help you create a practical hair care routine that will give you softer hair that is less painful to comb, easier to manage and that can grow long. To get these practical tips, VISIT my WEBSITE to DOWNLOAD MY FREE E-BOOK.

11 Comments

  1. Ann Ubah

    May 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    i dont comb my natural hair, because it breaks often

    • Anon

      May 2, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      You need hair treatment for weak hair.

  2. BabyDee

    May 2, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Why are your posts always confusing?? Your last post couldnt differentiate African Hair from Afro texture hair or whatever, and now you’ve come with trimibg hair does not help hair grow but trimming increases the length. What is growth and what is length?? How is there length if it doesn’t grow??
    Abeg jare!!! Ahn……ahn.

    -BabyDee

    • bola

      May 3, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Trimming does not increase growth rate. But if you don’t trim, split ends can break your hair. So you should trim to avoid losing length from damage from the split ends

    • Enwen

      May 3, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Clearly u have not been following her post if u have, you will be able to tell difference and know that she is answering each question to the article she posted about 2 weeks ago.

  3. Oyime J

    May 2, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    I trim my hair at least twice a year, deep condition often and do protective styles like braids. This has helped me retain length.
    oyimesmusings.blogspot.com

  4. Charis

    May 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I need help with my 4z (yes 4z hair. My hair texture is out of this world)… Battling with dryness and I seem to be losing the battle… ??

  5. Leah

    May 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    If you don’t trim split ends, they split into two down to the bottom (root). That strand of hair now becomes weak and break off very easily. So it is better to trim it off when it splits at the very end, and that is IF you have split ends.

  6. Pat

    May 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I agree. I think the hair grows half an inche a month (correct me if I am wrong) and if we trim often when we don”t have too we might not be able to grow our hair out.

  7. Jhennique

    May 5, 2015 at 10:36 am

    hey there fellow naturalistas.
    Let me just drop this here.
    So iv been working out a lot, taking plenty of water and eating loads of protein, veggies and complex carbs.. Of all the care and money iv spent on my hair in years, this is the best thing i have ever done. My hair is thicker, fuller, stronger, growing like a weed and all thanks to my heealthier lifestyle. What ever you do on the outside, if your inside isnt well taken care of, all that external treatment is temproary. Start with your insides first. Give your hair nutrients. Feed it from the inside out.

  8. Uju Lilian

    May 8, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Where my sicors at

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