How to trim 4c hair

As much as I wanted to delay this post, we both know it was only a matter of time until I would eventually have to speak on this – trimming natural hair for growth. 

Yes, girl. If you have diligently been implementing a healthy 4c hair routine and experienced hair growth as a result, as I have, then this step is inevitable. 

Because whether you have healthy hair or not, split ends are normal. 

And the best way to ensure the continued health of your natural hair is with regular trims. This is why in today’s post, I’m sharing how to trim 4c hair

What do split ends look like on 4c hair? 

Before I explain how to trim natural 4c hair, I think it’s important to share why and when to trim the ends of your hair. 

As I have mentioned in many blog posts before, the best way to grow your 4c hair is length retention. Meaning, that instead of worrying about growing your hair “faster” which won’t happen, you need to figure out how to avoid hair breakage. 

Because that you can control in a few ways. Such as by keeping your natural hair in protective styles, regularly using a protein treatment, and cutting off the damaged parts from the rest of your hair. 

When it comes to identifying dead ends, you want to pay attention to the following. 

Split ends on 4c hair will have more knots and tangles. You will notice that your hair is becoming harder to detangle and brush. Even though you are doing everything you can to preserve the health of your hair. 

This is because split ends lead to dry hair, which leads to dry tangles and fairy knots. So instead of two hair strands knotting with each other, you now have single strand knots which are common with 4c hair. 

In addition, you will be able to tell you have split ends if your hair is thinner at the bottom. 

what do split ends look like on natural hair

What happens if you don’t trim 4c hair? 

As you can tell now, frequent trims are an important aspect of the natural hair journey. And if you don’t take care of your ends by trimming whenever necessary, you risk that your split ends spread down to your hair shaft. This would lead to frizzy hair and even more dead weight. 

I know a lot of people will try to avoid cutting their hair because they want longer hair. However, as some who did not trim her 4c hair for 25+ years and eventually had to completely big chop my hair, I can assure you, it’s better to cut a small amount of hair every 4-6 months than to risk breakage. 

How often should you trim 4c hair? 

A good rule of thumb is to trim your natural hair every 3-6 months. That is a good trimming schedule to ensure healthy natural hair and avoid tangles, knots, or breakage. Trimming your 4c hair proactively will allow you to stay on top of split ends, and increase the length of your hair. 

Can I trim my own 4c hair? 

The short answer is, yes! You can easily trim your own 4c hair at home. All you need are the right tools, such as a wide-tooth comb, a pair of hair scissors, and optionally a blow dryer and heat protectant. 

You won’t need to use a specific trimming technique, but just need to follow a few necessary steps. 

Trimming natural hair at home

  1. To trim your short 4c hair by yourself you will first need to stretch your hair. A common method to stretch it is of course by applying heat. In my case, I use a blow dryer, so that my hair is stretched evenly and can be trimmed. 
  2. However, for those of you who do not want to use excessive heat on your natural hair, which is totally understandable, you can also use a heat-free method to stretch your hair. Twists, braid-outs, or traditional African threading are common ways.
  3. Once you are done stretching your hair, you want to divide your hair into small sections and start trimming. The best way is to take the parts that have the same length at the same time. 
  4. If you find knots or parts that are thinned out, you want to cut those out as well. These parts are usually split ends that can lead to more breakage and hair thinning.
  5. When you trim the hair end you can either hold the hair strands between two fingers while you cut or you can twirl the ends around for larger sections. That’s it. You pretty much repeat this same process in each section.

Pro Tip: Another common trim method, is the two-strand twist method. Here you simply twist your hair in two-strand twists and then cut off the damaged ends. While it is an easy way to trim your hair at home, it’s not very accurate and doesn’t give you a clean cut. However, it works. 

If you don’t feel confident about cutting your hair alone, you can always visit a natural hair salon or seek out a professional hairstylist to do it for you. Ain’t nobody in the natural hair community going to judge you for it. Especially if you have relaxed hair or much hair. 

trimming natural hair for growth

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