This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

By Kayla Greaves
Apr 16, 2020 @ 11:30 am
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Audrey Melton

Dealing with issues like fairy knots and split ends is pretty common for most of us with curly hair, especially if you do regular heat styling or wear styles that require heavy manipulation. That's why giving your hair a trim every few months is important to not only keep your curls looking their healthiest, but also to reduce tangling and frizz. 

Typically, many of us would head to our favorite stylist for the service, but with salons being closed for the foreseeable future, we turned to Candace Witherspoon, owner of the New York City-based Candance Witherspoon Salon, and overall expert in all things natural hair and curly cuts, to share how to safely trim your curls at home. 

How Do I Prep My Curls for a Trim? 

Since your curls will naturally stretch when wet, you always want to work on dry, clean hair when doing a cut. It also may be a good idea to pay your stylist (if you can afford to) for a video consultation so they can walk you through the process. "That would make it easier and maybe ease your nerves," Witherspoon suggests. 

What Type of Scissors Should I Be Using for a Trim? 

If you grabbed a pair of scissors from the kitchen thinking they could do the trick, put them down immediately. "If you're going to cut your hair at home, invest in professional shears," the stylist says. "Doesn't have to be as pricey as your stylist's, but something durable. Cheap shears cause more damage and split ends." 

How Often Should I Be Trimming My Hair? 

Witherspoon suggests every three to four months, so at least three times a year. But any time your ends look or feel damaged, it may be time to give them a quick snip. Just make sure to consult with your stylist before you get too scissor happy. 

Is There a Special Technique for Trimming Curly Hair? 

Yes! While with straight hair, it's possible to cut in sections, Witherspoon suggests cutting the hair coil-by-coil to ensure an even finish. "Coiling sections and cutting can cause over direction, which will leave some chunks shorter than others," the expert explains. "Make sure you have a full view mirror to see the back and sides." 

As for how much you should be cutting off when trimming your hair on your own, let's just say less is more. "One to three inches will do," she says, adding that you should be mindful of your posture as you cut. "Try not to place your arms in awkward angles, for example. All of this will help with a uniform shape." 

VIDEO: Simone Biles Has the One Quarantine Hairstyle We All Wish We Had

I Have Color-Treated Hair, Is There Anything I Should Keep in Mind? 

For anyone who colored their curls before quarantine, moisture is especially key. Make sure to do a deep conditioning treatment before you start your trim, and Witherspoon also suggests a moisturizing protein treatment once a month to help with frizz.

And if you just gave yourself a bomb trim and think it's time to give dyeing your own hair a go, Witherspoon says that's a straight no. "Color is so costly to fix in the salon when tampered with," she warns. So, please, put the box of dye down.