How To Prevent Damage From A Haircut
You may ask, “Is it possible for my hair to be damaged by a haircut?”
Most times, the answer is “no”
IF you’re having your hair cut by a licensed hairstylist.
However, it still can happen.
Read on to find out what can make a hair cut or trim go bad, and how often you should trim based on your hair!
What's In Your Stylists' Toolbox?
The number one reason you could receive a damaging cut is if the stylist has inadequate shears. Every licensed hair professional knows that the bulk of their services is hair cutting, and they understand how important it is to invest in top-quality shears.
Most hair cutting shears are Japanese or German made with the best steel that is smoothed and honed to perfection.
There are some stylists that try to scrimp on paying for good shears because these tools are an investment with prices starting at a minimum of $475 and going up to $1,000.
So some stylists may decide to go the frugal route and shop for less expensive shears.
This practice can be detrimental because lower-priced shears are made from lower quality steel. The problem is that the blades are usually made to have a serrated edge which causes the shears to eventually wear out and become dull in a short amount of time.
If a hair is cut with dull serrated shears, the shears can bend or fold the hair and create frayed ends.
Hair that has been cut with lower quality, dull shears looks like damaged split ends.
When a stylist makes the investment, most times the shear company has a plan set up so that the stylist can send their shears in to be serviced and sharpened. The company usually provides the stylist a temporary loaner to work with until their originals are returned.
The shear sharpening service guarantees the shears will last for close to a lifetime.
Trims Are Necessary!
Regular trims and/or cuts are important to hair health because they help to prevent frayed ends, thus making the hair thicker, healthier, and shinier.
The ends of the hair are a composition of the oldest hair, and they are the driest because the natural scalp oils take a while to travel to the ends to lubricate. This is why the hair closest to the scalp looks and feels softer and more hydrated.
I get asked all the time, "Should there be a price difference between a trim and a haircut?"
No. Because whether I take off ⅛ of an inch or 3 inches...I am still taking the time to section through that hair, and I’m either maintaining a shape or cutting a new shape into the hair. It’s all haircutting and hair is on the floor. Period.
How Often Should You Get A Trim?
How often you should cut depends on your texture and style. If your hair is short & curly/straight and you are rockin’ a fashionable tapered look, then you may want to maintain your cut every 4-7 weeks. If you have a bob or a mid-length hair, you may go for a trim every 6-8 weeks.
If your hair is shoulder length or longer you may be able to see your stylist every 8-10 weeks.
Curls and tighter curls should maintain a cutting regimen of every 12-15 weeks. The reason is because curly clients are wearing their natural curly textures 100% of the time.
If you’re wearing color and/or highlights, you may find yourself cutting more often because once you venture into those processes you want to ensure you keep your ends from splitting.
If you have a tight curl shape, it’s important to seek out a stylist that has been trained in cutting curly and/or tight curly hair. Cutting curly and/or tight curly hair is different than straight hair because less tension is used, and no comb is used to comb a section before cutting a select section, because too much tension will result in removing too much length and weight.
When someone is trained on cutting curly hair, he or she must learn to trust the eye in order to see the shape and balance of the cut. The stylist must also be aware of the elasticity of curls, kinks and coils. The stylist has to be aware of density (thickness of hair) before proceeding with a shape.
Other Tips + Tricks
Understanding that tight curly hair is best cut dry is helpful to know. If we cut wet, the curls can stretch further, but as the cut dries, the elongation of the curl — aka shrinkage — may make the hair look shorter than what the client wanted. When the curls are cut dry, you can gauge how much is necessary because the hair has been fluffed and stretched.
A tight curl specialist knows when to take a small amount off, step back, observe her shape, and cut only where there needs to be balance or more taken off.
For loose curly hair, you can pick up a curl and see when it’s time for a trim by noticing how frayed the ends are.
Tighter curls will have that too but they also have little tiny fairy knots or hair balls at the ends. These little knots are caused when the hair that naturally sheds gets entwined or tangled with the frayed dry ends.
Hair Growth Phases
Most stylists are often asked if trimming or cutting your hair makes your hair grow faster and the answer is no. It may seem like it, but a person’s hair growth is determined by the anagen, catagen and the telogen, which are the three phases of hair growth. Hair passes between each of the three phases at different times.
Anagen is the active hair growth phase. Some people genetically are forever in this phase and no matter how much they cut their hair, it seems to grow faster.
Catagen phase is when the hair is in the resting phase.
Telogen is the shedding phase.
I advise clients to take a look at their genetic background. I know two sisters that have the same biological parents. The oldest of the two has always been able to grow her hair past her shoulders.
Her hair is thicker and more of a medium texture while the youngest sister’s hair is finer, less dense than her older sister’s, and her hair never seemed to grow past her shoulders.
So even though I cut some of my clients' hair, say, to their jawline, and after eight weeks their hair is grazing at their shoulder area, it’s likely due to the fact that they have inherited the gene for fast hair growth.
Cutting hair for damage control, cutting curly hair, and selecting the right cutting specialist for your hair care needs takes research and time.