How to Trim Your Natural Hair

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

Read our tips on how to give your hair a much needed trim without spending a fortune at the salon

What is hair trimming?

Hair trimming is the removal of thinning hair cuticles usually with the aim of reducing or stopping breakage periodically. This hair routine is very crucial to your hair’s health because your hair strands split at the ends as new growth occurs.

This splitting can travel all the way up your hair shaft until the entire strand breaks away from your scalp. More so, these weak or split ends can knot and snag on single strands knots, thereby creating tangles which also increase breakage especially if they’re not detangled gently.


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Factors which you should consider before trimming are:

  1. Your hair’s length
  2. The quantity of damaged hair present
  3. How much hair you’re willing to let go

Of these three factors, #2 is the most important thing to consider because taking damaged hair off is the ultimate reason you’re having a hair trim in the first place.

Now let us get down to business.

There are three ultimate ways to trim your natural hair. They are:


Search and Destroy

This technique requires a very careful an up-close look through your hair ends for split ends and single strand knots. Take about one square inch sections of your hair, snipping off one-fourth of an inch above the split-end, frayed spot, knot or breakage point, once you find them.

“remember that this technique can leave your hair strands in slightly different lengths.”

Only employ this technique if you have enough time at your disposal. Also, remember that this technique can leave your hair strands in slightly different lengths. However, search and destroy is very good for you if you are trying to grow long hair.



This method is for you if your hair regularly has knots and split ends. Dusting method is a preventative maintenance technique that helps you contain possible damage hair, mitigating its spread and generally leaving no room for hair damage.

Snip off no more than a quarter inch of your hair in sections, once every two months.

Do not use this technique if you are looking for long hair and if the hair damage has gone beyond the end or tips of your hair strand.


Full trim

This method is appropriate if you are trying to achieve a healthy base of your hair. It ensures that hair ends that are prone to damage are taken off even early enough.

Take off more than half an inch of your hair every few months.

Do not go full trim if your aim is to grow long hair and/or if your hair grows slowly. However, if you want to maintain your current length, then a full trim is best suited for the goal.


Whichever hair trim technique you choose, ensure that you:

  • use a really sharp pair of hair scissors and a mirror.
  • cut your natural hair only in a well-lighted and bright room or environment.
  • trim only dry hair as your hair is weakest and prone to breakage and damage when wet.
  • cut carefully.

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Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.