Trimming Black Hair for Growth: Fact or Myth?

Question: I have read your book, along with Wanakee's and Paula Begoun's (I am a hair junkie!). I certainly admire the fact that you are a sister out to educate other sisters on a subject that is always a major concern... however; I MUST disagree with you on the trimming issue. Don't get me wrong, your book has excellent tips, but I wholeheartedly believe that trimming the hair keeps it healthy, and therefore aids in not the growth process, but in the quest for longer hair.

Answer: Trimming the ends has nothing to do with the health of the hair or the growth process. IF you have split ends they can tangle and snag more, causing some breakage. If this is the case then you should have them trimmed. I have since had trims about 3 times this past year since proving my technique and my hair has not gotten longer but shorter as a result of the trims! Also it has not decreased my split ends, I still get them but it does not hinder my hair growth.

Also Wanakee does not have a book; she touted a 15 page pamphlet, which obviously does not come close to being classified as a book. (Books have certain criteria - ISBN number, library of congress classification, etc.) A few tips at best are all you get with that document as I have read it too! People with long hair call me all the time asking me for help keeping their hair long. Just because a black person has long hair does not necessary mean they know how they got it or can advise others on how to achieve the same! (This statement is not to imply that she does not know, or that she is lying, it is based on people with long hair calling me asking how to keep it long)

Consider this point, when I was pregnant with my first son my hair grew quite long because I was taking care of it. I could not have told you for the life of me how to grow your hair because I did not really know anything about hair. I could have written a pamphlet back then but it would not have been factual. When I made a stupid move and double processed the hair, I lost it all and could not remember what I did to get it in the first place. Years later after I researched hair and found out what I can and cannot do, revealed why I was able to achieve length again and advise others on how to do it. So keep that in mind when you see someone with long hair trying to tell you how to grow your hair. Just because they have long hair does not mean they can instruct you or anybody else how to achieve the same!

Question: Do you know if the hair shaft can be repaired?

Answer: Yes your hair can be repaired if the chemical bonds have not been broken in the hair. Protein will repair the hair that is not severely damaged.

Question: In your book you said that instead of trimming your ends, you occasionally get one of your friends to just even them out. I don't trust any of my friends enough to do it. Could you tell me how to even my ends out by myself?

Answer: Sorry Stacy but that is not possible. You need to see behind your head and it is just not possible - even with a mirror!

Question: What does it mean when the ends are split up the hair shaft? What causes this to happen? How can I avoid this? I don't use hot curling irons, only wet sets. I condition each week?

Answer: Hair splitting all the way up the hair shaft is a "myth" perpetuated by the hair care industry. It is neither logical nor possible for every hair to do such a thing (the top layer of the hair is like shingles on a roof) as I have never experienced it nor do I believe it to be true. Hair can split ANY WHERE along the hair shaft caused by things you do to is like brushing. And if every hair on your head is prone to splitting up the hair shaft, you might as well shave it all off and start over because trimming the hair will not help!

Question: What causes the ends of hair to become thin and see-through?

Answer: This is caused by breakage or lacking protein. When they get to the point of not looking very good, trim them. You may want to try a protein treatment first to see if it is possible to thicken the hair. But because you said "see through" you may need to resort to the trim if they don’t look good after the protein.

Question: I have an extreme problem. My hair grows fast but I also always have split ends. So, it's like I never achieve any length to my hair. I notice that in your book, you say that you never have your hair trimmed. How do you manage to keep all the split ends away? How can I keep split ends away? I just don't know what to do!!!

Answer: Linda, split ends are caused from things we do, like too much heat, sponge rollers, hair brushes and not deep conditioning with products that improve the dry hairs condition. Hair does not only split on the ends, it can split anywhere along the hair shaft, mostly caused by abusive techniques like hair brushes and extreme heat too often. To stop splitting hair whether on the ends or the hair shaft, stop doing the damaging things to your hair that causes them!

Question: Are split ends somewhat inevitable?

Answer: When you stop doing all the bad things to your hair (like brushing, too much heat etc.), split ends will lessen with time. I also find that trimming less helps too thus one of the reasons I don’t recommend trims - unless you just absolutely need to do it. My hair seems to split more with the trims.

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