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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Finding the right stylist for your natural hair trims

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Ah, the dreaded deed that some feel is necessary while others have gone years without it.  There are Naturals who just about break out in hives over the thought of it, while others do it at home with relative ease.  Despite where you lie in the debate, every Natural knows how difficult this can truly be. I'm talking about the trim.  

Naturals do not always agree on how often this should be done and then we disagree on how it SHOULD be done!  While we were relaxed most of us got this done pretty regularly but we are finding ourselves perplexed on how often now that we are Natural.  One reason is that most of us are doing far less damaging things to our hair.  See the problem?


Now, there are ways to have a professional trim your but now that the Natural hair movement has become so big more and more professionals are claiming to know how to do it.  Who am I to judge them?  Well, I'm a Natural who knows there is a real difference in relaxed hair and Natural hair and cutting techniques are NOT the same for both.  Relaxed hair is straight and cutting straight hair is significantly easier than cutting curly/coily/kinky hair.  With that being said many stylists first straighten the hair to cut it.  I'm here to tell you that a curly professional can cut your hair WITHOUT having to straighten it first.

Yes, you can get your hair trimmed or cut while curly and yes you can get it trimmed or cut while dry.  Sound a little radical?  Well that's because we've been conditioned to think like straight haired women.  We cannot do that. We have spring in our hair and we need to factor that in when we get a trim or a cut.  Think about it...if you wear your hair curly 99% of the time why cut it when straight and expect it to look right curly?  Yea, once you realize how silly that is you see why cutting it while dry and curly is the best way to go.

Here are some questions to ask a stylist prior to making your appointment for the trim or cut.

1.  Is the stylist an expert at cutting curly hair?  Does the stylist know how to cut curly hair while curly?  
These are critical and if the answers are "no" then run!!!  This lets you know up front what you are gonna get.  If they have to straighten your hair to trim then they truly do not know how to work with curly hair.  They shouldn't have to alter the hair to cut it.  

2.  Does the stylist have naturally curly/coily/kinky hair?  Does she wear it in that state?
This is important because that stylist will have intimate knowledge about your hair and that is a plus.  If she straightens it most of the time she may not be as knowledgeable about the cutting process as one who wears her hair naturally curly.

3.  Is she willing to cut your hair while dry?
This is important because the stylist needs to see how much spring you have in your hair.  Too much can be cut off when wet so seeing how your hair falls while dry is best.

4.  What products does the salon use?  
Don't be shy.  Ask and if they don't use what you like and/or want politely ask if you can bring your own.  

This is how the process should go:
The stylist should sit you down and check the spring factor in your hair.  She should talk to you about what you want before picking up the scissors.  After the cut the stylist should wet your hair and allow to dry to see the results and do those finishing touches like clipping split ends that were missed or adjusting how the curls fall on your head.  Curly girl, the handbook



Avoid blunt cuts and thinning out your curls.  Blunt cuts ignore the spring factor in your hair and thinning our your hair ignores the natural curl formation.  Also, steer clear of razors since they are not as sharp as scissors and can cause frayed ends.  Avoid salons using these terms or techniques:

Razoring
Slicing
Carving
Thinning out
Debunking

Razoring and thinning curls deforms the actual curl structure and makes the ends look ripped, frizzy and weak...this method reduces the hair to a bunch of fishhook strands--thicker at the carving point and very think at the end of the slice.   Curly girl, the handbook

I got a slice or carving haircut done at a local salon and it took FOREVER to grow out!  My hair seemed to have a certain shape initially but only because too much was cut.  The fullness I wanted was cut away and now (a year later) I have it back.  The stylist cut my hair while wet (it was curly though) and although I had a certain look in mind I did not achieve it.  Bottom line, I'm never getting a carved/sliced haircut again!

Trust me....there are curly hair experts out there who can cut and trim your hair with ease.  Take out the extra time to find them and a great way is to ask a curly girl you know or see on the street.  I'm willing to be she probably does her own trims.  You will be surprised to see how many do it themselves and I'll have a post about that process in the near future!  If that's not your thing then remember the tips above to finding that perfect stylist for your natural tresses.  

Arming ourseleves with natural hair knowledge,
Sabrina
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