Many clients, after an unsatisfactory experience with a stylist, develop an attitude of resistance to having their hair cut.  Others, who have not had their hair grow longer than a few inches without breaking, refuse to have the hair trimmed even 1 millimeter. At the salon we meet these people daily and I try as diplomatically as possible, to discuss whether hair products can repair split ends.

Why Split ends?

Split ends occur when the hair has been grown for an extended period of time without being trimmed.¬† I explain to clients that the hair is like a rose bush or a grape vine:¬† if you do not trim it, it won’t grow well.¬† It will grow, but it will split and go up the shaft and the hair always look frayed shortly after being done.¬† Clients with naturally super curly hair also have the mistaken belief that because they are natural, they do not have to trim their ends.¬† Not so, naturally super curly hair needs a trim just like any hair, just maybe substantially less.

How Split Ends Repair Products Work

There are many products on the market that offer split end repair.¬† They promise to repair the ends and leave it in better condition and they do.¬† However, these only work in the short term;¬† eventually the ends will have to be trimmed.¬† After smoothing the ends with the product following a blow dry, clients will notice the hair will not lay with all the ends going in the same direction.¬† I have seen many a client with lovely, long tresses that refused to trim the ends of the hair, return years later with half and sometimes less of the amount of hair they had.¬† Sometimes, if they come in time, we can get it close to what it was.¬† ¬†Usually though, we hear a lot of how the hair “used to be”.


Before you cut ….

I understand the clients’ resistance to getting a haircut totally from hearing horror stories on how they asked for a trim and the stylist took half their hair.¬† Stylists say the client asked for that cut.¬† I say if a client¬† asks for a short haircut, let her know in layman’s terms how much hair she is going to lose.¬† I also show them on the hair cutting comb how many inches it means.¬† Over the years I have come to the realisation that 1 inch to me is really more like 8 inches to a client!¬† If they have long hair and ask for cuts more than 3 or 5 inches or more, I ask the “Did you just break up with your significant other?” question.¬† (It is tempting to ignore how much money you can make a week from then, but I empathize too much).¬† In 90 per cent of the cases that this happened, they regretted cutting the hair in the next week as the ex is now with some long-haired creature.

If you get clients with super curly hair, the thing to remember is that 1 inch will take 3 months to grow back.  It is important to take just the necessary or they will feel the hair is not growing.  We all know hair grows, but when your hair curls on itself, it reduces the look by half so it seems like it did not grow.  Also, when cutting curly hair in general, new stylists need to remember to relax their grip before cutting.  If you keep it taught, it will be reduced by the cut and the curl and that will be one unhappy client.

How To Tell when You Need a Trim

On super curly hair when you need a trim, you will see many little pieces of hair falling on the floor or left in the comb.  The ends of the hair will be forming like a thick ball that hurts each time you comb it out.  I am not speaking to those who routinely rip and tear out their hair whenever they comb it.  I am talking to those who have moisturised and oiled the hair and still find these tiny pieces on the ground and on their hands.  A good guide is trimming every 3 months when a trim will not seem like you took all the growth.  Finding a stylist who understand your hair is also important because if they are used to cutting straightened or relaxed hair, blowing the hair out before cutting is great so you have an idea how much is going.

On straight or wavy hair there will also be hair falling on the ground and left in the comb.  The ends will look frayed and you will wonder why your hair falls out of the style you did  in an hour.

If you color or use any kind of heating tools, the ends will suffer.  Even when using heat protecting products, on whatever texture, I always find you have to put a curl in the hair just to make it look good for any period of time.

By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design

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